Nepal tops the list of South Asian countries at 70th position in terms of rule of law. Nepal was followed by Sri Lanka at 76th and India at 79th. Among the worst countries, Bangladesh is followed by Pakistan at 130 and Afghanistan at 134th. According to the report, 74.2 per cent of the countries in the index have seen a decline in the rule of law during the corona period. These countries are home to about 85 per cent of the world's population.
With this data, our policymakers may be relieved to think that Bangladesh alone is not in a state of decline. There are many more. But the common people have to suffer the dire consequences. The absence of the rule of law is also behind the recent attacks on temples and puja mandaps of the minority communities in different parts of the country. The same crime happens again and again when the criminals get away through the loopholes.
Despite its ongoing political crisis, Nepal is at the top of South Asia in terms of the rule of law. We have a lot to learn from this small country in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Our political leadership is busy looking at who has done worse in the past, rather than introspection. The Awami League, which came to power with the conviction of establishing good governance at all levels, has already completed two terms and is in the middle of the third term.
What could be more unfortunate than the government taking one step forward in the rule of law and then three steps back. When will we stop this regression?
On the same day, two organizations, Concern World Wide and Welt Hunger Hilfe, came up with the World Hunger Index. The index showed that Bangladesh was ahead of Pakistan and India. Bangladesh ranks 76th out of 116 countries.
Analysing this progress and decline, it can be seen that the role of the the common man is paramount in the eradication of hunger and poverty, and the role of the government in the decline of the rule of law.
Behind the progress of the first is the active role of millions of hardworking people in Bangladesh. On the other hand, the decline in the rule of law is due to the negligence, incompetence and irresponsibility of the government and the executive in many cases.
The decline of the rule of law in the golden jubilee of independence is not only worrisome but also painful. Those who have the responsibility to ensure the rule of law, even if it is delayed, should be proactive.