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     Volume 6 Issue 32 | August 17, 2007 |

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Views from the Bottom

Relief... ah Relief… oh Relief!

Shahnoor Wahid

Brother chairmen... brother ward commissioners... brother MPs....brother ministers.... these are worst times we are passing through. Fate has dealt us a severe blow. That is why I have convened this meeting today. It is a matter of our life and death. Our very existence is in question. We must unite and plan our move. We are starving today. We are sad today. Today we have to work hard to earn money to feed our family. How insulting that we have to work like those salaried government officers.... college-university teachers...doctors.... engineers.... even like those God- forsaken journalists who were after us for the last 36 years. You know we have killed some of them and made many of them lengra for life...and yet they are unstoppable. Anyway, we shall deal with those reporters later but today our agenda is different.

Dear brothers and sisters, today we have come here to lament in chorus…. to wail in unison…to blow our nose in harmony. We are here to find a way out. God has never been so unkind to us in the last 36 years. He always understood our plight. He was always sympathetic to our family. He always looked after us by sending floods, cholera, diarrhoea, famine, cyclone and many other calamities so that we could earn “two pice”. But now! Look around! A golden opportunity is going to such a waste! Oh God, we have been praying five times in the mosque and yet you have turned your face from us! What is the use of sending this flood and cholera now when we are not in power? Who in heaven took the decision to do such injustice to us? Please God, please investigate and banish the guilty from heaven forever.

Brothers and sisters, we have severe pain in our fat-ridden hearts when we see relief materials and crores of money being allocated for those lowly village people. What would they do with so much money? Do they know how to use that money? But, we do. We need that money, don't we? We know how to spend that kind of money. We know how to under-invoice a three-crore taka car to show it as 25 lakh only. We know where to find Italian tiles and French bathroom fittings. We know how to get crates of beer and whiskey and how to throw parties with those showbiz party-girls. We know where to go and who to contact to buy AK-47 rifles and German handguns. We know how to manipulate the government officials and get an abandoned house in Gulshan registered in our name.

And that is why, we cannot hold back our tears when we see crores of taka passing right before us and we cannot grab even one of them. What a cruel deal for us, who are the true representatives of the people! Don't we have more right on that money than those people who always pretend to be poor? Their poverty will never go, so why waste so much money? Rather, with that money we shall be able to remove our poverty. You know that we only have only one house in Gulshan and only one Hummer each. That's the life of a fakir! We as public representatives deserve better, don't we?

Dear brothers and sisters, in this meeting, let us reach a consensus and send our plea to the caretaker government to allow us to handle the relief operation from here on. They cannot give a “kick in our stomach'…this is not fair…this is human rights violation! We need to form some committees.

One would try to convince the diplomats. One would seek appointment with the chief advisor. One would go to convince the army chief and the other would try to make the RAB go home. Once the path will be cleared we shall dive with all our might in the entire relief operation. Our dark days will be over. Now, let us all go to a mosque and pray to God so that He remains on our side. It is said by the mullahs that if you pray to God in 'khash dil' He forgives. Don't we have 'khash dil' brothers and sisters?


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