Bangladesh doing better than many countries amid global crisis: Information Minister

Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud speaks as the chief guest at the Bangladesh Press Council Award-2022 distribution ceremony at Tathya Bhaban (Information Building) in Kakrail, Dhaka on 25 October 2022

Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud on Tuesday said people of Bangladesh are living in better condition compared to many other countries as the government is running the state appropriately despite the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing global crisis induced by Russia and Ukraine war, reports news agency BSS.

“We are better than many countries since the government of Bangabandhu’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is running the country very appropriately amid the Covid-19 pandemic and war situation in the world,” he said.

The minister said this while speaking as the chief guest at the Bangladesh Press Council Award-2022 distribution ceremony at Tathya Bhaban (Information Building) in the city’s Kakrail area in the evening.

Citing a report of a newspaper, he said many people in the United Kingdom (UK) remain starving for several meal times nowadays, but by the grace of the Creator, such situation is yet to be happened in Bangladesh.

Hasan, also joint general secretary of ruling Awami League (AL) said, “A few months ago, everyone in the US has been asked to be economic in using electricity through SMSs.”

In our country, Mirza Fakhrul jumps at and talks about anything happened a little
Hasan Mahmud, Information and Broadcasting Minister

Noting that Germany has never had a single minute of blackout since the World War II, he said after the beginning of Ukraine war, Germany started load shedding and power rationing.

There was no power shortfall in Australia, the minister said, but now there is load shedding in various places of the country, including Sydney.

“But in our country, Mirza Fakhrul jumps at and talks about anything happened a little, and those, who love to identify themselves as intellectuals, appear on the screen of television talk-shows after 12.00 midnight, creating noise for ears,” he said, asking them to take the global context into their account.

Citing an example, Hasan said inflation has reached 80 per cent in Turkey while 30 per cent in Pakistan and 7 to 8 per cent in India.

Inflation was lower in Bangladesh before, but it has become a little higher in the last one or two months, which was widely criticised in media, he said, calling upon journalists to consider the global context in their write-ups.

“Of course, if the government makes a mistake, it should be criticised. We have the mentality to receive criticism as the honorable prime minister nurtures that culture,” said the AL leader.

The common goal of the country’s people is to reach the promised destination dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the freedom fighters, he added.

There should be criticism for mistakes as well as appreciation for good deeds in reaching the destination, Hasan said, adding that otherwise, the country will not make progress and those who do good work and try to fulfil their duties with utmost devotion will lose their hopes.

Referring to media as the fourth pillar of the state, Hasan Mahmud said that it acts as a mirror of the state and opens the third eye of the people.

The information minister hoped that the ‘Press Council Award’ will play an admirable role in flourishing personal excellence of journalists and encouraging honesty and integrity.

Speaking in the programme, organised by Bangladesh Press Council (BPC), chairman of the council justice Nizamul Huq Nasim said that the Press Council is working to improve the quality of journalists and newspapers.

In his speech as the special guest, the additional secretary in charge of routine duties of the secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Md. Faruque Ahmed said that the BPC award encourages objective journalism in the country.

Lauding the role of journalists of the country in preparing reports, director general of Bangla Academy and chairman of Padak Jury Board, poet Muhammad Nurul Huda, mentioned that the journalists are now giving high quality reports and this award will definitely encourage them.

While giving welcome speech on the occasion, press council member Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the worthy daughter of Bangladesh’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, has taken pragmatic steps to make the BPC, established by his father Bangabandhu, more up-to-date and active.

Under seven categories, the Bangladesh Press Council Padak is being awarded to newspapers and journalists since 2018.

Noted journalist Bazlur Rahman as well as former editor of Dainik Sangbad, who passed away in 2008, was awarded the posthumous lifetime award this year.

President of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on agriculture ministry and Awami League presidium member Begum Matia Chowdhury received the award from information and broadcasting minister Hasan Mahmud on behalf of late Bazlur Rahman.

Saiful Alam, editor of Dainik Jugantor, who received the award in the institutional category while Dainik Purbanchal, Khulna got the Regional Institutional Award while editor Mohammad Ali received the award on behalf of it.

Sonagazi representative of Dainik Bhorer Kagoj Syed Monir Ahmed received the BPC award in rural journalism category while Dhaka Tribune senior reporter Md. Shahedul Islam (Shahed Shafiq) in development journalism, BTV reporter Tulona Afrin in women’s journalism and New Age staff photographer Sourav Lashkar in photography.