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OPINION

Change and progress at no cost!


-Representational image -Representational image

Like the West's single day celebration of mother's or father's day, each of our clever people is turning out to be a patriot, or self-styled messiah, 'just for one day'.

To prove love for an independent homeland, some enthusiasts put national flag on their vehicles, not so lawfully, on December 16. On February 21, many wear black and white attires sometimes inscribed with Bangla letters to pay homage to language martyrs and to exhibit passion for mother tongue.

Our duty to the motherland is finished there, apparently! Its outcome is reflected in Bangladesh's global ranking in, say, education, governance, freedom of conscience, welfare, happiness and some other areas.

Protagonists of the establishment try to showcase the country's capital as a glittering one by comparing it with Singapore, Paris, and Venice. While they may want to create certain imagery in public mind, their own mindset betrays a lack of confidence: They don't dare love publicly a backward country as exposed from time to time!

Occasional arguements on how democracy here can be considered stronger than America's do at least add value of nuisance, leaving active minds indifferent to public discourses.

Truth Social is the name of social networking platform launched by none but Donald Trump, who had made a record of churning out 30,573 lies in four years of his presidency.

We had seen attempts to produce freedom fighters without a war to defend the motherland, only by joining a demonstration at a city crossing in the past decade!

There is hardly any arrangement to know the Bangladesh people's collective aspirations, let alone taking further actions. Notwithstanding a glorious role of language martyrs in history, Bangla is yet to find any remarkable position on the global scene.

Rather, it's getting lost in the hegemony of other languages and cultures where citizens have little scope to think and act with much liberty. English language had come to our part of the world via colonial rule more than two centuries back and, thanks to internet, it may now become the working language of half of the planet's population.

Around 645 years ago, Arab historian Ibn Khaldun wrote in Al Muqaddima, "Defeated peoples always show a strong tendency towards imitating the customs of their conquerors in every detail."

These days, individuals in Bangladesh as elsewhere have been too much engrossed in routine works dominated by livelihoods struggle. The middle class has been sunk into what Ibn Khaldun termed 'sedentary culture', which, 'brings about its corruption'.

People of today surely wish to see change and progress, but largely from an opportunistic standpoint so that whatever comforts and luxuries they've are not hampered in any way. In line with the dominant trend, they may dream of a world-class university, a hospital and public institution but are not ready to sacrifice for accomplishing the mission.

Therefore, we've to live with pollution despite environmental movement, corruption despite campaign for transparency, poor medicare facilities despite demand for better public healthcare, substandard schooling despite emphasis on quality education, huge unemployment despite pledges of job creation, and falsehood despite popular urge for upholding truth.

It is in this culture where an anti-corruption official is stripped off his service for his alleged 'crimes' of naming public officials in corruption cases. So, missing are the institutions which could have caught the actual culprits, presenting a clear picture of the state of affairs.

As Ibn Khaldun suggested, 'dynasty and government serve as the world's market place' where 'stories are told and items of historical information are delivered'. "When it is influenced by selfish interests and rivalries, or swayed by vendors of tyranny and dishonesty, the wares of its market place become as dross and debased metals," noted the great man.

Bangladesh can offer our next generations a remedy, depending on what kind of future the leaders in every micro unit of this society outline and the path they embrace.

 

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