Ghoosh the Crop of the Golden Country

            After the 1947 British partition and the noble war in 1971 to gain its sovereignty from East Pakistan, Bangladesh was born.            

Braggadocios of its independence and dismissive of foreign criticism, the emaciated country became a breeding ground for institutional corruption; replicating and reproducing in every hierarchy of political activity to the small activities of a rural community. It’s visible and invisible in a host of activities ranging from outright bribery Ghoosh of underhand deals involving vast sums of money at national and international levels, to petty, everyday baksheesh which the doorman at a bureaucrat's office extracts in order to perform his normal duties. (I even witnessed my dad giving ghoosh to get in front of the line at the dentist!)            

Grandiose events are held for Government officials who parrot human rights issues in front of the international community, yet endorse the abuse of human rights in their everyday activities; from the underpaid child servant who cleans their house to accepting ghoosh in regards to failing to prosecute criminals who throw acid on faces women. On a national level Bangladesh meets only 60% of demand for electricity; supply is rationed around the country, effectively wasting 12-16 man hours a day because of the lack of power.            

Crime rates are high (not surprising as Bangladesh is the most densely populated country in the world 160 000 000 people on 54 000 square miles) homicides, rapes, theft, kidnappings, robberies are more rampant than catching a stomach bug.              

Children are desensitized at a young age from exposure to images of dismembered corpses and urban-legend like stories of kidnappings for human trafficking in the media and maimed beggars on the street. Parents are worry constantly of their children being kidnapped on their way to school to be held for ransom and of meeting the cost of hiring multiple private tutors so as to give them leverage in the intense competition.            

We go overseas sporadically, but since the expiry of my maternal grandparents we have no inclination to go.             

Though we “think of ourselves as being part of the elite” due to our pedigree, education and generational wealth, we are still vulnerable to falling ill from cross contamination of food, dirty drinking water and pollution and goons who keep tabs of everyone in the neighborhood (regardless of how exclusive your place of residence is). High jackings are a common occurrence, goons walk around with weapons and leer at even the most modestly dressed girls, so even the most revered and educated families are eager to marry of their daughters. I was always chaperoned and my father would dislike if I sat in the veranda as it would draw attention from ruffians on the street.            

We led a (dare I say) lavish and very sheltered lifestyle, but due to death threats on my father’s life because of his success as a doctor, business man and philandering ways, we had to migrate.            

 I use to feel a little inferior when questioned which country I was born in (especially during the cricket season, as Australia would make racist slurs and refuse to play against an “inferior opponent”) and even people from the same sub-Asian region would belittle us. As we had no great natural wonders or contributed greatly to the advancement of mankind. However the great paradox is the kindness and cordial nature of the ordinary Bangladeshi, (who pays the greatest price from the neglect and corruption). I guess it’s a universal trait that the less one can offer, the more they give. That indeed is the essence of humanity.

umathena umathena
18-21, F
1 Response Jul 16, 2007

your last two sentences are profound and are quite accurate or so i've witnessed in my short life.