Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  -  Contact Us
     Volume 4 Issue 3 | July 9, 2004 |


   Cover Story
   News Notes
   Slice of Life
   A Roman Column
   Photo Story
   Vantage Point
   Time Out
   Book Review
   Dhaka Diary
   New Flicks

   SWM Home




1. There is a school in Bangkok where they teach government officers the art of writing articles in newspapers criticising the government after they have retired from service. One full session is devoted to countering attacks by critics who dare label them as 'monafek'. Another session is called "The easy solution now that was impossible then". The school lays special stress on students finding excuses for not doing when in service what they espouse as a possibility after retirement. As civil servants, finding excuses was never their shortcoming. In order to prepare for the Thai school, several prospective students tried the stunt while in service, but soon became ex-government officers. The government should encourage critical writing by civil servants when they are in service so that we know why they become such geniuses with solutions to all our problems as soon as they retire.

2. There is a school in Amsterdam where they teach politicians the art of expressing plausible excuses after losing an election. They charge differently for municipal, national and international posts. Surprisingly, for OIC there is no charge. The school explains, 'We did not know they had elections. We have never had any applicants'. The school adds, 'But we are very impressed with the Bangladesh candidate and how he handled his recent defeat. In a masterly stroke he brought in Turkey's Israeli connection. That Turkey could be elected without signing the organisation's charter has confused all -- one of the first objectives of any losing candidate. His revelation that the twelve who voted for him in the secret ballot were the largest populated Muslim countries was a stroke of genius. Finally, his ability to compel his foreign minister to say that the comments of the official candidate were his own and not that of the government speaks volumes about his talent. The hygienic double-meaning words he used to make his opponents think dirty is something we have been trying for a long time. In fact we are thinking of approaching him to join the Faculty. He needs no lessons. He is our role model'.

3. There is a school in Bangalore where they teach politicians the art of befriending the opposition with sweets and bouquets. They have two sections: B.E. (before elections) and A.E. (after elections). It is widely believed that a Kula nominee and a couple of Dhaka mayoral candidates may have been trained there. With our Jatiya Sangsad Speaker, past and present, perpetually failing to win the heart of the opposition there have been proposals to send the Speaker to this school. The reason this exclusive hill resort school cannot accept a Speaker as a student is because the Speaker is not supposed to have any opposition. Le halua! According to unconfirmed reports, an application from Bangladesh is pending at the school on whether they can bend the rules. But a Speaker is not supposed to bend the rules, a spokesman of the school explains. Indian politicians Sonia and Vajpayee are its most recent graduates. Bush and Kerry are booked for the Autumn Session.

4. There is a school in Geneva where they teach ministers the art of implementing a budget, however dreamy and out of this world. Many observers believe that the recent budget would have been the perfect reason for our finance minister to get training at the academy alongside Gordon Brown and Manmohon Singh. But, most unfortunately, there was no allocation in the last budget for this sort of expenditure. And our finance minister is very strict about allocations.

5. There is a school in Aberdeen where they teach students the art of switching political allegiance without feeling guilty. They give you all the tips to tackle the press, the TV interviewer, members of the previous party, the voters of your constituency, if you have one, etc. They also recommend tailoring houses so that the appropriate clothing can be made overnight or before oath-taking, whichever is earlier. Most of the students are from Bangladesh's elite circle of politicians. However, some students have complained that they have switched party because they could not understand the Scottish dialect. That has opened job opportunities for Bangla teachers at the school. The trouble is these teachers are now ditching this school for more lucrative offers elsewhere.

6. There is a school in Malitola where they teach you the art of sending your hijackers the parts that were left at home and so were not hijacked. These could include the battery pack, the USB cable, some money that you had taken out of your wallet and so on. This is important for HCR (hijacker-customer relationship). It goes like this. If you can trace the hijackers and send them things you do not need after being hijacked, rapport could be so developed that the hijackers would also be encouraged to send back the things they hijacked but they do not have any use for; such as SIM, laminated driving license, toothbrush, your wife's picture, and so on.

Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2004