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Forget Cricket Talk about anything [within Board Rules, of course :) ]

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  #1  
Old August 24, 2004, 10:09 PM
AussieBloke AussieBloke is offline
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Default A Country with No Hope!

I love my country Bangladesh, yet I have this sinking feeling in my heart that the country is spiralling towards disaster. Corrupt officials at the helm of the country, nationwide terrorism, insecurity in public life, and no hope for future generation is at the core of my sinking feeling. A brief description of these issues are categorically given below:

(1) Less and less voices are being heard in the country against corruption and abuse. Either these voices have been stiffled through threats or have been silenced forever. Intimidation is the law of the day. No one feels safe anymore. Either you abide by the demands of the hoodlums or you pay the price with your own life. What about the politicians? Who are these people and what are their backgrounds? Money and allegiance to certain party effectively enables anyone to contest election and possibly win too. Although democracy is about giving everyone a fare chance, I dont think it amounts to allowing not-so-well-educated and people with maybe criminal records to contest elections. Are our Ministers with portfolios experienced enough to run a ministry? Do they have the educational background? But as we know anything is possible in Bangladesh. Our national response to being named three times in a row "the most corrupt country in the world" is to deny this allegation and not do anything about it. This seems to be the best line of defence and our politicians appear to have honed this line of defence.

(2) Terrorism prevails in every aspect of our life. No one feels safe even within the sanctity of their own home. In everyday life we either pay toll to the local hoodlums or pay protection money to salvage our business and property. Even the Prime Minister travels with large contingent of armed protection. If the PM herself does not feel safe then as common citizens what would be our fate? We are possibly the only country in the world where state supported armed student front operates. And it appears that being an armed cadre is quite lucrative in the long run. We have one or two MPs in the parliament with similar history, yet we are unable to express our dissatisfaction amid fear for our life.

(3) Do I feel safe? No. When I go out, I pray that I dont get mugged. When I am at home, I pray that my home is not burgled at night. I try to avoid confrontations with the unruly youths in my neighborhood for fear of retaliation, even when I see them harass and tease teenage girls in the street. When my family members go out, I pray that nothing bad happens to them. I dont try to criticize the govt. or the opposition in public. I try to keep my indifference and objections to different policies to myself. In this country, milions and millions of people live a similar life. Do anyone care? Has numerous editorials and articles detailing our concerns about law and order changed anything other than some ornamental modifications? The answer is "NO". While the politicians are surrounded by musclemen to protect themselves, we "the common people" are left to the mercy of bigots and hoodlums whose own interest lies in keeping us afraid.

(4) What hope is there for the students studying in different educational institutions? There are not enough jobs available, neither are there resources. The students are practically held prisoner by the armed cadres within the instituion. Even the teachers and institution management have fallen prey to these armed student wings. Govt. job is no longer assessed based on merit, rather its the connection with higher officials that determines the suitability of a candidate. Meritorious yet no-so-well-connected graduates are therefore stumbling in the job market. Is this the future that is in store for everyone? The answer is a blunt "YES".

I have spoken to a number of friends of mine. Everyone feels insecured, everyone is trying to go overseas in one way or other. People with financial support may do that eventually, but for commoners who cannot escape the hell-hole it will be life as usual.

Isnt it time we tried to make our country a better place to live in for the sake of our next generation? As is said in sports "the current crop of players will not be enough", the current leaders and politicians would not be enough to lead us towards that light.

