The only soothing aspect, if any, in this torturous April heat has been the sanity maintained by the political parties in not jumping to their habitual hot-headed conclusion. The opposition of the last parliament(remember it is now the Jatiya Party) did not blame the government over nature's ignominy of breaking an over fifty-year old wave record, which is creditable given our oppositions' sworn occupation of denigration. Likewise, the party-in-government did not see this crazy temperature-rise as a janjal of the pre-Moin years. As always but, only the public had to endure the unbearable forty-plus warming.
The misfortune is that the media is not handing out points to either side for this unusual manifestation of national consensus, which is such a shame, perhaps because their focus was on doctor-bashing. But for that reproachful action making news headlines the concerned journalists as well as publication and broadcasting houses deserve plaudits. While media condemnation is no less uncommon, any physical assault on its members would lead to a riotous situation. We are only that much unbiased.
The fact is our climate is changing, and we can hardly blame Mama Earth; she has taken too much of a battering over the past century from the luxurious needs of particularly the rich and the mighty countries, not that we can sport a halo over our head.
The criminal and indiscriminate filling of wetlands by insatiable developers and land owners, the failure of our architects and engineers to find a building solution based on stilts sunk in lowland, the reluctance of our policymakers and bureaucrats (and oh well people) to accept any degree of innovation has robbed several of our cities and towns of the much-needed respiration.
The ponds are long gone, the canals exist but in legendary tales, the lakes have barely survived despite repeated rapes, and every patch of sunken ground catches the eye of the earth-filler, be it a developer or a landowner. And we expect lower levels of mercury?
We cannot however accept any lower level of water in our rivers, which India in gross violation of international treaty, law and norms are rendering dry by unilaterally diverting water from Teesta, Ganges, Brahmaputra and many other rivers to feeder irrigation canals in India, erecting hydro-electricity dams upstream, and denying our due share of water of cross-border Rivers originating (happily) in the Himalayas, but (sadly) ruthlessly trained in India. I quote a report in The Hindu (22 April 2014) 'The water of the Teesta is crucial for Bangladesh, especially in the leanest period from December to March when the water flow comes down to less than 1,000 cusecs from 5,000 cusecs.' In some places the water our Rivers get is 10% of their 'historical flow'.
The Times of India (12 March 2014) blames the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal for strongly opposing 'the equitable sharing of Teesta waters as envisaged in the draft Teesta Treaty', because Mamata & Co. plans to increase its intake from the river to irrigate more farmlands in North Bengal (India).Severely threatened is Assamese singer Bhupen Hajarika's (a BJP champion) 'Ganga amar maa, Padma amar maa, O amar dui chokhe dui joler dhara, Meghna Jamuna'. (Ganga is my mom, Padma is my mom, Oh the water flow in my two eyes, Meghna Jamuna)
But, it seems India (read Trinamool Congress) has a diehard supporter of one of our major political parties controlling the valves at the Teesta Barrageat Gojoldoba, Jalpaiguri (West Bengal). Or else how can one explain the overnight doubling of water flow in to our Teesta no sooner had their long march commenced from Dhaka? Unfortunately, Valve Bhai was caught soon after our media started highlighting the news; and he was summarily removed from the strategic post. As a result, the water level had again gone to as low as our neighbours could get.
Despite the personal loss of job of a patriotic soul, traitor to them, the episode has given rise to 'an idea, Sir!' Instead of lobbying through disjointed Joint Rivers Commission and the United Nations, and begging mamata from the WB supremo, why do not we recruit surreptitiously the entire staff at such Indian barrages? Ad in paper: WANTED male or female Indian betrayer willing to tamper barrage valves in favour of Bangladesh. No experience possible. Must not be intimidated by long or short march. Salary in six figures to be paid through state Bank of India, Dhaka branch.
Some other lucrative jobbers though, although Bangladeshis, are shamelessly responsible for the past and recent leakage of question papers. According to Manab zamin (28 April), since year 2009 questions have been leaked of BCS, Detective Branch, Social Welfare officers, Food Department officers, Government Primary School Assistant Teachers, Audit, NBR, Medical, Secondary School Certificate, Higher Secondary Certificate, Agrani Bank, Rupali Bank and different university examinations, which actions cannot be denounced enough, as the practice if allowed to go undetected, unquestioned, undeterred and exemplarily unpunished, bodes doom for the nation.
The repeated occurrences of such nefarious activities threaten to rob wholesale the achievements of some of the ministries, education to name one under its present guru, which would be a shame. And here is where one can smell a rat in the pipeline. It has to be an inside job by a chain of insiders. Their punishment (as per law) sadly cannot be more than ten years in prison; life is what they deserve because they are breaking the backbone of this nation.
The pattern is most unfair to students and examinees, who prepare hard and well for the exams, but are undone by illicit sharing of 'confidential' information. Those who were supposed to do well will perhaps not, and vice versa. So we have a whole bunch of nincompoops grinning their heads out and seeking spots in institutions of higher institutions, which have results-based admission. It is possible that our future will be led by certified morons unless we can put these leakage criminals behind bars.
Interestingly, those who have 'benefited' from the proshno-faaash (homonym faash, meaning noose) including the parents remain quiet; actually, some go euphoric on social networks. The media play their usual role; they report a matter but do not make a longstanding issue of it. The politicians pretend to be busier with more pressing matters and continue to appear in ironed attire. Only those who miss the 'golden chance' lament 'foul'.
Most intriguing is the manner in which some university students have reacted on Facebook to the recent confirmed SSC and rumoured HSC leakages. They actually dread the prospect of these (dumb) open-book examinees soiling their beloved institutions should they get admission.These present students are guilty of not looking under their own lamp?They are in all probability enrolled in institutions that are steeped in corruption of the academic type, especially involvingteachers' appointment. Yet, students remain unconcerned, indifferent and unworried about matters that should concern them at the tertiary level. They choose to be taught by underqualified teachers (?) who are beneficiaries of nepotism, and by fraudulent teachers(?) who have resorted to falsehood in their application. These persons are no less, if not more, harmful for a nation than those involved in leaking questions papers.
Selective criticism by the knowledgeable lets the real culprits off the hook. If you cannot tolerate one form of corruption, you should detest all forms of corruption. Otherwise, that too is a form of nepotism.