April 08, 2008

Leave them alone

Call me old-fashioned. But there are some things about our tradition I cherish unquestioningly. To take a random example, as those who are even remotely familiar with worker revolts in tea-estates know, women, children and the elderly are never targets. The men, ie. the head of households, are. It’s considered bad form to attack those who cannot defend themselves. This might be a patriarchal mindset, but it does lead to admirable self-restrain and spares someone amidst the mindless violence. That is our tradition.

This is a code of conduct I cherish amongst fighters, whether in the fighter’s arena or the politician’s. I recall it being broken once, in bloody fashion about 23 years ago. A pregnant woman died that day. A 10-year old boy died that day. A mother of five died that day. The killers remain unpunished. Even worse, their disrespect for our own Bangladeshi tradition and their cowardice in attacking women and children are not sufficiently berated in certain quarters.

Which brings us to the present day. I can understand if not condone that there are people thirsty for power after 15 years of rule by two people. But what exactly are they doing by charging and/or arresting wives, children and siblings of those they are up against? I have previously argued against the insanity of charging a young girl for her father’s corruption. I have argued against Mrs. Hasina’s sister being charged absurdly in her cousin’s extortion case. Now, I hear that Dr. Zobeida Rahman and her mother (of all people!) are being charged with some thing or the other. I’m sure many more families will suffer if this keeps up.

Which leads me to wonder if I might be charged with hiding something since I happen to be Mr. Moudud’s cousin, 64-times removed. I estimate we have a common ancestor somewhere in the 12th century. Now you might say that’s not true, and you’d have a point. But if you believe that the charges laid against all these relatives of prominent politicians are true, it was worth a shot trying to convince you of my (in)famous family connection.

What a pathetic bunch of losers these guys are turning out to be.

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