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'We are living in the age of politics without policies'

  • Published at 01:53 am September 5th, 2019
WEB_ Drik Politics without Policies
Speakers at the program marking the 30th anniversary of Drik Gallery in Dhaka's Dhanmondi Wednesday, September 4, 2019 Courtesy

Speakers criticize the silence of the intellectuals in the process of democratic development

While criticizing the role of the intellectuals during the struggle for the country's democracy, eminent jurist Dr Shahdeen Malik said the state is currently in a situation where the politics have no policies. 

He made the statement while speaking at a program "Struggle for Democracy and the Silence of the Intellectuals", organized marking Drik's 30 years of resistance in its birthplace. 

Shahdeen Malik said: “We are at a very difficult situation right now.”

No alternative policy has been offered, he said while explaining the political situation. 

“We only criticized the government's policy and activities, but could not offer any alternative to that.”

However, professor of Department of Anthropology in Jahangirnagar University Mirza Taslima Sultana differed with the lawyer portraying much worsen situation.

She said: "Now everyone is living with the ideology of self development and gaining. 

"When the state was born, human development was at the centre of the politics, but at present it has been replaced by self gaining.” 

She also observed that people are becoming more tolerate to the corruption as they are becoming hopeless.

Professor Anu Muhammad of the Department of Economics of the same university explained the perspective of the differences of time and derived situation. 

“When it was 60s, the nationalism and the desire of being established was merged together. But now the country's economy has been driven with neo-liberal economic development. So, to keep their identity and position safe, they choose silence as the best way.”

He said: "If the beneficiary of these could be looked out, most of the time we will see that these intellectuals are there."

The silence is not the question, the question should be: "Where they are vocal and where they remain silent," the professor said. 

He also criticized intellectuals terming them as "fossilized intellectuals". 

Professor Anu Muhammad criticized the government for its dubious role towards its citizen. 

He said the public education and public health care facilities are being squeezed day by day. "There is no security for the general people. We saw the state's role during the dengue situation throughout the country." 

The professor also pointed focus on a media report that huge cracks have been developed in the newly constructed four lane highway and said: "In a recent development the prime minister has asked the authorities concerned to introduce toll on the highway for its maintenance. 

"They not only spend public money to construct a road, but also collect public money for its maintenance." 

The professor said: “The state is active in some places and is absent in some places.”

Earlier, while presiding over the program, internationally renowned photographer, activist, and founder of Drik and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, Shahidul Alam, explained the glory of the institute and said it will continue its journey to stand against all odds in the progress of the country's democracy.

Government's role over Kashmir issue criticized

Nurul Kabir, the editor of the New Age, said the statement from the government over the Kashmir issue came after the recent visit of the Indian foreign minister.

At first a police official said the matter is India's internal issue and if anyone tries to create any anarchy in the country would be handled strictly. 

"As the issue is not only political but also social, it indicates that the democracy is struggling in the country," he said.

He also mentioned that the government of Bangladesh is bound to address an issue which relates to the communal oppression, in accordance with the Article 25 (sub article 3) of the Constitution.