Editor's Mind

It is important to bring the qualified in front in times of crisis

Publish: 01:32 PM, 23 Jul, 2022


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Load shedding has been announced across the country after a long era. 1 hour in Dhaka. 2 hours outside Dhaka, somewhere even 3-4 hours. In Dhaka too, there have been complaints that the area-based schedule of load shedding is not being followed. Somewhere there is load shedding for 2-3 hours. People cannot accept load shedding in a country that was under 100% electricity for quite a long time. The appearance of the crisis in the economy is no longer a secret. Bangladesh is facing the highest inflation in nine years. A country's inflation rate exceeding 7 percent is a bad news. It makes life miserable for people with limited income. On July 19, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics released the updated inflation data. It shows that the inflation rate in the country is 7.56 percent. There is no good news in foreign exchange reserves either. After two years, the reserves have fallen below $40 billion. If expatriate income does not increase and import spending is not reined in, the crisis will only get worse. The Prime Minister herself has acknowledged the crisis. He said, "The Russia-Ukraine war has caused suffering for the common people." That's why Sheikh Hasina requested everyone to be frugal.

 

Just as unwanted and unexpected crises come in the life of individuals, so too a state can be in crisis. Oftentimes the person has no responsibility for the crisis in their life, they are suddenly faced with a harsh reality without any input of their own. In 2020-21 we have seen many such incidents around us. Many lost their jobs and fell into indescribable misery. In the current crisis in Bangladesh the role of the government is very little. This crisis is not created by the government or the people. Bangladesh is a victim of global situation. The world is now in turmoil due to the US and Western sanctions against Russia. Because of which Bangladesh is faced with such brutal reality. In such a situation, it is the government's responsibility to take the people's side. To assure Respect for citizens, express sympathy. To empathize with their suffering. It is important to present the reality openly to the people. The current government has been in charge of running the country for more than 13 years. Leaders and workers of the party in power for a long time, members of parliament, ministers - all need to be modest, humble and restrained in this situation. So that the people can feel that the government is with them on this and they are trying.

 

It is not possible for any government to deal with such a situation alone. In this global unrest I have observed one positive thing in the government. The government has not been shy about acknowledging the reality. Rather, they have taken some practical steps from the beginning. They have not kept the people in dark. Rather, the real situation has been highlighted to the people. But nobody seemed sincere except Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in being restrained and modest in the crisis. Rather, in some cases, the responsible persons are interested in spreading fear among the citizens by threatening them. Some people are creating irrelevant controversy. What’s the point of talking about when to turn on and turn off the AC in the mosque? People are already in discomfort at this time. Is it really that necessary to talk about these things? The instruction to close the shops by 8 pm has been given before Eid. No one disagreed with this. Even in many developed countries of the world, shops are not kept open after noon. It is the responsibility of the law enforcement agencies and the concerned authorities to see if anyone keeps the shops open after 8 pm. Why does the Minister of State for Electricity need to shout about this? Was that really necessary? Amid the power crisis, the state minister is threatening to disconnect power. Why? Now is not the time to intimidate people. Nor can it be the culture of a democratic government. However, some people of Awami League who have been in power for a long time have now become boxers or wrestlers. When the people are depressed due to economic and power crisis, some MPs become busy showing off their expertise in wrestling. They beat each other in discussion. Someone is beating the principal; someone is beating another elected public representative! They are disoriented by the influence of power. In this situation of the country, they should stand by the people as public representatives. Reassure the people. But they are doing the exact opposite. As a result, the reputation of the Awami League and the government is getting ruined. It is not just a few parliamentarians who are behaving irresponsibly. Except for a handful of ministers, most of the cabinet members have already proved themselves incompetent. They have no role to play in this crisis. Some are avoiding to take responsibilities. Apart from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, how many trusted people are there in this cabinet? These ministers pour praise on Prime Minister sheikh Hasina. But how many obey the Prime Minister? How many respect ordinary people like Sheikh Hasina? On the contrary, some people are making the people angry with their words and actions. The political image of this government is pale except for the prime minister. It is very important to bring forward the political structure of the government in this difficult time. It is very important to bring qualified people in charge. Awami League is the people's party. People are the life force of the party. There are many people in this party with whom the people still have deep spiritual ties. Awami League leaders and workers at different levels have stood by the people during Corona. Many on their own initiative have delivered food to people in need. Awami League, Chhatra League, Jubo League leaders and activists have cut the paddy to help the farmers. In this flood, Awami League leaders and activists have stood by the flood victims with utmost compassion. This Awami League is very different from Lathial MP or ministers who talk incoherently. Compare the members of the cabinet and the Awami League leaders who are outside the cabinet, excluding Sheikh Hasina. What a huge difference. Are there any leaders in the government like Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Begum Matia Chowdhury? Ok, let’s not talk about these senior national leaders. How many leaders like Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif, Bahauddin Nashim or Mirza Azam who are always connected with the people in the field are in the current cabinet? Most of the members of this cabinet cannot read people's mind. As can Sheikh Hasina. A large part of this cabinet cannot speak the language of the people as their own. As the Prime Minister can. Sheikh Hasina formed the government for the second time in 2009. At that time, she did not include many heavyweight leaders in the cabinet for logical reasons. Despite that, there were nationally known political figures like Begum Matia Chowdhury, late Syed Ashraful Islam, Abdul Latif Siddiqui, Abul Mal Abdul Muhith in that cabinet. Burned-out politicians like Nurul Islam Nahid or Jahangir Kabir Nanak gave that cabinet a political face. Awami League came to power for the second consecutive time in 2014. This time the prime minister brought back the heavies in the cabinet. Not only from Awami League, but also from 14 parties, prominent political personalities like Rashed Khan Menon, Hasanul Haque Inu got a place in the cabinet. By winning the 2018 election, the Awami League president brought a surprise to the cabinet. Tajul Islam got an important ministry like local government as a minister for the first time.  Dr. Abdul Momen got the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after becoming the member of the parliament for the first time. It must be admitted that Sheikh Hasina wanted to give opportunities to newcomers. Perhaps she also wanted to separate the government and the party. But many did not consider ministry as a valuable opportunity to serve the nation. Some have considered it as 'Aladdin's lamp'. Many have thought it was a job of comfort. They did not understand the meaning of the opportunity given by the party chief. Some of them are so unintelligent that they don't even realize their incompetence. People get confused whether to laugh or cry, when a minister claims to be successful after endless incompetence and failure in dealing with Corona. Even when the minister talks about his helplessness over commodity prices, he still values his chair more than the party, the country and the leader. When the Malaysian labor market is trapped in syndicates, why doesn't the minister feel the need to resign? There are many such example. These incompetent ministers have now become a burden to the government, they have shown their incompetence to the maximum. Luckily, Sheikh Hasina was there. Who watches over everything. Basically Sheikh Hasina has handled everything alone for the last three and a half years. She dealt with the situation herself without removing the minister who failed in Corona. She also had to take the initiative to control the market. From the rescuing the playground to the Padma Bridge, Bangladesh is in its current position because of Sheikh Hasina's continuous monitoring.

 

We know that Sheikh Hasina is a visionary, prudent, courageous and philosophical statesman. But she needs comrades, loyal followers. Just as a Messi or Neymar cannot always win the game alone, this also applies to running the government. Some dedicated colleagues, comrades are needed. Those who will work to implement Sheikh Hasina's thoughts. Those who will understand her political thought, philosophy. When the ministers could not keep pace with the prime minister, the bureaucrats began to fill the void. The head of government has to rely on the bureaucrats due to the Covid situation. At that time, she had no other options to deal with the situation. But bureaucrats do nothing but their own interests. All their work has a price. In return for the work they have done during the Corona period, they have taken over almost all the state institutions. From the Election Commission to the Human Rights Commission, from the Anti-Corruption Commission to the Information Commission - all state institutions are now in the hands of the bureaucracy. It was the Awami League that set the precedent of appointing creative economists and scholars to the post of Bangladesh Bank governor. After 21 years in 1996, Sheikh Hasina appointed a creative banker like Lutfar Rahman Sarkar as the Governor of Bangladesh Bank with the responsibility of managing the country. After the end of his tenure a wise personality like Dr. Farasuddin was made the Governor. Dr. Farasuddin was a bureaucrat, but he is better known as a traditional economist than as a former bureaucrat. In 2009, Sheikh Hasina appointed an exceptional scholar like Dr. Atiur Rahman, the 'economist of the poor', as governor of Bangladesh Bank. This institution is now in the hands of the bureaucrats. More specifically, Bangladesh Bank is now the post-retirement address of Finance Secretaries. But in the current situation, more than a newly retired bureaucrat, there is a need for economists with brilliant innovative thinking like Dr. Atiur Rahman, Dr. Abul Barkat. The newly appointed governor is undoubtedly an efficient administrative officer. But while staying in the document for a long time, he may also look for the solution of the current crisis in the document. Bureaucrats do not or cannot solve any problem in the long term. They ignore creativity and want to work on a routine. A powerful bureaucrat advanced his career by inventing a 'quick rental' solution to the power crisis. Now that quick rental is a thorn in the neck for the government.

