Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Tale of Two Psychos

Several years ago, I spent an unfortunate evening with a very – very – senior police officer. I say unfortunate because anyone who has spent a few minutes with a police officer comes to regret the experience – for some reason, their ranks are not chosen from those of gentlemen.

Nevertheless, tolerating the chap paid off.

We got around to discussing our two banshees – otherwise known as our two begums. Now, he was, as I observed, a very – very – senior officer; yet something made him voluble that evening (no, we weren't boozing).

He said that our two leaders were insane.

He didn't exactly use that word; the words he used were "not normal". And why were they not normal?

"They have both lost someone close in bloody murders," he explained. "That has affected them. We know: we have to deal with them, and there are things they do that we cannot communicate to anyone else."

He certainly didn't communicate them to me.

But it stands to reason. Sheikh Hasina lost almost her entire family in a hail of bullets, and Khaleda Zia's husband was gunned down in machine-gun fire.

Now, most politicians are abnormal to start with (no one in his or her right mind would choose such a profession: "all political careers end in failure" observed a failed politician; and some, fortunately, end in assassination).

Therefore, we are ruled alternately by two psychopaths. During the resent massacre at BDR, neither psycho evinced the slightest sense of regret at the loss of lives and, in the case of some ladies, of honour as well.

They are unable to empathise with human sorrow (maybe they have soft spots, like Europeans, for lower forms of life, but none for humans). Yet we are at their mercy: at the mercy of psychopaths.

Many of us have seen the films SAW I, II, III, IV, V....Imagine yourself locked up in a tiny cell and Hasina or Khaleda looking on to see how painfully you are going to die or hurt yourself. Well, Bangladesh is that cell, and each of us is alone, and anything may befall us at anytime.

Unlike a psycho, they have a major advantage: they cannot be held accountable. They are irreplaceable; one is the daughter, the other the wife, of national heroes. And they know that they can never be replaced, and are above all law and all morality.

Could any despotism be worse than our predicament?

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