Waiting for a better time is a natural instinct for human souls. We all wait for the arrival of the right moment that would allow us to feel relieved and pave the way for reaping the benefits of what that appropriate moment is to offer. But we know, for many that expected time never comes and their life remains trapped within the false hope of expectation.
Keeping an eye over the political trends in Bangladesh from thousands of miles away might seem an absurdity to those who are puzzled watching the spectacles from being right at the spot. However, the geographic distance might be a blessing as well, since it also unbound us from the tightrope of prejudices that are often associated with watching the unfolding of events from a closer distance. What has happened in Bangladesh with the recent election hullabaloo is of course a matter of interest also for those residing far from the realities of the show. More because the whole matter tells a lot about our political culture, which is unique and in times absurd and may be vulgar comparing to what our eyes have already became accustomed to see in our respective abodes overseas.
The whole process leading to the start of casting ballots followed by the roaring sounds crying foul and celebrations thereafter was a comedy full of exciting entertainments. There is nothing more exciting and entertaining than the real life comedy and great authors of the past, like Honore de Balzac and Anton Chekhov had this knowledge perfectly well. In the just concluded election drama, there was no shortage of regular comical shows performed by an official of the main opposition and also there were equally entertaining twisting comments and wild predictions from those on the other side. There even was the roar of a tiger uttering the deadly sound “Khamosh” to a journalist asking an innocent question about the feeling of that person being in the company of killers who perpetrated the crime right at that spot more than four decade ago where this presumed tiger at the time was standing. The ballots, however, had turned the roaring tiger into merely a paper-made copy of what we see in the mangrove surroundings of our Sundarbans.
Then there were crossing and counter-crossing of floors driven mostly not by any ideological motivation, but by the clever counting of simple calculation of what can be gained right now by acting in that way. Many of such smart self assessing heroes turned out to be tragic villains; as they too were pathetically outmaneuvered by the outcome of the election. I’m not sure what such “smart heroes” are feeling right now. May be they already have started recalculating the mathematical solutions with the purpose of readjusting their conscience with the new realities of the changing time. I’ll not be surprised at all from this great distance to find some of them already circling around the bait of power with the hope of getting a call for sniffing the leftovers. They are probably among the leading pathetic personalities in our politics, but obviously not of the supreme grade. This classification is preserved for those who like super-acrobatic circus animals have entertained us for very long by showing their skill of jumping from one end to another, with the sole hope of catching the bait that always slipped out of their hands. These are the seasoned creatures in politics whose eyes are solely focused on the seats of power, but never could make that due to utter miscalculation.
What followed next was the loud breast-beating sounds by those who thought their rightful rewards had been snatched from behind with the extended hands of invisible devils that they claim to have seen clearly in broad daylight. This specific group of tragic heroes was indeed making loud noise much before the start of the election campaign about the certainty of wining the mandate and forming a government, without even trying to guess the pulse of the crowd. Their arrogance in times reached the sky as they even did not hesitate to utter warnings to the civil administration about the consequences they might face in case they fail to show their neutrality. Surprisingly, the group’s target of attack was the civil administration, not the military one that it did not want to disturb, may be with the hope that in case of any backdoor maneuver like those recorded in our past history, they would not hesitate to extend their full cooperation in the subsequent process of sharing the spoils. What is left for them now is simply to ponder over the possible mistakes they might have made. But the problem is, many of them never think that the word ‘mistake’ to have a place in their vocabulary.
And finally, what came as an utterly derailed and thoroughly disgusting comedy is the mad celebration culminating in the wild jubilation of gang rape. What we see here is the desire of the winning heroes to clear the political field of the future and make it a one sided show. The purpose of that wild jubilation was not only to entertain themselves at the cost of human misery of others who are in the losing side, but also to give a good lesson to the already cornered political dissent so that the field remains an utterly empty one, more like the “Tepantorer Math” of our fairy tale stories.
So, the overall outcome of this election game might seem to be a dream deferred for another longer term. What could have been a decent voting procedure resulting in the formation of a government of majority with the presence of a significant opposition capable of correcting the mistakes of the group in power, turned out simply to be a one-sided game. And we know for sure one-sided games never produce the excitement that spectators expect from the participating teams. Who is to be blamed for that is not a question under discussion here. Blame is to be equally shared by all who had been entertaining us throughout the process. We place our hope for the advent of sunny days in politics and wait for the sun to appear in the distance sky. But in the end what we learn painfully is that – some days never come.
(Tokyo, January 6, 2019)