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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 147 | December 13 , 2009|


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“Be patriotic, do your best to turn your dream into reality”
- Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed

Tabassum Mokhduma

Whether in the country or abroad, in any national event or an international one, he is always with his grey Khadder panjabi with white payjama; the contagious smile and the carefully manicured mustaches, not only outwardly but also inwardly, he seems to have retained the same look for so many years.

The same youthful exuberance marked with a lively eagerness is still flagrant in his appearance. Yes, we are talking about Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed (AAS), the man behind Biswa Sahitya Kendra, the person, who perhaps does not need any introduction. On the eve of Nations 38th Victory Day, Star Campus (SC) spoke to him about our young generation, their responsibilities among other issues. Following are the abstract of the interview.

SC: Many say that one of the main reasons behind youths' moral degradation is the misuse of their skills by the so called politicians. As a result, present day youths hardly accept the present politicians. There are very few people to guide the young generation in the right path. How do you look into this matter?
: A good leader is always needed for a better nation. But a good leader does not born in a day. If we look into our glorious pasts, we can see that during every movement for national interest, we had good leaders and we as a nation had a big dream as well. Those were not just dream, those were the cases of patriotism, emergence of a sense of being Bangali and it continued without any hindrance till independence in 1971. Bangladesh was born through the dream we had envisaged in 1952, 1966, 1969 and 1971. But naturally the dreams were shattered after independence. What we need to do now is being more focused to guide the youths in right direction. It's not a dream any more; it's now something real because we have become the rightful owner of Bangladesh. While as the established leaders the politicians have to be more responsible, more faithful and dedicated towards the nation; they also have to attain the trust to work hand in hand with the new generation to make our age old dream a reality. Besides, the civil society also has to come forward to guide the young generation, make them aware about their duties and responsibilities as a citizen of Bangladesh. If the common people and our youths become aware, then automatically the politicians will also be aware about their work and responsibilities.

SC: There are always controversies regarding the education sector of our country. While policies regarding education system are changing every now and then but still we are not getting the best out of it. What should be done to overcome this?
: The only way to prevent this is preparing the institutions in a way that it would be the bearer of standard. Today, our educational institutions hardly have any standard. A student learns the basics from school; it does the ground work for him or her to grow up into a good, intelligent human being. But if the school itself lacks the spirit and intention, then there is no point.

We need good schools at this moment where education will take primacy over everything. A good school does not only mean having a large building, high end tuition fees, some so called good teachers with so called educational qualification with no evaluation system or keeping the students under huge pressure that can intimidate a young mind. A good school is the one where the teacher can understand the students' need, can realize the students' potential and thus guide him/her. It is only then the students will gain knowledge, become more aware. So for example if we have 500 good schools and each of them have 2000 students, we will have one million students who will work to keep the standard high.

SC: A common complain present generation youths are getting more westernized, necessarily or unnecessarily they are using English words which they considers so 'in', in the name of fusion they are actually entering the world of confusion and hardly knows Bangla culture though it has much to offer. How do you feel about this?
: It is totally not their fault. Many things are responsible behind this including our so called good schools. To be specific, it is a simple case of inferiority complex. If something is named in English, we immediately feel that it must be of higher standard. There are plenty of names in Bangla which can easily be used, but we always had this partiality towards anything white - be it skin or beards or dresses. We don't trust anything that is ours. This is another lacking of all those schools in our country where everything is being taught in English. Instead of building up this generation as well-versed in English language, these schools, in reality, are actually building them up as foreigners. They have no exposure, no links with Bangla culture, Bangla literature. It's not their fault - they have to be taught about our heritage, our culture, our literature. Unfortunately they are growing up with an illusion that our country has no cultural background, no literary heritage that we can be proud of. What good would they be of, if they don't know the history of their own tradition? With the corrosion of our basic education standard, our Bangla became weak as well. Topping it with materialistic approach towards life simply crippled our thinking process. The present time will remembered as a phase when we, the Bangalees amassed huge wealth - honestly or dishonestly; but in return, we destroyed our culture, our tradition, anything that we can be proud of. Thus we became a fragile nation. But surviving through bad times would give us strength to look forward to good times

SC: Our neighbouring country India is much more ahead in almost everything including the ICT sector but we are always behind them in the race of advancement. What are the reasons behind this?
: Actually, if we revisit the past we can see that from the very beginning India is much ahead of us. And now not only India, but other countries are also moving ahead than Bangladesh. We all know our lacking, and we also know what should be done to overcome this situation. We can dream, we can get energised, we can plan a whole lot of things, but sadly we can't translate them into reality as unfortunately we have lost the power to implement anything in life. And that's what happened with us. But implementation of dream or plan is the most important thing to be successful. We make big promises to march ahead but unfortunately we don't have any good plans for the future to put ourselves ahead of others. And when we have plans, we simply fail to implement it due to our negligence. A nation can't progress like this, but it reflects the state of our country.

SC: On the eve of our 38th Victory Day, what will be your advice to the new generation so that they can prepare themselves for the challenges ahead and can make some positive changes to rebuild the society?
: I dream for the new generation, for them to become turn out as enlightened human beings and they are inspired to do good things for their fellow beings and to tone down their sufferings and they become conscientious citizens, they shouldn't look for themselves only, but for everyone around. Be better human beings; take the leading role to eliminate corruption; and enjoy this world and love this world; you know, learn and die peacefully. Because one who has loved, he has or she has burnt his/her life into end, so there is no problem. One must enjoy life, one must dream for a brighter tomorrow. But do your best to turn your dream into reality. Last but not the least, be patriotic in true sense. Love and respect your country, culture and language instead of being patriotic occasionally just to celebrate national days or events.


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