 

This is how bureaucrats do not think about the future. They want to prove themselves 'efficient' by solving the problem immediately. Just as the government has to break the shackles of bureaucracy to deal with the current situation, it is also important to bring the government back to the political stream. The question may arise; will the crisis be solved by making senior heavyweights or popular leaders as ministers? The crisis was not created in the country. How will changing the minister bring solution? The most necessary thing to do now is give courage to the people. Eliminate their uncertainty. After successive recommendations by the bureaucracy 'no reason to panic' statement will not bring relief to the people. Sheikh Hasina's message must be conveyed to the people. There are many such qualified leaders in Awami League. They have flaws, there are also past slips. But in this crisis they will be the worthy partners. People will trust this. The nation will be unburdened by the unworthy. About a year ago, Corona, economic crisis, peasant revolt has downward the popularity of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Meanwhile, on July 9, 2021, he reshuffled the cabinet by sacking 12 ministers. It is a widely used democratic strategy. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also done this in different terms. Even before the 2014 elections, she inducted heavyweight leaders in the election cabinet. She did not hesitate to change the office of a tried leader like Syed Ashraf during difficult times. The Prime Minister was praised for removing Colonel (Retd) Farooq Khan from the Ministry of Commerce. There are many such examples in Sheikh Hasina's 18 years of running the country. This crisis is a global reality. Now the Awami League have to stand next to the victims with compassion and love, as they stand by the people in all crises. It is now time's demand to bring forward the qualified people in this crisis.



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Editor's Mind

What if BNP comes to power again?

Publish: 10:00 AM, 01 Oct, 2022


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October 1, 2001. How many of us remember this day twenty-one years ago? On that day, a national parliamentary election was held in Bangladesh under the caretaker government. On July 13, 2001, a peaceful handover of power took place for the first time in the history of Bangladesh. After ruling the country for 5 years, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed over power to the non-partisan caretaker government led by Latifur Rahman. The election was held on October 1. At around 10 o'clock at night, it is understood that the BNP-Jamaat alliance is going to get an absolute majority. But there is still much left of the dangerous surprise. All BNP-Jamaat cadres attacked on Awami League leaders and supporters at that night. Like 'Operation Search Light' in 1971, murder, rape, looting and arson started all over the country. A hellish festival. The cries of innocent people drowned out the jubilation of BNP-Jamaat just in a moment. The non-partisan neutral government-controlled law-enforcement force was like a lifeless statue. Today is that October 1, when Bangladesh saw the brutality of revenge and shivered with fear. Exterminate opponents like German Nazis - Bangladesh has seen a terrible form of wild savagery. On that day, a senior journalist was telling me – ‘this is the beginning of the downfall of BNP’. Minorities were killed in the elections from October 1 to October 10. Awami League's leaders and workers were 'eliminated' and the campaign to build Awami Free Bangladesh was carried out. There was no law in the country during those 10 days. The will of BNP leaders and workers was the law. Then on October 10, Begum Zia-led BNP-Jamaat coalition government took oath, taking Bangladesh into an uncertainty. How was Bangladesh from 2001 to 2006? How many people remember that 'Ayame Jahilia' period? In 2006, BNP made the then president Dr. Yazuddin the head of the caretaker government. In fact, the key to power was in the hands of Begum Zia. Originally: On January 11, 2001, the BNP-Jamaat misrule in this country came to an end, when the military-controlled caretaker government took power.

 

Since then, BNP has been out of power for more than 15 years. Out of power for 15 years is a bitter experience for a political party born in the womb of power. It’s like a fish out of water. The party, which had been out of power for a long time, had not broken up. That's a surprise too. Struggling to survive, the party has now called for the fall of the government. After bringing down the Awami League government, they announced the re-introduction of non-partisan neutral government system. The party leaders are directing the workers to participate in these programs with batons. Another leader is satisfied with it. He wants to level up. He advises workers to go to rallies with bigger batons. Police and administration have been given advance warning. A political party can offer such a program to come to power. It is a good strategy to organize and energize the workers before elections. But my surprise lies elsewhere. Listening to the BNP leaders, it seems that they are like angels. White man from heaven. When a political party approaches the people, they should be transparent and clear. A man is both good and bad, so is a political party. Self-criticizing, realizing the mistake and correcting them is the responsibility of any political party. BNP was in power for two terms. As a citizen, I expected that BNP would go to the people after admitting the mistakes they made in their terms. But listening to the BNP leaders, it seems that the people of Bangladesh were in heaven during their rule. But how was actually Bangladesh at that time?

 

On Wednesday, I saw the BNP Secretary General angry over the incident of beating the Chhatra Dal leaders. I saw him on television saying, "Chhatra Dal leaders and workers were beaten in medieval style on the campus of Dhaka University." Mirza Fakhrul said, "The government is attacking the opposition party in a fascist manner. BNP activists are being beaten and killed indiscriminately." First of all, it is not democratic etiquette to obstruct, beat or attack the peaceful program of the opposition party. Those who did it in Mirpur, Banani, Bhola, Munshiganj, did injustice. Awami League and the government did not benefit from it. The damage is done. But can the BNP leaders put their hands on heart and say that they did not do anything worse than this while they were in power. Will the BNP leaders take a look at the pages of the newspaper from October 1, 2001 to October 10?

 

In March 2002, Awami League leader Bahauddin Nashim was arrested from the airport. According to Amnesty International's report, “His hands and feet were tied during his imprisonment in police and army prisons in Dhaka. He was hung upside down against a ceiling fan with a bag covering his head. Every part of his body including buttocks, knees, hips, arms and genitals was hit with bottles filled with water. He was tortured in various ways for five days.” Not only Bahauddin Nashim. Personalities like Dr. Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, Shahriar Kabir, Muntasir Mamoon were remanded by the police and brutally tortured. What will BNP leaders say about the selective killing of Awami League leaders across the country like Ahsanullah Master murder, Shah SM Kibria murder? I do not want to say anything again about the grenade attack of 21 August. But can BNP's 'saint' leaders say with their hands on heart that they are not responsible for the incident. It needs to be said that what some miscreants of BCL are doing is inexcusable. Few days ago, a leader of Awami League was saying, "All the achievements of the government are being destroyed by Chhatra League." From Eden College to Chittagong. From tendering to rape. There is no such complaint that is not against the Chhatra League. But when you criticize others, don't you look in the mirror a little? What did their student organization 'Chhatra Dal' do when the BNP-Jamaat alliance was in power? Let's reminisce a little. After the announcement of the October 2001 election results, all the educational institutions were taken over by the Chhatra Dal. On October 2, they occupied the halls of Dhaka and Jahangir Nagar University. On October 18, a leading daily of the country had the headline 'Top Terrorists and Cadres in the Halls of Dhaka University'. The incident that happened last Tuesday (September 27) in Dhaka University, the same incident happened twenty-one years ago, on October 13, 2001. When the BCL wanted to enter the campus, they were severely beaten. Many Chhatra League workers could not even give the exam. On November 3, Chhatra League workers were indiscriminately beaten in Chittagong. This is how the BNP-Jamaat's program to destroy the Chhatra League went on for five years. Chhatra League was not taken to stand in any educational institution in the country. Did any leader of BNP say, “We are saddened by the activities of Chhatra Dal during the time when BNP was in power. If we come to power again, the opposing student organization will not be attacked in this way.” Is the Chhatra Dal committee is better than the Chhatra League? After forming a huge committee of 302 people, 32 people were excluded. BNP leaders dropped them because of extortion, rape and drug dealing. Chhatra Dal workers themselves say that Chhatra Dal is a haven for non-students, murderers and drug addicts. So, what will these Chhatra Dal do if BNP comes to power?

 

One of the issues that BNP is protesting now is 'load shedding'. Common people have forgotten the past. The painful memory of suffering from electricity. But how did BNP leaders forget Kansat tragedy. Does the Khamba story not cause pain in the hearts of BNP leaders? If the BNP which gave 12 hours of load shedding now criticizes one or two hours of load shedding, then it must be understood that the party does not think about the people. Tarique Zia is the current acting chairman of BNP. He was the 'Shadow Prime Minister' from 2001 to 2006. The country ran on his words. At that time, he said, 'No government can ever provide uninterrupted electricity.' Can Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir say that they will provide uninterrupted electricity when they come to power? If they do, then won't Tarique Zia be called a liar?

