The Future is Oh So Rosy
Ever since we gained our long-cherished, hard-fought, political independence, we have been shown a mula. The purpose of this sawfed exhibition, often hatched in the dark of the night or, in the least, in narrow minds where no light can penetrate, was more a safety valve for the powers that be than for the welfare of the people, although the latter has always been manifested in any such dramatic announcement.
No creation of Allah (swt) has been so abused and degraded as the janagan of Bangladesh. Time and time again they have been fooled around with by self-seeking public servants and legislators, pseudo included. So easily do they utter that everything will be decided by the people. What people! Who people! Where people! Their tongues do not quiver. Seeing them one could be convinced that there is no hereafter.
Some examples are in order:
Bangladesh will be 100% literate by the year 2000. It was a slogan midway in BNP's first term under KZ. Not only have a vast majority of us remained literally murkho, the so-called educated amongst us have behaved like they never touched a book on morality.
Gas will be our major energy source by 2010. Now Myanmar has refused to sell gas to us, saying their priority was China and India. Ouch! At this point I must apologise for my <>murkhota<> on two points: firstly, I did not know our quiet neighbours had more gas than us and secondly, I had not read anywhere that we had applied for some. I always thought their major export were their citizens near their border with us. Moreover, this was our natural product considering how much we love showering paam-patti on each other, depending on how much we needed something from the other.
Bangladesh will be promoted from LDC via developing status to halfway from fully developed standing by 2020. To understand that foretelling someone must tell us what the high is and how low is the bottom rung. More importantly, it has to be translated in terms of the price of rice per kg. To many of us tons and ships and pipelines make no sense. People want to know what percentage of their ten-inch plate will be covered in rice, if at all.
It has been said that by 2025 we will get electricity in every house. I think they meant village. Only the other day four major city hospitals were victim to an outage of several hours, imposing untold sufferings on the patients, including scores of children. The situation in the rural areas cannot even be imagined. And this is only spring.
Then there is the promise of free education up to primary level in five years, free medical care in ten years, and supersonic trains between Dhaka and the port city sandwiched in between. No wonder there are so many free gift offers with every bazaar item being sold.
The tiger is emerging, they say. No creature on earth has taken a longer time for entry from anywhere. One day it has to make the inevitable entry, because the Sundarbans shall have been shorn of its flora and the tiger shall have to be urbanised. That's a serious warning to our politicians and their bureaucrat benefactors. I believe some of them have indeed come from rural backgrounds.
The advantages of such utterances into the future are many. It is most likely, given Bangalee's Short Memory (read Chintito 30 May 1995 by the same title), we will forget who said what when about what. It is also most likely that those who said it will be behind bars, away from the wrath of the denied people.
If per chance, at sometime in history the prophecy should come true, then supporters of any particular leader will paint every wall in the neighbourhood with the words that omuk's dream has come true.
If each of the twelve crore people have even one dream per day that would make over four thousand crore dreams per year. Let us assume half of them are common; otherwise there would be no marriages taking place. We are then left with over two thousand crore dreams. Can you put to pen how many dreams this nation has in stock over three decades and a half? That's a lot of akaash kusum kalpana. There is perhaps no credit to anyone if only a handful of them materialises. Those can be considered the perks of time.
Does that mean that two crore amongst us are not dreaming? Please, brothers and sisters, (no, I am not joining politics) forgive them for they do not know the art of dreaming. The fact is they spend sleepless nights due to various reasons from homelessness to hunger, from sheer worry about what is going on and the excitement of sure elections this year.
You will notice that no one in 1952 said we would be getting independence in twenty years. None uttered in unoshottur that within twenty-four months the Bangalee nation will have its own parliament. Even on momentous 7 March Bangabandhu could not say that this nation would be an independent country nineteen days later. But it was.
Let our leaders show the people the carrot. But let them be based on ground realities.
WRITE TO CHINTITO <email@example.com>
Thank you for your mail. You are right that the war still goes on but you have to know that no war will be successful if we are isolated. I believe thousands of boys and girls have same spirit and goal but we cannot accumulate our thoughts and voices in a compartment. If we can do it, we will be able to make our voices louder to loudest to the general people. I think journalists can play the most prolific part of this matter. If they lift up our thoughts more strongly, then it will be easier for us to achieve our target to make a strong and truly independent nation. I hope you will write more about our thoughts and views and you will try to emphasize on more about our future Bangladesh. I dream a Bangladesh where division is minimum, people enjoy their rights properly, justice is available, economy speaks for the poor, politicians think about the people, and the society is morally high. It will be obviously a gigantic task but not impossible to achieve. Thanking you.
Mohammad Anisur Rahman
(25 Feb 2008)
It's the last days of February and our love for our language has started to fall off. In March, our love again will arise for our country and remain till April 14. Then the love drought will start. It will span over eight months and again in December we will find ourselves showing love to our martyrs and our country. I wish we had at least a day to observe in every month. Then we could have our love exuding all the time.
Topu,16 (26 Feb 2008)
Although I am a regular reader of the Daily Star magazine, this is the first time I am writing to you. I am very much worried (Chintito) about my study as I couldn't pay full attention to my study as I have fallen in love with a girl. Please give some advice.
Debashis Dip, Dept. of AIS, Jagannath Hall, DU. (1 Mar 2008)
Earlier, I was not at all interested to read your page on SWM. I liked escaping your column and going on with the whole magazine. But observing your immense popularity, I have started reading your writing and you are cool. Hats off to you!
Sarah, SSC examinee (7 mar 2008)
Are you a guy or a girl? I think you are a girl (he he). Ok forget it! We like you very much. Wish you a long life. Best regards to you Chintito! Bye! Yours ever.
Shafin. (9 Mar 2008)
Ok, I like infamous people… infamous people like you! Good morning + hello Chintito, hope you are there shaking, if not then banging, your head with a lot of absolute reasons which are transforming you to Chintito indeed. I want to thank you since you are the one who changed my approach to reading a magazine! Just like millions of others, I used to read a magazine from the very back page and these days, especially the Star Weekend Magazine, I start with your column. You are a great criticizer of anything, everything…?
S (10 Mar 2008)
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