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A Losing Scheme?

June 22, 2017

Bangladeshis now top the list of boat-riding asylum seekers in Europe. More and  more Bangladeshis took the perilous boat ride for Europe. Thousands more await on Libyan shores to set off a clandestine journey.

According to International Organization for Migration, just end of March this year around 3000 Bangladeshis sought refuge in Italy.

What garnered lots of interest to everyone is that Bangladesh is not ravaged by war.Yet thousands of its youths risk their lives to reach their dream destinations in Europe.

This is purely a governance crisis. Lack of employment opportunities , social security system and proper guidance led them to embark on such a precarious journey.

It tarnished image of a government that boasts its higher GDP growth, swollen forex reserve and increasing flow of remittances.

Migration itself does not improve a country’s image. People migrate because of political and economic reasons.

Since Bangladesh earns lots of remittances from migrant workers,  Bangladesh in general encourages migration.

As long as people going abroad and sending money , Bangladesh is ok with it. It does not trouble Bangladesh whether the recruitment  is done in a transparent way or the migrant worker is exploited or traffickers are taking advantage of loopholes in govt policies.

Outside Bangladesh, dilapidated conditions of Bangladeshi refugees will certainly raise some unpleasant questions. Why are they leaving their home? If Bangladesh’s economy is doing well why are so many Bangladeshis taking such a risky journey? Why did Bangladeshi authority fail to stop these modern day Vikings? Why is Bangladesh not taking stringent measures against the human traffickers?

Governance situation in Bangladesh has degenerated in recent years. Rule of Law index, prepared by a US think tank, aptly captures it. Bangladesh is ranked 113 in 2016.

Opposition parties are cornered. Presspeople are harassed on spurious charges. People are being killed for holding different views and taking anti-populist sides on different issues. NGO operations have come under greater scrutiny. Laws are passed to contain NGO operations.

NGOs have been successful in creating employment in rural areas. These employment generation activities have come to a halt due to lack of fund and government obstruction.

Investors are extra cautious about going ahead with their investment plan at this uncertain time and in a country where corruption is in virulent strain.

This clandestine trade has been going on for some years with the tacit support of the elites of the society. There is no doubt about it.

Two years ago Rohingyas’ perilous plight to Malaysia shocked everyone. That should be a wake up call for the government. It did not turn any stone to tackle the trafficking issue.

No responsible minister took any responsibility. Govt remained silent without realizing the gravity of the incident.

Result is obvious. Another tragedy unfolds in farther afield.

And now when hapless Bangladeshis made headlines abroad we notice lackluster reaction from the govt.

It is quite surprising that traffickers are doing their jobs at great ease here. Perhaps those holding secured perch in overseeing this get  their fair pound of flesh.

One tragedy is enough to call for govt’s urgent action. If that did not happen  in the wake of another tragedy, then we need to call into question the need of that govt in our lives.

Migration of people  itself should be viewed as a sign of people’s disapproval of a dysfunctional country. It sounds a strong statement at first. However a closer examination throws some weight behind such statement.

The country of origin fails to a great extent to meet the need of its citizens. Sometimes the country itself plays the role of an oppressor. Stakeholders of the country do not manage to resolve the political differences among them. The resulting imbroglio often causes uncertainty and despair among the left-out.

Sometimes incompetence in managing the economy leaves a great number of people outside the mainstream economy.

Inadequate policy measures and lack of clear vision do not bring out the left-outs on board.

They  lose the trust in the country of origin and migrate to somewhere else. This is  tantamount to endorsement of a failed state.

A country does not only make up with men in uniform , men in white collars, men in blue collars, men with  mustache, men in keffiyeh, men with skullcaps, ladies in pink sarees, ladies in silk sarees, ladies in hand spun sarees, teens in lehengyas, boys in jeans, men with trimmed beard, men with untrimmed beards, men with shaven chicks, veiled women, women in pencil heels, shisha smokers, foreign  weapons, foreign  soap operas , eye in the sky, tanks, 3D Navy, banks with abundant cash,banks without cash, SUVs, jumbo jets, wi fi hot spots, multiplexes, party pets, foreign pets, pirated software, pirated books, pirates in patriots’ boots, eye dazzling forex reserve, morality police, watchmen, fearmongers, soothsayers, eavesdroppers, secret cult like organizations, agency run pleasure houses, boot lickers, loyalists, anarchists, orthodox men, promises of FDI, duty free luxury goods and sky scrappers.

A country needs to exist in people’s hearts.

What is its worth if more and more people consider it a losing scheme?

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From → Analysis

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