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    Volume 11 |Issue 33| August 17, 2012 |


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Current Affairs

The Farewell

With tears in their eyes, people bid adieu to their favourite queens

Shakhawat Liton

Many dukes and bishops of the kingdom, including the two archrivals, have been working relentlessly for the last few months to complete the preparation of the mega event of giving a farewell to the two highly respected Queens on the eve of their retirement from politics. They are working under a national steering committee. A few months ago, the national committee was formed headed by the chief of the Grand Assembly of Elders.

The chief was at first reluctant to lead the committee. But some senior dukes and bishops resorted to using Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India, to persuade the chief to lead the committee. They strongly defended their decision by quoting Nehru: "… represents the House. He represents the dignity of the House, the freedom of the House and because the House represents the nation, in a particular way…becomes the symbol of the nation's freedom and liberty."

The main venue of the gala event is the Dokkhin Plaza of the Grand Assembly of Elders. The entire parliament building premises, Tonic Mia Avenue, Purnima Uddayn and other adjacent areas will turn into a human sea. People will join the celebrations to honour the two queens for their contribution in consolidating the Kingdom's monarchy. The day will be a public holiday. The steering committee has already invited some foreign dignitaries to be present at the event. Some renowned poets were requested to write poems in the honour of the two ladies. International media has already started to visit the dream Assembly area to let the event be known to the dukes and bishops and other people of their own countries.

Last week, a group of journalists of the world's four most influential media outlets visited the capital and interviewed the chief to prepare reports. The steering committee hopes that besides all the local satellite television channels, some of the world's most influential television channels will also broadcast the event live. Three five-star hotels have been kept reserved for foreign dignitaries and international journalists. All will come to the kingdom, a country which became a model on this planet under the leadership of the two queens who governed their subjects for the last two decades.

Due to their relentless efforts, the kingdom has become the world's first country free from corruption, political violence, and human rights violations. It has turned into a heaven on earth. People of the kingdom are now ready to celebrate the retirement of the two ladies from politics.

Foreign journalists have already found one thing very interesting. The Anti-Corruption Commission of the kingdom is left without any work. It sits idle. It has been very difficult to find any irregularities in any government projects, or any financial anomalies in any public purchase. It is now about to forget when it last filed a case against a politician on charges of alleged corruption. The Comptroller and Auditor General office is facing an almost similar situation. They carry out auditing, but do not find any financial anomalies in public expenditure. The Human Rights Commission very rarely gets approached by the people. The Information Commission does not need to work as all the public offices willingly disclose any information. There is no killing force in the kingdom.

The Assembly of Elders of the kingdom has already got recognition as the planet's best such assembly. Bishops and dukes across the world come to witness the proceedings when it is in session. Many bishops and dukes of the Assembly of Elders visit foreign parliaments and deliver speeches about parliamentary norms and values, and they share their experiences. It has been possible for the relentless efforts of the two top ladies, who are devoted to the parliamentary monarchy.

Before they became active in politics, the Assembly was dysfunctional; dukes and bishops used to use abusive and vulgar words when they spoke. There were numerous instances of abusing privileges by both dukes and bishops. Opposition dukes and bishops boycotted the House proceedings frequently. The opposing queen boycotted almost all of the sittings in the past Assembly. There were no friendly relations between the rival dukes and bishops as if they were enemies and wanted to eliminate the other from politics. Many dukes, bishops and others were killed in the past. The kingdom witnessed a shocking wave of political violence in the streets.

But after the two ladies became active in politics, everything started to take a new look. They did not allow dukes and bishops of their own clans to use any indecent words in the Assembly. They used to brief them before every session. They used to advice young bishops how to speak in the Assembly. By means of the ardent efforts of the two queens, the Assembly formed a special committee with senior bishops to monitor Assembly proceedings to see whether any bishops use any indecent words or abuse any Assembly privileges. The committee used to come up with a report before the Assembly after every session and make recommendations on things to do to improve the situation. Every week the Assembly holds a discussion on various subjects. Bishops can speak freely and frankly. There is no bar on them to express their views. When they speak in the Assembly, people hear them with great interest. Every year they disclose their wealth statements. Both the ladies used to hold meeting at the Assembly lobby and discuss many things. There is a friendly relation between the clans. Now, violence and street agitation have become a thing of the past.

For their active role, the media was given the constitutional protection to make reports on the Assembly proceedings. Now, journalists of newspapers, television channels and radio stations are well protected by the constitution when they report on the Assembly proceedings, as none can file a case against them if they make reports without distorting the proceedings.

Civil society leaders are now frequently invited by the Assembly bodies seeking their opinion on various issues, particularly on legislation proposals. Journalists are allowed to be present and to cover almost all of their meetings.

A group of foreign journalists last week travelled outside of the capital. They wanted to know about the rural areas of the kingdom. They have been astonished to see the changes in the towns and villages. People in the rural and semi-rural areas are also taking preparation to join the celebration. In their own areas, they have formed dozens of committees and sub-committees on their own to take part in the preparation. Chiefs and members of different local government bodies are leading the gigantic works in the areas. The local government men are very much happy with the role the two top ladies played in strengthening the local government institutions, which are turning into models of local governance across the world.

Foreign journalists are curious to know what will happen after the two ladies retire from the monarchy. Will the kingdom be able to find competent politicians like the two ladies? They talk to people and find them nonchalant. The two ladies have not only governed the country over the last two decades, but they also built their clans in a way that no-one has become indispensable in their respective clan. After their retirement, a new leader will be elected to the clan's top post. There will be no dynastic politics. They hate it very much. They believe in true monarchy. They are daughters of democracy. So, people love them and they are eagerly waiting to celebrate the grand farewell.

The writer is Senior Reporter, The Daily Star.


All places, characters, institutions and events described in this article are fictitious. Any resemblance to any person or institution living or dead is purely coincidental.

Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2012