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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Because We Can, We Must

Around half a century back Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream, where he envisioned a world (America) free of racial discrimination and inequality once and for all. He didn't however live to see his dream turn to reality (I wonder whether we have?). But when Barack Obama said, "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek" the words of Luther King echoed across the American people. For good or for bad they (Americans) had leaders who shared the same dream, 50 years apart!!!

If we look further back, there is the great Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) who believed in ahimsa (total non-violence) and preached, "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." He was a living legend indeed. In fact Martin Luther King, Jr. himself had once said, "Christ gave us the goals and Mahatma Gandhi the tactics." Such is the acceptance of this Brahmachari that even at this kalyug (modern era/dark times), activists like Anna Hazare take up his non-violent methods to rally against Anti-corruption. Gandhians are still at large in India and across the globe irrespective of race, gender or religion. Idealism is usually the force which drives all progressive change and he had one that won a million hearts (and continue to do so) "Ahimsa Paramo Dharma".

Without further adieu let me get to the point! The enlightened people that you are (reading it) must be knowing about most of what I've highlighted in the above paras. But the irony is that we know the situation, perhaps can dig up a solution but definitely can't execute the desired course of action. Even our  greatest leader Bongobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1971 had called upon his countrymen in a thunderous voice, "Ebarer Sangram Amader Muktir Sangram, Ebarer Sangram Swadhinatar Sangram" (This struggle is for our freedom, this struggle is for our independence), inspiring what would turn into Bangladesh Liberation War. 40 years down the line... we still don't shy away from using it in every possible manner or putting his name and portrait in every possible place. These consecutive acts of mockery by successive governments has left us with no leader at all (at least not without acute controversies).

I grew up knowing Bangladesh is a nation of patriots and survivors that are full of optimism and adaptability. By the time I had grown up... I considered myself stuck in a rat hole of corrupt and uncivilized people who ensure nothing social insecurity and spiraling inflation and has no vision but of their own. Gandhian or not, dreamer or not.... I am just another citizen of Bangladesh. And all I ever wanted to love my country and contribute towards its development. I used to feel miserable at times knowing I probably wasn't contributing where is required the most, politics (more specifically student politics). But then when you wake up from that lucid surreal dream, you realize it is nothing but a pothole (like the ones you scrape through everyday). A pothole in a street that's underwater (sewerage preferably) , a pothole that we try to mend temporarily every now and then... a pothole we must we must fix to move forward!!!

Question is, HOW do we do it? by WHEN? and most importantly WHO does it?

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