The tragedy in Savar once again showed us how removed the political parties are from the challenges that the country faces.
In a time when scores of people from all over the city, and country for that matter, came together to support rescue efforts, our political leaders, from both the ruling and opposition parties, chose to play their political games, and push forward with their regular schedules – regardless of how inappropriate it may be in the face of this national tragedy.
As the death count continues to rack up, and people lose hope of ever finding their loved ones, it is disappointing to see that the government seems so aloof in its handling of the situation.
It is incomprehensible that our prime minister did not seem to find the magnitude of the tragedy sufficient to warrant a visit. Instead, the government pushed on with the swearing-in ceremony for the president, with all its pomp and grandeur. The prime minister also found the time to inaugurate a new train line that will run between Dhaka and Narayanganj.
But credit must be given where it is due. The prime minister did take the time out of her busy schedule to make a couple of underwhelming statements reacting to the tragedy, laced with digs at the opposition party.
Apparently, it is possible to find common ground between the ruling and opposition parties. We certainly found some yesterday in their callous attitudes towards Savar. While the BNP did withdraw their hartal in Dhaka, they took seven hours to do it. And, of course, the statements made by BNP leaders were all aimed at making the government look worse.
Our “leadership” would do well to take a page out of the public’s book and forget politics for a second. Instead, they should be focused on properly organising rescue efforts that have been inadequate and taking steps to ensure that this kind of tragedy cannot occur again.