Thirst for Water and Burst for Power
The tragic and turbulent April events in a quiet northern farmland cost the nation a score or more in human life, but the poor pupils in politics, otherwise rich, learned not a wisp of a useful lesson. Besides personal aptitude and party arrogance, the primary reason for this non transfer of effective knowledge was the regrettable fact that they chose to keep their kaan shut.
Before delving any deeper into the lessons learnt, let us ponder for a while on the hereafter. In yet another man-made calamity, as in a building collapse or in a fire in a garment factory, there cropped up once again the contemptible confusion as to the number of dead, this time in the recent revolt for voltage in the villages of the valiant, commonly known as Kansat.
While we already know that many of us are not taken into account when living, as the just published supporters catalogue (a.k.a. voter list) will testify, not to be counted even after death can be more heartbreaking than death itself. Our relief is that no mobile telephone company in their escalating and maddening ad-battle has as yet claimed to have established a network up to there, or else we would have been flooded with SMS scribbled with sighs of the departed.
It can perhaps humble you to know, (perhaps because I am not that much sure these days what with humanity degraded to such a low ebb) that some guys know the exact number of pandas awaiting extinction, not that you necessarily have to believe them. One distinct drawback is that we have no mechanism to check back on the figure offered. To some it is as good as saying there are so many leaves on a tree. Happily for the pandas, there are some dedicated humans giving a lifetime of hard work to do the counting. Happily for us though there are lesser pandas and, guess what, they are not a threatened jaati. Hah!
Any kindergarten teacher will tell you that every child in a classroom learns something different, often from the same lesson. Our pupils, though a shade more mature than our teacher's charges, have lived up to that expectation.
Given the impressive demonstration of his popularity by way of the clinical manner in which his core of activists regained control of the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, someone must have whispered to the elected MP of troubled Shanir Akhra well in advance that there was 'an acute shortage' of water in houses outside his houses they usually have more than one. But till then we were taught that people unite, get agitated, are unrelenting and die only when they are demanding electricity. And, don't forget this was water. Some dushtoo people are saying the leader mistook the message as 'a cute shortage' and he laughed it off. Unbelievable stuff and deserves to be summarily thrown out, because the cadre must not have used words such as 'acute'. Dushtoo kothakar!
The war for water has taught many would-be candidates for the forthcoming national elections a timely lesson. The maieer that they witnessed have convinced them that there are better ways to earn a living, that there are easier ways to enter the Sangsad Bhaban, with a gate pass for example. According to one survey, unconfirmed till filing of this report, at least fifty thousand potential nominees have decided against contesting in 2007. The immediate losers have been the smaller parties, who are in a disarray, as unless they can show they have three hundred applicants for their symbol they don't have a cymbal to play in the jote game four or fourteen.
Some observers are of the opinion that a few more of this lesson on public wrath may reduce willing businessmen, thukku candidates, to such a level that we may at last have a decent election with no case of confiscation of jamanat, and politics remaining with real politicians. They question is in Bangladesh, who is not? But the fine lesson those observers have not considered is that such a mass withdrawal may reduce the total earning of our national exchequer. You see, in the end everyone contributes, even those who fail.
In another development, several hundred nomination-seekers have opted out because of their obesity. They know even if they win with awgadh love of their people they cannot run. Moreover, not every road in the country has a safe refuge. Where will they hide, huh? Lessons learnt, lessons learnt!
Others have taken a more positive feedback from the episode. The concerned authorities have decided to recruit a physical trainer from Australia to keep our elected representatives fit to tackle any such eventuality. A counter-<>prostab<> (from among the lazy ones), that of an MP being surrounded by hefty palki-people to whisk him away in such situations was rejected outright because such an arrangement will deny the ghetoos from being alongside their leader, which is very very important for the nation.
Also there is news that a palkiwalla has decided not to be recruited for such a job after his wife asked him, 'who will whisk you away?' A lesson in love, that one!
Some not-so-important lessons learnt from the two pathetic incidents are: MPs must stay in close contact with their constituency, permanently reside within their constituency, listen to their constituency and behave with their constituency.
We have seen a revolt for voltage and a war for water. Who knows what next? And after two fine lessons, have we really learnt our lesson?
(R) thedailystar.net 2006