Saturday, July 28, 2007

Amnesia of the few Bangladeshis

I have been following the news from Bangladesh following the arrest of Sheikh Hasina. There have been protests by the student arm of the Awami League in a typical violent way: by setting off hand made grenades. The student arm of Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League is called Bangladesh Students (Chattra) League. This violent wing of Awami League, together with the Student wings of BNP and Jamat-E-Islami has been corrupting the academic environment in Bangladesh. I will discuss the destructive nature of these three student organisations another day.

Following Sheikh Hasina’s arrest, teachers from various public universities have also gone on strike.

This doesn’t surprise me. Having been through the education system in Bangladesh, I know that these teachers were either receiving favours from the Awami League or trying to build up a career in politics after their retirement. The public university teachers in Bangladesh are highly politicised and are bitterly divided under two main political parties in Bangladesh. The teachers, along with the three student wings of three main political parties have been polluting the academic environment of the public universities for as long as I can remember. Their politics caused dramatic fall in the quality of the education in the public universities across the country. I don’t see why they had to go on strike following Sheikh Hasina’s arrest (unless they have some hidden issues). Why can’t they just let the investigation go ahead? If she hasn’t done anything wrong (which I refuse to believe), she will be freed (I hope that will never happen).

As I was saying before, Bangladesh Students League was holding protests in their usual violent way. Those who read Bangladeshi newspapers know how the student politics have corrupted the academic environment to help the political parties to grab the power.

Most of the student politicians are the worst students from the university, who are after some quick money by causing disruption in education as and when they are instructed by their party leaders. They are also very active in occupying the halls of residence illegally and then ‘leasing’ them out to their ‘favourite’ pupils, often in exchange of money.

As the readers can imagine, all the aforementioned corruption have now stopped. The current government has taken strict steps to wipe out these anti-social elements and started to promise a better future for the country.

At the prospect of losing their ill advantages, the corrupted teachers and their equally corrupted students have gone on strike.

I am also surprised at some of the die-hard local protestors. They are the very people who were speaking of the injustice committed by Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia six months ago. They were complaining about how their freedom of movement had been restricted due to the irresponsible strikes and policing. Surely, these people are suffering from Amnesia. How did these people forget how Awami League activists killed the rivals on the street? How did they forget how the Awami League activists brought the country to a standstill under the direction of Sheikh Hasina?

I urge all the stakeholders in the current Bangladeshi administration not to lose momentum and to carry on with the reform programme in Bangladesh. Please don’t pay attention to people who are suffering from memory loss, you have a difficult job to finish.

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