Home Minister talks
It’s nearly three months since the election that brought us the government of din bodol. Within a week of the election, I wrote that it was time to break the cycle, referring to the post‑election violence on BNP supporters. I thought the PM’s cabinet pick was gutsy, but noted that it would be the Home Minister who would make or break the government. It is sad then to note that the Home Minister hasn’t exactly lived up to the promise of din bodol.
Even before the Pilkhana tragedy, the law and order situation was reportedly getting worse. Anecdotal evidence / media reports suggested that crime was on the rise. The ruling party’s cadres and student wing had started running rampant. It was already looking depressingly like the early days of the last elected government.
And then the Pilkhana tragedy struck, in whose aftermath I wish the Home Minister would step down. She was in charge of BDR, this happened at her watch, she can’t escape moral responsibility. In democracies, ministers resign for calamities like railway accidents. Just a few months ago, Indian ministers, at state and federal level, resigned after the Mumbai attack. Even Donald Rumsfeld wanted to resign after Abu Ghraib. That’s the democratic way. Why should it be any different for us? Note that BNP has no moral authority to make this claim, it’s not like they did any better after, say, 21 Aug 2004. But why compare with BNP? It’s not like BNP was the government of din bodol.
But the question then is, who would be a good replacement? Apparently rumours in the amdani Awami circle have it as Col Faruq (part-time Trade Minister and full-time militant-spotter) or Cap Taj (the civilian interface of Nasim’s aborted 1996 coup). Meanwhile among the khandani Awami circle the name being pushed is Tofail.
Whoever gets the job, the task will be hard. There will be temptations to take short cuts like Clean Heart and crossfire. These short cuts have to be resisted. Also, we must not forget that a resource-constrained country of 150 million people in 145,000 sq km will produce a rather violent society. But having accepted these constraints, the performance of the current Home Minister is still rather poor.
It’s time we get a Home Minister who can step up to the challenge.
Meanwhile, here is a game. Match the quotes with the ministers. Bonus points if you can tell the circumstance of the quote.
1. আল্লাহর মাল আল্লাহ নিয়ে গেছেন ।
2. We are looking for শত্রুs.
3. We have got a new dimension. We have found a Hindu জঙ্গি ।
4. সন্ত্রাসী যে-ই হোক, বিশ হাত মাটির তল থেকা, প্রয়োজনে পানির নিচ থেকে তাদের ধরে আনা হবে ।
5. সারা দেশে যা হচ্ছে তা ওদের নিজেদের গন্ডগোল্, ওরা নিজেরা নিজেদের মারছে ।
6. জঙ্গিs should be caught, nothing matter who is Bangla, who is English brother.
7. পুলিশের জানাজা পড়ি, সন্ত্রাসীদের জানাজা তো পড়ি না ।
a. Altaf Hossain Chowdhury.
b. Lufuzzaman Babur.
c. Mohammed Nasim.
d. Sahara Khatun.
(Cross-posted at UV)