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have to appreciate the style of Bangladesh Bank in encouraging
'privatisation', in today's world the motivating mechanism of
any state-of-the-art state.
Many a government has been put in a dilemma and the tug of words
continue whether to house-train a state-owned institution or to
patronise the rosy prospects in the private sector.
Recently a social organisation had what it considered a narrow
escape and thanks to the government. Having full faith in the
government machinery and out of sheer loyalty, the social organisation
was about to open an account of their hard-collected funds in
a nationalised bank, just when news appeared that Sonali, Janata,
Agrani and Rupali each a huge and experienced nationalised bank
have all been categorised as 'problem bank'. Although it refers
to cutting down operating costs, stricter vetting in sanctioning
loan, undertaking formal initiative in realising debts and bringing
back general discipline in the banks, the news was enough to persuade
that social organisation, and surely many others, to retract their
decision and deposit their money in private banks. Albeit synonymous,
no organisation wants to become a 'body' immediately after opening
of an account, always regarded somewhat as a launching off.
A gentleman bought a new car.
A second gentleman asked him: 'What make is your car?'
First gentleman, presumably from the south: 'Bolbo!' which in
Bangla means 'I will tell'.
Second gentleman, again: 'Bhai, what make is your car?'
First gentleman: 'I told you, bolbo.'
Second gentleman, irritated: 'Arre bhai! Is it so difficult to
tell me the make of your new car?'
First gentleman: 'I am telling you, bolbo.'
Second gentleman, by now visibly fuming: 'What do you mean, bolbo,
bolbo, when all I am asking is the name of your car?
First gentleman, by now transforming from annoyed to angry: 'I
am telling you from the very beginning, bolbo, but you keep on
nagging and nagging.'
Only when the two were about to exchange hands more violently
than a robust handshake did a third party, who spent eight years
in Barisal, explain to the second gentleman what the first gentleman
Anyways, welcome back after the break.
The other day I was travelling on a Volvo bus from Chittagong.
Superb vehicle. Smooth on the road and popular with the passengers,
the driver of course thought it was a large Mishuk and his favourite
entertainment was to overtake other vehicles on a narrow bridge,
even if it meant going on the wrong side of the divider. On at
least two occasions I thought he would go through the bridge guardrail.
Gripping on to my otherwise comfortable seat on such occasions,
I had decided that if and when I reach Dhaka bolbo his boss. My
lethargy saved the guy's job, I think
It turned out that this luxurious and expensive Volvo bus belonged
to our government-owned BRTC, which has a head office building,
a yard, a training institute, manpower, experience and state backing.
But, dumfounded as you may be, it found it more profitable too
lease the buses to a private company. That's another plume for
A news item last Saturday scared me. It read that owing to the
rise in attack on them our police brothers are now scared. Why
not! If the thugs can rob you of your weapons, shoot at you and
kill you, they can do anything.
At this critical juncture of their life, some good news for our
police brethren. They have nothing to worry and can go back to
sleep, because they can now turn to privatisation. From the money
they earn, (music in the background playing paisa feko, tamasha
dekho) the police could easily hire dozens of private security
personnel, who are doing a wonderful job. Well almost! Only last
week, three of them were tied up before an apartment they were
protecting was robbed.
To further assure our brothers in the police, look at the brighter
side of it. When you are insecure, you can turn to privatisation,
but if the private sector is in trouble, as were those three,
they have no one to turn to.
The health sector is healthier in the private clinics and diagnostic
centres, however low may be their hygienic condition. Pre-KG,
KG, primary, secondary, higher secondary, college and university
students have to rely almost totally on private coaching centres,
although in reply to the meaning of 'software' we still get such
answers as 'naba jatak shishur jonyo naram kapor' (soft clothing
for newborn baby). Housing is entirely private except for the
apartments the government constructs for government officers.
We will have to leave it to the psychiatrists and those mad enough
to delve in our psychosomatic matters why thirty-two years after
driving away the danob called Pakistan we are still living with
the spirit of 'gobment ka maal, dariya me dhaal'? Pardon the Urdu
legacy, but these are pervasive ailments eating into the very
roots of our existence Urdu and our apathy about anything belonging
to the state.