The voice of a people
French General and Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte
(1769-1821) opined: 'Public opinion is the thermometer a monarch
should constantly consult'.
Well, we have no monarchs but we have the public
and they have an opinion. Not that they get much of a chance
to vent them, especially if they belong to the vast majority
of the poor and the illiterate and the poor literates who are
not involved with politics. That's ninety-eight percent of the
Dhaka's popular Bangla daily, Prothom Alo runs
a daily poll among its Internet readers, more so perhaps to
get a quick digital feedback that is easy to compute. Considering
the circulation of local newspapers, their number is quite impressive
with daily readership often touching 75,000.
that those Internet users do not represent all social classes;
the poor not at all. Besides, all the readers never cast their
votes. But even British and American opinion polls are often
based on a sample size of a mere thousand respondents. Again
it is only one newspaper, which perhaps also means one genre
of people. Nevertheless, the polls can, even by a cynic's standard,
be deemed as a conscience of a nation, okay part nation.
The last days of August 2003 have been taken only for convenience's
sake. Polls of any eight days speak volumes about our politics,
politicians and governance.
Most interestingly, both the BNP-JI-BJP-IOJ alliance and the
opposition AL take flak from the Prothom Alo polls. There lies
its credibility. Politicians on both sides must heed to the
warnings, even if it be a murmur from one group of people. Remember,
every vote counts!