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     Volume 6 Issue 30 | August 3, 2007 |

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View from the Bottom

The Symphony of Wailing?

Shahnoor Wahid

Keep your handkerchief or a box of tissue nearby readers, because you are going to cry out loud after reading this story. It's heart-rending, tear-jerking, poignant and agonising, therefore, weak-hearted person are advised to flip over to something light. It is rated PG (Parental Guidance). Here it is.

There was a news item in the media about a former tough minister breaking down in the courtroom while talking about his wife's innocence. He wept in front of everyone present in the courtroom. It was definitely a poignant moment. A moment of realisation of what happens when you are on the wrong side of the law. Could he see himself in that position even in his wildest dream? Nah. And yet, destiny turned the tables on him and everything changed so drastically to his utter dismay.

Well, we feel sorry for the predicament the former minister has gotten himself into. He can hardly blame anyone else for this. It was coming. Coming like a wild, reckless minibus. But he was blind. In fact, all these years he remained blinded by power. The more powerful he became, the more of a megalomaniac he turned into.

Power had also dried all the tears in his eyes. When in power you don't need to shed tears. You make others shed tears. That is why he could not cry when respectable people like ASM Kibria died in a bomb attack. He could not cry when so many men and women died in a grenade attack on a meeting of a political party. The sad death of a respectable lady like Ivy Rahman, a fellow politician, in that attack did not bring tears in his eyes.

But when his beloved wife was in discomfort it brought tears in his eyes. He could not stand the sufferings she was undergoing and he tried his best to prove her innocence. Maybe she is innocent, but that is for the court to decide.

But he forgot how numerous nameless men and women cried, pleaded and begged and tried to prove their innocence when partisan policemen rounded them up from the streets and beat them mercilessly before any political programme. Dozens of them used to be thrown into a small cell and kept there for days together. Such defilement of humanity did not bring tears in his eyes. And this continued for a long five years. This happened in the five years before that.

Like that tough minister, another former minister and his very imprisoned son wept in unison, like Mozart's sonata, inside a prison house where the latter currently resides. He was not supposed to be there. And yet, he is there. Why? Better ask them, father and son. They know what they did that they were not supposed to do when they were in power. Why do people always do what they are not supposed to do when in power? Do they lose all sense of propriety and go berserk?

There is something called 'poetic justice', and history tells us that every tyrant faced this justice at one point or the other in his or her lifetime. And history also tells us that people in power, by design or default, do not listen to the voice of wisdom. Once the reigns are in their hands, they forget the consequences and indulge themselves in an orgy of abuse, cruelty and excess. Power intoxicates these men and women and who does not know that an intoxicated person may commit the foulest of crimes.

When will people without the criminal bend of mind come to do politics in this country? A difficult question to answer indeed. But we must find the answer otherwise as a nation we shall cease to exist. Shall we allow that to happen?

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