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        Volume 11 |Issue 12| March 23, 2012 |


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Individuals Make Institutions


If you ask me, parliamentarians should be friends who oppose each other, even if vehemently, for the betterment of a country; to some extent the region and the world. Their friendship need not be as deep as to spell F.R.I.E.N.D.S with the words fraternity, rapture, innocence, endearment, nobility, dependability, and sharing. Nor should it be such that they utter on the sacred floor to their opponent: 'Every morning when I open my eyes I pray to God that everyone should have a friend like you. Why should only I suffer?' Unfortunately, some of them have said worse. Things have gone so far that it may be safer and dignified for bald women to take up politics.

The primary reason for literally taking up arms in the house is to impress the leader with their pretended loyalty, only in the belief that such momentary televised histrionics will lead to a repeat nomination in future polls. You will hardly see such distasteful, demeaning, and destructive tantrums in the absence of their leader. Our only hope is that the leader is not pleased with such needless performances.

We do not need this tamasha at the cost of public money when we have the best news in forty years served on a platter by the 'International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas' whose 14 March verdict granted Bangladesh territorial and economic rights, read sovereignty, over a sea mass the size of the land area of Bangladesh.

The media have failed to catch the full blast of the importance of this Hamburg judgement. I am compelled to say this because our occasional wins against the cricket superpowers have been celebrated with wider headlines and space in print, and more time on the ether. The underplaying could be due to shock and disbelief at the gargantuan ability of a government which is going him-shim to control prices of goods, to cut down on power cuts despite higher electricity generation, to lower deaths on the road, to prevent overloading of launches, to improve law and order.

While some of our predicaments are due to institutional failures, others are due to non-compliance by individuals.

Members misbehaving and fouling the Sangsad air with repugnant verbal is an individual irresponsibility, but failure to prevent repetitions is a collective obligation.

Syndicates controlling the market are the result of the gluttony and impunity of unethical individuals but failure to rope in even one or two of the guilty in the past three decades is official surrender, believably due to pecuniary gains.

Road accidents are caused by erratic driving and even jaywalking pedestrians, but again the failure to arrest, try and exemplarily punish the culprits lie with the government agencies. Here too, it is commonly believed that money exchanging hands is thicker than the blood of the victims.

While it is not yet comprehensible how a road transport leader can well understand the intricacies of vessels plying on water, launches continue to overload due to the greed of the owners and the need of the passengers. But such individual failures and requirements are not being addressed by the concerned institutions, again possibly due to selfish interest of individuals manning them. Only recently nearly two hundred people died in one of the worst launch disasters in the world, yes world, and yet we do not see the wide smile of the minister waning, nor his misconception about overloading. There was a time when a single death would stir the nation. We have walked that much over dead bodies.

This nation can only be built to serve its multitude of hopelessly poor population by the collective positive efforts of individuals and institutions, by the sacrifice of persons and organisations, by the understanding that every single iota of goodness by every single person shall build great administrations.

Here is a quote for our parliamentarians to ponder over: 'Friendship is not how you forget but how you forgive, not how you listen but how you understand, not what you see but how you feel'. But sadly for this nation that votes and votes and will vote, you do not forget or forgive, you do not listen or understand, you do not see or feel. Please do.



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