April 03, 2006


The above is the title of the cover story of the TIME magazine's latest edition. With poster perfect pictures of the Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia it praises the government's crackdown on militancy.

This story interestingly labels Zia's most popular initiative as forming the R.A.B., a police force that draws support in part for its willingness to kill. It falls for Zia's statement that the government's inaction against the militants till August 17, 2005 bomb attack was merely due to a lack of information. The Home Minister Babar also says about the earlier days: "Bangla Bhai was fighting criminals. It wasn't jihad then." - mind blowing.

The report also contains the usual masala you expect, the mentions of flood and cyclones and the Kissinger's historical 'bottomless basket' quote. Of course the usual boastings are also there; the microcredit, for which the government did little and the 100% enrolment of children in primary school (any proofs?).

The one thing has come true from the article is from the mouth of the World Bank chief Christina Wallich:
"The political hatred between BNP & Awami League is the single biggest issue holding back development."
And read the expected conclusion:
Bangladesh may never truly leave behind this legacy of bloodshed, corruption and distrust. But in what was once one of the sorriest places on earth, there is new hope. Quoting a professor of Dhaka University "All we need is five years of good governance, and we'd be away."
Long before the militants issue TIME once nailed Bangladesh as dysfunctional quoting violence, corruption and political turmoil. There are seldom any progress on these aspects. In this report capture of the JMB militants issue has come as the heroic deed. But in reality it was digging own grave first then filling it up. A totally unproductive episode.

The article did not touch anything on the plutocracy of the members of parliament, not to mention Khaleda Zia's son. First we need good leaders, then the question of good governance comes. Until then the world will continue to be fed by these types of reports that pleases some people but never really portray the true state of Bangladesh. It was never one of the sorriest places on earth, but a place hold ransom by some opportunist leaders. And we don't need TIME's fabricated certificates, thank you!


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