It is a statement made by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that went viral took me back to 1984. I was at the United Nations in New York where I confronted one of my life’s worst realisation — we are an ungrateful nation. Never, before such a matter crossed my mind.
A very senior American journalist asked me where I came from and I replied “from Bangladesh.” He retorted with disgust “you are an ungrateful nation. You killed your father of the nation. How could you?” His name was David Horowitz of the World Press Union, a Jew and a great old man.
This great journalist and a writer added: “I know Bangladesh because of Mujib as he was not just another politician especially from your part of the world.”
I told him about my three meetings with Bangabandhu regarding my martyred freedom fighter father which was my only weapon to tell him that “I am not with the killers as a person or as a journalist.”
David was among the pioneers who founded the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) and described by the UN Secretary General Kofi Anan’s spokesperson in 1998 as among the “true pioneers and veterans, working with us (UN) now for over two decades.”
There was a flash back when the prime minister’s recent comment went viral. This author read and reread the comment which brought tears.
Sheikh Hasina, speaking at a party meeting, said “Those I depended on most are the ones who also have disappointed me the most.”
In another meeting she recollected the day when none of the Awami League men turned up to save Bangabandhu and asked “where were all that day?” She said she feared if such party men will run off in her time of danger!
Why the premier feels so insecure with her own party men? It is apparently because of the casino and underworld queen Papiya scandals with more to come, if social media is any indicator.
Heads have rolled and many more should too without wasting time as these elements are using their power by creating a perception of being very close to the premier made their own fortune mostly illegally.
One does not need to deeply think why we must be GRATEFUL to the prime minister, but it is definitely mind boggling to find out why one should act or do something displaiong to prove themselves UNGRATEFUL!
National carrier Bangladesh Biman getting stronger with new state-of-the-art aircrafts, village development projects, the Padma Bridge and now the country’s first expressway, which is comparable or even better than those in many developed countries.
Henry Kissinger’s “bottomless basket” or World Bank’s graft charges regarding the Padma Bridge have all been proven wrong.
The green passport was a shame in foreign countries until a decade ago, but now that has reversed and now we have earned our respect — thanks to the premier.
We are now a country which is increasingly becoming role models for the world in many sectors from the economic turn-around to empowerment of women.
Yet, leave aside the jokes of the opposition political parties, we do spare her for even “a cow crossing a road and halting traffic!”
We have forgotten how from the countryside to the major cities our lives have changed for the better, we have forgotten how financial management has helped Bangladesh was financing its own projects and we have forgotten how her very own diplomacy has made the world community has to reckon with Bangladesh almost in most decisions that they take now.
Hey! People there are more such examples. Hey! People what more can she does for Bangladesh to stop feeling that we are being ungrateful?
Think, and stop being ungrateful. One might not like to say “thank you” from the narrow-psyche mind-set, but at least stop being ungrateful and start doing those things to give the prime minister the feel that we are not ungrateful.
Just last one line: Without Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina my 1971 martyred father would not have been re-buried with full state honours after his grave was found following a relentless 36-year search by this author!
Answer: No other leader or political party would have done it as to them the war that created Bangladesh broke their hearts!
David Horowitz words still whisper in my ears when I go down the memory lane “Nadeem, Mujib gave you independent Bangladesh and had you let him live he could have done marvels … because it is an incredible story of independence. “
David passed away in 2002 aged 99.