13 June, 2021

Zenana Republic

It's reigning women, much to the distress of the nation and its men

Zenana Republic
Call it sexist, a contemptible manifestation of male chauvinism. But across the wide swathe of Bangladesh, whether you're engaged in a passionate roadside discussion or sipping cocktails at a diplomatic do, the conversation invariably turns to the unsavoury sniping between the two high priestesses of Bangladeshi politics, Begum Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina Wajed. The verdict is usually unanimous: that their animosity has put the skids under Bangladesh's march to progress and that they are responsible for the nation's plight.

You could think of it as a male backlash, or the inevitable bitterness that seeps in at the crashing of hope. Nearly a year after Khaleda Zia swept into office, she's already alienated a large chunk of those who voted her bnp. Raging lawlessness and rampant corruption have made many prognosticate that she might be forced to step down before her term expires.

But what's the alternative: Sheikh Hasina? People can only recall her contempt for the rule of law and her inability to govern. Laments leading political commentator Prof Serajul Islam...

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