 

The crocodile cries of the BNP leaders about the price of goods are also quite noticeable. It is true that, commodity prices are out of control due to the Russia-Ukraine war and the endless failure of the Ministry of Commerce to regulate the market. Some ministers' words have gone to such a level that they have forgotten what their responsibilities are. I saw a minister saying a few days ago, "I will consult with the Minister of Agriculture to decide whether eggs will be imported." Eggs are not under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Agriculture. Eggs are the subject of 'Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock'. But inspired by the minister's words, the agriculture minister continues to make exciting statements about eggs every day. Awami League leaders also admit that these incompetences have set the market on fire. But was the period of BNP the era of Shaista Khan? At that time Professor Abul Barkat’s research found that, “2 lakh 86 thousand crore rupees have been looted from the market by increasing the prices of daily necessities including rice, dal, oil, salt, sugar, diesel, kerosene.” The average per capita income of Bangladesh was less than half of what it is today. At that time, a kg of raw chili rose to Tk 160. All commodity prices nearly doubled in five years. Is it reasonable to abuse others without accepting responsibility for that failure? Can Mirza Fakhrul guarantee that the price of goods will decrease, If BNP comes to power again?

 

Sharodiya Durga Puja is at the door. Lately BNP Secretary General is very enthusiastic about minorities. But how was the minority community when BNP was in power? After BNP's resounding victory, the country's minority communities were subjected to the most ruthless brutality. How will the minorities of this country forget the rape of Shefali, Purnima, Krishna? Amnesty International expressed its concern in a report saying that "An unjust program of extermination of minorities is being implemented silently in Bangladesh." Durga Puja started a few days after the BNP-Jamaat alliance came to power. The headline of a daily was 'Autumn Durga Puja begins in somber atmosphere all over the country.' On October 21, there were reports in various dailies of the country about idol vandalism, extortion and looting in Miresarai and Sitakunda. During the rule of BNP-Jamaat coalition, Sharodiya Durga festival meant idol vandalism and panic. Does the BNP regrets? Has BNP ever apologized to the minority community?

 

Almost all BNP leaders are economists now. Almost all BNP leaders are economists now. They give enlightening speeches like a parrot about the country's reserves, economy, foreign debt etc. Few days later, I asked a BNP leader, how much was the reserve when BNP was in power? He looked at the sky for a while and said, I don't know. But I am sure BNP leader Rizvi knows everything. I was astonished. So I researched a bit and found out a different story. Before Awami League came to power in 2009, foreign exchange reserves never exceeded 10 billion dollars. From 2001 to 2006, the foreign exchange reserves were between 1 and 5 billion dollars. Within a year of coming to power, the finance minister held an emergency meeting with donors. In that meeting on November 6, 2003, the finance minister said that the economy is in serious crisis. Need urgent help. Development activities in three hill districts were suspended due to severe economic crisis. On November 9, Deputy Minister Moni Swapan Dewan said 'this decision is due to the economic recession'. In the 2003-2004 fiscal year, an eight-point budget was revised at the behest of donors. At that time, Saifur Rahman said, "If you take a loan, you have to listen to foreigners." From this, it can be easily understood where the economy has reached in the last era. Those who complain about $37 billion are just being ignorant. There has been corruption, money laundering in the last era. But there has also been immense development which has changed the image of Bangladesh.

 

BNP leaders often say, " Awami League has taken over everything during the tenure of this government." So, what was the occupation of Dhaka City Corporation when the BNP was in power, the occupation of the Liberation War Parliament by breaking the lock under the leadership of the Minister of Liberation War, removing the Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University in the dark and occupying the Vice-Chancellor's chair? BNP came to power and occupied all the suites of the parliament building. The then speaker, Abdul Hamid, said that his chair should also be guarded from the hands of the BNP occupiers. (07 October 2001, Daily Ittefaq).

 

BNP out of power for 16 years. Surely they are in pain. There is a strong appetite for power. But there must be self-realization with it. There should be remorse and repentance. First of all, BNP should apologize and repent for their past actions. But recently, the arrogance of the BNP leaders is evident. We can get an idea of what might happen if BNP comes to power again.

 

BNP Secretary General said 'Begum Zia will be Prime Minister if BNP comes to power. In her absence, Tarique Zia will take over.' He said in an interview, 'These two are strikers and finishers.' Then BNP will take over the Supreme Court when it comes to power. Last time they amended the constitution to make their former leader the Chief Justice. This time the member of the standing committee should be made the chief justice. Therefore, the law and the constitution must be changed. Even a fugitive, convict can become a prime minister, minister, member of parliament. BNP leaders are strongly against development. They often say the development balloon has gone flat. All is Awami pretense. Only corruption has happened. If BNP comes to power, then Padma bridge will be demolished. Metrorail, Karnaphali tunnel will be destroyed. All development marks including Rooppur nuclear project.


BNP leader Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said that there has been looting in the power sector. So all the power plants will be shut down. People will work during the day in the light of the sun, the wind of nature. And will shower in the moon light at night. The country will be blessed.  


Listening to the talk of BNP leaders, it seems that the real problem is the name 'Bangladesh'. So if BNP comes to power, it will change the name of this country. The secretary general of the party said a few days ago, "Pakistan was better." If BNP comes to power, the slogan will be "Let's go back to Pakistan." If BNP comes to power, will Bangladesh become Pakistan again?



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Editor's Mind

Maria Krishna Sabina and one Sheikh Hasina

Publish: 10:00 AM, 24 Sep, 2022


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Tears rolled down my eyes when Krishna Rani Sarkar scored the third goal against Nepal. Couldn't contain my emotions. I guess many like me were overwhelmed with emotions on September 19. There are many doubts, uncertainty and disappointment in Bangladesh right now. Our cricket is stuck in the quicksand of failure. In the meantime, this extraordinary success of our girls is like a heavy rain in the desert. This is not just a SAFF win. I don't see it as just a tournament victory. This victory is a victory against fundamentalism, victory against evil. This victory is the victory of marginalized people. This victory is the victory of indomitable fighting Bengali women. 11 of them seem to have answered many questions. While some people are sleepless about what women should wear. When women are being harassed for their clothes; When teenage girls are choosing to commit suicide in depression; Even in this era, when the path of women is becoming inaccessible again; Sabina, Rupana Chakma, Maria Manda, Krishna Rani Sarkar were like a shinning diamond. It is like they lit a torch and showed the way to all the women of Bangladesh. On the day before the final, Sanjida Akhter wrote on her Facebook, ‘In the final, we will not play on the field as a footballer, eleven fighters will be on the field. Many in the team have come hare after losing their father, taking the last possessions of their mother, selling their sister's ornaments, some being the only support of the family. We are used to fight the battle of life.’ Everyone knows how these women's team have struggled to achieve this, thanks to our media. These women have achieved the impossible. By now we all know how they survived the game despite the formidable conditions. Story of Kalsindur Village, Sabina's Battle in Satkhira. Now we know the story of Moushumi's struggle in Ramjibon village of Pali Chara in Rangpur ignoring the bloodshot eyes of the conservatives. Contributions of ousted coaches like Mofiz Sir of Kalsindur, Coach Milan of Rangpur, Shantimoni Chakma of Rangamati and Birshen are also being discussed on social media. Golam Rabbani Choton raised them like a father, not shying away from the identity of ‘girls' coach’. Since September 19, I have been impressed by reading various articles and features about this in all media of the country. I am overwhelmed with emotion. But unfortunately, most of the media has implied the man behind the rise of women's football. Her name is not in the discussion. But without her, I doubt if our women could play football at all. She is Sheikh Hasina. Why are we so reluctant to take the name of the one who contributed the most to the development of women's football?

 

A few days ago, Kalsindur's daughter Maria Mandar said in an interview to the media, ‘We used to play football for fun. We would not have come this far if the Prime Minister had not started primary school football in her mother's name. At that time, I did not even know that I could earn money and go abroad by playing football. Now I know the value of football. Many people have money but not everyone goes abroad. How many people have the chance to meet the Prime Minister? We met him a few times. She gave us money and adored us.’ From Maria Manda's statement, the background of the rise of women's football in Bangladesh can be found. Her name is Sheikh Hasina. Under her patronage women have brought this honor to the country today. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has paved the way for our indomitable girls.

