Business elites in Bangladesh have strengthened their position in the country's politics over the time, speakers at a webinar have said.
According to them, political as well as economic liberalisation and influence of money over electoral politics had significantly contributed to this.
The observations came at an inaugural session of a four-day virtual international conference that started in the city on Monday evening.
Marking 50 years of Bangladesh's independence, the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) is hosting the virtual event titled "Fifty Years of Bangladesh: Retrospect and Prospect" in association with the South Asia Programme of Cornell University.
Director General of Gyantapas Abdur Razzaq Foundation (GARF) Dr Ahrar Ahmad chaired the discussion. Research Professor, Accountability Research Center at the American University, Naomi Hossain, Professor of Zayed University in the UAE Habibul Haque Khondker and CPD Executive Director Dr Fahmida Khatun spoke on the occasion.
Senior Research Fellow at Brac Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), Brac University, Dr Mirza M Hassan presented a paper titled 'Evolution of the State-Society Relations in Bangladesh: An Analytical Narrative', Distinguished Professor of Department of Politics and Government at Illinois State University Ali Riaz presented a paper on 'Islamist Politics in Bangladesh: the nature, scope, and the pathway' and Professor of South Asia Studies, University of Oslo Dr Arild Engelsen Ruud presented a paper titled 'State-making, Violence, and Political Muscle: Bangladesh as Polycratic State".
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ahrar Ahmad said Bangladesh's development amid political ups and downs is a kind of enigmatic.
The country's current economic development seemed improbable when it was born in 1971, he said, adding that though the economic development is welcomed, the country lacks desired progress with politics.
The speakers said with time, religion also became an inseparable part of the country's politics, keeping the scope for misleading many people.