Thoughts on 47th Independence Day

Bangladesh today is observing its 47th Independence Day. Every year, it is found to be an occasion to be celebrated with great ardour by Bangladeshis. All generations of Bangladeshis take pride in it, get inspiration from it. But Independence Day , this year, is seen in a very positive and hopeful spirit of national recognition that Bangladesh is well on the road to realizing the vision for which the independence struggle was launched.
Only days ago Bangladesh celebrated nationally its recognition by the United Nations as a country which has fulfilled successfully all the criterion for breaking out of its undesirable status in the comity of nations as a least developed country (LDC). Today, Bangladesh is recognized as a country which has graduated successfully from its LDC status and taken a proud place in the family of nations as a Middle Income Country justifying the endeavor for independence by all freedom fighters and martyrs. All reputed think tanks at home and abroad seem to be united today on the view that Bangladesh is well set on the track to become a developed country by 2050 as targeted.
Indeed, the people of this country are the ones who made the most sacrifices to make independence for this Bengali nation a reality. Of course, titanic leadership was there some four decades ago to preside over this majestic struggle of the people. But it was the role of the people supremely on the roads, in the trenches, in the battlefields and everywhere that led to the triumph of this nation of 75 million of that period who number some 160 million today and who are distinguishing Bangladesh in the comity of nations in so many and varied forms.
All hats, therefore, are to be taken off to show admiration and respect to the indomitable and able people of Bangladesh who have been contributing to national accomplishments in different spheres . The people of Bangladesh deserve to be specially recognized and congratulated for their various enterprising which has taken their country far down the road to national well-being and advancement in different areas.
These signs of progress are to be noted everywhere and are too many to be included within the narrow confines of this column. It should suffice, to say, that the same would be obvious to those without mind-sets or who are prepared to wholeheartedly accept the progress made mainly through people’s endeavour during the last four decades.
There is no doubt that Bangladeshis in all of these years have quite successfully fulfilled the criterion of nationhood. They did not just lose their will or got overwhelmed by different internal and external choking factors to feel resigned to a sense of hopelessness. Far from it, Bangladesh today presents a spectacle of zest reflected in the various energetic activities of its people notwithstanding the odds.
Proving the Malthusian dictum between overpopulation and famine or Henry Kissinger’s famous expression that Bangladesh was destined to be an everlasting case of international charity, today’s Bangladesh is seen very much as a self supporting nation. It nearly feeds its doubled population with its own food grain production, has substantially boosted its GDP and increased its per capita income despite heavy population growth, has an impressive record of debt servicing– very punctually– unlike many other developing countries and funds a major part of the expenditures for developmental activities from its own resources and not from external charity. It has developed a world class export oriented apparel industry, third biggest in the world. Other industries like shipbuilding and Informtion Technology (IT) seem to be very suited for it. Most importantly, its people on the whole seem to be yearning to utilise their energies in gainful entrepreneurial activities to take the country further and quickly up the economic ladder.
Unfortunately, these conditions and mood of the people to work for a take-off of the country in the economic sense has been put on hold by the failings of some successive governments. Only self-seeking government leaders, political elites in leadership positions, the bureaucracy and other interest groups, have been frustrating the moves of the people on the whole to accelerate progress in different fields. Bangladesh’s moving up to the status of a middle income country and its further significant attainments in different spheres, depend supremely on overcoming this lack of dedicated, scrupulous and able leadership.
Thus, the singular prayer for Bangladeshis on the occasion of Independence Day ought to be for a metamorphosis of their confused leadership where the same apply. Bangladeshis in their different fields of activities have proved their great abilities and potentials . Indeed, Bangladesh today is seen as enjoying the conditions for a great economic take-off based on the sheer zest of its people. The country’s leadership must read this pulse or enthusiasm of the people and join the people to lead them sincerely towards true all round development and prosperity.