 

Our politicians have a peculiar disease. Finding his party's share in any achievement. Wants to take all the credit alone. Covers the happy memory in mud while trying to prove its their achievement. For example, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. On September 21, the women's team of Bangladesh returned home winning the SAFF Women's Championship. They were given a royal welcome in an 'open bus'. Meanwhile, Mirza Fakhrul suddenly discovered a new information. He said in a press conference at the BNP Chairperson's office on Wednesday, 'Saff Games women's football was launched by President Ziaur Rahman.' Fakhrul said, 'I saw Dana (Kamrun Nahar Dana) in the newspaper, who was once the head of the Women's Federation. He said, ‘The first tournament started during Begum Zia's government despite many hurdles.’ Readers note, if Zia (who died in 1981) started SAFF Women’s Football, then how did Begum Khaleda Zia, who became Prime Minister in 1991 or 2001, launch the first tournament? How come a politician give such gibberish speech. That is why common people consider their words as entertainment. Are our politicians increasingly turning into comedians? BNP Secretary General has recently been discussed for discovering various information. His Begum Zia laid the foundation stone of the Padma Bridge. Begum Zia was a freedom fighter, or Khaleda Zia's human rights medal - All of these creates a great deal of humor in politics. However, I believe that this information that, Zia is the father of SAFF Women's Football, will cross the borders of Bangladesh and enter the world's comedy store very soon. Because the Women's World Cup first started in 1991, 10 years after Zia's death. Only 12 countries participated in the first Women's World Cup held in China. Women from only three Asian countries participated in the World Cup. The countries are China, Japan and Chinese Taipei. Not only that, before 1986, FIFA, the governing body of football, did not allow women to speak in their meetings. When this is the history of women's football in the world, then Mirza Fakhrul's statement, 'Saff Games women's football was launched by President Ziaur Rahman', might make you confused whether you should laugh or cry. Originally: After the Women's World Cup in 1991, FIFA started the process of globalization of women's football. At one point, FIFA made women's football mandatory for its members. In this context, in 2003, the Bangladesh Football Federation was on the brink. The statement given by Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir quoting Kamrun Nahar Dana is also a kind of distortion of information. In 2003, a women's team called BFF XI was formed. A team from West Bengal of India was brought to play a friendly match. But BNP's main ally Jamaat and more fundamentalist organizations threatened against the game. They even surrounded the stadium. As a result, out of three matches, only one took place. The remaining two matches were abandoned as Begum Zia's government surrendered to fanatics and fundamentalists. This is a story that ended before it even begun. How will the government proceed with women's football? War criminals, the top two leaders of the fundamentalists were ministers then. Then women's football was boxed.  Who knows how many Rupna Chakma, Shiuli, Shamsunnahar in the remote areas have given up football with heavy heart and just got married? If Fakhrul talks badly, then no one from the ruling party will behave badly, how is it possible? The Ministry of Sports welcomed the women's football team at the airport. Then the 'open bus' procession. But strange incident happened after they went to BFF. Pushing those away who brought victory, the state minister, secretary and BFF president took the seats. It seemed that these are the ones who just arrived from the Dasharath Rangasala

in Nepal. Sabina was standing in a corner, Choton was like an outside spectator. The press conference in BFF proved once again that some people lose their common sense when they are in power. These officials are not only clueless; they also have no discernment. Who will convince these ignorants that, this is the achievement of Bangladesh, not theirs, not any group’s.

 

Even Sheikh Hasina's worst enemies will admit that she is a sports enthusiast. Wherever Bangladesh has played, the Prime Minister's blessings have reached there. Even now while attending the United Nations General Session in New York, she kept the updates of our Sabina, Rupnas. In 2009, she came to power and took initiatives for improvement in sports as well as other fields. Bangladesh women's football era actually started from 2009. Even then, the fundamentalists were on the rise, there was a threat. But Sheikh Hasina did not condone these threats. On the other hand, in 2010, Bangladesh hosted the SAFF Women's Football Championship in Cox's Bazar. In that tournament, Bangladesh women's team defeated Bhutan by 2-0 goals and Sri Lanka by 9-0 goals. But lost to Nepal in the semi finals. Then since 2011, the Bangmata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Gold Cup was launched as a single and personal initiative of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. This nationwide tournament at the school level was actually the beginning of the awakening of women's football. Today's winners come from different parts of the country. Playing well, the indomitable girls of Bengal are showing one surprise after another. And in this awakening, our Prime Minister has provided immense support from behind. She has given financial support to Bangladesh girls whenever they win including AFC-15, SAFF U19. The Prime Minister gave Tk1 lakh to Tk15 lakh to each member of the women's team at various times. Many pundits say that financial donations are not good. Athletes stumble in it. I saw some people trying to say with the example of cricket that, ‘These girls will not pay attention to the game if they get money. But the Prime Minister knows very well that they are playing football by fighting hard against poverty. Without economic power, they will not be able to move forward.’ Economic freedom is a must for women's freedom. They got strength and courage because of the money given by the Prime Minister. Their family accepted their insistence. Not only monetary donations, Sheikh Hasina gave land to many women footballers like Rupana Chakma. Gave a house as a gift. Valued the daughter's wishes. But life doesn't run on gifts and donations alone. This requires financial assurance. Sabina, Swapna, Monika will be disappointed if they don't take sports as a profession. New Rupana, Shiuli, Masura will not be found. Bashundhara, the country's top industrial group, took an extraordinary initiative in this regard. The Bashundhara Women's Football Team was formed with the personal initiative and enthusiasm of the Chairman of the Bashundhara Group. All 8 of the first eleven of the women's team, who won by a clean sweep, play in the domestic league for Bashundhara Kings. Bashundhara Group has freed these women from the fear of uncertainty. Modern training and facilities have made them dream much greater. The contribution of this large industrial family to this awakening of women's football is immense. The Awami League government has given a structure to women's football since 2009. Gave a vision. School football to domestic leagues to national teams, this format is driving women's team forward. A girl now knows it's not just her hobby or addiction. This is her profession. There is both money and honor in this profession. If this trend continues, women's football in this country will go further.

 

But I don't want to confine this victory of Sabina, Krishna or Maria Manda to the joy of winning just a trophy. This victory has multidimensional significance.

 

See the players of Bangladesh Women's Team. It is like a piece of Bangladesh. People of all religions have come together here. Indigenous of the plain land, indigenous of the hill areas, Bengali all of them together made this team. Just like everyone together is this Bangladesh. These young souls, newly adolescent girls, have uprooted the differences of religion, race and caste. This is the Bangladesh that we dreamed of in 1971. Our slogan of independence was 'Hindu of Bengal, Buddhist of Bengal, Christian of Bengal, Muslim of Bengal.' We are all Bengalis. This team of Maria Manda, Krishna and Sabina is a perfect image of that slogan. When the giant claws of fanatical fundamentalists are out again. When our minority communities count hours in panic before the religious festival. Our women's football team is like a piece of yrad in this Bangladesh of harmony.

 

Another thing about Sabina's team impressed me. They are all marginalized communities. These indomitable girls have come from the villages of Bengal. From a very ordinary Bengali family. Some of their fathers are daily labourers, some are farmers, some are petty traders, some are masons. It was once again understood how invincible the power of this common man is. Just like the liberation war of 1971 was the collective victory of the mutts, laborers, workers, farmers. Their victory is also the same. These marginalized people are our strength. The remote towns of Kalsindur, Rangpur, Satkhira, Rangamati are our Bangladesh. These marginalized people are taking the country forward.

 

These girls swam against the tide. They have come this far by fighting against the odds. They have ignored the so-called order of society. They did not care about the mockery of people. Their aim was steadfast. These girls taught us all a great lesson especially women. Obstacles must be overcome. Victory has to be snatched by conquering adversity. With hard work and persistence, the goal will be achieved. This lesson was taught afresh by Krishna, Rupana, Sapna. Not to commit suicide in a little despair. Not to get frustrated with a little failure. Not to choose the path of self-harm on harsh reprimands or neglect. Rather, defeating them is the true meaning of life. Sanjeeda, Shiuli, Monika also left a message for the parents. My daughter wants to read; I will let her. My daughter wants to touch the sky; I will support her. My daughter wants to sing; I will let her. Will not tell her repeatedly, ‘You are a girl. You have to make a family. Must learn to cook for husband. Must clean husband's clothes and shoes. Whether you like it or not, you have to sleep with your husband. He must be kept happy. Your will is not important. You are a devoted soul for your husband. This is your destination.’ Parents who want to train their daughters in this way, want to make them a 'servant of husband' - Shiuli, Sathi, Ritu is the perfect answer. Let us be generous like the parents of Maria, Rupana, Monika. Give fulfillment to our girls' lives. This victory also gave this message to everyone.

 

I found a strange similarity with the life struggle of these girls with the life of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. It is as if they have decided to swim in the opposite direction and reach the golden port. Sheikh Hasina's life is also different. As they have blown the word impossible. Bangabandhu's daughter is like that. Just like they have not given up on neglect and deprivation. Same is the story of Sheikh Hasina. On Wednesday, I heard these girls repeatedly expressing their gratitude to the Prime Minister. All of them were called by the Prime Minister to Ganabhaban at different times. Adored them. Maybe she transmitted her courage and morale to these girls. This September is Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's birthday. 28 September. Before her birthday, the girls who became indomitable by her motivation gave a victory to Bangabandhu's daughter. As Sheikh Hasina dedicated all her achievements for the people of this country. The undefeated also dedicated their victory to the countrymen. The pilgrims of this light are walking on the path shown by Sheikh Hasina. And the destination of that path is Bangladesh for women's liberation.


