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   Volume 3 | Issue 12 | March 27, 2011 |


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We Grow; So Does Bangladesh

Naziba Basher

Photo: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

I often question and wonder about answers. Be it with family, friends, foes or teachers, I try and make sure that I am, in no way, contradicting my own words. I think of all the questions I might be asked by others for them to prove me to be a hypocrite and being the way I am, and I try whatever I can to make sure that doesn't happen. So, as I think of the questions I might face, I also think of the answers to make sure they don't dare ask another.

Just hours ago, I was listening to some people whine away about our nation. Things like traffic, heat, and the excessive sympathy shown by some people of the country. Traffic- whose fault? The people, are they not a part of that? Heat- whose fault? Are they not contributing to global warming? There are some who love this country and want to work to make it a better place, no matter how long it takes, while there are others, who complain - many of them who live abroad or have been residing here for a couple of years or more. They watch the foreign news and follow the foreign ways and are in a huge dilemma, believing that they know everything as they fight and argue with people living here for years.

They talk about their roots and yet I don't think they know where they belong. Too posh for this country, they whine and moan away praising their 'bideshi lives' and how 'nothing' ever happens in 'bidesh' while we see things happen otherwise in the news -- where the Congresswoman was shot point blank by their own people, where they ignore climate change while they play a big part in it, where they publicise their disrespect to other religions.

Being raised abroad, I am proud to say that my parents taught me and my siblings 'shuddho bangla'. We know how to write and read Bangla, we know more patriotic songs compared to half the young people our age, we are more involved in our culture, we know Rabindra sangeet, we know Nazrul geeti, we know folk and we are open to learning as much as we can about our history and culture and what makes this nation as beautiful as it is. We were taught about our history since childhood. Watching '9 months to freedom' before watching 'Tom and Jerry', we have loved our country since then and our parents have given us more than enough reasons to.

But why do we leave Bangladesh and settle down abroad? When this question came to my mind, I was dumbstruck for a split second. But soon before I could accuse myself of being a selfish hypocrite, it hit me. Our country, as beautiful as its history is, is still growing. Now more than ever, with the new roads to ease traffic, eve-teasing being counted as sexual assault, Musa Ibrahim hoisting our flag high enough for the world to see and Shakib Al Hasan being a threat to legendary cricketers of our time. While it grows, it is difficult for a lot of us to find that very opportunity that we are looking for. I am leaving to go to all the different places of the world and gather experience and knowledge. It won't be long before I return and share what little I have learnt with my fellow people. I want to come back and make sure that our cultural standards can be compared to those of other countries and be recognised on the international platform. In fact, I can't wait to move away so that I can come back and make a difference, for our sake and for the sake of our country as well.

A little optimism and a whole lot of faith -- this is all we need at the moment and it won't be long before we stand with pride once again, against everyone who ever doubted us, and scream, Joy Bangla with the same sense of victory, just like the young ones did before us, 40 years ago.


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