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      Volume 11 |Issue 33| August 17, 2012 |


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Abnormal politics

Aassalamualaikum ya Rahmatullah (they all said in unison turning to their right shoulder)… At the Eid jamaat the Awami League neta now noticed a BNP leader. He had moved there when the qatars were being filled up to parry the shaitan. He was startled a bit.

Aassalamualaikum ya Rahmatullah (now they uttered turning to their left)… Now the Awami Leaguer saw a Jatiya Party leader. He also knew that the BNP chap had now seen him. He was taken aback by his fate in the congregation, as this does not normally happen in the parliament. But then this was Eid.

They looked straight ahead during the khutba which was a good thing because it gave each of them the time to reckon their prestigious next move.

The Awami Leaguer thought that the BNP-ite should put forward his hands first when it was time to do the right-left-right kolakuli, as his party was now in power. He was not too concerned about the JP guy for what could be attributed to the general apathy towards a secondary jote member.

Worried to bits was the BNP leader as to how his netri and party would react if they saw him expressing brotherhood with their sworn enemy. He looked around to see if there was any photo journalist around. He was apprehensive his party general secretary, acting he may be, would declare the gesture as 'bektigata' and not a party decision. He was rather hopeful that by the time he finished with the AL chap the JP guy would be snapped by someone else.

The JP leader decided during the Arabic sermon, not much of which anyone in that devout gathering understood, that he would take chance during the epic AL-BNP embrace, avoid both of them and rush to his leader who was in their midst. That would keep his party in good stead and allow for advantageous negotiations for the upcoming general elections.

No sooner had the Imam pronounced the kalema to mark the end of the doa, the three national leaders (deciders of our collective destiny) got up looking hither and thither pretending to look for their chappals. But, as is our national culture, fabricated and sustained by each of the parties, three 32-teeth lackeys helped them find and placed the slippers at their feet, as we do our destiny.

The minions then tightly embraced their respective leaders as if to extrude the very spirit of their party ideologies from their bosoms, but in reality were keeping each leader away from the other, as protocol did not permit their mingling. All the three parties won their battle, but the nation lost yet another God-gifted opportunity to bring the country together.

Prolonging the partisan hug with his supporter, the AL man inquired of the BNP leader, 'What did you pray for?' The opposition delegate was yet held firmly by his man, but he managed to voice, 'All our prayers are for a caretaker government to oversee the next elections'.

AL leader: That my friend (actually means enemy) you will never get, as it is a closed chapter.

BNP leader: But we prayed for that.

AL: We also prayed for the national government, to which we have also invited you to join.

JP (in embraced position): The people have rejected both of you. No government can make you return to power.

AL & BNP: What did you pray for then?

JP: That our leader should become the president. That is our only policy to save this nation.

AL: We will make him president if you stick with us for another term.

JP: Why should we believe you?

BNP: Exactly! But we cannot make your leader president, because we have our own candidate, who can only return under a caretaker government.

AL: But, he was in serious trouble during the last caretaker.

JP: Our leader is too great to become vice president.

BNP: That was your government, not a true caretaker.

AL: What do mean by our government? They were all your appointees.

BNP: But, they turned their coats, all three of them.

JP: Turning a coat is not all that bad. Our leader is famous for that. He will do it again to become a president.

AL: That's why we did not make him president.

BNP: But our leader is now ready to take over.

AL: That will remain your dream.

BNP: A caretaker government will fulfil that dream of this nation.

AL: Your 'nation' seems very small.

BNP: We prayed for that.

AL: We also prayed for a non-caretaker government.

JP: Both prayers cannot be answered.

BNP & AL: You shut up.

Even on Eid day our political parties may not be able to bury their hatchets. That is not a good omen for this country.

Ramadan is a month of training to follow the teachings of Islam to refrain from “violence, anger, envy, greed, lust, sarcastic retorts, and gossip, so that we can try to get along with each other better than normal”.

It appears our politics shall remain abnormal for the foreseeable future unless the teachings of Ramadan are taken in their true spirit.

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