Young and Devoted AL Leaders Should Lead in Building Smart Bangladesh

Hiren Pandit
Bangabandhu turned the Awami League into a popular grassroots political party. After his brutal assassination, his exiled daughter Sheikh Hasina has taken the reins as Awami League president as a symbol of unity in the most difficult times. She has walked a long way in the struggle for democracy. She came back from the face of death again and again. She brought Awami League to power after 21 years as a popular party and is working tirelessly to institutionalize democracy. Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina said, “Those who have been associated with Awami League till 1996 are the real Awami Leaguers. Because their sacrifice is too much. They are the ones who have played a role against corruption and at One-Eleven”. This is the hard reality of the party. Opportunists flock to whatever power they have. Infiltrators pose a challenge to the party as they involve themselves in networks of political commercialization and corruption. Many people have enjoyed power from different parties in Awami League. How much Awami Leaguer they have been able to tell and has not been proven. They could never love the party workers with their hearts nor win the hearts of workers and leaders. This is a big challenge in front of Awami League as an organization.
The Awami League has always played a politically vocal, protesting role against all kinds of exploitation, deprivation, injustice and oppression in any democratic movement of Bangladesh, starting from the independence movement of this country, along with the economic, social, political and cultural liberation of the people and is still doing so. When Awami League is in power, people’s fortunes improve. The history of these 73 years, starting from birth, bears the signature of that truth. Now the country is in power under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of the father of the nation, Bangabandhu. In this situation, according to the constitution, the next election will be held under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Therefore, the ruling Awami League has to prepare for the next national parliament elections from now. The way the government has gained popularity, the way it has managed to gain the trust of the people, time will tell whether it has gained the trust of the people as a party, but it can be said that the party will still need more time to reach the desired goal.
A lot of work has to be done to get a place in the hearts of people. Analysts say, “If Awami League wins, it wins alone, and if it loses, the whole of Bangladesh loses.” The meaning of this is that the leaders and workers of the Awami League should remember that the people have given the responsibility of running the country to the Awami League and if they cannot manage the country properly, the people may turn their backs on the next election. The more the leaders and workers, especially the deviants, remember this, the better for the party and the country. Every leader and worker should remember that running the country is a moral responsibility and requires everyone’s cooperation to fulfill this responsibility. But do we see that the effect of differences, disputes, and infighting among the party’s grassroots leaders and activists, the leaders and activists of affiliated organizations also affects the general public locally? Leaders of Awami League and its affiliates are busy with themselves in markets, fields, cities, ports, offices, courts, and homes. Leaders and workers must remember that they are associated with a party that symbolizes the aspirations of the people of this country for the development of the country.

