The New Year 2017 brings with it fresh hope and dreams. The year 2016 slides into oblivion, with all its highs and lows. We commit ourselves to learn from past mistakes and forge ahead towards success. We wish our readers, writers, well-wishers and everyone a happy new year.
Politics in the year past was run-of-the-mill. The two major political parties Awami League and BNP held their national council meetings, with no significant improvement in either of their internal democratic practice. These two rivals failed to draw closer to each other in any sort of political understanding. Over 150 people died in clashes during the UP elections. However, two events towards the end of the year gave a glimmer of hope. One was the Narayanganj City Corporation election and the other was the president’s talks with political parties over a new election commission.
There was economic growth but investment remained at a standstill. This questions the sustainability of the economic growth. The banking sector saw a host of scandals including the Bangladesh Bank reserve heist, but none was brought to the book. The law and order situation deteriorated. The nation was shocked at incidents of brutality against women and children. The government and law enforcement agencies failed to protect the minority communities from oppression.
Religious fanatic groups had been carrying clandestine killings over the past few years, but last year this culminated in the militant attack on Gulshan’s Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant. Anti-terror activities were stepped up but the terror did not end there. We hope the government keeps up its vigilance and strengthen social movement and other programmes in this regard.
Political environment has a significant impact on mainstream national life. It is hoped all quarters concerned with endeavour to emerge from this inertia in the political arena in the new year.