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     Volume 5 Issue 126 | December 29, 2006 |

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Pressing Dent in the Bengal Building


Now no one knows its fate, but when the 'political package' was first unwrapped only to disappear there ensued a kaara-kaari for the goodies inside and out, to reappear briefly after four noble fatalities, there were words and whispers in the air that they were seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Only no one warned them, 'Careful! It might be another train coming'. That's the viewpoint of the pessimist.

As for the advisors who resigned, rightly or wrongly, neutrally or biased, valiantly or villainously, 'If you think your boss is stupid, remember you may not have had a job if he was any smarter'.

Every up-to-date politician learned about the running of the government and hoping for a party ticket -- by default an optimist -- would not even bat an eyelid in the face of such a cautionary signal; for the train in Bangladesh is usually without a headlight, usually runs slowly enough to cause no harm, and is always late. It might even reach its destination after the elections. The wise would like to snub such utterances with a simple statement, 'we don't have such a long tunnel'.

Throughout history, the wise have come to the rescue of humankind. We have occasionally been blessed so, which also confirms that we are human. In this continuing raj-noi-tik battle of slinging of mud packs, we have long been in need of such a pundit. Now positively employed in beauty parlours for men, women and poodles -- separately though -- it seems we are gradually worming out of the sludge. While the face masks have been peeled off and an inevitable face-off has been avoided, the all-party decision to go to the polls has improved our appearance in the international eye. That indeed is the magic of the mud pack.

Legend has it that 'a wise man hears one word and understands two.' Our wise man of the hour hears two words and understands one. But then 'a wise man makes his own decisions, (only) an ignorant man follows the public opinion'. That was creating a lot of confusion, ill-feeling and apprehension with allegations of partisanship mounting about our 90-day baby. The notable learning from the recent political developments is that you can do anything you want -- loot a bank, lie under oath, lynch someone up a tree, let loose bigots again women --but do not break the constitution. That is a very bad thing. That the constitution has to be protected is as good as saying 'sex is hereditary'. Remember: 'Laws control the lesser man. Right conduct controls the greater one.'

* * *

The constitution is 'not broken' by violating its clauses (Examples 1-3). It is defended by mere words (Example 4-6).

The drama is enacted thus:
Example 1: Hey! I heard you killed your political rival! Well, congratulations!

Example 2: Sir! You did party politics while being in government servant. You are a father's son.

Example 3: Bhaijan! The dead are enrolled in the voters list, the living are not. What a fantastic idea!

Example 4: Huzoor! You have been wrongfully appointed in your present position. It is against the law, BUT you cannot allow the constitution to be broken.

Example 5: You are a son of a tiger. You shave your tail every morning, lest it should get out of your trousers. You have minted millions of Taka by taking bribe, BUT you have not violated the constitution.

Example 6: Oye beta! Did you 'say' you broke the constitution? Chee! Ghenna! You should be in jail.

* * *

Now that the air has cleared to some extent, although a clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer, and more than everyone is happily going to the polls, unreliable people living near Bengal Building have claimed to have heard noises at the dead of night which sound like voices saying: “Who am I? I am indecision. I am everything. I am nothing. And I may even be both.” In fact, he is.

They say the Americans are fond of saying, 'Once we had Clinton, Johnny Cash and Bob Hope. Now we have Bush, no Cash and no Hope.' On that note the Bangladeshi patriot can reciprocate, 'Once we had Ershad, Sher-e-Bangla, and Bangabandhu. Now we have Iajuddin & Iajuddin, no sher, and no bandhu '.

Some illogical people (okay many illogical people, hang on! that makes them most logical people) are blaming Ershad shaheb for being the pendulum in our national politics, or what remains if it. People! You forget that at his age he is still fit and agile to sway as he pleases from jote to jote and from vote to vote. For being the romantic paramour he is, he does not seem to believe in conventional love, or at least not in its totality. His motto could be: 'If love is blind, how can we believe in love at first sight?' Yesterday that jote looked pretty, today this one, tomorrow…

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