Last time when I visited Bangladesh, I was struck by the fact that common people simply seemed to have a lot of free time on their hands.
A fistfight erupts between two college kids outside New Market, a crowd gathers to watch the fight. A pickpocket is captured by someone, a mob gathers around to beat him up. An accident happens, and immediately a huge group of onlookers gather to peer at the wrangled mess of a rickshaw and a scooter. A poor, mad woman decided to climb up the electric pole, leading to thousands immediately gathering at the base to watch her get electrocuted/saved.
To the people in the crowd: don't you have any work?
I was in my uncle's car near Savar and the driver got into a narrow alley. Immediately one kid appeared from nowhere and appointed himself as traffic director, stopping rickshaws, directing pedestrians and making way for the car.
It's Friday, the imam says something to the crowd, and immediately 10,000 people gather for a protest, getting offended about something that affects them remotely at best.
Again, don't you have any work to do? Kids to pick up from school, dawats to attend to, groceries to buy, take the car for servicing? Despite one of the lowest GDPs in the world, with record unemployment and poverty, how do you have so much free time? I mean, people actually sit home and watch Test cricket for 5 days!
And if this is the common folk, what about our politicians?
Today, Bangladesh won in cricket, beating Sri Lanka by 4 wickets. And what did our politicians do?
Parliament unanimously passed a felicitation motion Wednesday congratulating Bangladesh cricket team for its first ever one-day victory against Sri Lanka in Bogra.
With all the problems facing the country (the Opposition boycotting parliament, India accusing Bangladesh of promoting illegal immigration, Farakka dam issue, CHT insurgency, bombs in Dhaka, US politicians accusing Bangladesh of terrorism, election laws reforms to be debated) this is what they do?
Congratulate the cricket team? Soon you will the PM Khaleda Zia calling them up personally and announcing cash and land prices for the team.
What about Pakistani leaders?
They are facing growing discontent in Baluchistan. Women in Pakistan are denied justice when raped. Thousands of people are still marching over cartoons (or are they). The US is letting off explosives inside Pakistan. The terrorists are using the border areas to fight Kabul.
And, as Zainub pointed out, what is Musharref upto these days?
Why, he attends cricket games (for full 8 hours), grabs the mike from an announcer and comments on the Indian wicket keeper's hairstyle.
Honestly, no wonder nothing gets done back in those countries. That the countries still function is a testament to the existence of Allah.
Tags: Cricket Desi