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The illusion of development

  • Published at 06:09 pm August 13th, 2018
What development?
Photo: BIGSTOCK

To see real development, we need to look to our children

Did you know that Bangladesh may become a “developed” country around 2041? Did you know in 2041 we will have a per capita income of $12,000? We will have a metro rail, subway trains, and fancier flyovers. Didn’t you know? 

You should obviously know these things, it’s not as if the government has been shy about displaying these facts with big bold numbers in those LED screens littering every pavement in Dhaka.

But wait, isn’t the term “development” supposed to reflect the overall quality of life of the people? Maybe our politicians have given it a new spin, where they provide us with every amenity known to man in exchange of our subservience. The deal of the century right here, people.

But it seems as though, so far, our governments have shown no remorse or accountability whatsoever when their own citizens suffer from the prevailing state of affairs.

But you know what, in the last few days, we got a glimpse of “real” development, the kind of development we have been looking for all these years. I see it through the eyes of our children. Their awareness, diligence, and eagerness for making that long-awaited change a reality makes them the real agents of change and development. I cannot remember when I felt this optimistic.

I am, of course, referring to the recent student protests.

It’s not too big a leap to imagine these kids one day rising up and purge our nation of its existing bottlenecks -- all the corruption, all the bureaucracy, and all the evil replaced with nothing but innocence and hope. 

Ratnadeep Toorja is a freelance contributor.