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Economic Exploitation of Bangladesh
The Reviewer: Tahmid Ahmed Adib

About Author: The author, after graduating from Chittagong College (Bangladesh) in 1967, studied law for a year and went to England in 1968 where he intended to study Bar-at-Law. However, having experienced prejudicial treatment in England, he changed his mind and later moved to the United States in 1969. In New York he pursued his graduate study in Economics while working for Sterling Drug in its International Division. He graduated in 1975 and was soon elevated to an executive position with responsibilities over Sterling's worldwide materials management. The job exposed him to the world of international trade in which he later specialized. Based on his knowledge and experience, the author was invited to participate in various international business seminars. He helped a number of Bangladeshi entrepreneurs enter into world

trade. By 1980 he had set up a consulting business for international trade. However, after the sudden death of his wife in 1982, he devoted the next few years mostly to raising his young children. In 1988 he accepted a management position at Pan American World Airways. where he worked until its demise in 1991. He later used this opportunity to enter the teaching profession. He taught at various High Schools, New York Institute of Technology, Farmingdale University (SUNY) and in 2001 he joined the Economics faculty at C W Post Campus of Long Island University, New York, where he currently teaches.

The Book Review :
This is an outstanding book written in a very easily readable tone for all ages and types of readers. This can be a collectible item for everyone who wants to know about the economy, politics, social settings and above all, the brief history of impoverished Bangladesh and the ways once this rich land has been getting exploited over the period of time till to this date.
The writer is currently an educator at Long Island University of New York, USA who has extensive academic and professional knowledge and experience that certainly qualify him to write this interestingly informative book. In his own words, the writer states that its targetted readers are the younger generation and general public. However, it can be very helpful to journalists, educators, students, researchers and policy makers due to its vast economy related information. Mr. Mahfuz has eagerly intended to analyze the past in brief so that the policy-makers get benefitted by themselves to implement the correct plan that definitely will bring prosperity in every sphere of Bangladesh.
There are seventeen chapters in total, excluding Bibliography. Among these, one listed as 'Map of Bangladesh'. The other titled as ' Vital Statistical Tables'. The single page 'Map' chapter may not help the home people, but can be helpful to the outsiders living abroad to get a brief overview of Bangladesh's geography.
Except the `Map' chapter,the rest of the fifteen chapters are short, full of adequate information written in a very understandable English. The reader does not have to a master in the language as a prerequisite to grasp the sense of these chapters.
The book starts with an 'Introduction' chapter, as usual, where it summarizes the total contents very efficiently. At the end, the writer says, ".... vital economic development has escaped the country". It briefly focuses on various exploitors of the land, their applied methods to exploit, political arena from the Mughals to the present ruling class-dictated Bangladesh and the overall criteria to development.
The next chapter titled 'Historical Background'. It mainly tells about the different rulers of Bengal, their principal motives and methods to rule over, duration of their regime briefly.
From the chapter titled ' The Influence of the Mughals in Bengal' to the chapter titled 'Indian Influence on Bangladesh Economy' can picture the writer as a wise well-wisher of Bangladesh with appropriate patriotism who narrates everything in details but in short, sytematically and very neutrally. In fact, the writer has done an outstanding task in doing that very successfully.
Basically two chapters carry the main theme of the book. 'The Problem with Economic Development of Bangladesh' deals with indicating problems that are hindering the economic development process from a its past to present. But it has been viewed from global perspective. Thus came the issues of chronological political scenario, political economy, poverty, health care, political corruption and disqualifications of ruling class politicians etc.. 'The Future of Bangladesh Economy' mainly focuses on economic policy, industry, agriculture, international trade, globalization, manpower, sources of crime and social instability, employment, non-development expenditure like defense and other national burning issues.
The writer does not mention what type of policy should be implemented, what type of government and political ideology should rule and be followed to make Bangladesh exploitation-free. Although he shows that all applied policies and ideologies have failed so far and a thorough change in economic, social and political policies are needed to ensure the optimum development and prosperity. He criticizes the vulgar political climate well, but does not mention explicitly what should be done to change the situation in favor of true democracy.
Mr. Mahfuz extensively relies on the World Bank for most of the data. Since this institution has been criticized vigorously all over the world for its wrong, destructive, anti-labor prescriptions to protect the interests of US imperialism, its multinational companies in the LDCs manipulatively, so the credibility of information gathered in the book can be challenged.
If more geographical colorful maps could be included in each chapter, the book surely would have been a luscious one. The writer can update the map at the end in touch of colors. It has been priced reasonably in terms of information it contains. There are few noticable printing mistakes in it. The table of contents carries the most of it. The cover is simple, but not profoundly artistic. An artistic cover can draw more eyes towards it easily. So the writer needs to pay attention into these matters in future.
Still expressing the blatant truth, Mr. Mahfuz R. Choudhury has been very successful to introduce a thoroughly sketched economic situation of Bangladesh from past to present and his predictions for the future are remarkably accurate. The book itself can be a collectible item if the next edition can be improved and well edited to make it flawless.

 

 

 
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