This refers to an article entitled “Somewhere someone should resign” (TDS, December 29). The writer correctly highlighted an important aspect of our poor political culture that in all civilised countries people at the helm take the blame of a man-made disaster in areas under their watch and resign. Ministers in many countries have resigned following train accidents or ship disaster. There is no such example in Bangladesh.
While I agree with most of the writer's conclusions, I would like to point out that A.M. Zahiruddin Khan resigned voluntarily while he was the minister of industry during the BNP-led government of 1991-1996 taking responsibility for a temporary shortage of fertilizer. It so happened that the government reduced the price of fertilizer to make it more affordable to the farmers while it was being sold at a higher price in neighbouring India. The price difference prompted some unscrupulous traders to smuggle fertilizer to India creating a scarcity in Bangladesh. The minister resigned even though his ministry was not responsible for the crisis as there was no shortage of production of fertilizer in Bangladesh. He thus set a lone example in Bangladesh.