I “met” the Awami League’s dinosaur gen sec last year. I was in Changi airport waiting for a connection to Dhaka. We were called to board, and then suddenly the gate was closed. We were told a VIP would be boarding first. We waited to see who this bloody nuisance of a VIP would be. Imagine our collective disgust when we saw the figure of Jalil plodding down the closed off gangway to the plane. What a disgrace, the gathered Bengalis felt, that this plump personage who together with his boss was responsible for so much chaos and violence in Dhaka because of their hardline stance was being honoured like this over and above paying passengers like us (some of us are SIA’s elite PPS status). Why could  he not board with everyone else? What gives him the right to stage his own mini-blockade here in Changi, Singapore?

Anyway, Mr Jalil has had something of a comeuppance recently. It appears he was basically ticked off for his little MOU with the khelafatistas which would have seen this so-called secular Awami League okaying fatwabajis and okaying communalism. But it was left to his hardline boss, Sheikh Hasina, to come to his defence and explain that principles are to be entirely forgotten when it comes to winning elections ( necessary for access to state resources) - confirming once again, the thesis of clientilist politics of Prof M Khan of SOAS as explained in this paper here (pdf document).

And then there is Mr Mossadak Ali Falu. He seems to have run out of luck good and proper. This guy could write the definitive book on corruption in Bangladesh. I really think Transparency International in Gulshan should give him a fellowship and ask him to write his memoirs.  He is apparently already a writer of several books on islamic, historical and development issues! He is currently in jail, and one hopes, he will spend a sufficient time there to start on what should be a voluminous tome. He is a remarkably talented man - he has risen from nothing to being everything - writer, activist, President of the Mohammedan Sporting Club for over a decade, Khaleda’s chief operator, an MP, sorry a vote rigging MP that is, owner of private satellite TV channels, a hoarder of corrugated iron sheets meant for relief and you name it he has done it….and now he has topped his career by being charged with anti-state activities, obstructing safety and illegally erecting hoardings. What a man! And oh yes…there was yesterday’s conflagration in which sadly there were a number of deaths and injuries. Falu’s TV channel went up in smoke. I wonder if he is an arsonist too?