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       Volume 11 |Issue 16 | April 20, 2012 |


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The cat is not out of the bag


Responsible for it or not; if the situation has become embarrassing for the individual or the community or the State, the person/s concerned should offer his (or their) resignation. There lies the dignity of those who respect the understanding of others.

Not many in office realise that the reason he is in office, especially in our country, is because he has been so appointed by the high command. One of the primary purposes of a government in appointing a person to a ministerial position, a corporation chair, a university vice-chancellorship, a DG and so on, is to brighten the image of the appointing authority, and if possible in certain situations to garner a few more votes in the following elections. If the reverse is true, that is, his action is belittling the face of the government, then that person out of loyalty towards his appointing authority should leave office voluntarily.

Unfortunately, our ministers, their deputies, the assistants to those deputies, our chairpersons, our VCs, our DGs believe that they have attained their position only by the dint of their individual brilliance. More so, almost none of them believe that his appointment is temporary, and many of them become a living monument symbolising despotism, lies, and corruption.

Resignation is not the end of the road, least of all that of a politician. Our military president of 1991 who had to bow down to adverse public opinion and countrywide civic unrest must be credited for a grand comeback so much so that he feels popular enough to field 300 candidates in the next general elections.

Reasons there are many (and silly) for a person to hang the boots or drop the towel. And it is not necessary for one's officers to be driven headlong into a lion's den with the booty inside their vehicle to feel embarrassed or responsible.

In February 2012, Labour MLA John Hargreaves resigned as ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Government whip after admitting to making a joke in poor taste. And 70 lakh Taka was not a joke; at least to the vast majority of the people of Bangladesh.

Some oldies are stupid (read aroused) enough especially, when their wife is expecting, to engage in Internet fornicating with 17-year-old girls. That saw the end of Republican Anthony Weiner last June, who resigned, apologising for the drawn-out political scandal over his X-rated Internet indiscretions. Said he: 'I am announcing my resignation from Congress so my colleagues can get back to work, my neighbours can choose a new representative and most importantly that my wife and I can continue to heal from the damage I have caused.' The colleagues, the constituency, and the family of one Jhigatala resident deserved just that.

Only this April the chief of the General Services Administration in the Obama administration resigned, two of her top deputies were fired and four managers were placed on leave Monday amid reports of lavish spending at a conference off the Las Vegas Strip that featured a clown, a mind reader, and a $31,208 reception. It has emerged that they had paid the least to the mind reader, which was in poor judgement, because a better-paid clairvoyant could have predicted the impending disaster. Sometimes the telepathist settles for a mere five lakh Taka.

Last October Liberal staffer Nikki Holland in Ottawa was in deep trouble. She offered her resignation after an audio recording surfaced of her claiming she had once bribed homeless voters with cigarettes. It was a sacrifice of sorts because Liberal party's president Yasir Naqvi said Holland "did not want to be a distraction to the positive campaign we are running. Ms. Holland has apologised for the inappropriate jokes she made this past summer." Now our corrupt officers may refuse cash and switch to taking cigarettes.

But politicians do not always want to resign. Disgraced US president Richard Nixon was as adamant as anyone caught on the wrong railway tracks: 'I've analysed the best I can... and I have not found an impeachable offense, and therefore resignation is not an acceptable course.' Have we not heard all of that more recently? But he had to go.

Warren Buffet summed it all up: 'In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.' No our Stock Exchange can take positive lessons from that, but I pray they do not get too positive.

A righteous man does not care when the situation demands. Comedian Groucho Marx was rather forthright, 'Please accept my resignation. I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.' But some care a lot for that flag on a car, not so much when it symbolises our national prestige and honour.




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