Prime Minister's Energy Adviser Taufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury yesterday criticised the local media for not highlighting the country's achievements.
Chowdhury made the comment citing Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen's plaudits for the progress Bangladesh made in various economic and social aspects.
“Unfortunately, we are not getting the publicity. I am saddened that even locally we are not aware of it. Our media and its narratives are giving different pictures to the Bangladeshis,” said Chowdhury.
On November 10, The Daily Star ran a report where Sen, via an e-mail, refuted an attribution made by Finance Minister AMA Muhith over a comment on another Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus.
In the e-mail, Sen shared points of conversation with Muhith at the VIP lounge of Bangkok Airport last month.
In the discussion, Sen praised Bangladesh's rapid progress on economic and social matters in recent years, but, he felt, the country's achievements did not get the acknowledgement in the world media that it deserves.
Sen said the treatment of Yunus, and its interpretation in the outside world, might have been overshadowing Bangladesh's stellar achievements -- in the western media.
Chowdhury read out some points of Sen's statement, published in The Daily Star in full.
"We have done extremely well. We have done better than most countries in the world by overcoming challenges such as floods and disasters. We can take pride in it,” the adviser said.
He cited investment inflows from China, rising remittance and the country's progress in education, health and poverty reduction in this regard.
But the local media does not highlight these achievements, Chowdhury alleged.
"Government criticism is one thing. But who else will do if we do not portray our country," he asked.
"Criticise us, my weaknesses and mistakes, at the same time, showcase the country. If our media do not do it, who will give the big picture of Bangladesh," Chowdhury said.
Citing the former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's famous 'basket case' comment, he said: "We had to take four decades to prove it wrong."