Dictators and beauties
By Sunita Paul
Many readers must have read novels on the hidden episodes of Wahabi dictators in Saudi Arabia or those Oil Sheikhs in Arab countries. In at least dozens of stories written about those Arab harems, I was astonished to learn that, beauties in many cases, become so influential that they become much stronger than those wives of the Arab kings and sheikhs as well as they start dictating in state policies of the country. If we haven't yet forgotten Saddam Hussein or his sons. The former dictator and his sons were surrounded by beauties, both locals and 'imported', who were in some cases, much powerful than any of the ministers in the cabinet.
Look into the isolated land of North Korea. Dictator Kim Jong Il or his demised father Kim Il Sung are known to the worst womanizers in the Korean peninsula. Late Kim Il Sung had at least 26 wives and a few hundred concubines. Sounds like those ancient emperors in China during Qing and Ming Dynasty, right? Yes, the trends of having beauties in the palaces of dictators are nothing new yet in this age of modernization and scientific development. Kim Jong Il, the present Communist dictator in North Korean is even a worst 'devil' in not only attracting beauties towards him as wives or concubines, he has his private 'army' which is especially empowered to search beauties in the entire country as well in North Korean Army and bring them in the palace of the "Great Leader" for easing his physical or nasty luster.
Many of the experts on Korean affairs consider Kim Jong Il as a 'pervert'. And, most interestingly, some of the beauties either attracted or forced to enter the palace of Kim Jong Il become the most mighty sources in the country. They control many of the businesses (North Korean basically deals in drugs and fake currency), posting and promotion of civil-military officers, and what not!
Look into Ossama himself. A man proclaiming to be a front ranking 'hero' of Islam, is the most notorious womanizer. He has several wives who are regularly replaced by new comers. Many of the top ranking leaders of Al Qaeda are having the similar habit of Ossama Bin Laden.
And, of course, we must bring here the example of notorious and anti-humanist figure like Adolph Hitler. The only way to ease anger of this man was to send a virgin to sacrifice her virginity to him. Angry Hitler used to jump on the beauty and crash her virginity with all his cruelty and perversion, till he was absolutely cool. According to reports, many of such females were sent directly to firing squad from Hitler's bed as this notorious man did not want anyone else in the world to touch her again.
If we look into the contemporary history of global politics, we will discover many such dictators in the world, who are preachers of beauties. Former President of United States (although he was not a dictator), Bill Clinton, will possibly be remembered by the Americans to be a great pervert and womanizer. Remember Monica Lewinsky. Just by providing some nasty comforts to Clinton, she became one of the most powerful figures in the White House for years, before she was replaced by someone, much prettier than her.
In Indian subcontinent, right from the era of Mogul emperors, beauties were always in extremely powerful positions (not official although). Numerous stories of illicit love between the emperors and beauties are still in circulation in Indian societies. Myth of unchallenged might of some of the beauties in the Mogul harem is no less than any fairytale.
This is quite a tendency in the world that, wherever there is any dictatorship or authoritarian rule, beauties are almost unavoidable elements for the rulers. In different ethnicities, names and abbreviations, it continues in our global societies, here and there!
Now look into our small neighbor – Bangladesh. Since its independence in 1971, this country is repeatedly falling into dictatorial rule. Former military dictator Hussein Muhammed Ershad is known in his country as a 'play boy'. Series of names of beauties, who were either 'girl friend' or concubines of Ershad, flooded the pages of Bangladeshi press for years, especially when he stepped down from power in 1990.
And, according to latest reports, Dhaka's present rulers are even in worst ever situation than their predecessors, as a large number of beauties (mostly wives of military officers) are becoming increasingly influential in the society. They can do almost everything. Grabbing properties, taking bank loans, blackmailing, and promotions – in short anything. Names of the wives of a number of top ranking military officials are in circulation in Dhaka, who is no less influential as well corrupt than any of the previous 'mighty beauties'.
Members of the law enforcing agencies, civil bureaucracy and judiciary are always in extreme fear. They will have to abide by any 'request' (in fact threat and order) from any of the wives of the military men in doing any favor. It is the easiest way in Dhaka in these days to get anything done. Just mention the name of your husband – who he is. He must be one of the officers in Bangladesh Army. That is enough.
It is also alleged that, many of such mighty beauties in Dhaka are involved in 'Syndicate' which is cashing millions of Taka by increasing prices of essentials according to their whims and greed. Country's economy has already reached the last border of bankruptcy. Business community in Bangladesh is in a state of nightmare. They do not have any confidence of continuing businesses smoothly. Because, they too know, any time they may fall into the greedy eyes of opportunists. And that will be the beginning of series harassments for those businessmen, until he agrees to compensate that quarter with heavy ransom. Army wives are increasingly becoming more and more aggressive in their illegal activities. They too know, no one can stop them. Because, they possibly are above laws.
Sunita Paul is an expert on South Asian affairs.
- Asian Tribune -