Catch-22 is a term, coined by Joseph Heller in his novel Catch-22, describing a general situation in which an individual has to accomplish two actions which are mutually dependent on the other action being completed first. A familiar example of this circumstance occurs in the context of job searching. In moving from school to a career, one may encounter a Catch-22 where one cannot get a job without work experience, but one cannot gain experience without a job. Catch-22 situations are also sometimes called the chicken or the egg problems.The prototypical Catch-22, as formulated by Heller, considers the case of a U.S. Army Air Forces bombardier who wishes to be excused from combat flight duty. In order to be excused from such duty, he must submit an official medical diagnosis from his squadron’s flight surgeon, demonstrating that he is unfit because he is insane. According to Army regulations, any sane person would naturally not want to fly combat missions because they are so dangerous. By requesting permission not to fly combat missions, on the grounds of insanity, the bombardier demonstrates that he is in fact sane and therefore is fit to fly. Conversely, any flyer who wished to fly on combat runs implicitly demonstrated that he was insane and was unfit to fly and ought to be excused, and to be excused this person would only need to submit a request. Naturally, such flyers never submitted such requests. Of course, if they did, the “catch” would assert itself, short-circuiting any such attempt to escape from combat duty.
This seemingly irrational situation does have a rational basis: sanity is a prerequisite to discovering one is insane. If one submits a request to stop flying because one is “insane,” it shows enough sanity to recognize one is insane. In other words, one has to be sane to recognize one’s own insanity.
In terms of pure logic, Catch-22 can be expressed as: “C requires (implies) A and B; If A then not B; If B then not A,” In this example, in order to leave, you must be both insane and request to leave. If you’re insane, then you can’t request to leave. If you request to leave, then you’re not insane. Therefore, you can never leave.
The reason I resort to this detail history lecture on catch 22 is because my beloved bangladesh is in catch-22 situation kow. All thanks to the acts of our smart technocrate-editor-lawyer-military government.
So the plan B has just been implemented,subjecting Bangladesh to an imminent catch-22 situation.
Both AL-BNP has decided boycotting election or any discussion about it. So now we are faced with a prospect of a boycotted elction that we wanted to avoid. And on the face of the boycott, the possible options are,
1. Participation of alternate bracketed BNP,AL along with the kings party. Mainstream AL-BNP will boycott the elction in demand of the leaders release. Very soon we are back to the paltan situation we saw during the last days of BNP government. I am already hearing the slogans ” ek dofa ek dabi, M…. tui kobe Jabi?” and a combined opposition in the streets.
2. One mainstream joins the elction while the other boycotts apparently after an understanding between kings party and either of BNP/AL a la 1986. Question, on what face this govt now will release one leaderess keeping the other in jail? Naturally, the leader who would refuse to compromise and prefer jail, will be the real hero of the 1/11 revolution of honestocracy.
3. Both mainstream decides to join the elction and they will definitely do this with their traditional symbols. In this scenerio what will be the fate of Amu, Mannan, Razzak or Suranjit? Do the king’s party has any chance against nouka or Dhaner shish? Or the elction will be engineered to snatch the symbols away and bar the winning candidates of two main parties from participating by convicting them with corruption? Didn’t the 1/11 happen to prevent an engineered election?
4. Do anybody have any other option but those I mentioned above? If so please tell us. Until then we remain entangled in the catch-22 of this century.
God Save Us.