By F R Chowdhury:
Most of my Bangladeshi friends living here in the UK have given up on Bangladesh for quite some time and now refer to it as “moger mulluk”. I remained quietly optimistic that one day things may gradually change. With this hope in mind, I used to write with my newly acquired knowledge from abroad as to how those ideas and concepts could equally benefit Bangladesh. However, I soon realized that the Government in Bangladesh came to power through a manipulated election and was not bothered about well-being of the people. They were busy trying to establish one-party rule eventually leading to a one-family rule. Most of the roads and bridges, buildings and structures are already named after one person. The philosophy is very simple – they were all built because of the vision of Sheikh Mujib. Today Bangladesh has a satellite in the space for communication and is also rightly named after Banga-bandhu because he had dreamt of it. The Government only likes to hear and say about the imaginary success achieved by Bangladesh. They have no time to read any new idea, concept or proposal. Even the constructive criticism is viewed as an attempt to discredit or dislodge the government. The editors and publishers are scared of publishing anything other than singing praise for the government. I also gave up writing but recently my mind grew rebellious after witnessing certain incidents and activities. I said to myself – no matter whether anyone publishes or not, – no matter I am taken into custody or tortured, I shall, try my best, to put it on record to keep it as a part of truthful history. I will feel happy and satisfied that I have done my duties.
About three months back it suddenly became difficult to buy dollars in Dhaka market, none was available. Some currency trader predicted that the PM must be going abroad because every time she goes abroad she creates a dollar crisis in the country. Then we came to know about her private visit to Finland for which one of the newest aircraft of Bangladesh Airline was chartered. Including the PM the aircraft had three or four passengers but it had 35 suitcases. The aircraft was kept standing in Helsinki for two days before it resumed its journey to New York with the PM minus the suitcases which were cleared in Finland as “diplomatic pouch”. The PM’s travel expenses to New York and back will be of course audited and passed without any question – but is it fair? Bangladesh should consider buying an executive jet of about 20 person capacity to be called BAF-1 and that should cover the travel need for president, prime minister and other VIP on special needs.
I read in a Bangladesh newspaper that a convicted criminal, whose appeal is pending, has been executed. I could not believe my eyes. But that is what happened. In my life time (76 years of age) I have never heard of any such thing even in an African state. Who would believe that we have a democratically elected government!
For the second time during the present regime that students have come out on the street to check vehicle and drivers’ documentation. The government has failed to bring discipline in road traffic. In Cox’s Bazar the cows have taken over the airport runways. In the process two cows died. It is a miracle that nothing worse happened.
In the recent local government election people should have participated in a festive mood instead it was show of muscle power. There was no law and order. So many people died. Many people say that it was done so intentionally so that in future peace loving people avoid going to vote centers so that elections can be manipulated more easily.
Finally, an appeal to the Government – please give a free and fair election and hand-over power. There is still time to save the nation.