While appearing in the court on June 16, 2008 as an accused in Gatco case Begum Khaleda Zia claimed that her two sons Tarique and Koko are not “faltu loke” (insignificant persons) in our society. In a society where a “personal valet” is catapulted overnight into the position of a national VVIP, an alleged smuggler (now convicted for corruption) is made a minister, Tarique and Koko are certainly not “faltu loke”. Begum Zia is very right to claim so. She ruled Bangladesh for ten years and has been ruling over her party BNP for the last twenty six years with the same perception. What makes the people of Bangladesh in general, and the admirers of Shaheed President Ziaur Rahman in particular, sad is the way Begum Zia, after the assassination of her illustrious husband, groomed her two sons to their present shameful position. If even only 10% of the details of their activities as published in the media after 1/11 is true, it leaves no doubt in the minds of the ordinary people that Tarique and Koko did not grow up in the company of good friends and well wishers. As the sons of President Zia these two young men had no business to be friends of people like…. In the absence of their father, Begum Zia should have been more careful in grooming up Tarique and Koko.
In a democratic polity, no one is a “faltu loke” and no one is above the law. Sooner Begum Zia and our other political leaders realize this, the better.