• Friday, March 06, 2015


Doubts, Suspicion and Distrust a Trilogy


Many years ago when bottled water was first made available in this country by some thinking entrepreneur (I forget who), there was a suspecting buzz in the industry doubting the commercial future of the fluid product. Us? Buy water? Nahhh… But today the market is literally flooded.
While the unscrupulous, seeking quick and illegal earnings have continued to fill plastic containers with tap/tube-well water, or so many of us suspect, the general consensus is we will be drinking more from plastic bottles than glasses.
I for one always doubted the practicality of machines handing us money instead of bank tellers, given the law and order situation arising out of any political and often social conflicts but ATMs in public places are today being used for a whole range of financial activities.
While the system is now popular in most towns and cities, and accompanying children somewhat convinced that adult life will be as easy as pushing some buttons on a box for an endless supply of money, I doubt many of us know that the acronym stands for 'automated teller machine'. I too looked up the dictionary.
We doubt. We suspect. We distrust.
Others also have doubts about us.
Others have a deep suspicion about us.
Others distrust us.
The story of our life is embodied in the discourse indeed over a considerable period of time between two conflicting neighbours; a drama that perhaps most of you are already well aware of from your own experiences:

A-positive: My son got admitted to university.
B-minus: His exams will not be held.
A-positive: He did well in all the papers.
B-minus: His results will not come out.
A-positive: He got First Class.
B-minus: He will not get a job.
A-positive: He joined a reputed firm.
B-minus: He will not get any salary.
A-positive: He got enough to get married.
B-minus: His wife will leave him.
A-positive: They have a son.
B-minus: Nothing will become of the boy.
A-positive: He got admitted to a great school.
The doubt, the suspicion, the mistrust never seems to depart us. Today's A-positive can be tomorrow's B-minus; their roles are so easily reversible.
Some of them in their twisted minds, despite knowing otherwise, express doubt whether our War of Liberation ever took place. Others suspect that this land might one day run the Pakistan way. And there is wholesale distrust among the two minorities. The majority of us of course know only too well that without doubt the Bengali people won the 1971 war, what with a little help from India, whom we suspect had a bi-agenda. But no one dreamt back then that there will be distrust among the two allies who nailed the ruthless, heatless, and pitiless Pakistan armed forces.
There were doubts in many quarters both at home and abroad that the 2014 elections could not be held without the participation of the opposition in the 9th Parliament. Equally the snakes and badgers major alliances always suspected that Don Juan might spring a surprise at the last moment; and how well (sorry, sick) did he do it! Now there is distrust in the boycotters' tent that the present government might carry on to complete a full five-year term.
Never have all the ministers in any cabinet been able to draw respect from the public because there was and is that doubt that some of them cannot deliver in accordance with the demand of the ministry they have been allotted. One suspects district and group lobbying as well as personal likes and dislikes of the appointers take front stage with qualification of the person taking oath stuck in the green room. No wonder then that a few months into any government there is distrust because those undeserving have begun to show their true colours. Like I say, always take coloured photo even if the attire is completely black and white.
Some of our universities are in shambles. There is no doubt that some of the Vice Chancellors are fully responsible for the shame befalling education in Bangladesh because they have failed to deliver vision, leadership, intellectualism, and integrity. Need it be said they have ruined the reputation of the leader, the party, and the country. We suspect they do not have the sense to bother about such philosophical matters, for all they care for is the chair, even if that means they cannot chair a single meeting. And, yes, they distrust everyone except the corrupt.
It would be unfair (nay unsporting) not to bring cricket into this trilogy of doubt, suspicion and distrust simply because today cricket is all that more. There is doubt whether several leaders of international cricket know that a ball going along the carpet to cross the boundary line is marked for four; so strong is their political background. We suspect that at the ICC level there is hand-in-glove arrangement for personal glory with an exception or two among the representatives of the member nations. Just before and since the new policy on ICC governance, competition, and finance was adopted this month, there is overwhelming distrust among its fans across the world that the perpetrators of the “security council” style format have only self interest in their thinking process. And, 'self' here does not include the country they act for. Yes! To a great extent it is acting.
I always had doubts whether 'lol' stood for lots of love, logical eh! But, lest someone suspected I was not abreast with the mainstream jargon of the 'modern' (sic) way of life, and despite my inclination to be playful, I refrained from using the expression so often found on social networks. My distrust was not unfounded. I am still 'laughing out loud'.

Published: 12:00 am Friday, February 14, 2014

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