Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Following victory of Republican Party’s presidential candidate in the US, how many of the American companies had published congratulatory advertisements, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in the newspapers? Can we recollect? How many of the financial or business establishments publish similar advertisements following victory of any political party in the West or even in those civilized Asian nations? In fact, even a naïve would understand the reason when some financial or business establishments go into such mad attempts of sycophancy.
Whenever any individual, financial or business entities would spend significant amount of money in getting their “congratulatory” messages published in the newspapers, we can always understand – there actually is some ulterior motive of getting undue favour by this cheap way of sycophancy. And, when any public establishment does the same by spending public money, can we not consider this as another form of corruption as public money are not supposed to be wasted in the urge of sycophancy of those bosses sitting in the cozy chairs in the public institutions and establishment. What all of us precisely understand, such sycophancy certainly has the clear goal of either somehow getting into inner circle of the power or at least remaining within the circle of sympathy and favour. In other words – they spend public money purely for their personal gain. This is even more than just wasting public money. It in fact clearly is – another form of serious corruption.
In Bangladesh, culture of sycophancy unfortunately has already taken institutional shape. Everyone here – irrespective of profession and social status, are competing in exhibiting their skill of sycophancy. Most unfortunately, those who are occupying top-most positions in our politics and society not only feel amused in such sycophancy rather they even expect this from the favour-seekers.
Have we ever calculated the amount of public money wasted in such sycophancy almost on a regular basis? I clearly remember, when Professor Mohammad Yunus got the Nobel Peace Prize – more or less through the courtesy of President Bill Clinton and his controversial first-lady Hillary, most of the companies run by Yunus were competing in wasting money in congratulating him by publishing advertisements in different media. It seemed like as if he has conquered the world. Airtime in a private television channel was bought by a company run by Yunus to show him and his family waving hands to a group of “fans” in Norway. Most possibly, we Bangalis were considered as “Bangals” by this man. Otherwise he would realize, we already knew how those people were sent by a partner company of Grameen Phone in Norway. Why did Mohammad Yunus go for such filthy show? Because he wanted to show the people of Bangladesh – how “great” and “famous” he was. Seeing this naked exposition of someone’s lack of minimum sense of dignity, I immediately decided to expose the lies of Professor Yunus centering a woman named Sufiya Begum. Shamelessly Yunus portrayed Sufiya Begum of Jobra village in Chattogram as the “model” of the success story stating she had become rich and even built a multi-storied building. But in reality, the building Yunus showed the world as being owned by Sufiya Begum belongs to an expatriate Bangladeshi while Sufiya died in acute poverty and all her daughters are beggars. A Danish documentary, Caught in Micro Debt, produced and directed by journalist Tom Heinemann, aired on Norwegian national television NRK in November 2010 had shown this entire matter. Most importantly, Tom Heinemann took the information from my newspaper Blitz.
I have cited this example just for my readers to understand – those who enjoy being encircled by sycophants are just clone copies of this internationally known man who fooled the world with lies.
Hopefully, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will make a great instance by discouraging those sitting in the public institutions and offices from spending public money towards sycophancy. A magnanimous statesman like Sheikh Hasina does not need such sycophants and their sycophancies.
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is the editor of Blitz