A community of people with utmost consciousness and overall civic knowledge are prerequisite for a strong and enrich nation. Bangladesh is now crossing over a so called highway of development. It is obvious to have a conscious community of people to balance with recent progress. For a sustainable and durable development, it is a challenge for Bangladesh to mobilize her vast population tidy up by enhancing prosperity. Since the state authority is bound to fulfill rights and obligations to its citizens, conversely citizens are entitled to perform their duties in return. In sum, citizens perform their duties to get protection and collective opportunities from state authority. It is one kind of mutual exchange. So it is undeniable that when both sides perform their tasks with honesty and transparency, it can be undoubtedly said that the state function would be fascinating. There would be less chaos. People will find room for self-realization.
Over the span of time, duties of citizens are changeable. Citizens’ roles and responsibilities to state can be divided into two types on the basis of context. One is war time, another is peace time. Bangladesh has gone through the war in 1971. Most of the people came out to achieve their true freedom from oppressive Pakistan authority. Bangladeshi people have done their war time job quite nicely assisting in Bangladeshi Liberation War from their respective positions. But after the victory in 1971, actual duty of citizens starts. It is commonly said that it is very hard to preserve freedom than achieve. Yes, it is very true from the perspective of Bangladesh. We are still calculating variables related to our true emancipation.
Recent road safety movement in Dhaka city has given two messages. One is resurgence of consciousness among young generation. On the other hand, a huge number of people conceived this movement as meaningless and retained to violate law and order on the streets. Now question comes; Are the drivers and car owners only to be blamed of murders on the streets? These are we who are passengers to scold drivers for driving slowly. That is the incentive for drivers to drive recklessly. It is common in Dhaka streets that buses act as rivals on the streets to overtake each other. Misbehaves to helpers and contractors are very common in local transports in Dhaka city. We should take responsibility of wrong doing too. Pedestrians usually do not use footpaths and over bridges. Government also has responsibility to make these ways free from occupation. Many political leaders are also engage in taking possession of roads for economic purposes. So the law enforcing agencies should be very alert about it. We should not drive our personal cars from wrong direction or parking in an unusual place. Often many private cars try to follow our political leaders by leading opposition routes. Law enforcement agencies are often unable and helpless to enforce laws since their power and social status. As a result Dhaka city sucks in an endless jam. Many over bridges are unused in Dhaka city. People rush over barbed wire instead of using proper ways. Traffic police and other awareness creators achieved very little success in mastering people’s directions. It is impossible for law enforcing agencies to maintain order while people are determined to violate laws in massive scale. So, there is no hope for good condition in public services until users are conscious and well ordered. Lack of patience in Bengali psyche is common. That is way disorder is common in our daily lives.
Rule of laws is very crucial factor for a well-ordered society. People signed social contract to avoid massive disharmony and make balance between citizens and laws. Our society has started to become lawless day by day. Even high court also suffers from credibility. Almost whole judiciary division is in crisis. Respect to laws has waned among people. Citizens also have responsibility to lead government authorities in defined manner. Otherwise there will be no check and balance between government and citizens. We should not forget that mutual cooperation between government and citizens is very crucial for a sustainable Bangladesh. We often feel so bad seeing disgusting things around us, such as nasty footpaths, bad smell, and dust in air, etc. We shout against the irresponsibility of the government. Even a half day rain makes Dhaka city an over flowing river. Ever we asked ourselves who are the responsible for these? A close look over these factors can make us convicts too. Our thrown potato packets, or cobs of orange make our streets dirty and stink. These trashes make our canal block and lead to a miserable suffering in rainy season. We actively make all these problems from our positions. Not our neighboring Pakistanis or Indians are making our problems rather we are deteriorating our problems by irresponsible acts. Cleaners also take the chance not to washing and brooming the streets. So we can see that the government and citizens together avoid their proper duties.
We are suffering from many problems in our daily lives. State mechanism is neither possible nor inevitable to solve these. Our small initiatives can minimize a lot. To be a civilized nation, we need to be conscious and act mindfully. Citizens have to mobilize government for their own welfare. Politicians have always been nasty brutish and corrupted but it is citizen who always has to force politicians to the path of collective bless. At the same time, government is a guardian of a state. As Bangladesh is a democratic country by constitution, government should mobilize its large population to the good path by enriching their minds. Otherwise display development will collapse because intellectual development is above all.
The writer is an undergraduate student at university of Dhaka