Maria   Krishna   Sabina   Sheikh Hasina  


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Editor's Mind

Zia brought suit piece, Ershad the cow, Moin the horse, Begum Zia the push in

Publish: 10:00 AM, 10 Sep, 2022


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The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina went to India on a four-day visit at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A formal meeting was held between the Prime Ministers of the two countries on September 6. During the meeting, seven MoUs were signed between the two countries, including pledges for fuel and food aid. India has provided duty free transit facility to Bangladesh. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bangladesh in 2020. At that time, he invited the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to visit India, as per custom. Before such a meeting, there are various meetings between the two countries at different stages regarding the agenda. The final form of these meetings is the meeting of the two leaders. There is nothing to give and take in these meetings. There are various unresolved issues regarding Bangladesh-India. Many of these have already been resolved. On many issues, discussions between the two countries are still continuing. Ganges water distribution, implementation of land boundary agreement, suppression of separatists, border killings, sea boundary disputes, determination of share of common river water etc. were the most important Bangladesh-India post 75 issues. Many of these unresolved issues have been resolved over the past decade. Still there are issues like border killing, Teesta water agreement. In this, border killings have come down a lot. The two countries have pledged to stop border killings in this visit as well. The Teesta water deal is stalled due to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's objection. But the relationship between the two neighboring states is never about give and take. A country's socio-economic development largely depends on its relations with its neighbors. It doesn't matter whether the neighbor is big or small. Mutual trust, confidence and cooperation between the two neighboring states is important for both countries. A good relationship between two countries can complement each other's development. Enmity with a neighbor never comforts a state. India is historical friend of Bangladesh. The relationship between the two countries is bound by blood ties. India's full cooperation in the liberation war against Pakistan in 1971 will be remembered forever. Those who cherish the spirit of liberation war in Bangladesh, never fail to express their gratitude to India for this. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 71 expressed deep respect for the unstinting cooperation of India and Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Besides, he was determined to build a self-respecting Bangladesh. Not loyal to India but the Father of the Nation wanted a respectful and dignified relationship. Accordingly, Bangabandhu prioritized the withdrawal of Indian troops immediately after independence. On February 6, 1972, the Father of the Nation visited India. It was during this visit that he requested Mrs. Gandhi to withdraw the troops. Indira Gandhi kept Bangabandhu's request. The withdrawal of the Indian Army was completed on March 15, before the Indian Prime Minister visited Bangladesh on March 17, 1972, on the birthday of the Father of the Nation. It was Bangabandhu who signed the historic alliance between Bangladesh and India. This historic agreement was signed on March 19, 1972 during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to Bangladesh, which is the foundation of the relationship between the two countries. On May 16, 1974, the Bangladesh-India border agreement was signed at the initiative of Bangabandhu. Through these agreements, the father of the nation took the 'independence' of Bangladesh to a new height. Bangabandhu laid the foundation for a relationship full of mutual respect and dignity between the two countries. Those who opposed the independence of Bangladesh in 71, started anti-India slogans in the hope of cheap popularity in Bangladesh after independence. In 1975, the evil forces that brutally killed the father of the nation with his own family spread hatred for India and spread the conspiracy to turn Bangladesh into Pakistan again. 'Anti-India' was a cheap political trend in the politics of post-75 Bangladesh. The opposite course of the liberation war was revived by the intimidation of 'Bharat Juju'. Opposition of India, opposition of Awami League and opposition of the spirit of the liberation war were gradually combined into one point in a planned manner. When Awami League comes to power, Bangladesh will become a state of India. If the Awami League comes to power, ululudhvani will be heard in the mosque. There will be no Azan in the mosque. etc. various statements were spread in Goebbels style. Zia, Ershad and Begum Zia have continuously tried to mislead the public with these cheap rumors. With these statements, fanatics, fundamentalists and anti-freedom forces have been given an opportunity to flourish.

 

From 1975 to 1996, the hottest issue in the politics of Bangladesh was 'India'. Even in the election campaign of 1996, Begum Zia said in a public meeting in Feni, 'If Awami League wins the election, Feni will be taken over by India (Source: Daily Ittefaq 30 May 1996). But India fear did not work in that election. Awami League came to power after 21 years. After receiving the responsibility of running the country, Sheikh Hasina was able to negotiate the water distribution agreement of the Ganges. The Hill Peace Treaty was another unique achievement of her. Bangladesh-India relations were moving on a normal path again. Meanwhile, India started a 'new diplomacy' towards neighboring countries. On the principle of ‘Not just relationship with one party’ India was keen to develop relations with all political parties in Bangladesh. It is from this interest that India increased its proximity with BNP and Jamaat. A high-level delegation of BNP visited India before the 2001 elections. BNP made a bunch of promises during that visit. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said these things directly in several of her speeches. She said that ‘India's intelligence agency 'R' had a meeting with BNP. In that meeting, 'R' agreed to cooperate with BNP in the election.’ A historic event happened in the 2001 election. A rare unity between India and Pakistan formed in favor of BNP. The head of Pakistan's intelligence agency admitted in a court deposition that the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI had given money to BNP in that election. But after the 2001 elections, India becomes disillusioned. Bangladesh-India border region became a sanctuary for Indian separatists with Pakistani help. After the 10-truck weapons incident, India realizes that 'nothing is more dangerous than a greedy, unfaithful friend.' BNP played an excellent Tata drama at that time. The then energy adviser screamed with joy that Tata was investing in Bangladesh. BNP leaders keep singing chorus, Tata is coming, Tata is coming. But suddenly the Tata song went off. The BNP-Jamaat coalition government has said, "there is no deal with Tata due to gas price issue." But India's influential magazine Frontline broke the bones in the market. They said in an exclusive report that, ‘An influential figure from the BNP government and his friend demanded a huge amount of bribe from Tata. There is no scope for such deviation in Tata's investment guidelines. That is why Tata withdrew from investment in Bangladesh.’ Which means, BNP has not considered the interests of the people of Bangladesh in its relations with India. For the sake of staying in power, they have spread hatred towards India. Also, they gave their all to India to come to power.

 

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has been causing a lot of noise pollution since the beginning of the Prime Minister's visit to India. Mirza Fakhrul said, ‘Every time Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visits, she only gives but cannot bring anything.’ BNP Secretary General said 'I don't want to talk about the Prime Minister's visit to India. We have a bitter and disappointing experience behind us. Every time we hoped that maybe this time, she would come up with something. Every time I have seen, he has only given but could not bring anything.' Is friendship a give-and-take relationship? If a relationship is only about give and take, then that can be anything but friendship. BNP's Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi is tougher than Mirza Fakhrul. He said, ‘Sheikh Hasina has sold sovereignty to India.’ Ruhul Kabir Rizvi is an immense entertainment in the politics of Bangladesh. His words are so hilarious that its hard to take is seriously. Mirza Fakhrul is a wise person. He was a teacher before joining politics. He was an MP; he was a minister. So, his comment will worry us. The Father of the Nation gave Bangladesh-India relations a foundation of respect and equality. But what did the BNP-Jatiya Party and Fakhruddin-Moin U Ahmed government bring from India after 75? I tried to find out a little bit.

 

On 19 December 1977, Ziaur Rahman visited India for the first time after assuming power. A Ministry of External Affairs notification called the visit, ‘Developing the best relationship with the neighbor’. No deal was signed during the two-day visit. No agreement was signed. Zia met Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai at a tea party. There the Prime Minister of India presented a suit piece to Zia. "Anandbazar" of December 20 published an excellent indicative report about this. "Morarji gave Zia a suit piece as soon as he left his uniform." Zia was then the army chief, the chief martial law administrator and the president. The dashing politician Desai gave him a suit piece to convince him that, there is no Bilateral talks with a self-proclaimed president in uniform. Zia made two more visits to India during his reign. On January 21, 1980, Zia visited India to attend the UNIDO conference. Just 7 days before Zia's visit to India, Indira Gandhi made a royal comeback on January 14 through the vote revolution. She again became the Prime Minister of India with an absolute majority. At that time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh could not arrange a courtesy meeting with Mrs. Gandhi despite its best efforts. Zia's last visit to India was on 3 September 1980. Zia visited India to attend the Regional Commonwealth Conference. This time he was able to participate in a photo session with the Prime Minister of India. Zia did not utter a word about Ganges water, border killing etc.

 

After the death of Zia, the then army chief Hussain Mohammad Ershad seized power on March 24, 1982. Ershad came to power and tried to win India's heart. On October 6, 1982, Ershad accompanied Roshan Ershad on a tour to India. According to the news of "Times of India", Ershad presented the rationale for the imposition of martial law and his assumption of power to the Indian government. "Anandbazar" says that Ershad was gifted a pair of cows from India. The following year, Ershad again went to Delhi to attend the Non-Aligned Conference. This time he was able to have a meeting with Indira Gandhi. But Ershad could not even bring the unresolved issue of Bangladesh to the discussion table. Ershad went to India on November 3, 1984 to attend Indira Gandhi's funeral. Ershad's last visit to India was on July 16, 1986. This was Ershad's first and only state visit. In this meeting with Rajiv Gandhi, there was no discussion about the distribution of Ganges water or land boundary agreement.

