People’s expectation for the new government in 2019
Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed writes for DOT :
The year 2019 has begun and Bangladesh has already experienced a happy beginning with Sheikh Hasina winning a landslide victory in the December 30 election. Sheik Hasina has done everything relentlessly for her beloved countrymen. She has had a good tenure. In the midst myriads limitations, she has left no stone unturned to make Bangladesh a role model. Finally by her sincere efforts Bangladesh has graduated from LDC to a developing country. She had a mission to make a digital Bangladesh and in order to achieve it she had many substantial plan and programs, including Padma Bridge, inaugurating metro rail project, making several fly-over’s and other projects on technologies. She even had participated in several world forums to minimize disparities between poor and rich. Her most important contribution was in the field of sustainable and balanced economy. She had a significant role in the climate change issue and took part in several Earth Summits and conferences. We have witnessed tremendous success and development in the sector like education, health, sanitation, food during her tenure. All these have been achieved thanks to her good leadership.
The past government had taken various programs for the poor elderly people as well as the autistic and the third gender people to bring them in a social safety net like social securities scheme in the developed world. This initiative was obviously very well appreciated. In 2019 people also demanded so. In this year, the new government must take such steps considering their financial ability. In the present tenure, the poor elderly people could be brought under a national health insurance scheme. Our political leaders should also consider the protection of seeker section of our society specially the ethnic groups both politically and economically. These issues could be included in their manifestos. Awami League government previously has done a commendable development in the sectors like health, energy, infrastructure, women empowerment, media, social security, self-employment etc. But there remains more space for further development. We have seen those promises in their election manifesto. But, people want to see it in reality.
In the year 2019, the people’s expectation from the Awami League government deserve an analysis; political parties should highlight their plans on the institutionalization of different institutions that are essential for strengthening democratic practices in the country. The people of the country are compelled to experience political violence every year even after 47 years of our independence. Local government strengthening should be one of priority areas for the new government in this year. The importance of a strong local government is of great importance for the overall development of the country. Despite the existence of constitutional provisions in favor of establishing strong and effective local governance we previously failed to strengthen the existing local government structure in the country. People expect a drastic change.
The most burning issue is the quality in education. Although incredible infrastructure development has taken place in the education sector, we have failed to ensure quality in education. Frequent changes in the structure of education at the primary and secondary levels and mushrooming growth of public and private universities have created hindrances to the process of ensuring quality education in the country. Thus new government should incorporate different strategies through which they want to bring change in this sector. They should also make a commitment that they would use the meritocracy as a mechanism of ensuring equality in the education sector. Financial sector reform could be an important issue for new government.
The new government should reaffirm that what initiatives they would take in order to ensure the security of the minority communities. At many times, we have seen that minority people have been subject to exploitation by political party activists not only during the election time but also other times. We have witnessed the oppression against the minority people after the 2001 general election in the country. We have also experienced how the lands of minority people have been grabbed during the BNP government. So security issue needs to be considered with utmost importance by the up-coming government in 2019.
The new government should also reaffirm and provide a reflection of their plan and program. By concepts and thinking people’s opinion may vary from individual to individual. But for greater interest of the country and for people’s welfare discipline is a must. If we want to make Bangladesh a welfare oriented state, we must be united and mostly democratic. We must understand the people’s sufferings and with a view to removing the sufferings all must work together in collaboration and in harmony. In 2019, government should take new innovative research-based projects by which society will benefit.
The writers is a former Deputy Director General and Commandant, Ansar VDP Academy