Somewhere the news of the party’s misguided leaders, workers and students also comes as news in the media. Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave a stern warning about the party’s position, the government’s position and attitude on these issues, and organizational measures were sometimes taken. But the situation does not seem to have improved much, or the position has changed. So now many challenges are waiting in front of Awami League. On the one hand, organizing the party and preparing it for the upcoming National Parliament elections, on the other hand, clearing up the mess, troubles and problems at the grassroots of the party as soon as possible. It is essential to convey to every people of the country about the development activities of the government, about the benefits of the development activities, especially about the programs undertaken for the development and welfare of the people. In this context, a patriotic citizen, a lover of Bangabandhu, and one of the supporters of the liberation war, Awami League needs to “resolve the conflicts and disputes of the grass root of the party and involve them all in all local development activities, social service and humanitarian work.” This will speed up the local development work, and the quality of work will be better, on the other hand, the involvement of the party leaders and workers with the common people will increase, and the popularity of the party and the government will increase.
In fact, people’s expectations are endless and people’s expectations from Awami League are more than any other party. People expect humane values, democracy, civil rights and people involved in running the country. In fact, when expectations are high, there is some talk of disappointment. Disappointment occurs when there is a gap between expectations and achievements. To overcome disappointment, one must stay close to human expectations.
Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina is now leading this party. There is a lot of development going on in the country, many mega projects are being implemented and the government has handled the corona epidemic very efficiently. Apart from this, there are many other positive achievements. But in some cases, there is a shortfall in meeting the expectations of the people. Many have complained that many of the party’s leaders have distanced themselves from the grassroots workers after 14 years in power. Again, many slanders and slanders have been associated with their names. There is a lot of discussion about how Awami League came out of the turmoil of propaganda or what the new leadership is thinking, and there is no less curiosity about it.
Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina has been leading this party for almost 42 years. She organized the party and brought it to power by facing various crises and conspiracies. She knows and understands not only the party but the people of the entire country. Party leaders and workers at all levels have immense trust and faith in her. President Sheikh Hasina is leading the party. She will be in the team is the expectation of all levels of leaders and activists.
Analysts say dedicated leaders are on the back foot. Now the dominance is in the hands of businessmen, former bureaucrats and new Awami Leaguers. But many people may regret it. But everything has to be judged in terms of the current situation. In the current era of information technology and people from all walks of life including former government officials, and businessmen with experience in the administration of the state are associated with Awami League, it can be said that it is playing a positive role in the management of the country. However, if these various trends can be coordinated, it will be good for Awami League in the future and Awami League will be able to make a more important contribution to public service.
Awami League president Sheikh Hasina said, “If you work, there will be criticism, there will be conspiracies, but the leaders and workers of Awami League must unite and move forward against those conspiracies. Highlighting various development activities of the government, Sheikh Hasina reiterated Awami League’s plan to build a smart Bangladesh in the coming days. Bangladesh will not go backward, Bangladesh will go forward, we will fulfill the dream of the father of the nation.
Awami League made the Election Commission completely independent. Earlier, the Election Commission did not have the financial capacity. It was all kept with the Prime Minister’s Office, which we handed over from the Prime Minister’s Office to the Election Commission. Arrangements have been made to pay them directly from the budget so that they can work independently.’
After an incredible victory in the 11th National Assembly elections, she came to power for the third time in a row and formed a new government with a bunch of new faces. 12th National Parliament Election of 2024. A year before the elections, the people of the country must sit down to compare their achievements. What did Bangladesh get in Sheikh Hasina’s 14-year leadership?
The inauguration of the Metrorail and Padma Bridge are both development milestones. Successfully combating the corona pandemic, education, communication infrastructure, gas, electricity, women’s education, 100% increase in salary of employees, health care, achieving self-sufficiency in food production, support of backward communities, helpless, elderly, widows, persons with disabilities, divorced women under social programs. , Awami League government led by the Prime Minister has played a major role in the overall development of various sectors, including autism, providing support to poor freedom fighters, shelter projects, one house and one farm project, and women empowerment. The role of electricity in the development of a country is undeniable. Increasing the production of electricity to 25 thousand megawatts and almost 100% electrification, bringing record amount of remittances to the country, increasing foreign exchange reserves to a record amount, reducing the poverty rate, raising the average life expectancy to about 73 years, formulating a national education policy, literacy rate of 75.6 percent.
Instances of a party coming to power for a third consecutive term are rare in the world. Awami League has promised to take Bangladesh forward on the path of prosperity. A new trend of economic and infrastructural development has been created in the last 14 years. Undoubtedly, the support of young voters played a major role in the absolute victory of the Awami League-led Grand Alliance in the 11th National Assembly elections. According to the information from the election manifesto prepared by the Awami League for the 11th National Assembly elections, about one-third of the total population of the country is youth. Now employment needs to be created for this huge working population. According to the manifesto, the Awami League government should reform the traditional education system to ensure the expected employment of the youth.
But institutional fragility needs to be addressed. Government institutions should provide quality services. Regular monitoring of services to ensure that quality of work is being done. Technical education and non-formal training should be seriously considered outside the continuing stream of general education expansion. Along with the export of labor-dependent human resources abroad, the issue of sending skilled workers must also be seriously considered.
It will be difficult to strike a balance without creating employment pathways based on the skills and qualifications of the youth. Highly educated and highly skilled youth should think about job creation abroad. The quality of engineering, science, technology, and agriculture education needs to be made more dynamic and timelier to develop quality and skilled human resources to compete in the global market. At the same time ‘Skill Development Center’ should be set up for general university students.
The world today is full of praise for Bangladesh due to its enviable progress. Bangladesh is called the role model of development. Bangladesh is progressing in various global indices. In some indicators, it occupies the top position in South Asia. Bangladesh will be the 25th largest economy in the world in 2030. Bangladesh will be the 35th largest economy in the world in 2023. Naturally, the people of the country will get positive results by comparing the accounts of three consecutive terms including these four years.
The leaders and workers of the party should move forward with new challenges, and make the party more modern and stronger in the next elections. These words came from the mouths of grassroots leaders. However, the people will say how much the Awami League has been able to fulfill the expectations of the people. But let the relentless effort go on. May everyone’s hopes move forward, and may Bangabandhu’s dream of Sonar Bangla be developed.
To make the people aware of the development of the government, the leaders and activists of Awami League and its organizations need to play a vocal role against contemporary problems, child marriage, poor education, against social prejudice and injustice. The party and government circles should be vocal and vigilant about the conspiracy going on against the present government and Awami League. Otherwise, the achievements of the government, the achievements of the liberation war, and the achievements of the people will all be lost, including the achievements of Sheikh Hasina.
In the present reality, it is natural that people’s expectations towards Awami League are increasing. Still, people are uncomfortable in some places. The pride of being in power has got many of the local and big leaders. Many of the Ministers and MPs have not been able to create much engagement with the common people, especially the people of their respective constituencies. If the leaders and activists of Awami League are still in power without correcting themselves, thinking that the opponent is weak, they should be prepared for a nightmare. There will be many alternative candidates in the election field, there will be many alliances. In the reality of the times, it seems that a large part of relatively neutral voters who prefer to vote for Awami League, many of them may be hesitant. Upset and aggrieved people will vote for the candidate of their choice regardless of party. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expects a clean election. As a result, Awami League has no option to go to the people. This responsibility has to be taken by the party’s tyrant leaders and the place of people’s trust should be restored. The sooner the leaders and workers of the misguided Awami League and Chhatra League understand these words and refrain from them, the better for the country and the better for the people of this country.
Hiren Pandit is a columnist and a researcher

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