Bemused by Begum Zia’s birth dates!

12 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

How many times can a person be born is an irrelevant question. But we cannot overlook the confusion and complications arising from multiple dates of birth of some. Before when there were no systems of birth registration or birth certificates in Bangladesh, it resulted in confusions regarding date of birth of children of illiterate or rural parents.

Parents who couldn’t note down the birth date of their multiple offsprings, sometimes forgot who was born when.  Then there are those who know their actual date of birth but use a different one in their certificates to delay government service retirement age. Now the birth registration of children in paper has put an end to the confusions of actual or official date of birth.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Khaleda Zia has confused us for years regarding her actual date of birth. Yet again she has disclosed another ‘date of birth’ in her coronavirus test report, by which she was apparently born on May 8, 1946. It reminds us of a popular advice about never lying to your doctor about age (birth date).

 Our confusion remains as Khaleda’s matriculation certificate shows August 9, 1945 as her date of birth. Then her marriage certificate states her date of birth was September 5, 1945. More confusion arises as another date of birth of Khaleda is found in her passport as August 19, 1945. Despite having so many dates of birth, why Khaleda always chose to publicly celebrate her birthday on August 15 every year is anybody’s guess.

 A sensible person cannot use multiple dates of birth. Even illiterate rural people will say this. For an ex Prime Minister to use multiple birth dates on different occasions raise the question of trustworthiness. The least the people expect from the leader of a major political party is honesty about personal information. If her parents forgot to note down her actual date of birth, then she can be excused using another one, but none should use different dates of birth whimsically.

 Can we be sure that this ‘new’ birth date is the actual one and it will not change in the future? Jests apart, we expect a little more honesty from a national leader of her stature. Otherwise what example is being set by a political leader before our average country folks!


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