August 31, 2007

Black Quotes for Black Times (where "black" refers to deteriorating civil-military relations)


"We expect that every army man will accept the apologies, and forget the grievances they had suffered." - Professor Anwar Hossain being forced into apologising to the army.

That includes - one hopes - the NCOs and chauffeurs as well. You know, the ones that are not allowed - under the army's own rules - to dine in the same room as the Professor if/when he attends weddings and other functions at the RAOWA club or Shenakunjo.

Events since the publishing of that fateful picture have reminded me of a particularly infamous utterance attributed to Genghis Khan: "The greatest happiness is to vanquish your enemies, to chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth, to see those dear to them bathed in tears, to clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters."

The need of the hour is for reconciliation, but all I see is the attempt to utterly humiliate one's enemies. The people doing the humiliation seem to recognise "enemies" only among their own countrymen, while Bangladesh's power in the world dwindles as our Bay remains undefended, our borders remain porous, our policemen remain severely ill-paid and under-trained and the best and brightest of her sons and daughters seek refuge elsewhere - anywhere! - to get away from this arbitrary use of power. But remember, its only those people who see enemies among themselves who are the TRUE patriots. The rest of us, well we just apologise for even thinking of contradicting them on any aspect of national policy whatsoever.

Remember, it all started on a day when the powers-that-be were talking about how to improve civil-military relations. Excellent aim, and as I've said, the need of the hour. True love is what we want between our countrymen (and maybe women, but let's not get the mullahs too worked up by including anything to do with the female race). And here I was thinking that "Love means never having to say you're sorry".

Guess not a lot of Erich Segal fans in the army eh?

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