Ami Bangladeshi

Ami Bangladeshi

Ami Bangladeshi

It's economy, stupid!

Remember the mantra Bill Clinton chanted when he ran against George Bush the 41st? He won the presidential election in spite of George H.W. Bush's success in the First Gulf War. Bush 41st failed to check recession in the US.

The story of Bangladesh is no different. The iconic Mujibur was out because of his failure to give Bangladesh his promised "Golden Bengal." The subsequent dictator generals and the two famous Bangladeshi Begums were either killed or went to jail, disgraced. It is all about the economy. All of them had common failure. They failed in the economic uplift of Bangladesh

To Middle America, pocket book and kitchen politics is more important than defeating cold war enemies. To Middle Bangladesh, ability to buy food and a job is more important than party politics. But it is easier said than done. How do you manage a tiny landmass of 150 million very poor people, a continuous supply of cheaper food and jobs? When this landmass is pounded by yearly floods and cyclones, the problem becomes complex. When oil hits $100 a barrel, problem becomes too complex.

Starting from Mujibur to all the government leaders after him, every one of them underestimated the enormity of Bangladeshi problems. After 36 years, if having cell phones, mega malls, ubiquitous rickshaws and garment workers are signs of Bangladeshi progress, then the country has moved ahead. But has it?

Dissidents cannot grow if there is economic prosperity. Singapore and China are living examples. One has dictatorial democracy and the other has dictatorial communism. Both Singapore's Lee Kwan Yew and China's Deng Xiaoping understood that manta, "It’s economy, stupid!" Bangladesh's fight against corruption is indeed good. But without economic uplift no future Bangladeshi government, including the present CTG, will be successful.

Carmel, California

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