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Then and now

  • Published at 12:02 am August 6th, 2016
Then and now

These darker sides of our modern society were not there before. Most shockingly, these immoral activities are going on unabated, and our political leaders happen to be the least concerned.

How our young girls and boys have debased themselves can be gauged from the way they dress, dance, and sing together in advertisement films exhibiting physical intimacy and vulgarity hardly acceptable to viewers with modicum of Islamic values and sentiments.

Why is  there such decadence of Islamic values and morality in a nation that is predominantly Muslim, with Islam declared as its state religion?

There were not so many schools, colleges, and universities before as we have now.

But our boys and girls got quality education.

We never heard of question papers being leaked out before, as we hear now so often.

Do we not hear that student leaders belonging to a particular political party control the allocation of seats for students in the dormitories of all public universities, and it is a lucrative business?

Do we also not hear that contracts of construction work of almost all public universities worth thousands of crores of taka are almost routinely given to leaders of either the youth front or the student front of a political party with the connivance of the university authorities, adversely affecting the quality of construction?

This is eating into the vitals of our morality as a nation. What are we doing to stop this decadence? Do our political leaders not know of it?

We, the Muslims of this country, be it in British India or united Pakistan have always been very moderate in practicing our religion.

In 1990, the people of Bangladesh rose up to a man as they came out on the streets demanding the ousting of Hussein Muhammad Ershad, the most corrupt and notorious dictator who ruled this country for nine years

But at the same time, we never tolerated Islam and our Prophet being ridiculed. Unfortunately there is a change in the air.

Only in the recent past, a senior cabinet minister, while on official tour in the US, made some very objectionable remarks about Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam and about our Prophet of Islam and, almost got away unscathed.

Of course, in the face of massive uproar in the media, the minister who was earlier involved in massive wrongdoings resulting in immense loss to the government exchequer in a previous ministry, was dropped from the cabinet.

But he remained an MP. On his return, he was put under arrest. But instead of going to prison he got admitted to PG Hospital.

He remained there in an air conditioned room as a VVIP patient for a long time until one fine morning he decided to walk into the Jatiya Sangsad while it was in session and offered his resignation as an MP of the ruling party.

Quite the drama!       

In the erstwhile Pakistan, the people of this country had raised hue and cry, and protested against accumulation of wealth by over a dozen millionaire families in West Pakistan.

But now we have allegedly a few hundred billionaire families in Bangladesh and surprisingly no protest from any quarters.

In 1969, our people joined hands with the people of West Pakistan as they came out on the streets and demanded the ousting of President Ayub Khan who had ruled Pakistan with iron fist for 11 years.

Ayub Khan resigned, handing over power to Gen Yahya Khan and went into political oblivion never to be seen again.

In 1990, the people of Bangladesh rose up to a man as they came out on the streets, demanding the ousting of Hussein Muhammad Ershad, the most corrupt and notorious dictator who ruled this country for nine years.

He was forced to resign and hand over power to Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed, the then chief justice and was taken into protective custody lest he be lynched by the angry mob.

Faced with a number of serious corruption charges, already sentenced to imprisonment in one case, and being a prime accused in the murder case of Gen MA Manzur, a decorated valiant freedom fighter, and finally with the High Court verdict declaring his rule for nine years as illegal, Ershad should have been languishing in Dhaka Central Jail.

But instead, he is a special envoy of the prime minister with the status of a cabinet minister enjoying all ministerial facilities.

The law makers of the Jatiya Party of which he is the chairman are partly cabinet ministers and partly opposition party members in the Jatiya Sangsad. And to top it all off, Rawshan Ershad, his wife, is the leader of the opposition in the Jatiya Sangsad.

An octogenarian, Ershad is mulling to be the president of Bangladesh again.

Brig Gen Shamsuddin Ahmed (Retd) is a former Military Secretary to the President of Bangladesh.

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