 

Begum Zia came to power and went on a three-day visit to India on 25 May 1992. It was the state visit of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. In the private meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, the main topic of discussion was to stop the entry of illegal Bangladeshis into India. After the meeting of Begum Zia with Narasimha Rao, pushin started from India. Begum Zia spoke to reporters at the airport after returning to Dhaka after a three-day visit. At that time a journalist asked if there was any discussion about the distribution of Ganges water. Begum Zia said, "I had forgotten about it." Anyway, the push in started after the Prime Minister's visit to India. India began deporting illegal infiltrators back to Bangladesh. The local media claimed that Begum Zia had given a bond in this regard during her visit. After Begum Zia came to power for the second term, on March 20, 2006, Begum Zia went to Delhi with a delegation of 96 members including 40 businessmen. Manmohan Singh's meeting with Begum Zia was full of bitterness. India expresses concern over the activities of Indian separatists in Bangladesh. The two Prime Ministers also discussed the persecution of minorities and emigration of Hindus. The Indian Prime Minister demanded Bangladesh's clear role in dealing with militancy and separatists in the interest of regional security. The meeting was so bitter that the two countries did not even issue a joint manifesto. A joint press release was pledged to work together on all issues, including security and trade. The BNP-Jamaat alliance led by Begum Zia left power creating a terrible political turmoil. In this context, one-eleven government led by Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed came to power. The main authority of this army-backed government was in the hands of the then army chief General Moin U Ahmed. In February 2008, General Moin U Ahmed went to India on a five-day visit at the invitation of the Indian Army Chief. During that visit, Bangladesh Army Chief had a courtesy call on Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He held an important meeting with Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee. General Moin U Ahmed returned with six horses after a 5-day tour.

 

Following the words of BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, I tired found out the history of the visits of the heads of government of all periods to India. Apart from Father of the Nation Bangabandhu and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has anyone else been able to bring anything from India to the people of Bangladesh? In the first term, Sheikh Hasina signed an agreement on the distribution of Ganges water. In his second term, she implemented the land boundary agreement signed during Bangabandhu's time. The treaty was signed in 1974 but was not ratified by the Indian Parliament. Zia, Ershad, Begum Zia no one even tried to implement it. Due to Sheikh Hasina's successful diplomacy, the enclave's life in captivity ended. Sheikh Hasina settled the sea dispute. She took initiatives to stop border killings. This time she has collected the share of the Kushiara river water. Brought transit facilities. On the other hand, she adopted a zero tolerance policy towards separatists and restored trust and confidence between the two countries. The Prime Minister's visit was very important in the global context. Especially, when the world is speeding towards a Great Recession. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister went to India and brought assurance of food and fuel for the people of this country during the emergency. Those who don't understand how big of an achievement it is, are actually sinners of knowledge.


BNP   Zia   Khaleda Zia   Ershad   Bangladesh   Politics  


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Editor's Mind

Bureaucrats know all, can do all

Publish: 08:02 PM, 03 Sep, 2022


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I was watching Asia Cup match between Bangladesh vs Afghanistan. Our batsmen were more busy coming and going than staying on the crease. I was upset. At this time, a friend called. He asked me, what are you doing? 'Watching the game' I said nonchalantly. My friend is famous for many innovative ideas. He said, do you know what is the real problem of the Bangladesh cricket team? I got a little excited. I asked, what? In reply, my friend said, the real problem is that we do not have any bureaucrats in our cricket. Bureaucrats are wise. They know everything and can do everything. They are in every sector except sports. Why is the government spending so much money bringing Sriram, Jamie Siddons? Instead, some retired bureaucrats would have been rehabilitated if they were given responsibility. Foreign exchange would have been saved too. Sports fans like you would not be disappointed anymore. I was somewhat amused by his hidden humor. After hanging up the phone, I gave it some thought. And there is no doubt that Bureaucrats have now become a rare creature roaming everywhere. I started playing question and answer with myself alone.

Question: Who is the most discussed writer in Bangladesh now?

A bureaucrat. His name is Nabirul Islam. He is an Additional Secretary. He has written 29 books before even becoming a secretary. Ministry of Public Administration has taken the initiative to buy books worth about 10 crore rupees to increase knowledge and study habits of government officials. A list was also prepared for this. The list selected 29 books by the famous author in hiding. Wicked journalists don’t study. They don’t even touch the books. They unnecessarily made a fuss about it. As a result, the Ministry of Public Administration canceled the entire list of book purchases. But so what? Writer Nabirul's name has spread widely. He is the most discussed writer of this time. 

Question: Who's words are causing a stir in Bangladesh at the moment?

A former bureaucrat. The election is still one and a half years away. Suddenly he announced One fifty-One fifty formula. That's it! Everyone gets evolved. A war of words began. And does the political war stay in words? Never. The war now spills over into the streets. Awami League-BNP clashes are being reported every day. I am talking about our Chief Election Commissioner. Since assuming office, it seems as if he has taken the great responsibility of rousing the nation, instead of election. He is energizing the slumbering nation with one word after another. In the electoral history of Bangladesh, there has never been such a tense face-to-face war situation a year and a half before the election. We have to thank the former bureaucrat-turned Chief Election Commissioner for this. If there is no political heat in the country, how does it work? Ex-bureaucrat Kazi Habibul Awal is constantly working hard to keep the people in a spontaneous state of mind. 

Question: Who is the biggest defender of human rights in Bangladesh?

Of course, a former bureaucrat. The Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission is a former bureaucrat. This institution has been completely taken over by bureaucrats. The organization has been so successful that 'human rights' have now become a national issue. Not only a national issue, 'human rights' are now considered as a potential export product in Bangladesh. There have also been reports of forgery of UN certificates. Everyone is talking about human rights, except the bureaucrat controlled commission. Did anyone bring human rights to the footlights in this way? 

Question: Who owns the most money in the country?

Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) of course. And the chairman of BPC is a running bureaucrat. He is also a secretary. When bureaucrats are the head of an organization, they run it like private property. So the owner of BPC is bureaucrat. Keeping more than 40,000 crore fixed deposits in various banks, the BPC chairman often laments about financial difficulties lately. In this question-answer game, I saw that everything is now in the hands of the bureaucrats. Respected bureaucrats have also occupied some share of the absolute reign of praying by the Imams and Maulanas. Padma Bridge Inauguration Day special prayers were not read by Khatib of Baitul Mukarram or Pesh Imam of Bangabhaban. It was read by the sweetheart of the bureaucrats. There is no such thing as a press wing of the government now. The Prime Minister's message is not delivered by his press secretary but the bureaucrats. Just a few days ago, the Prime Minister held a meeting with the tea garden owners regarding the salary and wages of the tea workers. At the end of the meeting, the Chief Secretary gave a speech. Several ministers were present in that meeting. But they did not speak to the media. 

