Md. Joynal Abdin
The Daily Sun on December 31, 2013
Bangladesh is a role model for many least developed countries. She is also a role model because of peaceful coexistence of various religious, cultural and ethnic groups. In Bangladesh interreligious ties and bondage are strong and peaceful. Independence of Bangladesh in 1971 is a significant event in South Asia because of we did not get our independence in table talk. We fought in the battlefield and achieved our independence.
People from all walks of life, including farmers, fishermen, businessmen, service holders, students, teachers, military personnel, civil servants, political leaders and many other professions fought against the Pakistani Junta and finally achieved victory. People from all walks of life have more or less stake in the Liberation War. Political leaders were in the political field, civil servants and diplomats were in policy and diplomacy phase to get foreign supports and military officials were in the battlefield to fight and train the freedom fighters. Therefore whole nations are respectful of freedom fighters and remember their sacrifices in the Liberation War every year.
Objective of our Liberation War was not only to achieve political independence, but to build a prosperous Bangladesh free from poverty and discrimination where everybody will feel safe and secure in every sphere of life without any religious, cultural, racial, ethnic discrimination.
But after 42 years of the independence what are we observing today? We are witnessing sufferings of common people, lack of mutual respect and trust among political parties. Sufferings of general people have reached a stage where security of life and livelihood is terribly ignored.
During last few months people have been suffering a lot. Farmers are crying with their crops in the field. Exporters are missing shipment with ready products. Shopkeepers are unable to open the shop regularly to earn his livelihood. Students cannot attend classes and appear in the examination. Professionals cannot perform their duty and day labourers are passing miserable days without works and income. Patients cannot go to hospitals to get healthcare. Passengers are being burnt inside vehicles.
Why are we going through all these sufferings? Because of our patriot political leaders are trying to establish and maintain their so-called political rights! We cannot enjoy our rights due to the political clashes between rival two major political parties.
Let’s try to calculate economic cost of our losses during last few months. According to the 2013 CIA World Factbook and other sources, the size of Bangladesh GDP in 2013 is USD 305.5 bn. If GDP growth rate is 6.5% per year than the amount is USD 18.33 bn, which is equal to BDT 1466.4bn. Contribution of agriculture to our GDP is 19.41%, which is equal to BDT 286.62bn. If we divide this production into three crop producing seasons, than the cost of crop in one season is about BDT 94.87 bn. That means during current political instability Bangladeshi farmers have incurred loss of about BDT 94.87bn after all sorts of labour, money and other resources investment. The country is incurring loss of about BDT 94.87 bn only from agriculture sector.
Let try to figure out the loss in export sector. Last year Bangladesh earned USD 22.84 bn from the export sector. If we assume that export figure will remain same, then we get USD 5.71bn in three months. Let assume that 50% of export shipment reached in time during this period either by sea or by air. So export related loss of current political clash could be USD 2.85 bn, equal to BDT 228.4 bn.
Contribution of service sector to the GDP is 48.61%, which is equal to BDT 712.81 bn. If 25% of service is interrupted due to this clash, then the amount of loss is about BDT 178.20bn. Without too many details we can say that the country is incurring loss of about BDT 530.77bn due to current political.
Besides, more than 250 people have lost their life due to the ongoing political violence. More than 250 families lost their earning sources, dreams and future prospects.
Why is this enormous loss? Who are responsible for this? These are the billion dollar questions. We urge our political leaders to stop this violence immediately. We want to live in peace.