In the discourse of peace study, ‘peace’ is defined in two ways. Negative peace is referred to as the absence of war/violence. And ‘Positive Peace’ is referred to the presence of the conditions for a just and sustainable living environment, which includes access to food and clean drinking water, education for women and children, security from physical harm, and presence of all human rights. Considering these two, is peace a far cry in the perspective of Bangladesh?
In Bangladesh both peace is somewhat absent. Violence is very much present and justice is denied in every way possible. The headlines of media are full of more incidences of violence rather than justice is served. For citizen’s of Dhaka, to be able to breathe in fresh air is peace, to have access to running water in households is peace, and steady power supply is also peace.
Not having strikes, not losing people during occasional violent acts during the strikes, which is called by the political parties, is peace. For a child, who dwells in the streets of Dhaka, selling out all her flowers and enjoy a decent meal end of the day is peace. Having the river Buriganga clear of all pollutions is peace to many people living there. To have a strong leadership who would stop the Rampal electricity power plant is peace. Rampal power plant is going to start near the UNESCO World Heritage, world’s largest Mangrove Forest ‘Sundarbans’, and experts says that it is going to destroy the forest soon and will have sever environmental damage to Bangladesh. To have a society without violence against any human being specially women, not to have child labor and no children on the streets is peace in Bangladesh.
The question, is that a far cry? Will Bangladesh ever find peace the way it is stated in the discourse of peace study?