The ruling class in Bangladesh

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Category : Dr. Serajul I. C.

Serajul Islam Choudhury
Over the years, through many recognisable changes, a class of well-to-do people has consolidated its position as the ruling class of Bangladesh. It comprises politicians, businessmen, bureaucrats (both civil and military) and professionals. Governments have come and gone, a state was born and has fallen, another has taken over, but the class consolidation has continued, relentlessly even if quietly. The country today suffers from many known diseases, such as corruption, violence and militant fundamentalism, but the greatest threat to its security and prosperity has been its ruling class itself. Such a statement may sound preposterous to the authority that be; nevertheless, it is not untrue. Indeed, most of the problems that the country is bedeviled by are the creations of our rulers

Role of opposition with a purpose

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Category : Dr. Serajul I. C.

Serajul Islam Choudhury
The opposition is as it does; it opposes, and that is precisely what it is expected to do. And in a democracy it is indeed essential to have an opposition, for without it democracy cannot stand, let alone move ahead. A thesis presupposes an antithesis, should it hope to reach a synthesis. But the fact remains that the opposition is not always allowed to function properly. A more primary question, of course, is in whose interest does the opposition work.

Resilience, saying no and enterprise

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Category : Dr. Serajul I. C.

SICResilienceSerajul Islam Chowdhury
There is no denying that things in Bangladesh today are not as they ought to be, let alone what they promised to be. What is particularly frightening is the prevailing sense of insecurity of life and livelihood. The two, of course, go together. Factors responsible for this sad state of things are many; but two failures stand out, one of leadership, and the other in respect of achieving unity. The nationalist leadership which was in command during the war of liberation had vague dreams but no

Bureaucratic nature of state allows frequent military interventions in politics

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Category : Dr. Serajul I. C., Interview

Eminent educationist Serajul Islam Chowdhury , tells New Age.
Interviewed by Mir Ashfaquzzaman
You were culturally/intellectually active before and during the country’s war of national independence, which was a culmination of a series of social, political and cultural movements against the Pakistani military rulers of the day. What were the political motivations behind your active role in the war of national independence?

‘We should not only depend on these two parties'

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Category : Dr. Serajul I. C.

Musfequr Rahman talks to professor emeriti of Dhaka University, Serajul Islam Choudhury about how Bangladesh reached its present political state and what impact this will have in the future

How do you evaluate the caretaker government’s activities over the last two years?

This caretaker government is backed by the army. At the beginning of the caretaker regime they had the admiration of the people for neutralising the clash between the two alliances. After that, they became more ambitious and introduced reforms in two sectors – electoral and in corruption.

The political parties have not been reformed the way the government envisioned it. Such initiatives are not successful through imposition. The fact that they completed the national polls, their primary duty, is good enough.

"Pahela Baishakh is a landmark when we recognise our identity"

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Category : Dr. Serajul I. C.

Serajul Islam Chowdhury

interviewed by Mubin S Khan

How have Pahela Baishakh celebrations changed in recent years, from what you have seen in your youth?

It was during the British period and I remember going with my father to the village market where shopkeepers, especially the ones my father had direct interaction with, would treat us to sweets and other things. The celebrations were basically centred the markets where the old accounts were closed off, payments and dues settled, and new “halkhata” [account books] opened.