The healthiest form of democracy in the world is now being threatened by treasonous mutterings of an uprising.
The ramblings of the disenfranchised may collectively lead to an avalanche of disgruntlement that buries us before the earthquake, affectionately titled, The Big One.
Animals in and around the country have been raising allegations of discrimination, squarely levelling the blame on the government and its actor for propagating a harmful and hateful narrative.
“Twenty-five trees go missing and suddenly it's our fault?” a representative of the Association of Blue Whales asked at a press conference organised by the Rat and Blue Whale Association of Bangladesh.
In the northern side of the country, under the jurisdiction of the ruler of the North, 25 trees recently “died by suicide”. That was the conclusion authorities reached when they were unable to explain the fate of the possibly “illegally logged trees.”
“Yes, there was a contractor working at the time of the incident, but I am sure he did not do it. In fact, we found etches on the barks that seem to be shaped like a whale,” one of the investigators said.
A recent spate of suicide of teenagers has also been linked to the Blue Whales. The latter deny the association outright.
“We had nothing to do with this. Teenage suicide isn't an uncommon phenomenon. Plus, what is the evidence we had anything to do with this?” the Blue Whale rep asked. “Where is the evidence that this game of ours even exists?”
“Also, what about the CORPORATE media that is so hungry to show off their knowledge that they keep writing about what each level of this so-called game encompasses? How are they not culpable?” he queried.
Investigators point to the “blue whale” markings that occur frequently in such cases. “Some of it isn't really a blue whale, but it's a fish, right?” the investigator said in equal parts stupidity and befuddlement. When informed that the whale was actually a mammal, he had no response.
“Yes, kids are under a lot of pressure today. Yes, there is growing inequality that can aggravate feelings of inadequacy. Yes, there is too much homework. And alienation. But if it wasn't for the Blue Whales and smart phones, all this could have been prevented,” he further said.
The Rat members also highlighted the government's unfair treatment. “We were invited in and now they treat us so badly. Last year, they claimed we ate BDT 700 crore taka worth of rice. Now, they claim, we ate their dam and caused the flood in the haor areas,” a member said. “What were they doing when we were eating all these things?” she asked.
Experts though agreed that rats can eat dams. In regards to the trees, this unnamed expert, who lies to fit a narrative, added that storms may have damaged them.
In good news, ragpickers, or street urchins as we dismissively call them like it's the 1500s and we are back to having the English Poor Laws, joined the animals in their protests. “Because our university has a problem with free-mixing, they make this rule and blame us? Because we use their toilets,” a ragpicker rep said.
Indeed, the threads of disharmony seem to be tying themselves in an unbreakable knot. But citizens of this city, so irritated by the traffic and rain, know that the coming election means things are about to change. And by change, we mean basically the same thing and maybe, just maybe, done by different people (but probably not).
Osama Rahman is a Sub-editor, The Daily Star.