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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Unravelling Bangladesh's political impasse

The time has come for leaders to rise above their differences

Update : 12 Jan 2024, 10:49 PM

In the heart of South Asia, Bangladesh finds itself entangled in a peculiar political impasse that not only perplexes the nation but also raises concerns about its potential economic repercussions, as the political climate plays a pivotal role in shaping a country's economic trajectory.

Now that the election for the 12th parliament has concluded, we need to reflect on how Bangladesh's political landscape has been marred by an enduring rivalry in a way that seems to have transcended the realm of typical political disagreement, resulting in violence, destruction, and the loss of innocent lives in the most brutal and terrorizing ways. 

The ramifications of such a contentious political environment are far-reaching, particularly in the economic sphere. Investors, both domestic and foreign, are inherently cautious about committing resources to a nation embroiled in political turmoil. 

The fear surrounding the political rivalry exacerbates this caution, creating an environment where economic growth may be at risk and elusive. 

Addressing this challenge requires a departure from the usual norms and practices of political culture; a deliberate and reflective shift is necessary to alter the current trajectory. Since the party in power is well-footed, they could take the first move from its position of advantage.

The unpredictability has a direct impact on policy formulation and implementation. Economic policies that could otherwise spur growth and development may be delayed or watered down as the focus shifts from governance to political maneuvering. 

The nation's economic agenda takes a backseat to the perpetual power struggle, leaving critical issues unaddressed. 

While the continuity of a group in power may provide a cushion for consistent politicking and policymaking, there is no denial of the fact that the developed nation, which we collectively aspire to be in the future, must shun the path to violence and embrace constructive engagement for a higher purpose.

The political tension discourages foreign direct investment (FDI), essential for economic progress. Potential investors are deterred by the uncertainty and instability, opting for more secure environments to park their capital. This not only stifles economic growth but also limits the creation of job opportunities and technological-managerial advancements that accompany foreign investment.

Many argue that effective silencing of the opposition may lead our way to developed country status, however this seems to be a risky strategy that is likely to be unsustainable in the longer horizon. 

The business community, a vital engine for economic development, finds itself caught in the crossfire. Uncertainty regarding the future direction of policies, coupled with the fear of arbitrary decisions driven by political motives, creates a challenging environment for businesses to thrive. This, in turn, hampers innovation, stifles entrepreneurship, and restrains the nation's economic potential.

It is imperative for Bangladesh to recognize the intertwined relationship between its political dynamics and economic well-being. Addressing the root causes of the political tension and fostering an environment of political stability and cooperation is crucial for creating a conducive atmosphere for economic growth.

As the nation grapples with the unsettling nature of its political tensions, there is an urgent need for a collective effort to prioritize the nation's economic interests. Only through a concerted commitment to stability and governance can Bangladesh hope to break free from the shackles of paranoia and consequent violent retributions and tactical repressions, and unlock its true economic potential. 

The party in power is standing on a historic platform to shape the future of the country, and that scores well with a few of the world powers. However, if history is of any guidance, to create a lasting impact, the focus also has to be on the rule of law, and justice must be administered, helping to create a nation that promotes good governance and beseeches Godly grace. 

We are a nation that fought a mighty battle with an empty coffer or little in possession, often elicited the sneer of the global leaders and was subject to exploitation and domination by the colonial powers. 

Notwithstanding, we have come a long way, exceeding by far what was expected of us by the putative worldly masters. 

Bangladeshis deserve a bright future and the common people long for a steadfast societal commitment, promoting emancipation and compassion for all groups and ethnicities. 

The time has come for leaders to rise above their differences, placing the nation's prosperity and justice at the forefront of their manifested agenda. 

The agenda has already been set, we will only look to the future and hope the parties pay attention to the cry of the people. 

The journey into the future will remain as a crucible for the nation, testing its resilience and reshaping its destiny.

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