Vol. 5 Num 944 Wed. January 24, 2007  
Letters to Editor

Ershad factor

We wonder why many people like to call HM Ershad an autocrat. A person is to be judged by his deeds. Ershad was an established 'doer'. We ought to evaluate and praise his contributions to the state and people of Bangladesh. The following achievements of Ershad are worth taking note.

Ershad took pragmatic measures for construction of the Jamuna Multi-purpose Bridge. He transformed the dream of North Bengal people into reality.

He introduced the pro-people Upazila system. Only empowerment of the local bodies can generate real development activities in small towns and rural areas. The historic measure was scrapped at the instigation of power hungry MPs, much to the detriment of the rural people. The Upazila system would have been much more streamlined in the last 15 years and more development would have taken places in the rural areas. There would have been less urban migration of people.

A pro-poor health policy was enacted by HM Ershad, which was sabotaged by vested medical consultants' group. West Bengal and many other countries have benefited immensely from this kind of health policy.

Ershad sent a few battalions of soldiers to aid US troops in the Gulf War, which paved the ways for bigger contribution of the Bangladesh Army in UN peacekeeping missions. This measure has earned millions for the Soldiers and the Armed forces.

A pro-Bangladesh drug policy was introduced. We can see the positive effects of the same now. Our pharmaceutical industries are meeting needs of the country and also exporting to Europe, Africa, Asia and Americas.

Tremendous developments in the infrastructure, manufacturing, industries etc. took place during Ershad's regime. People of Bangladesh got the real taste of money during his period.

So, even now majority of the people believe that they were better off during Ershad's rule and that's why Ershad remains a factor in our politics.