How do you see Bangladesh?
After yet another blogg of trying to be funny and looking on the lighter side of things. This one will read more like a term paper. But, insightful none-the-less.
Bangladesh has been ranked 141 out of 161 countries in the 2005 index of Economic Freedom. A little report done by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation. Bangladesh was placed in the thrid of four categories: Free, Mostly free, mostly unfree, and unfree expressed in terms of Economic freedom. Hong Kong was ranked first along with 16 other counrties dubbed as free.
Bangladesh has a weak rule of law, this is evident in some of the worlds worst official corruption, civil crime, and poilitical violence continues to burden Bangladesh's democracy. The report went on to say, "Until the government addresses Bangladesh's many structural weaknesses, there is little reason for optimism about the counrty's future."
Bangladesh was ranked 17th in the global ranking of failed states by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Bangladesh was grouped with 20 other countries deemed as most critical and vulnerable. This failed states index used 12 social, economic, political and military indicatiors to rank 60 countries in order of their vulnerability to violent internal conflict. Bangladesh scored highest in the two indicators of uneven development and criminalization.
The reprot stated that these failing states were breeding grounds for terrorism, organized crime, weapons proliferation, humanitarian emergencies, environmental degradation and political extremism that threaten everyone. Bangladesh has also been named "the most Dysfunctional country in Asia" by the Asia Times. Bangladesh has been dubed, Champions of Corruption. It has ranked first by Transparency International for 5 successive years. I'm sure this title cannot be good for the courtries image abroad... Many have argued about Bangladesh being the most corrupt or more corrupt. But, one doesn't have to look very hard to find corruption. It's anywhere and everywhere, I even have it in my classroom. What I mean by this, is I am supposed to be able to choose my own students, but for some reason or another, I am told I will have these students in my class.
The Economist a great magazine based in London that I hope you read or at the very least have heard of published an article entitled "Bangladesh: State of Denial." Among the many quotes and statements that stuck me from this article, one stands out. "Bangladesh is among the most sparsely covered (countires)by the international press. This is in part the government choice. It makes it hard for foreign journalists to visit. When they do, it tends not to like what they write, especially recent suggestion that Bangladesh is witnessing a rise in Islamic extremism, and becoming a heaven for International terrorists." If a countries press is supposed to be the nationas conscious, Bangladesh has a slight problem...
Let's expand on the "state of Denial" I experense this Denail everwhere and everyday. No matter where I go people ask me how I feel in Bangladesh, if I have any problems and other questions of that nature. If I tell them the turth, your education system is a mess, you treat women like crap and the vast majority of your popultaion can't read and write, not to mention that most people here have the mind-set of a middle schooler... If I said that a local wouldn't believe me and tell me that is not Bangladesh. It's like having a huge elephant in your room and paying no attention to it. Not admitting to yourself that's it there, hoping that by not admitting it's there it will somehow magicly disappear.
Bangladesh scored the lowest marks among 209 low income countries in 2004, in the World Banks governance situation survey. Bangladesh PRSP forum Economic Update: Recent Developments and Future Prespective. The surevey was conducted on six indicators of the governance issue which were: voice and accountability, political stability, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law, and control of corruption. Bangladesh scored the lowest in 4 out of 6 and second to last in the other two. The report went on to say that Improved governace is essential for the success of Bangladesh's economy and poverty reduction, and more of Bangladesh's major development partners will be not able to sustain its support if the government does not squarely address the governance agenda.
After reading all of this the future does not look bright.... Which begs a few questions.
1. Is Bangladesh a failed state?
2. Is Bnagladesh a failed society?
3. What can be done to get the desh headed in the right direction?
4. How does Peace Corps and Travis Schultz fit into this picture...