Vol. 4 Num 213 Wed. December 31, 2003  
Letters to Editor

Former PM's observations

This refers to a news item covering a former prime minister's address to a rally organised by Bangladesh Non-government Primary Teachers' Association at Paltan Maidan on December 26, 2003 (DS 27.12.2003).

From the list of speakers it is very difficult to distinguish this organisation from an 'Awami Primary Teachers' Association', if there was any. This is the saddest example of corrupt practice of politicising everything from the root level. If the leaders of this organisation change their colour when their demands are met by the present government, shall we see the incumbent PM addressing the same rally organised by the same men and women?

But my observation is aimed at the release of statistical data by our former PM regarding corruption and other issues allegedly perpetrated by the present government. It is very apparent up to what extent a former PM could spit venom against a government which has not completed even half its tenure.

The former PM has said that the present government has released 70, 000 criminals from jails. Is it so? Can she bring some acceptable proof in support of her claim? Thousands of alleged criminals are languishing in our jails without trial, some for real crimes others for their political attachments. Those lucky ones having this or that political connection are getting bail on which no government can have any control, until we change our criminal laws enacted more than a hundred years ago. But, in any case, the number is not 70,000, nowhere near it.

The present government, after coming to power, lodged criminal cases against many of the opposition leaders including the former PM. But could the government influence the honourable courts to keep them in jail? Or is it an act of kindness of the present government to their political opponents?

Most satirical is the former PM's data about grabbing of state money by the ruling party men, the amount of which is a horrendous Tk 24,000 crore. Where did she got this data? Is there any organisation which can support her if she is challenged in a court of law for this kind of ugly attacks. Does she know what is our development budget and what will be the figures in terms of percentage of the development budget?

The last Awami League government deserves some credit for raising the literacy rate . But again this was the result of the present PM's bold decision to waive tuition fees for girls up to class ten. In no way literacy rate can fall to 60 per cent from 65 per cent in two years as claimed by the former PM.

Our only desire is to see the country prospering, who is ruling is a matter of secondary importance.