We need forign investment in our market to create jobs for thousands of unemployed people. But foreign investment will not happen until we can provide a safe and stable political enviroment. With hartals, downslide of law and order and rampant corruption, this is not likely. Unless our leaders examine their own ethics and their actions, this country will not be able to survive the test of time. Vision is what is required, and I doubt if any of our current leaders have any vision whatsoever except for our Finance Minister and State Minister for Education. Their performence have been exemplatory amid all the inefficiencies and utter disaster. I wish there were more people like them. Unless we can have visionaries at the helm of our country, we will remain "A COUNTRY WITH NO HOPE"
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  #2  
Old August 25, 2004, 12:32 PM
rafiq rafiq is offline
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The Finance Minister and State Minister for Education has exemplary vision? I don't know who the State Minister for Education is, but I'm curious why you think so. Perhaps some examples of their vision and integrity could help me understand. Thanks.
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  #3  
Old August 25, 2004, 08:32 PM
AussieBloke AussieBloke is offline
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The State Minister of Education is Ehasnaul Haque Milon. It is a a well-known fact that cheating is rampant in every form of examination in BD especially in SSC and HSC examination. Though we are quite aware of this fact, no one did anything about it. Students from the city and elsewhere go to remote villages to sit for SSC and HSC exam, so that they can cheat their way towards passing the examination. What Ehsanul Haque Milon has done is address this issue. He took a number of initiatives such surveliance team, CCTV, compulsary sacking of the principal of the institution etc. Well, you may laugh at the extent of his efforts, but in truth we have witnessed a massive drop in cheating last year. Yes, as a result the first 2 years the pass rate in SSC and HSC fell drastically. But now we are witnessing the benefits of those decisions. We are a poor country. We depend on foreign aid for our survival. With the means that we have, it is quite extraordinary that he has managed to stem the exercise of cheating to a large extent.Cheating still prevails in the system, at least we are on the right track. Ehsanul Haque Milon is more reknowned then our Education Minister. He has also modified the CGPA system in SSC and HSC. Yes, it has gone through some modifications, errors were made. But this is how you learn. But to start with, one must have the eagerness and integrity to do some good in this country of ours.

As for the finance sector, we had a disastrous economy of late. Taka was devalued against the US dollar more than 12/13 times in the last 7 years. Our national revenue was almost empty. Finance Minister Saifur Rahman has taken initiative to revigorate the national economy. We have international reputed economists such as Dr. Debopriyo Bhattacharjee, who also supports our finance ministers views. I live in Australia where everyone above a certain income pay taxes. In BD this was an alien idea earlier. Now we have VAT and everyone above a certain income needs to file tax returns. Yes, people cheat on their taxes. Business owners, shop owners everyone cheats on their tax. Pharmacutical companies (I know this from reliable resource) normally have 3 storage facilities. The usual supply goes from 2 storages, but only the 3rd storage is registered with the govt. There is so much that a govt. can do. Unless people themselves are honest, very little can be done. Again I must reiterate that at least the steps and policies that our finance Minister has proposed in the last budget conforms with the international policies. But again our hands are always twisted. World Bank, Asian Development Bank etc. all twist our arms all the time so that we adhere to their policies and not to policies that serve our purpose.

This is why in my opinion these two people have implemented what others simply preach. I cannot say the same for other ministers. But for a country like ours we need long time policies. Short time policies simply wont work. But this government may not be in power to carry out its work. With a change of government after the next election, the serving government may terminate all these good policies. Then we will be back to SQUARE ONE. Isnt this what has been happening since 1991?
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  #4  
Old August 26, 2004, 01:51 AM
acker acker is offline
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The expanding Indian economy should help lift the lives of Bangladeshi's , but corruption is like having a blockage in a hose the benifits dont run through the economy properly.
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  #5  
Old August 26, 2004, 02:17 AM
rafiq rafiq is offline
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AussieBloke, thanks for the update on the Education Minister. Life just won't be the same without cheating on your HSC, but good luck to him anyway!

As for the Finance Minister, he's been around for a long time and there have been a few good financial policies over the years. Beyond that I'd rather not comment.
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  #6  
Old August 26, 2004, 03:08 AM
potshot potshot is offline
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Quote:
originally quoted by Acker
The expanding Indian economy should help lift the lives of Bangladeshi's , but corruption is like having a blockage in a hose the benifits dont run through the economy properly.
Indian businesses are interested to invest in BD, but the vested interests in BD oppose it. Instead of thinking about the prosperity that Indian investment may bring in BD,they are more worried about the profit that Indians may earn from their ventures in BD. Why will an Indian or for that matter any foreign business invest in BD if they do not earn profit. This short sightedness of BD politicians has allowed Sri Lanka and Myanmar to attract Indian investments.
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  #7  
Old August 26, 2004, 04:58 AM
PoorFan PoorFan is offline
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Every word AussieBloke said in this post is true.
I feel the same way when I visit Dhaka, No hope in everywhere.
Atleast we can see some hope from Finance Minister and the Minister for Education.
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