Friday, December 30, 2005

Alternate Reality: Bangladesh's racy future has a very provicative title on their main page linking to an article on the current situation in Bangladesh: Guess Where the Next Osama Is Growing Up?

But where they see fear, we see hope, and where they see Osama, we predict it is more likely to be Osama's scandalous niece! Here is what I say should happen:

It's time for a charismatic new politician, newly returned from the west, to save Bangladesh! His symbol will be the Hilsa fish, he will quote from the Quran all the time to confound the religious intolerants with messages of peace, but at the same time he will unite and motivate Bangladesh with the message not from God but from Mammon! We are all going to be rich! he will declare like Nasser once did, but no nationalisation here, it will be privatisation this time. And to mock the communists across the border, he will add Deng Xiaoping's cry: To be rich is Glorious! And for the grand finale, he will quote the Quran and say, err, something in Arabic.

Natural Gas wil be sold, India's arm will be twisted to earn bounties of american dollars for the train routes and shipping access they covet, it will be made easier for Bangladesh's hard working people overseas to send back home remittances! Those overseas, rich and poor, will be encouraged to invest and join in the motherland's success. Suddenly the English will wake up to find they are a nation of bangladeshi-curry eaters, every Delhi-wallah will be greeted...oh wait scratch that, the Indians might launch a programme to get rid of foreigners. Anyway, in the west, the new Bangladesh will be relentlessly promoted through the linkages of the bangladeshis abroad, and they are everywhere!

Closer to home, economic policies that only work in theory, guided by the God of the Invisible Hand, will be launched! The Brahmaputra will be punctured with new irrigation canals, and its annual impudence damned forever by new dams!

There will be social changes too! Anthony I mean err this new politician will appeal to the sisterhood of Bangladesh: You are mothers, aunts, sisters, wives of these deranged religious fanatics! Will you not knock some sense into them, will you not use kitchen utensils to good effect if your husband or son comes back home listening to too much nonsense? What kind of bengali man does not listen to his wife and mother, what bengali sister will sit back and let her husband make the decisions! This is not our culture! Energised, the women's movement will nip the radical islamic movement in the bud and take their rightful place at the head of moderate progressive families!

Another government initiative will be free cinema showings of the latest Bollywood Hits for young men, so they remember how much more attractive and desirable women are than communion with God, and both demand and supply for religious lunacy will disappear! Women will be the saviour of the country, they will lead the country forward and the men will follow them!

A new bangladesh will emerge, which will not produce any terrorist bombers the world fears now, but something they will learn to fear even more: even more Bangladeshis in foreign countries, willing to do the locals' jobs for a cheaper price and make the locals unemployed! Ha ha, take that! But this new generation will be better educated than the one before, and the job they will be doing will be a better one than their forefathers did! The world will have to recognise Bangladesh's resurgence, America will finally find the shining example of Muslim democracy it so desperately desires, and also a source of not just enough truck drivers and cooks, but also accountants and ITwallahs willing to serve in Iraq if the price is right!

Very soon Bangladesh will begin its rapid climb in the comity of nations. We will watch on tv as Bangladesh win the cricket world cup, as Miss Bangladesh wins the Miss Universe title and become the leading supermodel of the world, and we will all eat fish curry and rice to celebrate!

Amar Sonar Bangla