Covid crisis and Bangladesh’s national character

Bangladesh went through different crises earlier which it overcame with its long-possessed strength of wisdom and tolerance. It won the crises such as drought, plague, famine, etc accepting a huge loss of human lives. During these crises, the national character became very transparent. It must be added here that the country has gone through tremendous social, cultural, political, economic, and technological changes over the period of time but there is a very rare change in the national character.

The national character  of Bangladesh

The national character of Bangladesh refers here to the responses of the people from different social, cultural, economic, religious, and ideological sectors to the special times and situations. This essay takes Covid-19 as the worst situation in which people’s reactions are taken as the national character. How people of Bangladesh react to the pandemic, to the government’s rules and regulations, health issues, social distancing, vaccine, and medication are the main issues that confirm the national character of the Bangladeshi people.

Covid crisis

Covid crisis refers to the crisis the country has been experiencing since March 2020. It is a crisis people of the country have never experienced like their global counterparts. The crisis has brought newness to the people with which they can partly negotiate and sometimes fail to do so. How people behave during the Covid crisis determines their national character.

National character

There have been negative observations about the Eastern people by the Western colonizers which are very critically explored by Edward Said in his Orientalism. Said refers to the ex-British Prime Minister Balfour’s speech on the claim of the Egyptians’ self-rule in which he hints upon the Easterners’ failure to establish a stable ruling system over the years. Balfour mentions that the East has seen kings after kings, princes after princes, but it fails to produce a settled ideological structure for its peoples. Unfortunately, this is what is still very much prevailing among the people. These Eastern nations have become independent and earned prestigious positions at the international level but the country lime Bangladesh is still struggling to claim its distinctive identity which will mark itself as its own brand. 

Covid crisis and the national character

During the fatal Covid crisis, everyone is expected that he will follow the guideline to defeat the pandemic. Unfortunately, the mass people are not ready to abide by the guidelines given by the state. They find great pleasure in violating the health issues. If the reason for their defiance to follow the rules and regulations of the state is analyzed, it can easily be explored that these people are not guided by reasons. Mostly, they are motivated by their trifling demands and desires. This tendency shadows their logic and pushes them to neglect the devastating effect of Covid. Defying the rules and regulations has become the national character of the people of Bangladesh.


Abdur Rahim
Abdur Rahim

Assistant Professor, and Member of the Proctorial Body
Department of English Language and Literature (DELL), Premier University, Chattogram,
& Doctoral Fellow, English Department, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka.

Phone: +8801715638298


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