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       Volume 11 |Issue 45| November 16, 2012 |


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Shunning all Evils


Think no evil: The prime minister was not upbeat about it, most of the ministry officials were against it (DS 13 Nov), and yet the education ministry was mulling, introducing enrolment quota in about a thousand private schools across the country for MPs in their respective constituencies. Who knows why? Such news in the media provokes obvious public uproar as it did, particularly if the binding that the proposed quota was meant for 'poor and underprivileged children' was not given the first paragraph.

Interestingly, whereas many demands of our elected representatives get beyond-due publicity, their need for quota seats in private schools was not at all in the news prior to the ministry leak. It may even mean there was no such requirement, as we already see one MP going public that he would not utilise the quota even if it became law. 'At first I thought, it is they who wanted to get admitted, and so the reserved seats', quipped a naughty one.

With a year or so remaining for the national elections, and given our socio-politico scenario, each and every government movement and decision, now more than at any other time, shall go flat under the scanner. The move has quite needlessly damaged the standing of the government, a dent that it could do without.

Hear no evil: This was also not the right time for our elderly finance minister to bring an Indian laureate into our enduring Nobel dispute. One conjecture is that Amartya may have mentioned to our Muhith that Bangladesh was doing great, but was not being acclaimed likewise by the international fraternity 'because' of our laureate, meaning their displeasure at the government's management of the Grameen Bank, rightly or wrongly, and not necessarily due to Yunus' supposed global anti-Bangladesh government campaign. This was rather the result of independent thinking by the world leaders.

Now the media picks up Muhith at Dhaka, crooning very much the same Sen song that “Bangladesh was doing great, but was not being acclaimed likewise by the international fraternity 'because' of our laureate”. That was assumed automatically to mean Yunus's proactivity, given our mind-set. All that the minister required to do was to be aware of the sensitivity of the issue and carefully word his statement involving two laureates, and go at length to explain the 'because' factor.

The finance minister has been advised voice rest from within the Awami League ranks by no less a person than former minister Nasim. Cotton buds would do wonders too; yes, on the mouth too.

Speak no evil: For quite some time now many, okay most, viewers switch channels to avoid the nightly talk shows, not only because of the snooty all-knowing and supercilious sure-solution statements of the guests, but often because of their indecorous deportment in front of the audience or whatever remains of it. Therefore, it is only imaginable (because we do not see such shows) what filth montri Shahjahan and ex-minister Rafiq may have bartered live on TV, compelling the channel to switch the show off. Such honour is usually reserved for pranksters who surprise the camera by disrobing in public to the amusement of the viewers. They are led away by the law.

It must be understood by the concerned public figures that their action harms them, their leader, their party, and the country, in the reverse order.

There is no programme easier to arrange than a TV talk show; a fixed set, a fixed compere, two eager guests almost at no cost from a pool of fixed panel of guests, a changing topic, and no rehearsal. … lights, voice test, camera, and action! And therefore the inclination of most TV channels for these 'filler' shows that matter no more. Such a dose at bedtime is not recommended unless one's hobby is watching nightmares the rest of the night.

See no evil: The prime minister last Monday cancelled her earlier decision to travel to Pakistan to attend the D-8 conference. Although no official announcement had been made of the reason for the change till filing this report, one can assume it was triggered by Pak foreign minister Hina's 'forget the past' statement at Dhaka last week instead of the expected indication from her of a headway regarding the much-awaited apology from Pakistan for the gruesome crimes committed 1971 by its military forces and civil administration against the unarmed people of Bangladesh. If that be the case, then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina deserves admiration from her people and the world conscience for her praiseworthy stand and continuing commitment towards the spirit of our War of Liberation, and demand for punishment of the war criminals.

This column has maintained since its inception 1995 the justification of the Pak apology (that is a minimum) as well as bringing to book the 1971 War criminals, whatever be their nationality. The Jews and the West are hunting down till today the criminals of 1939-1945. Our nine months was no less a holocaust.




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