Politically turbulent Dhaka is seeing a respite from heated arguments between rival politicians over trifling or serious national issues as the country goes to recess for Eid-ul Azha and the annual big festival of sacrifice.
This is a holy occasion of the Muslims who put behind everything during the official leave for Eid, starting Sunday to Tuesday. But many have extended leave over weekends preceding the vacation spending more time with families and friends in their hearth and home. This makes happy reunion at least once a year.
Majority of Dhaka-based political leaders have left the city already-from both ruling Awami League and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Many BNP leaders unable to go home and forced to stay in the capital are either in jail or waiting to go in "soon" as they are facing many court cases. Excepts for those who are in Saudi Arabia to perform Holy Hajj, ministers, MPs, bigwigs, other AL leaders are leaving the capital for their respective village homes to exchange Eid greetings with the people in their constituencies for strengthening relations.
Meanwhile, BNP Joint Secretary-General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed at a news conference on Saturday vented his anger over allegation of corruption and violence against the party stalwarts, terming it as a "thirst for blood" of the government and the ruling party.
Indeed Rizvi had reasons for anguish as the BNP leaders and activists are falling in what he said was government laid traps of trumped up charges. He also warned that BNP would face any challenge including fictitious legal actions by all means and never give in to pressure.
AL leaders have also cautioned the people about conspiracy by the BNP and its allies to destabilize the country and thwart democracy. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the government and law enforcers would give a befitting reply if BNP or anyone else tries to create anarchy in the country.
Despite heated exchange of words, the city is falling largely quiet on the eve of the Eid celebration, with top leaders of ruling and opposition parties sharing greetings with party adherents, the elites and diplomats stationed in Dhaka.
However, there is some unease among the public about how politics would take turn after the Eid. BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia has renewed her threat to launch a long-hyped anti-government movement after the Eid to try to depose Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and force a mid-term election under a caretaker administration. But many doubt her plans as BNP rank and file appear still unprepared for a high-risk campaign and join a likely violent showdown on the streets.
People in general also dislike any violence or anarchy as a similar campaign last year neither brought them any good nor could stop the election in January this year - instead claimed the lives of more than 200 people and left many more injured in a month-long mayhem.
Just a day before the Eid, devout Muslims have fanned out all over the country, reaching cattle markets and buying sacrificial animals of their choice. Even the low income people put funds together to buy bulls, oxen and goats within their means for sacrifice on an approved proportionate share basis.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is also AL President, and BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia have sent Eid greetings to the people of the country and have also exchanged Eid greeting cards between themselves.
The Prime Minister also greeted Opposition Leader of Parliament, Raushan Ershad, her husband HM Ershad, chief of Jatiya Party and a special envoy of the Prime Minister.