January 2014


BNP has made a mistake! BNP has missed the election train! Khaleda Zia must repent now! I keep hearing version of this argument from various quarters, including individuals in whom I have a great deal of faith and who judgment I regard as sound.

What would have happened if BNP would have participated, and hypothetically, won the election? Would Sheikh Hasina have handed over power to Khaleda Zia and meekly left Gono Bhaban? “I can tell you that Sheikh Hasina will not hand over power. It can only happen over our dead bodies.”  Was Mr. Wazed speaking only in the context of coups, or was it a general statement, encompassing all foreseeable future possibilities? Bangladesh is the country of double standards. That the horrific and murderous attacks on our Hindu communities happened while Awami League is in power, following an Awami League “victory”, with Sheikh Hasina herself handling the Home Ministry, is still somehow all evidence of BNP-JI’s diabolical nature. If the hypothetical victory had actually happened, we would immediately have seen an outcry, and a plausible excuse not to hand over power to BNP.
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I was driving back from Florida last week. While passing through the gorgeous plantation-style homes and palm trees in my route, it suddenly came to me what Khaleda Zia should have actually said on the 29th. Instead of attacking the people of an entire district, which is unfair, since they do not bear collective responsibility for the action of certain individuals. She should have lamented, “Gopalganj is too small to be its own country, and too large to be a mental asylum.”*

But Gonobhaban, I think, is just the right size to be a mental asylum. And the current occupant of Gonobhaban is now spreading her own brand of insanity to the rest of Bangladesh.

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