No one will dare use the phrase silver-tongued to describe our spiked-hair State Minister for Home (SMH) Lutfozzaman Babar who has outlived nine lives long ago. His boys' failure to unearth any of the blasts, which have so far claimed a hundred innocent lives, has never made Babar realise that he has, actually, talked too much and that now is the time to deliver.
But that trait alone does not make him unique amidst an army of colleagues who are, more or less, bent on outdoing each other in inefficiency and incompetence. When it comes to the Ministers in Khaleda Zia's cabinet, it can be taken for gospel that they are inept and, more importantly, lack proper vision.
What sets Babar apart is that the politician is very good at flip-flopping. Immediately after 459 blasts that rattled across the capital and other 63 districts, the beleaguered SMH told reporters that there had been no information (of such attacks) for August 17. He said that his ministry had prior intelligence on terrorist-attack on August 14, 15 and 16.
Babar recanted within a short span of two hours. "Today's incident was totally unexpected. None of us had any idea about such incident," Babar told his auditors at the home ministry.
It is not, however, clear what has made him retract so quickly. In both the cases the blame falls on the speaker, whose job is to make his subjects feel safer and not to throw them into utter confusion. But Babar, it seems, has opted for the latter.
If the SMH actually knew that the country was facing a terrorist attack, why had his ministry not issued an alert beforehand? And if, we are to believe that while reacting to such an unprecedented attack, the SMH was so baffled that he could not say what he had wanted to say, and so we have to accept the latter version of the "truth", then, we are afraid, a more unpleasant question has to be raised: how is it possible that terrorists have grouped themselves up, have made around 500 bombs, have planted them in public places, while the minister and his force have been in a slumber that would have put any bone-lazy person to shame?
The irony, however, does not escape us: our ministers want to take us for a ship of fools, who will digest whatever they want us to consume.
are not spared
Recently, there have been many newspaper reports on physical and sexual abuse of children around the country, especially at school and in madrasas. Whether the crimes have recently increased or their reports is unclear, but it is obvious that their reporting has not had much impact on the crimes themselves. Last week, The Daily Star reported sexual molestation of at least five orphans at Anjuman-e-Mofidul Islam Orphanage. The boys, aged between seven and 10, have allegedly been molested by the orphanage staff for over four years. The children did not tell, anyone about it earlier fearing expulsion. Only when one of the boys fell sick after the abuse did his mother learn about it and file a police case, accusing the superintendent and four other staff of the orphanage of molesting her son. While one of the accused are in custody, the others are still at large. Where children living with parents -- some even influential -- are not spared abuse at school, or anywhere else for that matter, it is even more scary when helpless orphans are subjected to such torture, for they have even less people to turn to and who will fight for their rights.
It was just like in the movies. Bombs, or rather dangerous crackers, went off within minutes of each other in different parts of the country last week to, basically, prove a point. As we all are aware of, in this country to unite people or to prove a point, one has to create a deadly chaos amongst the citizens. To make it all the more enticing and a little adventures, bombers under the letterhead Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) spread leaflets during the serial bombings across the country with a demand for establishing Islamic rule.
And the leaflet declared, "We are the soldiers of Allah. We've taken up arms for the implementation of Allah's law the way Prophet, Sahabis and heroic Mujahideen have done for centuries", and went on with pleas to the government and the opposition party to leave their differences at the 'door' and take up the path of 'non-violence' and 'righteousness'.
The leaflet also says that the JMB has urged the government twice earlier to establish Islamic Hukumat (Islamic order). However, the government would just arrest their workers, to which JMB did not resort to any retaliation.
"But this is the third appeal from JMB," the group said. If the government does not establish Islamic laws in the country after this third warning and, rather, it goes to arrest any Muslim on charge of seeking Allah's laws or it resorts to repression on Alem-Ulema, the JMB would go for counteraction, "Inshallah", the group warned.
"Those who want to give institutional shape to democracy are the enemies of Islam," says the leaflet, adding that if they want 'hedayet (blessings) of Allah', both the government and the opposition should unitedly introduce Islamic law immediately by burying party conflicts.
"But if you, being scared of Bush-Blair clique, don't have the courage to establish Islamic rule, quit the evil politics of democracy," they said. And then "the Tauhidee janata will establish Islamic laws following the system of Sura (highest Islamic Consultative Committee) comprising Alem, Ulema, Masaek and Islamic scholars".
Hats off to the true followers and believers who also believe in murdering and killing the innocents for the sake of power. Drawing a very similar line of thought with the 'Bush-Blair' pair, the bombers have proved that to instil peace within one's own country, wipe out the ones who do not think like you and believe in the same divine power. But then again, people who came up with this idea of organised crime of this sort might be considered for a Hall of Fame title.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005