Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hamida Gets a National ID Card
May 27, 2008

Today Hamida showed me a copy of her national ID card. In order to prepare for the upcoming election, the Caretaker government is rolling out a national ID card program to prevent voting fraud. The ID card will eventually be able to make life easier for Bangladeshis applying for loans, opening bank accounts, and buying mobile phones too. Right now in order to do these things you need to submit passport photographs along with the names of your parents for recognition purposes. Because so many names here are similar - I have probably met a dozen Nazrul Islams since I have been here - it is really difficult to accurately identify people.

I am glad that Hamida has applied for her ID card because it means that she will be able to vote in the upcoming election. While I commend the Caretaker Government for setting an election schedule and keeping to it, I am still worried that Bangladesh isn't ready yet. It seems like the two main political parties are up to their old tricks again; I read in the paper today that the Awami League is refusing to talk to the Caretaker Government unless Sheikh Hasina is released from prison and they are threatening to demonstrate in the street. I fear that the peace of the past 18 months is dangerously close to reverting back to hartals (strikes and blockades) and riots...

I don't think that this will significantly impact my resort - my primary target market is the expats who are already living in Dhaka and this population will not change much in size even if there is political turmoil - but it will make life here more oppressive again... Personally I support the "Minus Two" plan for Bangladesh (exiling the two previous prime ministers); I think this country needs fresh new leaders who are not so emotionally embroiled in the past.


At Tuesday, June 03, 2008 2:21:00 PM, Blogger Bhaboghure Jhor said...

Personally I do agree with you. But the question is "Are we ready for the changes?"


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