"The real problem in Bangladesh politics," observes Rehman Sobhan, one of our leading intellectuals and chairman of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, ' a civil society think tank', and of the Board of Grameen Bank, a world-renowned NGO and this years' co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize with its founder, Mohammed Yunus, "lies in the fact that every party harbours mastaans [Bengali for thugs, goons] because they play an integral part in the election system and in securing a support base in particular areas." Does Mr. Sobhan express outrage with this state of affairs? Far from it. "Thus each party," he goes on, "feels a need for their mastaans and will be reluctant to abandon them for potential but indeterminate gains in public esteem unless their opponents are willing to do likewise. Thus, invocations to political leaders to abandon such proven political resources are an unreal expectation, however important this be in the agenda of governance reform. (Rehman Sobhan, Structural Dimensions of Malgovernance in Bangladesh,
|The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author
and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.