The Choice Ahead: A Bright Reality or Fake Hasina

Ehtesham Haque

In just the last one week, Sheikh Hasina took a selfie with President Joe Biden and had everyone blatantly lie about it, her daughter was caught falsely advertising herself as possessing a doctorate degree, Hasina’s blatant nepotism in pushing her daughter for a top post at the WHO was further exposed, Amanullah Aman was jailed despite a High Court acquittal, initial documentation for the purchase of ten Airbus planes that Bangladesh cannot afford were signed, DMP and Chatra League engaged in open warfare inside one of Dhaka’s busiest hospitals, two officials of Odhikar were jailed for saying that Hasina had massacred 61 people as opposed to 27 people, and we found out that the Hasina regime has been running a massive disinformation network of paid freelancers. Whew. And this was one of the quieter weeks, relatively speaking.

It can be exhausting to keep up with the day-to-day crimes, transgressions, and follies of the Hasina regime. After a while, the temptation is to just check out, to shrug and pretend that none of it matters, or both parties are equally bad, or whatever happens that nothing will change. And that is what dictators want. They want you jaded, apathetic, punch-drunk on so much outrage, angst, and fury that everything feels numb after a while. If Hasina had her way, Bangladesh would resemble these famous lines from Yeats: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst, Are full of passionate intensity.”

Luckily for us, and unluckily for Hasina, the best of Bangladesh are committed as never before to bringing about the end of this dictatorship. In the latest Open Society Foundation Survey, a massive 91% of people indicated their preference for a democratic Bangladesh. This is the same majority that will sweep away Sheikh Hasina.

There is a famous story of how Karl Rove differentiated himself (and by extension, the administration he was a part of) from his critics: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

We are dedicated to ensuring that we, and you, remain one step ahead of Hasina, so that as her engine of dictatorship slows done, runs out of fuel, and falls apart, it will be us, with you help, who will be creating the new reality. And it will be immeasurably better.