‘Irrational’ Comment, Once Again

Probir Bidhan

Probir Bidhan

So, the honourable prime minister could not stop herself but pinching the opposition leader for her unusual appearance on the field at the high-voltage Asia Cup finals at Mirpur stadium. True that Khaleda Zia had never watched Bangladesh match at the stadium, this time she might have been unable to avoid it, probably influenced by the Tigers’ improving skills, cheerful fans and viewers.

The new generation of Bangladesh, the majority of voters in next national poll, is seriously on look for an end to our politicians “personal attack” habit.

But wasn’t it a good gesture for cricket and more precisely, for the country’s politics? Definitely it was, especially when the two parties have currently been in argument over the next polls and a wide range of other issues including the Caretaker Government matter — the key reason behind many multi-level crises in the country’s polarised politics. Khaleda’s presence on the match day, apart from the president’s, was very significant since the national cricketers defeated world champions India and mighty Sri Lanka in the event’s group-level matches.

But Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, five days after the match which Bangladesh lost to Pakistan by two runs, at a party programme mocked Khaleda without naming her and labelled her as a “Pakistan lover” who “turned a cricket fan all on a sudden”. Surprisingly, like the common people’s light talks, the prime minister said the Tigers would have won the match if the “Pakistan lover” wasn’t present at the stadium. Hasina was the one among the three top personalities to have watched two matches of the tournament at the stadium.

Throughout March, the month of country’s independence, Hasina had been blaming Khaleda in public for her allegedly taking money from the Pakistan spy agency before the 1991 polls. Evidently, BNP’s spokesperson in retaliation raised again the issue of Awami League’s coming to power in 2008 polls with the help of sacks of money and advice from India, as reported by UK magazine The Economist.

Meanwhile, Hasina’s repeatedly laughing at the BNP over ISI’s money reflects her efforts to snatch the votes of the main opposition party in the next polls, likely to be held in early 2014. The prime minister’s anticipation arises apparently after the March 12 showdown of the BNP in Dhaka which, despite a concerted effort by the ruling party men and the administration for over two weeks, witnessed hundreds of thousands of people’s gathering — a somewhat successful showdown.

The prime minister might have been irked by another unusual approach of the opposition leader who in late February at a public meeting was soft in her stance against the government and the critics. Apparently focusing on the next polls, she admitted to have committing mistakes, having shortcomings and limitations in the past. She, however, claimed that the BNP didn’t do any misdeed intentionally. It was a success for her as an individual and also the party, at a time when the ruling party chief and her followers have been aggressive against Khaleda and her party.

Even though oral and physical attack and counter-attack between these two major parties, who have been ruling the country for the last 20 years, is not new in the current political culture, the people supporting other parties and those non-political are certainly not approving this nuisance. It can’t be accepted by any democratic and peace-loving individual since the country’s progress, as a whole, is obstructed and thus delayed due to such blame game and non-cooperation between the two key players or drivers of the nation as their supporters follow what the chiefs say and believe.

The new generation of Bangladesh, who are going to be the majority for the next general elections, is seriously on look for an end to our politicians “personal attack” habit. Surprisingly, there’s at least one politician who echoes the peoples’ voice! It is the fresh Communications Minister Obaidul Quader. On the last day of March, he pointed to ‘avoiding tendency’ of the leaders of our rival political parties. In the end he asks, “What kind of politics is this?”

Yes, the minister did not mention any leader; he just amplified the peoples’ quest. Shouldn’t the chief of Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party hear the peoples’ whisper?

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