Saturday, June 22, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Lessons for today’s Bangladeshi youth

Update : 14 Aug 2013, 03:55 PM

Forty-two years into independence, Bangladesh has come a long way since it was referred to as an “international basket case” by Henry Kissinger, the former US Secretary of State.

Kissinger’s statement, which predicted that the country would remain an economically crippled nation in the years to come, has thankfully proven to be untrue, as we have made, contrary to popular belief, tremendous economic progress over the years, in spite of all the obstacles.

Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment banking firm has named Bangladesh in its list of “Next 11” countries (those most likely to become the world’s largest economies after the BRIC nations). JP Mor-gan, a multinational banking and financial services company, has placed Bangladesh in its “Frontier Five” economies. Citigroup, a $70bn multinational financial services corporation, has identified Bangla-desh as one of 11 countries it terms as Global Growth Generators (or 3G countries).

However, all of us are aware that Bangladesh has its own share of problems: overpopulation, poverty, illiteracy, corruption, continuous deterioration of the law and order situation, to name a few.

Unfortunately enough, we, as a nation, have moved far from the ideals that motivated our nation’s forefathers, including Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to fight against all odds and provide us with an independent, sovereign nation. Bangabandhu, undeniably one of the greatest leaders this land has ever produced, had ideals and principles, which, if we had been following today, we would possibly have had far fewer problems than what we are having as a nation.

Bangabandhu had said: “Those who cannot maintain law and order cannot expect to be a great nation. Independence is not achieved with the hoisting of the flag only. Ensuring the security of people’s lives and property is also an inseparable part of independence. It is only through an agricultural revolution that the country would become self-reliant in food. The farmers must see to it that not an inch of the country’s soil remains fallow and that the yield of the land is increased.”

Today, sadly enough, our patriotism remains in words only; we speak about it and write about it, but it is not reflected in our actions. We give big speeches on independence days and victory days and then go back to our usual practices of wrongdoings.

We continue to illegally grab land and rivers as much as possible, we put chemicals in food items to make more profit without any thought to how it might affect the customers, we take and give bribes, we kill, we extort and we steal! We are concerned about our own petty interests in a mad rush to make more and more money, as if hoarding money is the only purpose of life.

Patriotism, like Bangabandhu said, does not mean only fighting wars or hoisting flags. It means being honest in our everyday lives, feeling for our neighbours and fellow countrymen and becoming proper human beings. Most of us, it seems, have either forgotten that or have chosen to forget it.

Given this situation, it is high time that the patriotic, hard-working, educated youth of the country come forward in nation building. The youth can no longer afford to think that “politics in this country have become too dirty; it is not for me.” If we continue to do that, the situation will never change and will always remain this way. It is perhaps easy for many of us to escape the prevailing madness in the country and migrate to some developed country in the West in hopes of a “better life.” That outbound trend has to change.

The skilled, young citizens of the country should help build a happy and prosperous nation. If we work together, I believe we can truly achieve a country with more equality and more content people leading to more social harmony that is missing today in our society.

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