Many people have many theories about what is the biggest burden for Bangladesh. Some say it is the population, some say it is the lack of resources, and some even blame the corruption. But to me the biggest problem is not any of these, but rather the negative mentality of the people. The people lose hope and become frustrated too easily. Ask anyone what they think about the direction of the country, and the majority would say with tremendous negativity that this country is going nowhere. Ask them about their future plans, and they will reply that they are thinking about leaving this country forever as quickly as possible. Some portray themselves as the biggest fans of Bangladesh Cricket Team, but the first instance that the team struggles they will start cursing the team and say they should not even be playing. Are we really in that bad a position?
Let us look at our economy first. Even as the world was going through a very hard economic recession, our economy performed very strongly. Throughout the political turmoil of the last couple of years, our economy continued to grow at more than 6% which is very promising to say the least. Achieving the status of “Low-Middle Income Country” further signifies the advancement that we made. All the economic indicators continue to suggest that the economic growth is likely to continue for the years to come. Can’t we take some pride in this achievement?
Just cast back to 2009 and think about the situation of electricity back then. Even 10 to 12 hours of load shedding in a day was very common. Both short and long term plans have changed the situation drastically. Some may disagree with the short term plan to solve the electricity problem but desperate times required desperate measures. And now that long term solutions are kicking in, we are a lot less reliant on those controversial short term plans. We hardly have any load shedding now, but still we remain frustrated.
As far as our country’s infrastructure is concerned, we have seen probably the biggest development in the history of the country. We have seen completion of many flyovers and bridges. Some major highways have also been transformed into four lane super highways. And more mega projects such as the Padma Bridge, Metro Rail etc. are ongoing which once completed will definitely transform the face of the country. Still some of us are working relentlessly to find the negatives of these mega projects.
I do not mean to imply that we should not find any negatives. Pointing out shortcomings helps one become better and enables a society to advance. But the criticism has to be constructive. As I said before, it is almost impossible to find a perfect system. When criticizing, the view should be how this system can perform better and point out those things to the respective authorities. We should avoid the approach where one devotes his entire time to just finding flaws with the system. That is the path of negativity, the path fueled by anger, frustration and division. And nothing good ever emerges out of that path.
The examples of success that I have provided does not mean that our country is on the perfect track. The definition of perfect leaves no room for error and even slight deviation from that perfect track can be portrayed as a huge setback. Our situation is definitely nowhere near perfect, one does not have to be a sagacious person to realize that. We have definitely faced a lot of hurdles and challenges, and in coming days a series of new difficulties awaits us. But just because we face these challenges, should we lose hope? Definitely not. We are still making progress in the midst of all these difficulties and I strongly believe that the best days of our country are yet to come. All we need is belief and hope. Because belief and hope can easily overturn even mountainous obstacles.
In the end, it all comes down to whether we can believe in the future that we seek for our country or give up to the path of frustration and anger. The easier choice would be obviously to blame rather than embrace the development. But look around. See the positives that our country has achieved in the last few years. Just think about the targets that we can achieve once we get rid of the negativity and division among us to work together for the betterment of our nation. No target will remain unachievable, no goal will seem too far once we start to act as one. So, let us choose the path of hope and face the challenges of the twenty-first century together.