Independence Day and Some Thoughts
On the eve of Independence Day, if we look back at 37 years of Bangladesh's political history, when the debate over the contribution to the Liberation War is not settled yet and the facts of history painfully change with the change of governments, when the country is stuck in the never ending vicious cycle of “poor get poorer and rich get richer”, when in a 3rd world country like ours corruption spread like malignant virus, Yeats's poem seems meaningful. But Yeats at the end of his poem anticipates hope because of the 'Second Coming.' But can Bangladeshi people hope for something like that?
In 2007 with the advent of the caretaker government (CTG) there was some hope; a light at the end of the tunnel. The CTG with the help of the army and various agencies is trying to curb corruption, sending all the corrupt ones no matter what his/her position was to prison, recovering crores of taka looted from the people, reclaiming government land from the encroachers and so on. At last the people seem to believe in the old saying that 'At the end it is the truth that triumphs, that good people are rewarded and the bad people are punished'.
What are our dreams, our aspirations, and our hopes?
We dream of a country free of corruption, poverty and terrorism, we dream of a leader who has the right vision and zest to take the country forward, we hope for an election which will be fair, credible and accepted by all. To see all these dreams come true, the whole nation with trembling heart is looking up at the CTG and the EC. But do not we have any responsibility? Should we only take the part of silent observers who will only lament but do nothing?
What is our duty and responsibility?
Our foremost duty is to change our thinking and attitudes. Let us try to be fair and honest. Let us protest the wrong whether committed by a vendor, traffic police or high officials.
We also need to change our aid-dependent mentality. If we were to succeed we have to depend on ourselves. Aid can cripple people, make them inactive and dependent. In Lee Kuan Yew's words, “The world does not owe us a living, we cannot live by the begging bowl.”
All of us have a burning desire to change an unfair and unjust society for the better. But none of us want to be the part of politics that we believe is a dirty game. But do we ever realize why it has become such a dirty game because we let it happen. Whether politics will remain a dirty game or not will depend on us. Let us not leave all the responsibilities to the Government and the Politicians. Let us also take part in this game and let only fair players play this game to make it a fair one.
Let us understand that it is the collective responsibilities of all citizens to create a better future for the country. If every one of us decides to fight against corruption and choose to rise against the wrong, we might right the wrongs. Let us vote the right persons and the right party. Let us, together make our future politicians understand and realize their responsibilities. Let us work together and make Bangladesh a corruption free, culturally strong and united country.
In Shakespeare's words “The world is a stage where we are the actors and everyone has to take a part.” The stage is set where we are the actors and the curtains shall rise very soon. At the end of the show, whether we get a standing ovation or an empty hall, it will entirely depend on us. Each of us has a role to play, some responsibilities to fulfill and it's imperative that we play our roles to the best.
In the year of 2008, on the eve of independence day, let us hope for the best, let us hope for a fair and credible election, let us hope for good governance, let us hope for visionary and honest leaders in the government, let us see the war criminals and the corrupt ones get punished, finally and justly.
(The writer is a former teacher)
(R) thedailystar.net 2008