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     Volume 6 Issue 33 | August 24, 2007 |

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Views from the Bottom

Ayubian Toupee and Political Clowns are Back!

Shahnoor Wahid

We thought the ghost of Ayub Khan was long banished from and even exorcised for good in this land called Bangladesh. He did enough mischief to make the people of this land despise him ever so profoundly that they have not forgotten anything about him, not even his idiosyncratic toupee. In those days, his sycophants in this part of the world used to wear the same much touted toupee, the conspicuous cap, though they looked like circus clowns in doing so.

With the forced exit of Ayub Khan, his toupee also fell out of fashion and we did not see it for decades. Meanwhile, one of his admirers and imitators, Mushtaque Ahmed did try to introduce his own brand of headgear, slightly modified, but it was also rejected by the people, as both the toupee and the wearer lacked glamour. Hence, soon Mushtaque and his toupee were sent to the garbage can of history by the people of the land and they forgot all about him.

But, lo and behold! Ayubian toupee is back! In Bangladesh! Yes, it has been resuscitated by some ardent Bangladeshi lover! He not only wore it on his head, he even proudly displayed it on television, little knowing what ugly memories he brought back in our minds. Memories that we had thrown in the gutter long ago. One wonders why did he had to wear the Ayubian toupee when many other varieties were available in the country!

He could have tried the famous Bhashani toupee instead. There is a smell of the soil in it, if you may recall the look of it. There is also the air of Bengal in it as it contains many pores through which cool breeze can pass taking a lot of heat of the head with it. The heads of the politicians usually generate lots of heat. That is why they should wear Bhashani toupee.

So much for toupee. Now a few words about the clowns in politics (some of them actually wear the Ayubi toupee). To entertain us for God knows how many years, a new generation of clowns have come from behind the curtains. They have actually replaced the old ones. The new lot of clowns has given sycophancy a new dimension. They have become self-employed chamchas of madams and apas and contesting with one another to become the new generation Altus and Faltus. They are now ready to do the daily bazaar for the madams and apas to get the coveted seat in her office.

You see everything is happening all around us in such a shameful way and yet we cannot say anything to stop the charade. The clowns run before the TV cameras to show their faces and play the taped 'instructions' of the 'country leader' on the microphone. What loyalty! What true example of sycophancy!

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