I am actually very frustrated about Bangladesh. It bothers me too much when I see newspaper headlines like ‘Abductions, killings to tarnish govt’s image: ministers.’
Here we have two ministers of Bangladesh concerned about the image of the government that they are part of. One, Obaidul Quader, I thought had some reputation of being a responsible leader. My impression of the other one, Shajahan Khan, was not very high. Nonetheless, he is also a full cabinet minister.
Knock, knock, Gentlemen Ministers, you are talking about seven men abducted and brutally murdered! Do some thinking please! Do you really think that the image of your government is more to be concerned about than the devastation that the children, wives, siblings and parents of the victims are going through? Please have some compassion; please try to feel the pain of the bereaved families of the victims more than worrying about the image of your government.
Of course, these two ministers are by no means unique in terms of this kind of talks in Bangladesh. Over many years we have seen many Bangladeshi politicians as well as intellectuals talking about the images of the country, the government, and even the political parties, while ignoring the suffering and loss of the victims of serious crimes. The reckless irresponsibility is a chronic disease of Bangladesh.
A mob of hateful Islamic and Islam-trading criminals commit heinous crimes against absolutely innocent and non-violent religious minorities. What do the leaders of Bangladesh do? They do nothing that would stop the recurrence of such crimes. The government blames the opposition political parties, while failing to do its legal and moral duty of finding and prosecuting the criminals. The hate-criminals continue to commit their crimes with impunity. This obviously leads the religious minorities to have no trust and confidence in the authorities of Bangladesh, and some of them try to find civilized foreign nations to put pressure on Bangladesh. And what do the intellectuals of Bangladesh do? Many of them blame the human right activists of tarnishing the image of the country (by exposing some of the real dirt of the country). To them, the so-called image of the country is worth more than the human rights and dignity of millions of innocent people.
Two factions of Chhatra League, the student wing of Awami League, fight on the university campus. What happens after that? The impotent autonomous university administration closes down the university, wasting valuable time from the life of thousands of innocent students. What do the big Awami League leaders do? They talk about Shibir, the student with of Jamaat, infiltrating Chhatra League to tarnish the image of Chhatra League. Nobody takes the responsibility of finding a way to stop the anarchy on campus. The unusually older professional ‘student leaders’ continue to cause wastage of time for the real students.
The mirage of ‘image’ keeps haunting and hurting Bangladesh. The politicians and the intellectuals keep failing to realize that there can be no good image when irresponsible behavior and bad deeds are the state of affairs in the country/government/party.
About the Writer: Sukhamaya Bain is a US citizen who was born in a place that is a part of today’s Bangladesh. He earned a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry in 1987, and currently works for the US federal government, evaluating chemistry. While being a scientist by profession, he believes that societal justice is vital for the well-being of mankind. Thus, he occasionally writes on sociopolitical issues.