Burma Times:Dr. Sinha M. A. Sayeed.17 January 2016
Guru (mentor) was under the weather and doctor advised him to walk at least an hour a day either in the morning before breakfast or in the afternoon before taking refreshments, if any or habituated. Guru used to take one disciple by rotation as his associate since everybody was interested to accompany him. So, as usual one day Guru and one of his disciples, Ali Asad, were walking in a public park at a push area.
‘It is, if truth be told, difficult to get a bona fide disciple’ Guru said to the disciple.
‘More difficult is to get a genuine guru’ replied the disciple in haste.
Listening to the conversations from behind a senior citizen of sixty four years old named Mir Layek Ali noticeably voiced in a pessimistic tune and gesture ‘The most difficult is to find out both true guru and disciple(s) who are sincere, fair and committed to each other under all the circumstances, favorable or not’.
‘Are you talking about the domains of politics, statecrafts and leadership in today’s Bangladesh?’ Guru posed a question to the senior citizen, also a retired Government official.
‘I am talking about all domains including yours’ Mir Layek Ali asserted with an unusual poise.
‘In that case you are absolutely lagging behind because I understood all these fifty years ago and accordingly set and based my guru ship after that very spirit. Today I feel and realize what I am but, interestingly enough, my disciples, past and/or present, do the reverse about me’ Guru whispered in Mir Layek Ali’s ear wittily.
‘Then you are a masquerader under the mask of guru’ articulated Mir Layek Ali.
‘Yes, It should equally be applicable to my disciples’ upheld the guru in a mood of confidence.
‘Is it so? wondered Mir Layek Ali.
‘Certainly so’ responded Guru adding ‘That’s why you may call me politician of the first water in the domain I am dealing with’ and sighed a sigh of relief coupled with a sense of self-aggrandisement.and then hurriedly he told the disciple—who sensing the exchanges of weighty talks between guru and Mir Layek Ali kept himself a little bit away so that nothing could pour in his ears—to get closer and follow him.
Mir Layek Ali was all at sea and became languish at guru’s understanding and use of the vocabularies of politics and politician(s). He started talking to himself ‘why does it happen so? Who are responsible for all such stupidities? Isn’t politics a noble job aimed at the welfare of the people in a state having its necessary links with bi-lateral, regional and global compacts in the context of time, space and dimension? Should not the politicians be respected with a due flavor for their sacrifices, honesty and commitments to the nation? Is there any definitional line of demarcation between politics and politicians in the past and in the present? Are politics and politicians of the day faced with a kind of identity crisis because of sliding of politics into politricks (perverted form) strengthened and sharpened by the prevailing confrontational politics both at government and party levels? If so, then where are we moving towards? Cannot we get and blessed with and more Sher-e-Bangla, Sharwardhy, Bhasani and Bangabandhu in today’s perspective? Is it fair and logical for a nation to merely beat the drum of the glorious past being indifferent to the present upon which depends the standing of present and future?
All on a sudden he came across Mir Showkat Ali, a social leader and retired civil servant, along with Naser Bhuiyan, Showkat Ali’s full-time trustworthy associate, coming from the opposite direction. He felt free and immediately got rid of the unbearable suffocation. Mir Showkat Ali was also happy to meet him after a long. He passed on to Mir Showkat Ali in detail what he gathered from the guru few minutes ago. Mir Showkat Ali busted into a meaningful laughter adding ‘Politicians are disputed in many ways and such words are not absent and unwelcome in politics and political science: Then he drew Mir Layek Ali’s attention to some landmark sayings dealing with politicians as follows.
According to Urban Dictionary ‘politician refers to 1. A person who tries to please everybody when speaking, and tries to steal everything when acting. 2. A pathological liar. 3. When in electoral campaign: a prostitute.
Politician A: It was a good movie.
Politician B: Yes it was’.
American Heritage Dictionary of English Language (Fourth Edition, updated in 2009, published by Houghton Mifflin Company).put forward the views that ‘1. (a) A politician is a person who is actively involved in politics, especially in party politics and (b) One who seeks personal or partisan gain, often by scheming and maneuvering: “Mothers may still holds or seeks a political office 2. One who want their favorite sons to grow up to be President, but . . . they do not want them to become politicians in the process” (John F. Kennedy); and 3. One who is skilled or experienced in the science or administration of government’.
‘Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnels’ (Johnson Quinton, American actor/writer).
‘Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river (Nikata Khrushcev, Russian Soviet politician).
‘What happens if a politician drowns in a river? That is pollution.
‘What happens if all of them drown? That is solution (Compiled by Vijendra Gupta, New Delhu}.
[Taken from the write-up ‘Fathering a novel’ by Khushwant Singh in Dhaka Courier, 31 May 2013].
All these propositions and conclusions were not so easily convincing to Mir Layek Ali? A number of queries as well readily started taking placing and developing in his mind like ‘Why are all these told about politicians? Aren’t politicians under off-putting impression? Aren’t all such points representing one side of the coin? Should not we look into other side of the coin such as ‘Politics is a kind of services and, perhaps, it is the highest form of services, which requires unflinching commitments, dedication and altruism involving time, energy and money? Isn’t it founded on the concept of ‘giving-up’ not of ‘taking-away’?
Understanding Mir Layek Ali’s overall mental state of standing Mir Showkat Ali continued to convincing him adding ‘the term politician, unlike a politician in a city-state, implies a person’s onward association with a political party with risks and responsibilities, dedications, sacrifices and commitments for a particular period of time. It may be at local, regional or national stature. All the workers, leaders at various stages cannot be called politicians since the term carries some special and more qualifications.
Therefore, logical deduction is that a person, who has been in politics with a membership in a political party for a certain period of time, thus gathers knowledge and experience through a process of political actions and responses and holds leadership portfolio at any stage or various stages of his party is said to be a politician. Leadership may be imposed or foisted upon and a person may become a leader overnight without being a politician whereas a politician cannot be a politician without at the same time being a leader at any stage of organizational set-up i.e. local, regional or national. So, politician presupposes both politics and leadership at the same time giving birth to a sense of competition to do good, better and the best for the people in a state (Quoted from ‘Politics: Time. Space and Dimension’ by Dr. Sinha M. A. Sayeed in African Herald Express on 29 December 2012)’.
‘Well, in that case let the politicians of the day entailing political activists, leaders and statesmen in the folds of various political parties and political scientists and political analysts in Bangladesh come forward with necessary stocks and barrels backed by befitting balance-sheets to tell and establish what the truth is in today’s perspective’ replied Mir Layek Ali with a frame of mind full of angers and accusations.
[Dr. Sinha M. A. Sayeed, Chairman of Leadership Studies Foundation, Member of International Political Science Association, writer and columnist, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, Bangladesh]