Volume 2 Issue 49 | January 17 , 2009 |


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From the Insight Desk

Looking Forward

Rafi Hossain

The beginning of the year 2009 is significant for a number of reasons. After a lot of political theatrics and tide turning events, we have our newly democratically elected government. Our country has gone through many phases both political and climatic. Shifts like this put citizens into a state of mayhem. But amidst the mayhem, people do not forget to dream. Our country has been ravaged by nature's fury, it has been torn apart, and still peoples' will to survive pulls them back up to where they can start again.

Our current politics is the evidence of reform. And it is also evident that such reforms have started to trickle down from ideas into reality. The long wait for a democratic government has hiked up expectations. Some people are already criticising the new government. I think people have forgotten to wait and be patient. Not just those in power, in order to build our country up, all of us from our own positions have to support the same goal and proceed towards the same destination. Morality and patience are two of the biggest virtues, especially for the current Bangladesh. It is understandable that our expectations from the elected government are so high, considering the system we have all gone through in the past 2 years.

In order to build our country together, we have to really love it. And I mean this in the most literal sense. Just saying we love our country or expressing it in writing doesn't bring a real change. Patriotism has to be rooted into the very marrow of our consciousness, only then can our love for our country be translated into our thoughts, words and actions bringing a real change. Problems exist regardless of progress, even if we cannot reduce the incidence of problems, we can reduce its effect on us by understanding that we are equally at fault for the creation of problems. Placing blame and finding faults is not the solution. Instead of pointing fingers at each other, we can solve the problems by working together towards a common goal.

When we get frustrated with our country, who are we really frustrated at? A negative trend has emerged following which people are very quick to state faults and identify negatives. But what is Bangladesh really, other than all the Bangladeshis together? Where did the love for country and its people go? Where is the respect for the countrymen? How long will outsiders take advantage of the poor state of unity amongst Bangladeshis? I think such negative energy can bring no progress or prosperity; instead of bringing growth, it may pull us backward. In order to build the country together, we need to cleanse our minds of such scepticism and negativity first.

Whether it's good or bad, I have to love my country if I am to do good and build it. I have no choice but to love my country and countrymen. I have confidence in the newly elected democratic government. I know they will do their best to take the country to a richer state. I am sure that our Prime Minister, with her experience will make necessary changes and do her best to build up Bangladesh.

The government could set up special cells for each profession. Renowned experts could represent each field. The Prime Minister could sit with this panel of cells together for a discussion at least once a year. I believe such roundtables will bridge many of the gaps that exist between government and professionals.

Through my work for Star Insight, I have had the opportunity to visit every nook and cranny of our beautiful country and I have come to the conclusion that our country is bountiful and small enough for a coordinated approach to development. If efforts of specialists can be integrated we could go a long way. If there were 64 cells representing 64 districts, each bringing their strengths and weaknesses to the table to solve them in a coordinated manner, I believe things could develop slowly but surely. I know that this is very possible and that such cells already exist. Perhaps we need better organisation. The media could support the positive efforts of government.

Everyone need not come to Dhaka for prosperity, hundred of people migrate to Dhaka from other districts every month, and they stick around! Dhaka is slowly becoming an unlivable city. If all districts could be made self-sufficient, people will stop moving to Dhaka. I think industrialisation should be rethought. Industrialisation needs to be planned which make use of resources in its own respective area, thereby reducing the need for migration to Dhaka. An open discussion with the experts should reveal the roadmap to such an integrated plan.

Building the country can even be a competition. Rich and influential people of our country can be invited to a competition of rebuilding their own district and villages, their origins. Those that have the greatest effect in improving their place of birth can be awarded special tax exemptions from the government. On top of that, particular citizens can come to be known as premier citizens of the country. The government could make extensive use of the media to bring these heroes to light. Through the media, these people could be highlighted and presented to the country as leaders who have done real work to improve the lives of his countrymen.

Our country is suffering from a lack of heroes. Perhaps there are heroes in need of inspiration, who need to be acknowledged. Through such schemes, I believe heroes can be brought to light. Builders of the nation are not only those who have been elected, such heroes can also play an important part in the growth of a divine society. The world is moving faster everyday, its time for us to catch up. The New Year has come to us with a newly elected government and lots of new dreams. I believe that we should welcome the New Year with the vision of rebuilding our country together.

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