Zahurul Alam :
Peace is one of the important prerequisites for prosperity. 'If you want to spoil a heart make that void of peace; if you want to break a mind make that restless; and if you want to destroy a nation destabilize that' - the devilish philosophy of obliteration. That is why the builders of the nations and the wise people of the world always propagated for peace, not for war. The history of mankind demonstrates that the nations prospered during peace and tranquility, not during wars or not as a result of wars. Conflicts, antagonisms, hostilities and hatred only caused injuries to mankind. "All religions, philosophies and ethics of the world irrespective of their bases of belief, their origin, coverage, and procedures and manners of affiliation, proliferated peace and wellbeing of the people. Peace ensures social harmony and guarantees prosperity. Conflicts and dominations, wars and exploitations of one by the other, terrors and misrules destroy mankind, human values, physical and social environment, hopes and aspirations of the mass and the future of the generations. Only peaceful voyage of the mankind serves as a pre-condition for sustained peace and tranquility" (Zahurul Alam. The New Nation, 03.01.2015). Relationship between peace and development is important at the backdrop of emergence of global anti peace forces that destroy peace in different countries under different pretexts. The aim of all these forces are to dominate the world and attain their objectives using whatever means feasible for that time or that condition.
Peace and development relationship takes into active consideration democracy and governance, human rights and rule of law, equality and social justice, and security and stability, in addition to thousands of other socio-political and economic dimensions relevant for man's moral dignity, economic emancipation and political and social aspirations and the manner of materialization of those aspirations. In simplest form peace is seen as freedom from hostilities, violence and psychological state of confidence in good future for oneself and for his dearest ones; peace is relief from pressure of social and other forms of disturbances, absence of anxiety and assurance of better life - it is harmony and love. Peace is the ability to abolish the evil forces. Thus, mere absence of violence does not in most cases mean peaceful environment, unless such environment ensures other aspects of peaceful existence of social elements on a sustainable basis. Lack of violence for the time being with the potentiality of destruction of that environment and fear of the people of losing dignified social behavior on a sustained basis certainly would not mean peace.
Better life and livelihoods warrant for abolition or minimization of social antagonism, optimization of collaboration, participation, social inclusiveness and equity. The level of crises that the mankind is facing each day encompass whole gamut of problems of political, economic and social nature. More specifically, those involve problems starting from of war and peace to global warming, from family crises to poverty alleviation.
Peace is a function of justice. Justice in turn depends on the level of rule of law and social cohesion. Peaceful coexistence of diverse population in an area creates best ethical values of social peace, unless interest groups intervene in the social coexistence and destroy social harmony in the name of race, religion and ethnicity. Religions do not propagate obliteration of social peace under any pretext rather promote social unity. From this perspective, any force playing against social harmony, in fact defies the fundamentals of the religions. Peace is based on social justice; and later overwhelmingly relies on rule of law, equity, democratic values and enforcement of rights based laws. In social context greater practice of ethical values provides solid foundation for social justice, equality, equity and of peace.
Current socio-political environment in Bangladesh is not in favor of destructive politics by any force, because the people are becoming more and more cognizant of the value of peace and stability for better life and livelihoods. Greater social and economic stability has ensured greater people's involvement in economic and income generating activities by opening greater avenues for those. The income and employment generation and the education incentives engage younger generations in education and vocational training. Improvements in health, sanitation, power, electronic and other sectors open windows for the people to concentrate more on economic emancipation than shedding their blood on the street to bring to power any dynasty the inherent philosophy and performances of which continue to remain questionable. In addition, the workers of the major opposition political parties are dejected due to continuous failures in their 'movements' due to wrong decisions, misleading political philosophy and the attitude to impose political programs without people's participation. Lack of people's participation was a result of the oppositions' inability to mobilize people in favor of their agenda.
A nation prospers when it is able to understand the best ways to prosperity and gains the ability to dismount from a dead horse that stops the nation from proceeding forward in its voyage to prosperity. The dead horse-owners need to refrain from compelling the nation to ride that and pave way to prosperity. That is what a patriotic leadership can do. Reverse is done by a leadership that attempts to destroy national unity and nation building foundation.
(Professor Zahurul Alam, President, Governance and Rights Centre (GRC), Zalam111@yahoo.com)