It is amazing how Khaleda Zia, the jailed chief of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), saw her fate turn around over the past 50 years from a so-called 1971 captivity, glamour and power to the Dhaka Central Jail.
It is in fact an amazing tale of a housewife of a hitherto unknown Bengali army officer, always consciously proud and popular for her beauty, sits in jail now for graft and her elder son, Tarique Rahman, and her BNP playing dubious roles.
Tarique, for first has no respect for his elders even for a man like Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, for which I slammed him in one of my pieces couple of years back, and has only loved money to fulfill his greedy needs.
He signed a paper pledging not to do politics anymore during the 1/11 2007-2008 military-backed government and left for his cushy life in London. What was his politics at that time — Hawa Bhaban, the alternative center of Khaleda’s government and where money grew from unseen sources, patronising militants and robbing the state along with his cohorts.
Ask him what one good thing he has done for his country or his former country Bangladesh? He might say I put up the “khambas” for electricity supply, but the lights in those areas never lit up. Rather he demean himself, his parents, his party and the country that gave him power as well as fortune.
His fangs are out while talking about ruling Awami League’s closeness to India, but behind the curtains he has been after the friendship of our big neighbour which one diplomat told me was nothing less than “boot-licking.” He drove the Tata’s out from the Sirajganj power project as they refused to pay kickbacks as part of the famed company’s business rules.
The point is he had been talking all cheap nonsense sitting in London against Bangabandhu and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, besides trying to incite the military against the government, what has he done worthwhile?
His mother rots in jail and he is spending time to chill out, according to many in London.
The BNP leaders in Dhaka appear to be confused or purposely playing with Khaleda’s release from jail on health grounds. Some think if she died in jail, the BNP leaders think they can capitalise politically to have some place in the country’s murky politics.
Her sister has finally written to the government for her release on “humanitarian grounds.”
For Khaleda Zia, the unfortunate part is that she gave all to Tarique, her most loving son, but he has done nothing for her treatment or release. Had he spoken a word “politely” or “impolitely” for his ailing mother’s release? Has he made a personal appeal to President Abdul Hamid or Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina? The answer is a big NO.
Then to me he is not worthy of being a son to anybody. A son or a daughter is naturally expected to be with their parents always and it was their duty to take care of them. He has failed to show the love, the respect and all that must do for ones parents.
The word “MOTHER” – Ma, Mummy, Ammu Mama – is the word that keeps the world growing. Like this author is a product of his mother, widowed at around 30 years of age, remains the shining star of his life, even more than his martyred father.
Look at Sajeeb Wajed Joy or Radwan Mujib Siddiqui – the sons of Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana — how they have made their mother’s proud by their love — the good things for they do for Bangladesh.
It appears to seek his mother’s release is less important than his so-called “ego” as well as “prestige” (if he has any left of it) and rather see her die in jail — natural or due to old-age illness.
One can put him aside on the issue and can wonder what BNP was doing. Nothing as all options, they say, has run out and Khakeda did not want to get free on parole. True? Maybe yes, and maybe not! But what was true that like every human being she too wanted to live. Maybe she has been waiting for her son to do something!!! A million dollar question!
Tarique has failed his party and now his mother. The BNP has failed its leader in keeping her in power, then out of jail and now to free her. It would be probably her family who she would be grateful if she was released now on “humanitarian grounds,” beyond law, following a letter that was sent to the government.
The bottom line is if Tarique and BNP actually wanted her freedom, then she would be free months back. If life of Khaleda Zia was important to Tarique and BNP, she would be free months back.
The reason why I say so is because I, most children like this author, would give their lives to save their parents — mother or father.
Poor Khaleda Zia!