Government ministers are no ordinary persons. They are VIPS and enjoy status much above the mass people. They sit in air conditioned offices, drive most-often-than-not luxurious cars under police escorts. By dint of their being picked as ministers they enjoy a plethora of perks and privileges apart from their monthly pay. They may be elected by the people or not depending on the country they come from. And it is the people who pay for their salaries, perks and privileges in the forms of direct and indirect taxes. Thus they are called servants of the people though they prefer the term public leaders.
Since they are paid from the public exchequer it is expected that they will serve the people with honesty and integrity and uphold the national interests as per the oath they take under the constitution. The public have the right to feel betrayed when the public representatives break this sacred oath and go on stealing their wealth and undermining the nation by their nasty behavior. So when they found that Dr. Murad Hasan, a physician-turned-politician, took to the Facebook live to spew out misogynist and racist statements over women and in particular young female lawyer Zayma Rahman, who happens to the granddaughter of BNP leader Khaleda Zia, they were speechless. Before they could digest it, another FB post, circulating a leaked telephone conversation of Murad with film actress Mahiya Mahi purportedly two years ago, gripped the people with shock and disbelief. Is it possible? How could a minister (state) go to such a low? How could he use such obscenity-filled words and threats that can be done only by a sex pervert?
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who included this guy in her cabinet, three years ago, must have been devastated too. She didn't waste any time to take the hard decision to axe the foul-mouth before he makes deeper dents into her government and its image. Her prompt move has been lauded by the cross-section of people, I guess. But the question and big one remains as to how could he make to her governing zone at all. What had been the sparks that she saw in him? Was it just because he belongs to an Awami League family?
Murad, who was transferred from the health portfolio to the ministry of information and broadcasting, had nothing big to do in office. Sources close to him confided that his time at the latest ministry he served had largely been free except looking after the film industry which let him to come in touch with actors, actresses and directors. Judging by the leaked conversation (it's not though enough to make an accurate assessment) he has been in this business of making nuisance for a long time. It just can't be a heat of the moment one-time outburst of lewdness. It has been a pattern of his rowdy behavior rather than an isolated incident.
Murad's hyped exit from the government and his Awami League party's Jamalpur unit apparently came after his unspeakable abusive language used against BNP leader-in-exile Tariq Rahman's daughter in a controversial Facebook live interview, followed by misogynist comments about the residents of Dhaka University's Rokeya Hall and Shamsunnahar Hall. Just as if waiting on the queue to strike when the iron is hot quickly surfaced the 2-year-old leaked telephone conversation. Questions: Who taped the phone and recorded the obscenity? Who timed its release so perfectly to body-blow the now-fallen guy? Do we really need a half minister at a ministry with a full minister in charge?
We will be haunted by these questions before another episode on another issue jumps upon us.
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