Beginning of a Dream
A vote for BDB is a vote for change, urges Mahi B. Choudhury
Act upon your dream. Today in Bangladesh, there is a sense of utter hopelessness and uncertainty for reasons we all know. None of us can say for sure what lies ahead for us. There is a sense that there is nothing we can do as citizens to change the course of our fate.
Change can happen only if there is hope. It is essential for us and our future generations that we re-establish that hope again; the hope that our parents and grandparents had about our country and the future of their children. Only when we have hope again, can change become possible.
Now, is it possible to revive that hope again within ourselves so that we as a generation can plant the seed of change in the next 30 days?
Those who do not want positive change and progress in our country and society are happy with the status quo because it suits their vested interests. They are not interested in the common good rather, they are only interested in their own benefit at any cost.
We must make a call to all patriotic people to join hands and unite to bring about the necessary change. There is no time and there are no other options; change is a must.
Let us look at why I think change is possible now. In the upcoming elections 33% of voters will vote for the first time in their lives and 25% of voters are second-time voters, most of whom voted in 2001 for BNP because they wanted change. These second-time voters became frustrated and then started to lose their hope for a better Bangladesh. These young people represent 58% of the electorate who are tired of the age old rhetoric and are ready to roll up their sleeves to work hard and earn an honest living with the assurance that their hard work enabled by responsible politics and development will leave behind a more prosperous country for their children.
People my age, those still under 40 today (70% are below age 40) voted for the first time in 1991 when the entire country had many hopes after the struggle for democracy. Think about the frustration we are in today. When we look at today's 33% first time young voters, I can see how they will feel after 18 years if we now fail to bring about change.
If you compare the state of frustration and hopelessness today with those prevalent during the language movement in 1952, the liberation war in 1971 and the struggle for democracy in 1990, our hopelessness and uncertainty today is by no means any less. Two generations since 1990 have lost hope and have been disappointed and have seen their hopes and aspirations put on the back burner.
History has put us at a crossroads again and it is time for our generation to rise to the occasion and face the challenge with courage and determination to bring about the rebirth of hope and prosperity for the nation.
As you can see, change is possible. It will depend on whether, together, we can spread and communicate the right message and tell people that they are not alone-- many more have the same dream.
People like me in politics can call for hope and change, but to make it happen, it's the youth who must act upon the call.
The way I look at the upcoming election is that it is not about politicians, it's about you and your life and your country. It has to be an election by the people, having the option to choose honest and patriotic candidates with new minds, fresh faces, conviction, and determination.
Change will happen at the voting booth on Election Day. The decision is yours. It can happen in one day--yes, only in one day--if you act upon your dream.
The ground for a re-birth is here, a call for hope is here, a call for change is here. Now, the like-minded must join hands together. It is time to make history. It is up to you.
Mahi B. Choudhury is Spokesperson, Bikolpo Dhara Bangladesh, and Convenor, Alor Michhil, a volunteer unit of Jukto Front.