Why will Bangladeshis have to adapt to the global crisis?
The aim of politics is public service, in the broad sense national service. And political party leaders and activists will go forward with this goal in mind, it is expected. Examining the biographies of elite politicians, the story of indulgence without sacrifice is rare.
The undisputed leader of Bengali, including Maulana Bhasani, the voice of the oppressed, and the politicians from the remote areas of rural Bengal, whom people remember with respect, do not have a history of luxury in their lives, so why are- they so-called politicians who claim to be their followers so intoxicated by luxury? While politicians’ lives are glorified by sacrifice, why is there so much hype about wealth and power in the current era?
Even though the severity of Covid-19 was brought under control by the virtue of science, before its economic damage was overcome, the whole world is now facing a new catastrophe in the Ukraine crisis. Meeting basic human needs in the cost of living has become a big challenge today. In a country like Canada, the unsustainable rise in commodity prices makes civilian life unbearable.
Three-dollar milk costs six dollars, eighteen-dollar soybean oil costs forty dollars, and two-dollar vegetables cost five dollars. Prices for gas, electricity, diesel and octane have increased by nearly one hundred percent. The cost of cars, houses and food has increased by 40-100%. There is no positive change in revenue generation even if expenses increase at a geometric rate.
Due to the Russian-Ukrainian situation, the entire world economy is today in crisis. There is no sign of an immediate solution to this crisis in time. East Asia faces a new crisis with the Taiwan situation. From daily basic consumer goods to luxury living, its extremely negative impact is evident under the pressure of price inflation. Especially in import-dependent economies, it is difficult to predict in which direction this crisis will take the situation. While many developed countries are bewildered under the pressure of this global crisis, in developing countries like Bangladesh politics has started to leapfrog over this crisis.
Instances of consensus on national and international issues are rare in the political culture of Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for spending cuts. He suggested cuts in all but the most essential types of projects. Temporarily prohibits all regular visits abroad by government officials, except for unavoidable reasons. The government has asked the people to be economical in the use of gas and electricity. These instructions are a manifestation of far-sighted political leadership to prepare for a future crisis. Advance plans are also being developed with international donors. These measures taken by the government and the visionary call of the Prime Minister are welcome or some seem to rise up to steal political advantages by capitalizing on them without presenting an alternative solution to deal with the crisis. On the other hand, panic is spreading in the town after the announcement of a sharp rise in the price of diesel and octane.
It’s true – under the pressure of rising prices, public life is facing an extreme crisis in many developed countries of the world including Canada. But people in these countries are coping with the crisis by following the measures announced by the government without blaming the government for the situation. And if this crisis is global, why is the situation in Bangladesh different? Sheikh Hasina’s government has successfully coped with global disasters like Covid-19 by dealing with many non-political policies. The people supported the government to overcome the situation. It has been proven that no amount of propaganda and propaganda can prevent success if the people want it. Will the government of Sheikh Hasina be able to successfully cope with the future crisis in the context of the Ukrainian situation and the inflationary pressures caused by East-West tensions?
In the pre-90 period, if the coalition of eight and seven parties could not organize the people through struggle on the ground, was it possible to dismiss the military dictatorship? If the people were not with us, would it have been possible to demand elections under an interim government, ending the one-party rule formed by the so-called February 15 elections? The army-backed government had to leave in 2008 because public opinion favored Hasina and Khaleda. In any national and international issue, in the political culture of our country, power becomes the main controller rather than patriotism, where is the way to disagree? Although this crisis is global, the signs that the goal is to change power by any means by removing the government of Sheikh Hasina are clear as day. But the biggest challenge is whether the government will bring people together to deal with the situation in the coming days? Is the Awami League of Bangabandhu ready to face an apolitical policy?
Although there is no doubt about the justification for the increase in the price of diesel and octane, the lack of planning by the government and the Awami League to prepare the people is as clear as day. It is not uncommon for the government to present enough data on oil and gas reserves in major countries to give people courage. The per capita income of the country’s population has increased, the standard of living has changed, and according to foreign exchange reserve statistics, the economic situation is mature enough compared to many countries, but there are many questions about the beneficiaries of growth! The cost of production is higher than the crops produced, while the agricultural class is tired of fighting various natural disasters at this time, there is no doubt that the increase in the price of diesel and octane will increase the discontent in rural Bengal, along with this, a situation like pouring ghee into fire can also be created in anti-incumbent propaganda.
Fertilizer prices are rising, rising electricity prices will further squeeze hungry people into load shedding. The information about the subsidy of 59 Tk per kg of urea and 86 TSP is not on people’s minds. Despite stories of self-sufficiency in fertilizer production.
Fertilizer prices are rising and the increase in electricity prices will further affect the people of Akal in the event of load shedding. Information about the subsidy of 59 Tk per kg of urea and 86 TSP is not in people’s minds. Even if the story of self-sufficiency in fertilizer production is heard, where is the opportunity for the ruling party to avoid the responsibility of passing information on subsidies to the public? Is the Awami League succeeding in letting the public know that the increase in the price of gas, electricity, diesel and octane kerosene is the result of the international crisis? On the one hand, the price increase statement, on the other hand, the price of oil is falling in the international market, such contradictory statements by ruling party officials may increase doubts, doubts and fears in the mind of the public. In such a situation, the opposition can seize the opportunity of not preparing the people to face the situation that is emerging.
An opportunistic supporter of Awami politics has known a Bangladeshi industrialist for a long time. He got angry at criticism of the Awami League government in 1996 and 2008. Last week he heard the reputation of the current government in his mouth! He said the government was business friendly! At the same time, he presented various facts of expediency which are incompatible with the policy of Bangabandhu philosophy of farmers, laborers and labourers. Bangabandhu was steadfast in his decisions with the love of poor peasants, although he knew that such decisions as fixing land ownership at one hundred bighas and waiving land tenancy up to twenty-five bighas would anger landlords and the zamindars.
Once the price of something increases in the Bangladesh market, the price of that product does not decrease later. The price of everything gas, electricity and diesel has increased by leaps and bounds. There is no relief in the nation’s mind, even with the minister’s statement that “if the price of diesel and octane goes down in the international market, it will also go down in the domestic market”. In recent years, the price of crude oil in the international market has been lower than the cost of production, but the price of refined jalan in the Bangladeshi market has not decreased. Even if the government can influence the price of diesel and octane through strict monitoring in the future, is it possible to reduce the increase in transport tariffs? When transport leaders cripple the country under the guise of elections, will the government have the ability and strength to harm their interests? If the salaries and allowances of just a few lakh government employees increase, the prices of all consumer goods, including pulses, rice, salt and oil, will increase, and millions of people will spend their lives scratch the forehead. It is hard to say where the actions of opportunistic politicians will lead the nation to inflame the masses, wary of such experiments.
The word ‘politics for welfare’ is gradually becoming numb in the social system of Bangladesh. When the party is in power, some opportunists get bigger, and when they are out of power, they forget the true-false, haram-halal, desperate to regain power. How shameless politics is trying to mislead the nation by lying about finding science, even the covid-19 vaccine. Instances of consensus on national and international issues are rare in the political culture of Bangladesh. In a country where politics revolves around power shifts rather than the public interest, global crisis politics is not uncommon. If the declaration of zero tolerance to eradicate corruption is accelerated with all efforts, and the democratic process can be brought back to health, the results of apoliticizing the global crisis will one day be like ripe fruit.
The author is a freelance columnist