Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

The Bangalee nation as a whole is prone to getting too emotionally carried away and end up overdoing things. When General Ershad fell in 1990, the emotion of the common mass was overwhelmingly in favor of a westminister type parliamentary democracy and against a presidential system. That resulted in a constitutional ammendment to cripple the presidency into a do nothing no power guy. Over the next 15 years ( except during the CTG periods) our presidents routine was to go attend janaja prayers, pay tribute to graveyards and treat occassional visitors with tasty Bangavaban chef made Koljee-Shingara. And now after 1/11, we have a president, who although officially should have more power, has in fact much less than even what the presidents in the last 15 years had. This poor guy probably even can’t go anywhere without someone’s permission. He deserves it. Actually he deserves worse. And he reminds me of the famous/Infamous Khandkar Mustaque Ahmed (the then President) quote on 3 rd November 1975, ” Amare Chhair deo, ami Rickshaw daika Aga Mosi lane a choli la jai”. (Aga mosi lane was Khondkar Mostaque’s life long residence).


We now have a chief advisor (Prime minister equivalent), on whom the nation had high hope. But 6 months later, the question comes whether Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed, the chief advisor, is living upto the expectation. In addition to couple of speech in government electronic media, his presence were mostly limited to tree planting ceremonies and attending graves of national leaders. The nation has also seen his excellence in speech writing. He usually gives two to three hour long speeches with plenty of quotes from Tagore etc. Even in a tree planting ceremony he would deliver his Tagore studded 3 hour speech. Recently he fainted while attempting that in scorching sun in a tree planting program inTangail. It is learnt that Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed writes his own speech. He must have a lot of time in his hand after running 5 ministries on his own and supervising all other ministries and brainstorming on a political solution to the current crisis. Writing a 3 hour ( at least 30 page) speech with dozen of Tagore quotation must take a long time.

Or is it why he has just delegated 21 of his major home ministry job to home secretary who in turn again re-delegated them to the police, and the armed forces chiefs? Now in Bangladesh its like ” Amra Shobai Raja Amader e rajar Rajotte”.

Now Dr Fakhruddin can better spend his time find the right Tagore quotation for his next speech at another tree plantation ceremony.

New Political Storm

A storm is rapidly forming in Bangladesh’s political horizon. As thunders are not supposed to be heard during the winter, political storm should not form under a state of emergency. But it is happening and apparently under the direction and patronage of the people enforcing the state of emergency.

What is reform

Most striking thing about the reformniks is the similarity of the wordings, contents and style of presentation of the reform proposals. In a very brief rundown,

1. Reforms are being proposed by one leader at a time in a press conference at his home. The reformists are going distances to make it look like that it is his personal proposal. e.g. Mannan Bhuiyan didn’t allow anyone to sit beside him while reading out the proposals. Same thing was done by Tofael and Razzak.

2. All three proposals presented so far are strikingly similar. It mostly proposes removal of current leader by imposing a term limit, establishment of a joint leadership, implementation of accounting transparency etc.

3. All the proposals made sure that the current leader will be out of the scene.