The bureaucrats have taken over the entire banking sector of Bangladesh. Bureaucrats reign the district administration. Even in the upazila, the bureaucrats rule. Almost all government institutions have now become retirement clubs for the bureaucrats. Some bureaucrats now get reborn after retirement. With new initiatives they enter somewhere in the government.  They participate in a biscuit race after retirement to at least get the position of chairman of a bank if they don’t get any position anywhere else. This growth of bureaucrats has been going on for an age. The salaries of bureaucrats are now enviable and lucrative. There is no reason to think that corruption has decreased after salary increases. The success stories of the bureaucrats have spread abroad. The mountain of wealth of "honest bureaucrats" Canada, United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates is head-turning. A group of intelligent bureaucrats move to air-conditioned countries after retirement. Come to the country occasionally. The development path of bureaucrats is very clear and straightforward. Right after entering the service, various privileges, both legal and illegal, are spread like a net. The level of facilities is now so much that a fierce competition to become a bureaucrat has started in the country. Passing the public service examination seem to be the only goal behind the education style, dedication, anxiety of public university students. BCS examination has now emerged as a terrible disease for the education system of the country. When we studied in university, Dhaka University Library, public library was the place to acquire knowledge. I used to spend two full days a week in the library. Our Dhaka University library is full of various interesting books, not only law books. A few days ago, while attending a seminar, I entered the library of life and was shocked. It has now become a reading room for BCS examinees. Now the main dream of most of the students of the country's public universities is to become a bureaucrat. Not just ordinary students, doctors and engineers too are no longer interested in their profession. They also want to be bureaucrats now. A medical student studying in a government medical college costs the state Tk2-2.5 crore. A medical student studying in government medical college pays Tk9 tuition fee per month and Tk10 hall seat rent per month. For admission, one has to pay one time 10 to 15 thousand taka only. But admission in private medical college requires 20 to 25 lakh taka. Other expenses are several times higher than government medical colleges. Government medical college students are studying with common people's money. The state is giving this huge subsidy out of an expectation. After the education they will treat the people. People will not go abroad for treatment. They will each be like Professor Nurul Islam, Professor ABM Abdullah or Deen Mohammad. But now they are changing profession. The same is the case with engineering university students. Most of them do not want to be like Jamilur Reza Chowdhury or Ainun Nishat now. They want to be a bureaucrat. Analyzing the results of the last five public service examinations, it can be seen that out of 1,980 officers in the administration, foreign affairs and police cadres, 387 are engineers and doctors. The question is, why do students of engineering and medical science want to become bureaucrats? Benefits in government jobs are same for all cadres. Engineers or doctors can earn a decent amount of money in legitimate ways in their profession. Yet they want to be bureaucrats. Why? The reason is ‘Power’. Bureaucrats are now more powerful than any other profession. That's why everyone wants to be a bureaucrat now. Unfortunately, neither doctors nor engineers were keen to join the administration cadre. Doctor's promotion is like crossing the stormy sea. When the best talented student enters the cadre allocated for him from BUET or any engineering university, they get whipped by those who passed from History or Bangla after failing to get admission in any university. On the other hand, promotion in administration cadre is only a matter of time. They gradually get promoted to Additional Secretary. Unless their dear friends or elders make them BNP-Jamaat. Once they enter the administration cadre, they rise above law and justice. If a junior officer in the administration cadre commits corruption in the asylum scheme, his punishment will be a transfer. If Deputy Commissioner is involved in a sex scandal and his offending video goes viral on social media, his maximum punishment is demotion. If a bureaucrat holds a court in the middle of the night and beats up a journalist, takes him out of his house and files a drug case, then his maximum punishment will be suspension of salary for two years. But there is no reason to be afraid of this. He will be exempted from this punishment by the power of the President. If a foreign cadre is dealing marijuana abroad, he cannot be prosecuted under existing laws. He has to face a departmental inquiry. That's it! Later, he will be posted again when the matter is hidden from the public eye. So much for the crime of small and medium bureaucrats. In the case of big bureaucrats, these punishments do not matter. Everyone knows about Shahed scandal during Corona. He is in jail. But no one could do anything about him under whose patronage Shahed had become the darling of the administration. Health ministry secretary's room was like Shahed’s own house where used to give various orders. The former Director General of the Department of Health has been accused in Shahed's case. And the secretary exits safely and is now spending time in intensive retirement. What is the difference between the two crimes? One is health cadre officer. That is why he is still walking around the court balcony. Another is an administration cadre officer, so he sleeps peacefully. And the one who made 'Shahed' a fraud with affection is out of touch. The bureaucrats are now so overpowered that they do not obey even the instructions of the Prime Minister. A year ago, the prime minister ordered the bureaucrats to submit an account of their assets. But that directive has not been implemented till date. Bangladesh has entered into a vicious cycle of terrible bureaucracy. Now bureaucrats have become bigger politicians than politicians. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh has given a historic verdict recently to overcome this situation. The bureaucrats cleverly got the government to amend an unconstitutional law to exonerate themselves. According to that law, the prior permission of the authorities was provided for the arrest of government officials and employees. On August 25, the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh gave a historic verdict. In that judgment, Section 41(1) of the Public Service Act was declared invalid as inconsistent with several articles of the Constitution. The judgment was announced by the Division Bench of the High Court Comprising Justice Md Mujibur Rahman Mia and Justice Qazi Md Izarul Haque Akand. This judgment is a milestone in establishing good governance and ensuring justice in the country. As a result, it will be possible to bring the bureaucrats under accountability. This judgment will go a long way in curbing rampant bureaucratic aggression. But I am disappointed that the Minister of State for Public Administration said in the National Parliament that the government will appeal against this verdict. In other cases, ministers talk but do not act. In this case, the speedy action of the state minister Bahadur is worth seeing. The government approached the Appellate Division to save the bureaucrats on September 1 within seven days of the High Court verdict. The chamber court stayed the High Court verdict till October 23. Why is the government taking responsibility for the misdeeds of some bureaucrats? Why the rogues cannot be caught or touched. Bureaucrats are above the constitution? A small bureaucratic group is formed during all governments. They please the government with flattery. Fails the good initiatives of the government. Misleads the government with wrong information. It takes no time to change their volume after the plot is changed. In 1975, bureaucrats who used to zikr the name of Bangabandhu did not take the time to become the obedient slave of Mushtaq the murderer or Zia. The bureaucrat who wrote his PhD thesis praising the Zia Canal cutting revolution soon became the policy maker of Awami League. The bureaucrats who were enlightened by Ershad's Raj Sabha became Minister-MPs on BNP tickets soon after Ershad's fall. During the Awami League period, Bangabandhu's memorable bureaucrats turned into Zia soldiers when BNP came to power. Bureaucrats are like chameleons. Color changes as time changes. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's real strength is the marginalized people of this country. Sheikh Hasina has repeatedly proved that she is not dependent on anyone in running the country for more than 18 years. No bureaucrat has a permanent address in the Prime Minister's office. Even before the 2018 elections, bureaucrat, who considered himself the Deputy Prime Minister, is now a 'Nobody'. No one is indispensable to Sheikh Hasina. 

Some bureaucrats are doing a lot of damage to the country for personal gain. Many government institutions are being destroyed by the greed of salary, house and car after retirement. Now is the time to get rid of them. The High Court judgment has created that opportunity for the government.

I started this article with the cricket story of my friend. The end of his story is like this: I asked him what would be the benefit of giving the responsibility of cricket to the bureaucrats? In reply, the friend said, Bangladesh would not have even played against Afghanistan. If bureaucrats took control of Bangladesh Cricket, you would see Bangladesh playing against Nepal, Hong Kong, Kenya, Zimbabwe. Lose less, win more. That's it! Bureaucrats would then explain their success of our cricket with statistics. Get awards for making outstanding contribution to cricket development. While we will play Dugdugi and sing 'Aha ki Ananda'.


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Editor's Mind

Alas human rights: Whom do you belong?

Publish: 10:59 AM, 27 Aug, 2022


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Shefali Rani Das. She slipped and fell while fetching water from the pond, when she was 23. The lower part of the left leg got infected due to poor treatment. Later her left leg was amputated above the knee. Shefali, the mother of two children of Charfashan, was living a crippled life with one leg. But after the election of October 1, 2001, the crippled Shefali was not spared. On October 2, the day after the parliamentary elections, terrorists attacked Shefali's village. While the other women fled across the water and mud, Shefali, on crutches, could not cross the waist-deep water. Instead of helping a helpless crippled woman, the terrorists capture her. Took away her honor. In October 2001, such incidents happened indiscriminately across Bangladesh. "We are not so sorry for the goods looted by the terrorists. But how can we forget the shame and humiliation of the attack on the dignity of those women." This is how a Hindu woman of Charannadaprasad village in Lord Hardinge Union of Lalmohan Upazila of Bhola spoke of her helplessness after the 2001 elections.

 

Today, when some quarters are complaining about human rights in Bangladesh, I am reminded of October 2001. In the meantime, a documentary called 'Aynaghar' is being widely circulated on social media. In the documentary, a Malaysian expatriate is like the hero of a Bollywood film. Blindfolded, he told me where and how he was taken by which road. Another almost unnatural ex-army officer recounted how he was ordered to kill various people during the time of Babur (Lutfuzzaman Babur). He also gave a confessional statement that he committed extrajudicial killings in Rajshahi, Chittagong. He swore that he did not kill anyone innocently. Wow. So Babar, the State Minister of Home Affairs of the BNP government, would have ordered the killing without court, law, or trial? After the Ayanaghar documentary, the BNP leaders started chanting the name 'Ayanaghar'. Civil society started condemning and criticizing. Human rights violations in Bangladesh are now a serious issue. How strange! After seeing all these drama question comes to mind, alas human rights: Whom do you belong? A deeper analysis of the reason for the outcry of some people after Michelle Bachelet's recommendation and the Ayanaghar shows that this campaign is aimed at achieving a specific goal. This campaign has targeted the army, the symbol of Bangladesh's independence and sovereignty. This campaign is against the state. Against the existence and sovereignty of Bangladesh. The campaign aims to question the armed forces, the symbol of our sovereignty.

