Monday, September 15, 2008

Bangladesh: The Return of the Pharaohs

Photo: Begum Khaleda Zia (BNP) and Shiekh Hasina (AL) recently released from prison after courts bailed them in charges of alleged corruption


I GUESS, by now you all have enjoyed much of the getting out of prison cell rat race in Bangladesh. The accused are getting into free air one by one. Were you surprised? I was not. We all knew that court was able to give them a bail, and they would have easily got a bail in normal condition in any civilized country. The only obstacle was state of emergency. That was the only reason court had to deny the bail. Well, the state of emergency could only go so long. It has to end at some point, otherwise that state of emergency itself would became normal and you loose the power of emergency.

Of course, the justice itself has nothing to do with bail. Just because they got bail, does not mean they are out side of the law now. The justice can go as usual and verdict will be given. If court rules them innocent, they are! They should be free to whatever laws of the land allow them to do. If they are guilty, they should be back in the jail. That is not troubling at all, even though many folks seem to cry aloud based on their party affiliation.

What is very troubling is the feel in the air. In recent local elections, same old and crooked faces have been emerged. Violent protest has claim one innocent bystanders life in Dhaka University. There has been report of clashes between student wings of different parties. It is not a deja vu anymore. It is very real. The Pharaohs of the two family owned parties are coming back in business. The perspective of the every day people in the street of Dhaka has changed.

Bangladesh is back on the old track. Old culture is back.

I guess the old junkies are back in business. It is the return of the pharaoh. In the land of Pharaohs, who else would come to rule you think. I believe firmly that a country gets the leaders it deserved. I have no other choice but agree that this is what Bangladesh deserved.

We can argue for another 37 years whether the 'khaliphas' were qualified to reform. I am sure that we will have an argument whether intend to the reform was genuine or not. I am not saying that these arguments are not valid. However, regardless of that, it was indeed a wild ride. It was truly unprecedented in BD's history. I have enjoyed that. It was the closest we ever gone to a reform, a much needed reform.

Failure is never good. It is always painful. Do not believe anyone who says participation is the big thing, not the pass or fail. It is not true. You are in the game to one and only one goal. It is to win. Failure always hurt. Should we cry on it? If you are among those who share the pain, by all means, cry it out. However, the question may come to the face, was it worth trying? Be sure that it was. It was definitely worthy of trying regardless of the out come.

My thanks are to those who had a real intention of reforming Bangladesh. My thanks are to those who supported the effort. My thanks are to even those who simply clapping their hands giving nothing but encouragement. My thanks are to all those who believed on it. My thanks are to all those who share the pain. It was a wonderful journey. At least, now we can say some one did tried. Some folks at list tried. They failed because it was not to be reformed. It was simply impossible. If your children ever ask you, now you can say, yes we tried!

There was a reason why God asked Moses to migrate out of the land of pharaoh. It is because the land of pharaoh does not deserve to be cured. I am not asking for a divine intervention and expecting the same fate that follows. I am just trying to accept that thing that we cannot change. Well, may be it is good in this way. After all, it is their land. Pharaohs are the rightful rulers. What can you do? Good thing is that now we know.

Give a big hand to The Return of the Pharaohs. #

First published in the American Chronicle, September 12, 2008

GM Solaiman writes from Silicon Valley, California. Email: