Bangladesh: The Truth Is Right Here


Apparently, and especially as gleaned from the verbal declarations of the leaders of myriad types and various ranks, the government in Bangladesh has assumed a schizophrenic tendency. It wants its political adversaries to participate in electoral processes yet, simultaneously, they keep up a persistent drumbeat of negative proclamations. And more often than not the edicts are unadulterated confections of the uninitiated and ignorant personages, some even verging on the imbecilic.

On the same day and often almost in the same breath, administration leaders, for causes that aren’t most times clear, urge the main opposition alliance to be party to its political dispensation but, as stated before, seeming to have instant amnesia, this is followed up, fast as greased lightning, with accusations of the vicious kinds oftentimes straining the credulity of the people and could well be in the domain civil prosecution.

Naturally, this splintered personality approach to governance, politics, public speaking and all that those encompass give birth to a plethora of questions in the minds of all rational beings. If we assume—perhaps irrationally—the ruling party and its cohorts want a peaceful and cooperative democratic environment, why are they relentlessly hounding opposition supporters? Why are activists and political opponents of the regime disappearing with almost clockwork regularity? Why are dissenters reprimanded in public declarations by many who’ve been gifted ministerial elevations and have readily available pulpits to pontificate? Why, indeed, are opposition leaders attacked virulently on a personal level as if there’s an ongoing domestic fracas?

This is but a minor sampling of the contradictions that arise due to the self-contradictory assertions of some of the motormouths ensconced in the corridors of power. (Whether some of them deserve to be in those comfy chairs, is obviously a different but live issue that can be dealt with another good day.) To this already vertiginously head-spinning atmosphere newer issues are added, like the incursion of persecuted Rohingya unabashedly and inhumanely victimized by the Myanmar armed forces and the atrocious actions of a section of Buddhist monks topped off by the uncaring and shameful attitude of a Nobel laureate.

Given that there is a collection of a number of other unresolved problems, both internal and external aside from subjects that relate to the neighborhood, it should not require any elaboration to realize that it is definitely in the interest of the nation—maybe not in the interest of coteries—to have or create as few problems as are humanly possible so that the people feel secure in their present and future and not be buffeted by anxieties engendered by unpredictable and unpleasant political circumstances.

In a country where, for one instance, a very recent report has revealed, 40 percent of young people aged between 15 and 24 years today are “not in education, employment or training” making the actual number of such youth reaching 11.6 million as there are at present a total of 29 million youth of that age group in the country. This is the third-worst statistic in the Asia-Pacific region according to the ILO. Ignoring this so-called time bomb, as well as many other matters demanding instantaneous attention, the rulers of this country evidently would rather focus on power plays, probably believing that keeping these young people engaged in internecine combats for the lumps that come their way due to political alignments is good enough.

With furious forces of geopolitics bearing down on the South Asian region, a fact that cannot be evaded even if the most spirited genuflections are displayed, and the probabilities of an easing of these elements being next to nothing in view of the objective and evolving conditions (rather the signs are they’re likely to become overwhelming), it certainly makes more sense to have a reasonably cohesive nation behind an able administration instead of a bickering and strife-filled political landscape.

Evidently, therefore, it should be serving the interests of the people to minimize the sometimes deadly political battles and generate an environment that can demonstrate to the nation that definite positive times await them, and not a milieu where murders and mayhem are almost everyday occurrences, where sadistic oral exercises are not the norm, and where the national leadership will be free to make decisions that it believes are appropriate and correct primarily for the welfare of the people.

In brief, it’s high time the noxious political atmosphere was purged for the greater good of the nation. It doesn’t have to be self-aggrandizement all the time and perhaps forever. Clearly, it does not require knowledge in nanotechnology to appreciate these axiomatic truths. The ethos of having it all for all time must cease to function, simply because it’s the right course.

The writer has been a media professional, in print and online newspapers as editor and commentator, and in public affairs, for over forty years.

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