Good governance cannot be ensured unless an elected government is committed to ensure it showing respect to the mandate of the people. The role of the political leaders and the people who are involved in the process of governance are very important to ensure good governance. The bureaucracy should be benevolent and patriotic and administration must be pro-people. In most cases it is found that those who serve as public servants belong to different beliefs. Some are there to serve their personal interest, some are inefficient and ignorant about the subject they dealt with. Only few of them do really mean their appropriate business.
In case of political leadership, it is generally found that, the leaders who have got tremendous sacrifice for the nation such as leading the war of liberation having outstanding contribution to the national cause are generally committed because they are determined to change the fate of the nation. In case of Bangladesh we can cite the glorious example of Bangabandhu, the father of the nation who had the maximum sacrifice for the country in making it free. Naturally when he was at the helm of affairs of the state the country people expected a better atmosphere but the reality was otherwise. Despite all the honest efforts put by him things were in reality not as good as expected.
There are many reasons regarding for it. The war ravaged Bangladesh had to face many hurdles created as a result of the war of liberation in which the occupation army did pursue a policy of burning the soil, killing the intellectuals and destroying national wealth. Bangabandhu did take extra ordinary measures to correct everything in a short time. He was greatly successful in doing his job but the fact remains that many of his followers did not behave as per his desire. Bangabandhu had to take some tough decisions and stringent measures against them. He expelled some corrupt elements from the party. He removed many corrupt officials from the administration to make it corruption-free.
Bangabandhu strongly felt that corruption is the main hindrance to development. He wanted to eradicate it completely from the society and state administration. He rightly said that those who resorted to corruption are not the common poor people who had little learning. The corrupt people are certainly those who are educated and who are in charge of state responsibility.
After the formation of BAKSAL, Bangabandhu was very often found to say about `Self-criticism’, `self-restraints’ and `self-purification’. At least I heard him telling this many times looking at me with smiling face. Bangabandhu was wise enough to decide what had to be done in the face of such odds.
Those who say that he killed democracy forming a single party denying his opponent to indulge in politics are not correct as the programme of forming one party was not a permanent arrangement. He told the parliamentary party meeting that the measure taken then was temporary and once the situation is was brought under control he would reverse to democracy again. Even after then he wanted to go for a referendum on that issue. But all MPs including me told Bangabandhu that steps taken by Bangabandhu were final as none would oppose him. This is how the 4th amendment of the constitution was made operative.
Good governance cannot be ensured unless an
elected government is committed to ensure it
showing respect to the mandate of the people.
The role of the political leaders and the people
who are involved in the process of governance
are very important to ensure good governance
It was not true that Bangabandhu did it alone ignoring the will of the Member of Parliament. Thus the 4th amendment became a reality. Those who still say that BAKSAL was the root cause for his assassination and the downfall of his regime are not correct. It is really undesirable when even some intellectuals belonging to pro-liberation do not hesitate to speak in the same language even several decades after his death. The 4th amendment of the constitution was an attempt to bring about a radical change of the then social, economic and political order.
Today, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib’s daughter Sheikh Hasina who has been governing the country for long eleven years is trying her best to change the fate of the people. She has already been able to take the country to a new height. Many people still criticize her governance but the fact is: all indexes that determined the development of a country have already been achieved by her government. The Economists, one of the most prestigious magazines has earlier termed Bangladesh’s economic development as surprise of the globe. The latest survey conducted by the HSBC said Bangladesh is a country of fastest growing economy and it will secure 26th position in the global economy 2030 from the present 42nd.
Bangladesh has come out from the World Bank’s list of lower middle-income country in 2015. Those who say that the governance of Sheikh Hasina is not up to the mark should explain the reason. The steps taken by Sheikh Hasina have been acclaimed by many global media and financial organizations. The fact is Bangladesh is now almost a self-reliant economy having self-sufficiency in food. The kind of progress it has made is just commendable. The research analysis of Bangladesh’s agriculture scientists has earned worldwide fame.
The per capita income is now 1909 US dollars, GDP growth 8.13 and inflation below 5.6. An unbelievable change took place in the health and education. Health facilities are now available even to the remote areas of the country. The rate of literacy is now 72 percent. Bangladesh distributes 35 core books free each year on the first day of the year for students of primary schools. The improvement in power generation is just remarkable. Days are not far off when every house will be illuminated with electricity. At present power generation capacity increased to over 20,000 MW and another 4,000 MW will be added soon in the national grid.
Those who criticize the government are known political quarters who are still conspiring and trying to destabilize the country. They do not see any development. They are regularly briefing the diplomatic community to undermine the governance of Sheikh Hasina. They have forgotten what the reality was when they were in power? The leaders like General Zia, General Ershad and Begum Zia who had ruled Bangladesh for nearly 3 decades had little political commitment to the people as none of them had the involvement in the making process of Bangladesh.
Only Bangabandhu as the architect of Bangladesh had absolute commitment. Her daughter Sheikh Hasina in continuation of that commitment has been fulfilling the aspiration of the people. The Father of the Nation desired to make Bangladesh really an exploitation-free Bangladesh. He wanted to remove all sorts of disparity. He termed it Sonar Bangla. Sheikh Hasina with all her commitment has been desperately endeavouring to transform her father’s dream into reality.
Dr S A Malek is former political adviser to the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament, general secretary of Bangabandhu Parishad and a columnist