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Bangladesh needs to advance in the indices of freedom and prosperity

Editorial  Desk

Editorial Desk

Thu, 18 Apr 24

Bangladesh achieved independence through the sacrifice of the blood of 3 million martyrs. The objective of this independence was to break free from the oppression and atrocities of Pakistan. Not only the Pakistani regime, but for two years, the British rule also inflicted torture upon the people of Bengal. Even the Mughals and Pathans never recognized the rights of the people of this land. It means that for thousands of years, the people of Bengal have been subjected only to oppression. The Liberation War of 1971 was a fight against centuries of subjugation. It symbolized the aspirations of the people for eternal freedom. However, that freedom and prosperity are now being questioned.

Recently, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Asia Foundation Atlantic Council, in collaboration, have released a global index of freedom and prosperity. According to the annual report of the Atlantic Council, a research institution in the United States, Bangladesh has fallen behind in the global index of freedom and prosperity. Among 164 countries in the freedom index, Bangladesh ranks 141st, and in the prosperity index, it ranks 99th. This information has emerged in the Atlantic Council's global report published on Tuesday (April 16). According to the report, in the year 2000, Bangladesh ranked 116th in the freedom index and 107th in the prosperity index.

The report includes two separate indices - the Freedom Index and the Prosperity Index. The ranking or position of the 164 countries in the world has been determined based on the type of freedom and prosperity they possess. The Freedom Index encompasses considerations such as law, economics, and politics, while the Prosperity Index includes topics such as income, health, inequality, environment, and civil liberties. This report has been prepared based on data from various sources, including 11 organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank, and research conducted at different levels.

According to the report, in the Freedom Index, Bangladesh is surpassed by South Asian countries such as Bhutan (61), Nepal (86), Sri Lanka (97), India (104), and Pakistan (113). Among these, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India are described as "mostly free" in most areas, while Pakistan is noted as "not free" in most areas. Another South Asian country, Afghanistan, which is a member of SAARC, ranks at the bottom of the list at 164th place. The report states that Bangladesh has seen a concerning decline in political rights despite economic progress. According to the respected political analyst Debapriya Bhattacharya, the trend of lagging behind in political freedom poses a barrier to Bangladesh's sustainable and inclusive development in the future. To overcome this hurdle, there's a need for another round of political enlightenment.

Understanding why Bangladesh has fallen behind in the Freedom Index doesn't necessarily require research. Anyone with an informed mind can comprehend it when considering the country's overall situation. Research is indeed necessary to understand how Bangladesh can progress in terms of the Freedom Index. There's no path to redemption from this without patriotism. And instilling patriotism requires teaching the correct history of this country. If people learn about the history of the oppressed and downtrodden in this country, patriotism is bound to awaken in their hearts.

Bangladesh today is characterized by diverse opinions and divided paths. Building a modern, humane state without a robust democratic consciousness is impossible. And if the democratic consciousness of this country is compromised, it will be detrimental to everyone. Do we want to harm ourselves, or do we want to build ourselves up as responsible citizens? This decision must be made by us now.

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