Listening to Joy - the civilized trailblazer
Leading the young ones towards education and learning, not politics
It was 25th of December, the Christmas Day, a holiday. I was surfing the TV channels in the morning to catch the latest news of interest. I stopped at Ekattor TV when I saw Sajeeb Wazed Joy talking. He was being interviewed by a lady anchor of the channel.
I decided to hear Joy, who by now is one of the most important persons in Bangladesh politics, administration and development process. A fervent adherent of Bangladesh Awami League and a member of the illustrious Sheikh family, Joy has undeniably matured over the years in his thoughts and campaigns.
Moreover, these days the TV talk shows have lost the appeal and prominence, simply because we don't get to hear good speakers and knowledgeable persons. In other words, the regular talk shows have become a pain for the viewers.
So it is unquestionably a matter of privilege and rare opportunity to have an individual, like Joy, in a TV chat show, who has so much to give and say. Our viewers now need exceptional charismas to appear and tell us something new, constructive and thoughtful. Sajeeb Wazed Joy is one of those uncommon persons.
Being the son of the Prime Minister and an IT adviser to the government, he has been playing a significant role in the comprehensive development schemes of the country, mainly in the national digitalization programme.
He is also the trailblazer of the young generation. He has been ideally leading the young ones, not towards politics, but towards education and learning. This perhaps makes him different from other political family members.
Of late Rahul Gandhi took over as the president of the Indian National Congress. Similarly, there is the natural expectation that Joy will also be the deserving successor to the presidency of Awami League. But he has been categorically saying that he has no intention of joining politics to become MP or minister.
However, coming back to the TV interview, it was interesting to listen to his remarks and observations. I got seriously engaged in the show. I heard him earnestly. His Bangla delivery, clarity of speech, ideas, intentions and stances all appeared so imposing.
He spoke on almost all current issues of the day with masterly relevance and no stress whatsoever. Especially his political remarks were unambiguous. When asked about the last national polls where more than 150 MPs were elected unopposed and in which Bangladesh Nationalist Party ( BNP) did not take part, he answered with so much ease and clarity that it appeared this was only natural in politics.
He observed that Awami League tried to bring in BNP to talk before the polls but the BNP party chief did not respond to the call of the Prime Minister. He pointed out that Sheikh Hasina made a telephone call to Khaleda Zia, inviting her for a talk, and the whole nation heard the conversation between the two. He recalled how Khaleda Zia rebuked his mother by turning down her request for a dialogue.
He also mentioned that when Arafat Rahman (son of Khaleda Zia) died, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina went to meet Begum Khaleda Zia to condole his death. But to utter surprise and awe, she was not met by Khaleda Zia and not even allowed inside the house. This was a great offence and absolute admonishment for a sitting Prime Minister. Joy lamented that his mother had to swallow the insult.
He was critical of BNP and its leaders. But there was neither stinging remark nor any inference of vengeance. All the time, he kept his calm and poise while talking on complex issues.
He went on saying that this time round we (AL) are not going to ask BNP for a dialogue or call them to join polls. It is their will. It is not for the AL or the government to bring the parties to national or local elections. The AL has no further obligations, he remarked.
On the issues of popularity he confidently stated that according to a survey, Awami League's popularity has risen more than before. Majority of the people are now ready to vote for AL. Whereas, BNP's acceptance has fallen to less than 30 per cent. AL is expected to win big this time.
Regarding the negatives of the ruling party government and the areas that needs to be addressed he pointed to the lack of communications infrastructure development in district and rural areas. But he quickly added that these will also pick up fast, since law and order situation is far improved than any time in the past.
To me this interview was an important show-casing of the future leader of this country. One may not agree with his views in its entirety, however he handled the session immaculately and with shimmering compose. He answered every question with such ease that he beat most seasoned speakers of any political or civil party.
His postures and facial expressions were really a treat to watch. The smiles and comfort that showed in his face was exceptional. At no point of this session did he appear nervous or floundering. Moreover, he delivered his statements so clearly that there was no need for him to repeat his words.
His knowledge and observations of things was remarkable. Whether he becomes a minister or the party chief is not important, he shows signs of a seasoned statesman and a constructive thinker. He is already a good motivator, not only for the young ones, but for all.
Most impressive was his unblemished understanding of the roadmap for the future. He knew what he wanted to deliver in the talk. He did exactly that. I sincerely feel that we need knowledgeable, confident and distinct persuaders like him.
With a significant scholastic upbringing, he is the one who could bring about the transformation that is so much required in this parched society of ours.
I conclude by saying that his appearance, remarks, observations and criticisms were all wrapped in civility and graciousness. My personal good wishes to him.
Mohammad Ali Sattar is a columnist