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<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 111 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

June 27, 2003

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Bat and a Bottle
for a


Now the Australians are great cricketers, no doubt. But they are lousy politicians. Or else how could they, or to be more precise their prime minister, quite unnecessarily raise a media fury about a Bangladeshi convict. Arey Bhai! Since itihash is a chatter-box based on facts, it is well established that that land became white-dominated only because the British sent their pale-faced convicts down under hundreds of years ago. So what is all this fuss about only one Bangladeshi with some alleged criminal record landing up on their shores? If the Aussies were diplomatic, they would do better by hushing on the matter. The world now knows them as good cricketers, but if desperate desperados with sugar-coated reputations start talking in Bangla, they would also find out about their dark past. Let him be.
In a reciprocating gesture, as a symbol of growing bilateral relations between the two friendly nations, there were budgetary arrangements being made to host some of you guys from Australia as valued added tourists in Bangladesh. Yeah! In true Omar Khayyam style. Let it be said we have always been a kreetogyo nation. However, a little but strong baagra was given by some juice-less guys who protested vehemently against the reduction in price of beer-sheer, sherry-werry, wine-vine, whiskey-twiskey. Things may not have been that bad until someone discovered that his jainamaz (prayer mat) would cost 15 percent more. Now you know that Bangladesh is a moderate Muslim country and....
Since when are we a moderate Muslim country! I beg your pardon. We were like this even before our independence in 1971. Compared to open bars in Karachi and other cities in West Pakistan, Dhaka was abstemious. The Dawn newspaper in Karachi at the time advertised bare-bellied dancers performing in different hotels and bars in the City. Judging from the photos they were obviously belly dancers. Our film actresses then were performing almost in a ghomta. But president Yahya (Hic!) and his henchmen (Hic! Hic!) spread news among his very illiterate Army (they did not have Internet facilities) that the Bangalee in East Pakistan were becoming non-Muslims. And the best way a drunk general thought of tackling the so-called 'non-Muslims' was to annihilate them, consider raping their women a legitimate move.
Yahya was not the last Pakistani general who would be talking under the influence of intoxicants when it came to matters regarding Bangladesh.
Very recently the Pakistan Cricket Board chief, also a general, has been talking about the report on our WC (that's world cup, but you would not be blamed for thinking in terms of plumbing) debacle. A very well known Naval officer former national cricketer, national cricket manager and president of Bangladesh Cricket Control Board and another senior civil servant prepared the report. The findings and recommendations, considered delivered without fear or favour, and therefore first revealed by Daily Star Sport, were generally appreciated. But the general's frying pan was on fire two thousand miles away because the report, among other things, also blamed Bangladesh's never-heard-of-before or after Pakistan coach, Mohsin Kamal. Instead of appreciating and demanding the sporting courtesy of any coach to voluntarily admit that the failure of his team was also at least partly due to him, the general blindly defended his countryman. At least one general has not changed in the last 32 years.
While the PCB boss was being loyal to his nominee (it has been suggested in the press that Mohsin Kamal was recommended by the general), we have again failed in our national responsibilities. Bangladesh Cricket Board officials should have blasted the PCB president for speaking out of turn. BCB should stand by the two-member inquiry committee, formed by its president.
If you ask me, Mohsin Kamal was a Pakistani plant to jeopardise Bangladesh and BCB's preparations and performance in the World Cup. This was their way of avenging their most humiliating defeat at Northampton in the 1999 World Cup against Bangladesh. Phir aapne yaad dila diya.
We telephoned 1245 readers to seek their opinion on the three issues discussed this week. The results are:
Opinion poll 1
Should Australia allow Bangladeshi convicts into their country? Yes 57%. No 21%. I already live there; I am here on a holiday! 18%. Will respond after court decision 4%.
Opinion poll 2
Should the price of alcoholic drinks be increased? Yes 63%. Why not! (Hic!) 17%. Too zapped to respond 8%. Tauba tauba 12%.
Opinion poll 3
Should Mohsin Kamal apologise for his team's debacle in the 2003 World Cup? Yes 38%. Who is this Mohsin Kamal? 33%. It was not a debacle, it was expected 23%. Shell shocked 6%.
Were the polls fixed? Of course, it was. Almost every opinion poll is.


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