October 03, 2004


The antagonism between the two Bangladeshi leaders (Begum Khaleda Zia & Sheikh Hasina) is not all political rather personal. Since long the two have not been in a common table to discuss. Their public speeches usually contain malicious words against each other and each others' parties. Sheikh Hasina and her party Awami League is opposing government in every aspect and is demanding the immediate resignation of the Govt and to hold fresh election. But her actions are seen to common people as her hunger for power as she failed to motivate the people ignoring major issues of the country and sticking to only pulling down the government without any democratic process.

Mrs. Zia's obsession with Sheikh Hasina and anybody or anything associated with her is also costing Bangladesh dearly. Many AL activists succumbed to mass arrests by police recently in a said bid to tackle the law and order situation. The government is actually trying to create a panic among the common people by the mass arrests not to stop them from joining in an Awami League rally scheduled today afternoon. It has become more like a personal vendetta, where Begum Zia is said to sideline one of his key associates M Ali Falu, who is the leading shareholders of NTV (a leading private TV channel), because NTV aired programs commemorating father of the nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (father of Sheikh Hasina). In her words, "Falu has become neutral now, so he has no place among us".

The politics of Bangladesh has now polarized in a way that now a days people are forced out of neutralilty. People have no choice but to patronize either one of the Begums and -or- other parties as the polarization has affected the judiciary, bureaucracy, universities and even the army. Otherwise intimidations or harassments follows and you simply cannot win a government contract without political affiliation or patronization.

According to a Western diplomat: "They are obsessed with one another. And they are unlikely to bury the hatchet in the foreseeable future. Unless the parties decide to replace the two heads of their parties, the country will turn into another Afghanistan soon."

We are helplessly waiting to see how many common people gives their lives in the two leaders' personal vendetta.


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