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|Volume 10 |Issue 10| March 11, 2011 ||
Oops! Were those our own noses we just cut off?
AASHA MEHREEN AMIN
It's hard to say what has been the greatest shock of the last week - the measly 58 runs our Tigers dished out in the poorest game of cricket on March 4 or the government's attempt to humiliate the country's only Noble Laureate. Both served to make our heads hang in mortification.
To add to the shameful innings was the attack by angry Tiger fans on the West Indian team's bus which the police claimed 'was a case of mistaken identity' as the frenzied supporters of the Bangladesh team thought it was their team in the bus, in which case it seems, the attack would be perfectly justified! Later some Bangladeshis stood outside the West Indian team's hotel with banners saying 'We are sorry, please forgive us' in an attempt to alleviate some of their own embarrassment not to mention the bewilderment the foreign team must have been feeling at this hostile behaviour from their hosts.
Many conspiracy theories were circulating on the eve of the cricket fiasco - somebody mixed something in their lunch, it was a case of match-fixing- not only would they have to lose but lose as shamefully as possible being the logic and finally - it was a divine curse cast upon us for what our government has done to our Nobel Laureate.
What is evident, however, is that the saying 'digging one's own grave' must have originated in this fertile, green land where people have developed quite a knack for embarassing or hurting themselves and their fellow country people and later bawling about it.
We may have put up a spectacular opening show at the ICC World Cup - who can forget the digital cricket match on the wall of a building? We may have created an illusion of fantasy with the blue and pink lighting, the flamboyant posters and cute little umbrella lamps in front of the Dhaka Cantonment. We may have swept all the dust in some unseen corner along with vagrants, hawkers and loiterers. But we cannot escape the daily killings, rape and maiming splashing on our newspapers, the acts of illogical vandalism on the streets at any pretext or the strange and outrageous fortune telling of former prime ministers. All these things serve their purpose - national humiliation.
Last week for instance, would certainly qualify as the week of supreme blunders or rather revelation of them. Apart from those two fiascos (those that cannot be named anymore due to the distress they cause) other mortifying incidents have happened. Bangladesh captain's village home was attacked by vandals - some people justified this by saying the same thing happened when the Indian team lost a crucial game and team captain Dhoni's home was attacked. Then we had a bizarre incident involving bus drivers beating and throwing a Dhaka University student into the jaws of a killer truck, ending the young man's life and provoking scores of irate students attacking all the buses and cars they could find. If the West Indian team had been watching the news, at least they would understand that it's nothing personal, this is how Bangladeshis vent their frustration - by bashing up people or vehicles irregardless of whether they are related to the cause of their ire.
Another cherry on last week's unsavoury happenings was the news of a university's campus site encroaching on our Turag river in Ashulia. One can only wonder what kind of learning the authorities of this institution will impart, being encroachers who have no respect for public water bodies or the law of the land. Again, this kind of information does little to boost the self-esteem of a nation mired with the shame of losing most horribly and being part of a hate campaign for a man respected by the entire world.
So do we go hang ourselves in collective chagrin? Of course not. We wait for the next blunder made by some prominent national figure - a political leader, a few cricket players, a centre of academic excellence or its students who think motorised vehicles are perfect punching bags.
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