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     Volume 5 Issue 126 | December 29, 2006 |

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View from the bottom

Vote for Ator Ali Chakladar

Shahnoor Wahid

Let me give a little background of Ator Ali Chakladar, my childhood friend. He dropped out of school when he was in class nine. He could reach upto class nine only with the help of some of us who always needed his strong legs to defend the goal posts in football matches with other clubs in the locality. Defend our goal posts and you get our notes; that was the deal. But after class nine, one day he came upto us and said that his poor father refused to bear his school expenses anymore and asked him to find a job. We lost contacts after that. When I had met him some five years later he was working as a low-salaried staff in Bangladesh Biman. But he was happy with the job. By that time he already owned two flats, one in Dhanmondi and another in Shantinagar, he informed. His children went to the most expensive schools in town. He owned two cars as well.

But that was not all. He was destined to make more money and thus become eligible to contest parliamentary election. While in Biman, he met this guy in manpower export business. He teamed up with him and began to bring young men from his own village and adjacent villages to town to send them to some Middle-eastern countries. He made some crores from this business. Then he made his brother an enlisted contractor of various government offices like PWD, Roads & Highways and City Corporation. He made a few more crores from this business. He made even more money by producing some 'hot' movies with the blessing of some FDC bigwigs.

It was time for Ator Ali to move to Gulshan. After moving to Gulshan, he made friends with people who were involved fulltime in politics. He got close to them by throwing lavish parties where only the best whiskey of the world flowed like water. Many men and women from the movie and glamour world entertained his guests, mostly high government officials who mattered. He began to send signals to various political camps along with thick packets in black briefcases. Political leaders accepted the briefcases but kept a close watch on him. Is he a BNP loyalist or an Awami Leaguer in disguise? Was he seen coming out of the flat of HM Ershad in the dead of night last week? Ator Ali became an important man. He began to take part in talk shows on various TV channels.

He took the decision to contest the next election. But he had some problems with his money and educational background and some other embarrassing matters. He did not know how to overcome the hurdles laid out by the civil society with their eight-point criteria for a good candidate. But he did not have to worry for long. The stay order from the court came as a gift from the 'gifted' in our politics. So, my friend Ator Ali Chakladar called me up last evening to give me the long-awaited news. He will contest the next election to become a member of parliament. His logic is clear and simple. He has all the qualifications to become one. He has made tons and tons of money, he has gotten the black money whitening certificate from the bank, he has built two mosques and set up five madrasas in his village, he has become a member of all the private social clubs in the country, he is holding important positions in the committees of ten schools and colleges and five sports clubs in the locality and in his village, he has shares in two newspapers and one television channel, he has four huge cars with tinted windows, his children live abroad, he lives in a five-crore taka house in Baridhara, and most importantly he had gone to Saudi Arabia twenty times to do Umrah. What an impressive CV for a future MP!

Well, that's the story of Ator Ali's rise in our society. Please vote for Ator Ali.


Whenever Ator Ali visits my house he becomes genuinely concerned looking at my worn-out sofa set and curtains and does a ... chuk...chuk...chuk... sound as he goes around the flat. He offers me a six-figure salaried job with a fulltime car in his manpower export company whenever he calls me up to find out how I am doing. He wonders aloud why I always refuse his offer. He thinks only people having some sort of curse on them become journalists.

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