What “Liberation” Means to me?
My motherland, Bangladesh was liberated from the Pakistani autocrats on 16th December 1971 sacrificing 3 million lives and 9 months of the blood-shed war. After 49 years of freedom, our nation has progressed technologically and economically but freedom from hunger, freedom from corruption, and education for all are yet to be achieved.
In my view, liberty means a country unchained from hunger and starvation. After achieving independence in 1971, Bangladesh was one of the poorest and hungriest nations in the world. Although the rate of famine has fallen significantly in the last decades, my dream liberation shall only be achieved when starvation will be completely eradicated from society. Bangladesh has 160 million people and according to the United Nation's World Food Program, a quarter of the population remains in food deficit. Also, "5.5 million children under 5 are chronically malnourished" (Mojumder) which leads to a high number of infant deaths each year. It is a daunting fact that people remain unfed and underweight despite having an abundance of arable land in my country. In addition, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, "the country's poverty rose to 29.5%" due to job cuts in both public and private sectors (Ovi). The pandemic has resulted in a major challenge to the goal of zero hunger. As citizens of an independent country, it is our responsibility to ensure balanced food for every man, woman, and child regardless of religion, ethnicity, or any other status. People from all walks of life need to work hand in hand to make Bangladesh free from hunger. Therefore, the government, national, and international establishments need to make up a master-plan and act accordingly. The nation will never be liberated in terms of food security with so many hungry mouths to feed.
My dream liberation will be a Bangladesh independent from corruption and bribery from society. A decade ago, Bangladesh was one of the topmost corrupted countries according to the Transparency International index. Although the ranking has improved in recent years, corruption is detrimental to our country's economic freedom. The public sectors, law enforcement agencies, public procurement, and foreign trading are the major corrupted areas. Day by day it is increasing at an alarming rate and becoming a part of daily life. Furthermore, during the coronavirus pandemic, numerous health ministry personnel's widespread scandal was the major discussed topic of the year. In Covid testing and relief distribution, the public representatives exploited the opportunity and pocketed the relief money which belonged to the working-class people. Although the AntiCorruption Commission is vigorously sentencing the corrupted individuals behind bars, it is so farreaching that their effort is becoming bounded. To be liberated from fraudulence, we must focus on ethical and moral education for the upcoming generation. The entire nation shall be free from corruption when we as an individual will put aside our self-interest and think about the betterment of our country. Just like our father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's vision, we need to build a fortress in every house to root out corruption from Bangladesh soil.
I visualize the true salvation of a prosperous nation with proper education and youth employment. Although Bangladesh has a 74.7% literacy rate, the unemployment rate in my country has been rising in recent years. Also, the Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in more layoffs and massive cutbacks in the country. Due to joblessness, the crime rate in society is also escalating. My dream of freedom shall only be achieved when the young generation receives skilled education and contributes to the economy directly. Nelson Mandela said that "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." I also firmly believe that education is the key to the dream of liberation we flourish in our hearts.
We have liberated our motherland and mother tongue from the Pakistani autocrats after years of struggle and sacrifice. But my dream salvation lies in depriving hunger, eradicating corruption, and ensuring skilled education across the country. Only then we shall be able to achieve true liberty and build our father of the nation's 'Sonar Bangla'.
Mojumder, Saikat. United Nations World Food Program. https://www.wfp.org/countries/bangladesh
Ovi, Ibrahim Hossain. Covid-19 impact: National poverty rate rises to 29.5% as of June. Dhaka Tribune, Published at 07:45 pm August 12th, 2020. https://www.dhakatribune.com/health/coronavirus/2020/08/12/covid-19-impact-nationalpoverty-rate-rises-to-29-5-as-of-june
RSF, Reporters without borders. https://rsf.org/en/bangladesh