Law and order downslide
WHY do we love our country? Why should we care about its continued independence? Millions love this country, as I do, because it gave their families refuge from tyranny and fear; others love it because it is a land of opportunity; still others love it because it is so astoundingly beautiful. For an older generation, it is worthy of love because it has been a community of sacrifice. We are a country whose young men and women have laid down their lives to secure the freedom of our nation. But none of these reasons to love our country — for its land, its opportunities, for its history of sacrifice — is distinctive. Other countries’ forms of patriotism are rooted in many of the same experiences. What is it about being a Bangladeshi that is such a special destiny?
We need an answer to that question because we want a crystal clear foreign policy that does not just reflect cosmopolitan values — human rights, tolerance — but national values rooted in our soil and in our own history. National values, by the way, are not the enemy of cosmopolitan ones, but their friend. So where should we look for these anchoring national values? What makes Bangladeshi values and identity distinctive is our particular history as a political community. In the last forty years, we have failed in pioneering a hugely significant attempt to reconcile that common fabric of common good for our nation.
The surge in the instances of crime has begun to touch the raw nerve of society once again. Not a single day goes by without major incidents of political assassination, bank robbery, spousal abuse, truncating of people’s right to move freely by extortionists and goons, etc. In the capital itself, the police seem to be either helpless, or incapable, in the face of countless crimes committed every day. Our leaders must remember that this aggravation in the instances of criminality is creating a sense of social anarchy; dampening the confidence of the people on the governability of the leadership in power; dissuading people from conducting day-to-day businesses and personal activities; and tarnishing the image of the nation to the prospective foreign investors willing to invest their hard earned money in the economy.
We urge all concerned — police, politicians and policymakers — to embrace the problem of this exacerbation in the law and order situation more seriously. For, history testifies that our quest for establishing a society on the foundation of democratic values faced major obstacles in the past when the law and order situation nose-dived to the point of no return.
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