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Let Bangladesh grow
Publication Date : 01-01-2013
We end 2012 with a lot to celebrate but also many things to fear about. While there are very clear indications that the world is taking a serious look at Bangladesh as a future economic power house, lurking behind that prospect are real possibilities of upsetting it all by our own myopic politics. While we celebrate the prospect of our bright future, we cannot brush aside the fear that we may seriously damage that possibility due to our own shortsighted policies, mal-governance and corruption.
While the exact dates may spill over into the next year, for all practical purposes 2013 is our election year. This election will be our fifth since the fall of the autocratic regime of Gen HM Ershad.
The previous four saw both the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party being on either side of the fence twice each.
During this period both parties and their leaders have been in power and in the opposition alternately. We have seen what they are capable of and what they are not. We have seen them keep their promises and break them both as the ruling party and the opposition.
In other words, voters know them thoroughly and whatever they will have to say will be received with the skepticism that they so well deserve. Therefore it will be interesting to see how these to parties present themselves to the people to gain support in the coming year.
As we start the New Year, we cannot but be apprehensive of the fact that the cursed hartals are back with a rising frequency and political violence is claiming more and more lives. We have seen neither any sign of diminishing of acrimonious rhetoric in politics nor any sign of lessening of intolerance.
On the contrary, corruption, mal-governance and partisanship have all registered a steep rise neutralising some of the significant gains that our economy has registered.
However, it is with the strength generated by our economic successes that we wish to enter the New Year. Our confidence, necessarily tempered with the everyday reality, will hopefully help us overcome the enormous challenges that we are likely to face in the election year and take Bangladesh forward.
We therefore conclude with an appeal to both the parties and our two leaders - Let Bangladesh Grow. Do not hamper its growth in your 'couldn't care less for the consequences' rush for political power.
We wish all our readers, advertisers, patrons and all those involved with our industry, especially the hawkers a very Happy New Year.