It is a story of the year 1995. Richard Galpin, a journalist of BBC, will leave Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina just resigned from the parliament. All the members of parliament (MPs) of the opposition party resigned collectively following her leadership. Sheikh Hasina shifted to Dhanmondi’s house number 5 known as Sudha Sadon. The president of Awami League invited Richard Galphin for a tea program there. While walking after having tea Galpin inaudibly said, “Next prime minister of your country”. I asked him, “You stayed here in Bangladesh for this long, what is it that impressed you about Sheikh Hasina?” “Her straight-forwardness. She can tell the truth without any fear. She might need to pay for this”, replied Galpin.
Galpin came on my mind while watching the press conference of the prime minister in the afternoon. Straight-forward, delightful, open, outspoken, dauntless. These are perhaps the characters of Sheikh Hasina. After doing some internal work I found that the premiers of the states do not accept questions of the journalists in the press conference now-a-days. German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a press conference on December 01 where she left the press conference immediately after her speech. And the press conference of the present American president means a war-kind of relationship between him and the media. But the prime minister of Bangladesh is like an open book. She does not hesitate to express what she believes in and thinks of. However, I would like to term this press conference “editors’ conference”. No reporters except Mou from Maasranga Television and a young reporter from Desh TV had the chance to throw any question to prime minister. It has been good that prime minister has spoken of her heart to the editors directly. Bangla Insider first published the report “Zia family’s name in Saudi’s anti-corruption investigation”. When we published that news two editors taught me ‘journalism’ over phone. Today I saw they went there with a drum of oil. Prime minister rebuked the mainstream media houses for not publishing the news about Begum Zia and her family’s illegal money trafficking in Saudi Arabia. Even she went on to ask if they got anything out of this. Thank you prime minister for your straight-forwardness! Prime minister has also said “What would you have done if this kind of news were against me or my family?”
Prime minister knows and understands everything. It is not unknown to her who among the journalists present in Ganabhaban are waiting for Tarique Rahman. If anyone has observed prime minister’s press conference closely, then he/she would understand that prime minister has unveiled the character of the flattering media. Everyone in Bangladesh is afraid of media. Nobody wants to talk against media. Everybody tries to compromise with media. Here lies the uniqueness of Sheikh Hasina. She tells the white as white and the black as black. Thank you prime minister, thank you the dauntless.
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