Be or To Be
every major launch disaster (and there have been several tragic
ones, some avoidable, claiming hundreds of lives in the past
few years) there have been public calls for resignation of
the powers that be. Finally there has been one, nay two.
BIWTA salvage ship MV Rustam resigned from its operation to
rescue sunken launch MV Raipura from the depth of Jamuna near
Aricha port with over a hundred passengers still missing.
Simultaneously police manning the control room at the spot
also packed up. (DS 23 May 2005)
decision not to prolong the apparently futile salvage exercise
with inappropriate technology and equipment may be justified
despite the agony it is bound to cause to the kith and kin
of those missing, the PCR should have taken its time what
with more bodies likely to surface.
any civilised country repetitive launch tragedies as seen
in our waters would have humbled the concerned executive (elected
and appointed) to relinquish his office, not because he was
the sareng at the wheel but out of respect for the
dead, compassion for their relatives, and to inculcate in
others the need to increase efficiency in such important jobs.
of the major reasons why our ministers, secretaries or any
Tom, Dick and Harry do not resign is because they do not know
how. There is almost no precedence and no nothi from
which to copy the letter of resignation.
one from Indonesian statesman Suharto delivered on May 21
1998 upon resigning as president of Indonesia after 30 years
in power may help: 'I'll say thank you very much for your
support and I am sorry for my mistakes, and I hope the Indonesian
country will live forever.' See, simple. But make sure
you delete Indonesia and replace with Bangladesh. Otherwise
you will surprise the Indonesians.
way to hold public office is to be prepared for the occasion.
With point 005 inspector per vessel, unbridled overloading
by passengers and goods, under design, over construction,
zero maintenance, 40-year-old storm warning system (DS same
day) and bribery abound you will be lucky to be able to cross
River Buriganga on the China Friendship Bridge.
only have to be wise. That is why you hold such an important
post. And of wise men French writer and poet Jean de La Fontaine
(1621-95) said, 'Death never takes the wise man by surprise;
he is always ready to go'.
surely is the shipping ministry and its affiliate agencies,
but they all seem to be lost. If it may encourage them, we
are not the first. The Spaniards were once in similar quandary
prompting its politician Práxedes Sagasta to open his
big mouth, 'I do not know where we are going, but I do know
this that wherever it is we shall lose our way'.
the story and the job short, here is a prepared letter of
resignation. It may be duly signed and please don't forget
all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always
tried to do what was best for the nation. Throughout the long
and difficult period of managing vessels and waterways, I
have felt it was my duty to persevere, to make every possible
effort to complete the term of office to which you elected
the past few days, however, it has become evident to me that
I no longer have a strong enough political base to justify
continuing that effort. As long as there was such a base,
I felt strongly that it was necessary to see the constitutional
process through to its conclusion, that to do otherwise would
be unfaithful to the spirit of that deliberately difficult
process and a dangerously destabilizing precedent for the
would have preferred to carry through to the finish, whatever
the personal agony it would have involved, and my family unanimously
urged me to do so. But the interests of the Nation must always
come before any personal considerations.
have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term
is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But
as ...................................., I must put the interests
of Bangladesh first. Therefore, I shall resign effective at
regret deeply any injuries that may have been done in the
course of the events that led to this decision. I would say
only that if some of my judgments were wrongand some were
wrongthey were made in what I believed at the time to be the
best interest of the nation.
those who have stood with me during these past difficult monthsto
my voters, my family, my friends, to many others who joined
in supporting my cause because they believed it was rightI
will be eternally grateful for your support.
to those who have not felt able to give me your support, let
me say I leave with no bitterness toward those who have opposed
me, because all of us, in the final analysis, have been concerned
with the good of the country, however our judgments might
more than a ................ of a century in public life,
I have shared in the turbulent history of this era, have fought
for what I believed in. I have tried, to the best of my ability,
to discharge those duties and meet those responsibilities
that were entrusted to me.
I have succeeded and sometimes I have failed, but always I
have taken heart from what ....................................
once said: (insert here a quote from your chosen leader)
have served in this office is to have felt a very personal
sense of kinship with each and every Bangladeshi. In leaving
it, I do so with this prayer: May God's grace be with you
in all the days ahead.*
Nixon's Resignation Speech 8 August 1974. Richard Milhous
Nixon was the first United States president in history to
resign from office following the continuing Watergate scandal.)
(R) thedailystar.net 2005