Clear Conscience of Diplomat Increasing Cost of Living
'A CLEAR CONSCIENCE is usually the sign of a bad memory.'
Some people nowadays are talking of a new beginning, especially with reference to politics, politicians, political parties (those that are registered) and political parties (those that are held in restaurants). All that is fine, but if we maintain a clear conscience while ushering in a new don, thukku dawn, we will possibly be making a great mistake head for a point of no return, as some over-excited caricatures would like to say while slurping a spoonful of Chinese soup.
Why caricature? Well, for one thing, you may have seen them hovering around the queen bee for many years, but now that the stick is out, they are the ones doing the most talking in a tone of gross hatred of all that is past in talk shows that have gone tawk.
One reckons their defensive attitude could be out of sheer jumpiness. But the past, immediate and distant, cannot be forgotten. Or forgiven that easily, or ever if necessary, because the present and a lot of the future has been its creation.
Rise of price of essentials? In that felony the past has a syndicated hand, which cannot be taken out.
No electricity? The past has ensured we don't get enough at least for the next fifteen years.
Flash flood? Over the past few decades low-lying areas have been gobbled up. Dredging has been enshrined in the dictionary.
Chittagong landslide? In the past nature has been tampered with, and the disfiguring continues.
Rampant corruption? I will admit I had no idea we were so rich, well by 'we' I mean some of us. Okay! Okay! The guys don't know me. But the wealthy are known to everyone, even it be others' money they stash in their pocket. What a large pocket! Thousands of crores of takas, whatever that means, have been amassed offshore; but that's what this nation is capable of churning out, minimum. Phew! And we argue with a ricky for a two-taka difference?
We must remember the past, take lessons from it, weigh the contribution of each partaker or accomplice, as the case may be, and design a future where the benevolent past shall be welcome, and the dark will not be allowed to creep in. Our conscience in this respect must not be clear at all.
We must remember that even today will tomorrow be the past.
Allow me to quote in analogy, 'Be nice to your kids. They'll choose your nursing home'.
'A DIPLOMAT is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.'
It is not only the wrong politics of the right politicians, or left, which have created this quagmire of corruption in this country. Although many of them are behind bars, we still see crooked ministers, shady saangshods, dishonest leaders, fraudulent party workers, devious relatives and crooked friends of them all. The feeling being peddled is that other than those politically inclined the rest of us are washed tulsi pata! It's an ill feeling.
Oh, how easily we forget the powerful and everlasting administration that fanned those very perpetrators of crime over the years for their own pecuniary benefits, promotions and desired postings? As well as those of their wives?
'Sir, there is no man like you', they stooped to utter. It could also mean, 'Sir, you are not a man'. But, animals only hear the stooping. The crouching official escapes with a smirk, because the boss can't see behind his back.
What about many among the lawyers, teachers, engineers, doctors, economists, journalists and cultural bek-tittos, who have been hobnobbing with those statesmen, politicians, and influential party Abduls? Have they not tasted a chita-fota of what the big fish guzzled?
The advisor had barely announced the budget and our criminal business people, traders and suppliers increased the price of merchandise in stock. And they have been doing it unperturbed after every budget. The stick is as yet not long enough or sharp to puncture their fattening belly.
If truth be spoken, those who harbour politics in this country as a business undertaking are merely fools and, as proper business people, they make others fools till the next elections. Leaving aside the fools, those who pull strings from behind are diplomats, or in the least diplomatic. Some call them bureaucrats, but they are not tactless.
'Despite the cost of LIVING, have you noticed how popular it remains?'
Television has made celebrities out of vendors of the city's kitchen markets. On TV every evening the shopkeepers get free publicity as they are allowed to parrot that, although doodh may have gone up from Taka x-ty to y-ty, they are innocent (!). Not many with equal exposure can claim either virtue.
Some of them are regular visitors to the parlour, men's to be sure. They take lessons in speech articulation, have had their dentures redone, and have paid script writers, such that when the camera rolls they are ready to face the bewildered nation with a smile. Haven't you noticed how pretty they make their mundane vegetables look? All stacked in neat piles, shining, as if chiselled by a sculptor, so neat, so fresh. Only don't touch them for you risk being scathed.
It is being said that some of them are serious contenders for seats in the next parliament. Nothing new, it has been done before. Hawkers and even people from trades requiring lesser intellectual input have become parliamentarians; nothing wrong with that. This is democracy. Those who opted to become rich rata-rati went for the suited and booted look. Unfortunately once in the House they could not distinguish lau from kodu, and like their perishable goods, they were soon enough found unsuited to the task and were booted out. That too is democracy.
If the escalation of price is not abated there may come a time when special markets for fish, meat and vegetable have to be opened at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar to facilitate MPs with fixed income, especially because it is hoped that in the future they will not have any out-kaam.
Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2007