This country is not as divided by its numerous
rivers as it is lacerated by our politicians and by political
beliefs; let it be said more often than not sans ideals.
Any one not affiliated to a political party
or related to a politician in power, including influential opposition
politicians, has a select opinion diagrammatically opposite
to that of even perhaps his close friend or relative to qualify
to form yet another political entity. If this is democracy then
we are doing fine.
The confrontational state of affairs between
parties, groups and individuals, within professions and associations
is severely affecting the affairs of the state.
In our euphoria to meet selfish ends and to
sink this country into further despair we have administered
the division among lawyers, journalists, doctors, engineers
and NGOs, to name a few, along party line.
The sad part is that most politicians, apparently
committed to a better society, not a fraction of the society,
may not even be aware that they are such vital players in this
road to self-destruction.
Despite such gloom clouding development, education,
law and order, price of essentials, investment, etc., there
have been glorious occasions, tragic though some of them are,
when we have largely stood by each other and braced a situation
as one single soul.
While the War of Liberation undertaken to free
this land from the brutal Pakistani occupation forces and to
annihilate Razakars, Al Badars and Al Shams remain an enviable
example world-wide of camaraderie, there have been other junctures
when we have discovered a common spirit; the death of Ahsanullah
Master, MP from Gazipur 2 is one such occasion.
Not many of us knew that he was so immensely
popular in his own constituency and around. Not many of us knew
of his simple way of life. Not many of us knew of the tremendous
respect that he garnered from his colleagues from both sides
of the coin.
While after the demise of any important person
it is common to babble that the loss would be irreparable, in
the case of the 'Sir' there could not have been a more pragmatic
summary of his premature departure. The parliament has lost
a member, Tongi has lost a leader, the nation has lost a son.
On 12 May, five days after his pre-Jumma assassination,
the Jatiya Sangsad met to adopt an obituary reference mourning
the assassination of lawmaker Ahsanullah Master. The session
was marked by the absence of this towering personality, but
saw the return of the main opposition Awami League to the floor.
In a rare instance of national unity the members
stood as one, undivided in their eulogy, generous in their appraisal,
most importantly unforgiving towards the perpetrators of the
Both ruling and opposition members in the three-hour
discussion demanded exemplary punishment to the killers after
finding them out through a neutral and objective investigation,
free from all political biases.
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia assured the House
that after fair inquiry into the mayhem, the accused would be
produced before the Speedy Trial Tribunal for quick disposal
of the case.
In the gloom that settled in the House, lawmakers
from all parties, except for the Jamaat-e-Islami, mourned the
assassination of Ahsanullah Master, a renowned freedom fighter
and a highly admired labour leader, a devout Muslim, who got
up from the meeting to offer his Jumma prayers just before being
shot. At the session Krishak Shramik Janata League lawmaker
Kader Siddiqui requested the chair not to allow any Jamaat-e-Islami
lawmaker to conduct the munajat as Ahsanullah was a prominent
The speaker moved the obituary reference, reading,
"The nation lost an eminent politician, a freedom fighter
and a social worker (at his death). This parliament expresses
deep shock and sorrow at his death and sympathises with the
members of the bereaved family." (DS 13 May)
Let us also not forget the little boy of ten,
perhaps twelve, who was also gunned down in the mindless gunfire.
Let us also pray for the unknowns who are innocent victims of
the continuing terrorism, and there have been many.
Sir will not be back. But let his gruesome death
mark the beginning of a joint campaign by all parties to rise
above party lines and weed out those responsible for making
the life of the common man intolerable.
Will this unity of opposing political parties
last? It has to, if we are to find a workable way out of the
Can someone please do something to stop this
senseless trek to the depths of despair? If I sound helpless,
I am. The nation is.