Kings from a bygone era appear to have returned to Bangladesh.
We have so many kings--casino kings, tender kings and pillow kings.
We may learn of the existence of some more kings if the law enforcement agencies continue the drive to uncover their kingdoms in other arenas.
Every king has his own story to tell.
The casino kings were running unlawful gambling rackets for years and building a huge fortune. They stood above the law as they ran their casino kingdoms, housed in sporting clubs. Now, some of them have fallen from grace and landed in the grip of the law.
The great, great casino king Samrat however still remains a mystery. We do not know about his whereabouts. We do not know whether he is still above the law.
The law has finally caught up with the tender king who was successful in securing an endless amount of contracts for the government's major development works, by manipulating the tender process.
Be the casino king or tender king, their stories are almost similar. They were nobody to the government. They are private persons. But they made huge fortunes through unlawful means.
The story of pillow kings is different. They fall in love with pillows!
Before we talk about our pillow kings, let's have a look at other countries.
Mike Lindell is now known as America's pillow king.
He has gone from a crack addict to a self-made multimillionaire. The idea to do business with pillows came to him in a dream. He thought the idea came from the God. So he started the business.
He created the MyPillow empire from scratch in 2004. Now, he is an example for many who want to change their life. According to a NBC report two years ago, Lindell sold 30 million pillows and earned revenues of $300 million in six years, starting 2011.
The iconic pillow magnate helped many others transform their lives.
The story of the Ethiopian pillow emperor is intriguing.
The use of pillows by Haile Selassie, the last Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974, was unique. Standing a little more than five feet in height, he used to keep pillows under his feet so they did not swing when he sat on his throne. A group of people were tasked with maintaining the pillows.
Wherever the emperor went his pillow battalion accompanied him. He had as many as 52 pillows to be used under his feet.
The story of our pillow kings is also unique. In Rooppur nuclear power project, they bought each of the pillow at around Tk6000 and spent Tk.760 on each to carry them to their rooms. We came to know about them in May this year from media reports.
A few months down the line, another group wanted to buy more expensive pillows by spending money allocated to Chottogram Medical University construction project.
They proposed to purchase each pillow at Tk.27,720 and each cover at Tk. 28,000. They are unfortunate as the planning commission rejected their proposal to buy pillows at such excessive prices.
Their love for pillows is praiseworthy. But the dark side of their love is that they express this love at the expense of public money. They did not hesitate to do this because they are confident they will remain above the law for making money in guise of purchasing pillows.
They are not like the US pillow king Lindell who made a fortune through the pillow business and is now known as the American pillow king.
Our kings indulge in corruption to make their own fortune. They are to an extent more akin to the Ethiopian emperor who put himself above the law during his rule.
These types of people - as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said - are like termites who are eating up funds for development projects.
So, our kings are in fact termites, though they put themselves above the law through unlawful means. And they are eating up the fabric of our society through corruption and crimes.
But these termites were not born overnight. Our political culture that has weakened our major institutions is largely responsible for the birth and growth of termites.
This culture needs to change if want to get rid of the termites, as the prime minister boldly announced, that her government is trying to catch and destroy the termites.