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          Volume 10 |Issue 38 | October 07, 2011 |


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The next Government is not the Last


There are some clichés that work (or used to) work in our politics. Take for instance, our love-hate relationship with India, our only other neighbour, whereas politics based on this visa line among bordering countries is globally prevalent. For some unknown and unseen causes, actually ground reality, the over-used Bharatiyo factor to control our piyaj to Pajero seemed to have dwindled prior to and during Indian Prime Minister Manmohon Singh's Dhaka tour. But the rattling has resumed once again. The opposition in parliament, which has profitably cashed in on this viewpoint for decades, has scathingly pounced on the government in the past week for its so-called pro-Indian diplomacy. The government maintains that the accord on fair share of Teesta water shall be signed in the next two months, as someone responsible said one month back that it will be signed in three months. We can all count, can't we?

While transit facilities for India through Bangladesh, if granted under mutually beneficial terms, is more likely to continue under any government if business and trade implications are positive, and Teesta too will not be any dryer for plying the boat or harvesting the paddy, our voters are becoming gradually immune to the Indian medicine. And frankly, there are very many other pressing domestic issues that once were all squarely blamed on India. There is growing realisation that because India is a different country they will do everything for their own interest, and that we ought to do what is best for us, and that, most importantly, we have to bake our own cake, preferably with our own ingredients.

Another political tarika employed usually to cow down a foe or rival, a ploy greatly edible in the past and nowadays requiring a digestive pill, is that someone has made crores and crores (and crores) of Taka (whatever that amounts to) while in power – be it political, bureaucratic, academic, sports administration, civil service, CBA, banking... But the problem is such money has almost never been retrieved. The proof is in the pudding. The public now demand hard copy of everything, as there has been so much lies going around over the decades to tarnish one's image, as the victim would like to say, truthfully or otherwise.

Then again all of you must have seen the index and the middle finger go up in a V as an accused (alleged criminal or political captive or car smasher or rapist) is led to or out of court or jail. That too is a political gesture, most abused if any. Don't be surprised to see even a convict go through that routine. Although it could insinuate a load of other needs and emotions, we have always assumed that the two-fingered V means victory after British wartime prime minister Winston Churchill, but it was actually the director of the BBC Belgian-French programme during Second World War, Victor de Laveleye, who first suggested in a broadcast that Belgians use a V for victoire and vrijheid as a rallying emblem.

It definitely means something awfully unprintable in the UK and also its English-speaking former colonies Australia and New Zealand, and in Ireland and South Africa, if the V is made with the palm facing the person showing the sign.

On a nicer note, it could also mean the guy was looking for a something symbolised by the number 'two', as opposed to the one conveyed by the little finger. Since 1960s palm outwards officially stands for 'peace' and today to mutely say 'okay'. We could improvise V to mean for 'valobasha' or 'very bad'. So what the guy in shackles wants to show is anybody's guess.

Yet another political axiom has gained reputation over the years for its use as a pep-up pill for those politically distressed, rightfully or otherwise. Every now and then you hear speakers at public meetings, respondents in interviews, talk show guests, and the accused saying that this is not the last government. The suggestion is that the present government will not be returned in the next elections and it will be then their turn to turn the table. Little do we ponder that while it is so true that this government is not the last, hardly do we remind ourselves that neither is the next.

Also you will have seen, read and heard that whenever someone lands in trouble, be it a politician for abuse of power, a businessman for evading income tax, a university teacher for falsifying information in a job application, a signature forger, a youth for eve-teasing, anybody for doing something illegal – the all encompassing, all evasive statement is he (or she) has been made a victim, usually political and often by interested quarters against his (her) Himalayan status. They hardly ever say they have not done the crime, nor do they protest the allegation with documents and evidences. Instead, they unleash falsehood on their accuser. They (the criminals, not convicted and free) fear not the wrath of the future, because they forget this life too is not the last.




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