Saturday, 3 June, 2023

Bad governance spoils fruits of freedom

Yesterday we celebrated the country’s 53rd Independence Day. The goal of the Liberation War was to establish a democratic, just and secular state where the citizens’ basic needs and rights, regardless of their political, religious and ethnic beliefs, would be ensured. The declaration of independence also stated the objectives of ensuring equality, human dignity and social justice for the country’s people. During past 52 years, we have achieved some glorious successes in various fields. The country witnessed immense economic progress. It is now considered as a role model for other developing economies. We have become a developing country from a least developed one.

Undoubtedly, all these achievements deserve credit. Despite steady progress in several areas, the promise of an equitable and just society remained unfulfilled. We have failed miserably to ensure fundamental rights such as food, clothing, accommodation, education and healthcare of people, including labourers and farmers. A significant portion of the population still lives below the poverty line. The rich-poor disparity is widening sharply. Money-laundering is reportedly the main reason behind rise in disparity. Presently, middle-class people alongside the poorer ones queue up to buy essential commodities from TCB trucks.

The country’s economic progress means little to a larger section of population if we are unable to decrease disparity. Establishing the country as a truly democratic one was one of the main objectives of independence, but we are far away from achieving that goal. Although our constitution states that people are the owners of all power, we have failed to come up with a unanimous system of electing the people's representatives in all these years. All the national and local government elections have now become questionable.

Although painful yet it is true that corruption and abuse of power are rife in every sphere of society. Lack of good governance is acute in many spheres. Analysts are of the opinion that establishing good governance is now a major challenge in the country. Effective steps are essential for overcoming the challenge of good governance. It requires a strong political will; otherwise citizens will not be able to enjoy the fruits of independence.