 

In 2020 and 2021, similar foul play began against Elite Force RAB. In February 2021, Al Jazeera aired a controversial documentary called 'All the Prime Minister's Men'. In this controversial report, some fabricated allegations were presented against them. On December 10 that year (2021), the United States imposed a ban on RAB. Those who made 'All the Prime Minister's Men' are the ones who made the documentary Ayanaghar. Now their target is the army. The crocodile cry on the issue of human rights in Bangladesh began during the trial of war criminals. Since 1975, the anti-independence forces had flourished. In 2008, the Awami League announced war crimes trials in its election pledge. At the time, few believed that the war criminals would finally be brought to justice. But Sheikh Hasina does what she says. He also started the trial of war criminals with infinite courage. Haider Akbar Khan Rono, a senior leader of the Communist Party, told me, "If Sheikh Hasina had not been the Prime Minister, even if the Awami League had been in power, the war criminals would not have been prosecuted." However, when the war criminals were prosecuted, the wealthy group hired various international human rights organizations. Such as Human Rights Watch. They were the first to raise questions about Bangladesh's human rights in the international arena. Since then the issue of 'human rights' has become a profitable business. Organizations like HRC raise various complaints against Bangladesh in different countries. The United States wants to know various information from Bangladesh about missing persons and extrajudicial killings. The Bangladesh Embassy in the United States has not disclosed this information. The United States also sent several letters to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh. Wanted to know how true the allegations of human rights violations are. Wanted to know their information with a list of 76 people. The Ministry of External Affairs has played 'musical pillow' on this ever since. An inter-ministerial letter writing competition was held. But did not give United States the right answer. As a result, the US administration banned RAB on December 10.

 

The ambassador of Bangladesh in the United States woke up and said, “Is that so? I don’t know anything about this.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, "This is very unfair." But by then, the damage was done. Those who conspired against RAB have succeeded. Now the conspiracy has started against the army. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said, "An independent commission must be formed to investigate allegations of human rights violations." She proposed setting up of an independent, impartial and transparent investigative agency to address serious allegations of disappearances, extrajudicial killings and torture. A week has passed and Bangladesh has not given any official response to the proposal. Why this mess? Why ignore this?

 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights came to Bangladesh on the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On arrival, she held a meeting with three ministers. On August 15, the day of the biggest human rights violation in the history of Bangladesh, she met 20 people known as critics of the government in a five-star hotel. Before that meeting, "Netra News" published "Aynaghar". 20 invitees spoke in the tone of Aynaghar. Michel said openly during the farewell that she believed in their words. Usually in such cases, the government officials meet at the end. The government has an opportunity to respond to the complaints raised. But in Michelle's meeting, the government or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not took that opportunity. Why? Is it incompetence or part of the conspiracy?

 

I have something to say about the meeting of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights with alleged human rights activists on August 15. Why is such a meeting organized on the National Mourning Day? Did the meeting pay tribute to the father of the nation? A minute's silence was observed in memory of the martyrs of August 15? If the topic of human rights violations of 1975 does not come up in the discussion about human rights on the National Day of Mourning, then it must be understood that the meeting is purposeful and biased. There is a conspiracy behind that meeting. The ghosts of the August 15 killers have become peddlers of human rights.

 

Where was the human rights when the father of the nation was brutally killed with his family in 1975? Where was the human rights when the indemnity ordinance was issued stopping the trial of the murder of the father of the nation? From 1975 to 1996, disappearances and murders occurred constantly. Colonel Taher's murder, thousands of soldiers were killed in prison without trial. Where were our peddlers of human rights?

The rampage of the BNP-Jamaat alliance when came to power in 2001 can be seen from the newspapers of the time: Two Awami League workers killed by BNP terrorists in Feni and Sonagazi (Dainik Janakantha, 4 October 2001)

BNP cadres riot in Mirpur due to voting Nouka. (Dainik Shonbad, 4 October 2001)

Attack on Awami League leaders and activists in the capital. (Dainik Ittefaq, 5 October 2001)

BNP activists cut the limbs of Chhatra League leader in Madaripur (Dainik Prothom Alo, 11 October 2001).

A minority school girl was kidnapped and raped after breaking into her house in Sirajganj. (Dainik Prothom Alo, 12 October 2001)

Newspapers can be filled with such numerous titles. At that time, a scholar was asked, what do you say about this insult to humanity? In reply, he said, 'BNP should be given more time. Let’s forget about the political oppression, killing opponents, rape. But what do you call Operation Cleanheart from October 16, 2002 during the BNP-Jamaat coalition government? 58 people died in Operation Cleanheart. More than 20 thousand people were brutally tortured. After 86 days of this campaign, the 'Impunity' Ordinance was issued. Through this, from October 16, 2002 to January 9, 2003, all the killings and tortures of the joint forces were prevented and impunity was given. I didn't see anyone moaning about human rights then. I have not even heard of any recommendations to the UN. The US has not banned anyone either. August 21, 2004 is another scandalous day in the history of Bangladesh politics. On that day, the Awami League rally was attacked on Bangabandhu Avenue. Where were the flag bearers of our human rights? Is human rights only a weapon to be used against the Awami League?

 

Now there is a commotion about the disappearance of 76 people. The thriller 'Aynaghar' has been made about this disappearance. Looking at the mirror reminded me of the story of Judge Mea. After the August 21 grenade attack, the BNP-Jamaat coalition government discovered Judge Mia. He was made the mastermind behind the 21 August grenade attack. Now, just like Judge Mia, the returned from disappearance is being discovered. The army is being insulted by making false statements with them. It's the same game. Same trick.

 

Now I am shocked when BNP leaders talk about Aynaghar and disappearances. During the BNP-Jamaat alliance, extrajudicial killings and torture took place arbitrarily. What happened in Bangladesh from 2001 to 2006 would have been investigated and judged if it had been in another country. Unfortunately for us. These crimes against humanity have passed as 'political reality'. Now the main issue of civil society is human rights. Some days they raised the chorus that the economy is gone. But when their guardian World Bank and IMF said, there is no economic crisis in Bangladesh. Economy is right on the way, then they focus on human rights from economy. I was amazed at the breadth of knowledge of these learned scholars. They do not have knowledge in any subject! From egg to chicken. From corona to Madonna. Economy, environment, human rights. An environmental lawyer who went to practice human rights on the day of mourning at Michelle's invitation. How did she suddenly become a human rights expert? The narrating economist also gave his well-thought-out views on human rights. If you notice, it will be seen that only 20-25 civilized people in the country have been walking around with binoculars for 12 years to find the fault of the government in all matters. Those who said there will be no Padma Bridge, those who became astrologers saying that Bangladesh will not get LDC graduation, those who laughed that there will be an epidemic in Bangladesh during Corona, the economy is destroyed, those who clinked glasses of red and white wine saying cheers because Bangladesh is becoming Sri Lanka have now opened a human rights shop. Why? To oust Sheikh Hasina? But while defeating Sheikh Hasina, they have declared war against the country itself. Is the human rights situation in Bangladesh so dire? Recently Fox News of the United States conducted a survey on the citizens of that country. In the survey, 67 percent of American citizens said that the United States is an unsafe country. Additionally, Fox News conducted a survey in the wake of gun attacks. The FBI recently raided Donald Trump's Florida home. After that campaign, Joe Biden administration was labeled as human rights violator. United States is the leader of the world. If they violate human rights, no one can say anything. The human rights situation in Pakistan and India is terrible. Amnesty International said in a report, "There is no minimum human rights in Pakistan." But there is no ban on Pakistan! Pakistan was not asked to make an independent commission. The issue of human rights is now being inflated like a balloon to attack this government and Bangladesh. Their goals are very clear. Before the election they will make even more horrible unbelievable lies about the army. The final step of this conspiracy is to ban the Bangladeshi army in the UN peacekeeping mission. Michelle's press conference is proof that they have come a long way in this conspiracy. Various games have been started behind the scenes so that the next election does not take place. Sheikh Hasina has made some policy revolutions in Bangladesh. One of these is the addition of 7(a) to the Constitution. Through this article of the constitution, she has closed forever the way to seize power in unconstitutional ways. The Prime Minister has made another silent revolution by making the army an impartial, professional institution. She kept the army away from its tendency to become an instrument of politics by taking all measures to promote professional excellence. That is why the army now keeps itself away from the political affairs of the country. Here lies the anger and resentment of civil society. That's why there are various complaints every day in the western countries including the United States. As a result, the United States is now talking about democracy, participatory elections in Bangladesh every day. European countries have also followed the United States in the upcoming elections. After participating in the 2018 elections, the BNP has gone back to demanding a caretaker government.

 

The Jatiya Party under the leadership of GM Quader is now behaving like a stranger. In the end, if Jatiya Party agrees with BNP, they will not hold elections. Then again a one-sided election situation like 2014 will be created. At this time, if psychological pressure can be created on the army, then the way for the ascendancy of civil power will be created. I am sure the prime minister knows the ins and outs of the conspiracy of civil and anti-state evil forces. What will she do to counter the conspiracy? The Bangladeshi ambassador to the United States committed a kind of betrayal in the matter of banning RAB. Our foreign ministry has shown incompetence and failure. Here too there may be conspirators. The promising institution called National Human Rights Commission has become a den trash. It is also necessary to look into the conspiracy of the bureaucrats. Now there is a tendency to shelve the UN proposals. So initiatives must be taken now without any delay. There are many worthy people who believe in the spirit of liberation war. They have to be utilized. The battle has begun. Sheikh Hasina must win this battle. For the people of this country. For the existence of the state called 'Bangladesh'.



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