fortunately the manifestos are available in online now. although these commitments do not make any sense to common people, however at least people can assess the commitments of those parties while they wil be in power. JOY DEMOCRACY!
BangladeshAmericanCommunity Center (BACC). in Silicon
Valley, being formed by BABA
Dear Silicon valley Friends,
The opportunity has come to us again to establish a Community Center for our
distinguished Silicon Valley Bangladesh Community. This time, BABA is taking
the initiative to establish this Community Center. The details of the Project
Implementation Plan (PIP) for this Community Center is attached here in Power
Point file. A Contribution Pledge Form is also attached here for your convenience to
participate in this great project. This Community Center will be a rental place
at this time, and not a purchase pan. That way, we can try this out for one
year, get a community address where all of us can come together and meet
together and spend some time together, and do many of the community activities
together, and then after one year of enjoying the place, we can think about the
next step. An excellent property has been identified for rent at a great
location and at a great price, where many of our community activities can take
place. It is now your opportunity to contribute and participate in this
In case the attached file does not go through, then please see those files at
the BABA Website links at www.baba1.com as given below.
As I have stated to you many times before that we have our
addresses as individuals, and as families, but we do not have our address as a
Community. Many of the Communities around us have their community addresses. This
is our time to do it. Our future generations will appreciate what good things
we do today, which will transcends beyond our times into theirs.
Some of you may say that it is not the good economic time to
do this project. In response, I would say that every good thing in this
world has not happened in the best of times. Many of the good things of the
society have happened in difficult and challenging times as well. This is our
time to do it. So, please come onto the boat, join the race and let us win it
together, enjoy it together, for ourselves, for our current generation as well
as for our future generations.
So, please review the Project Plan (PIP), fillout the
Contribution Pledge form and send it to the BABA Mailing address given on the
BABA (Bay Area Bangladesh
Association) Silicon Valley, California, USA
From: baba@... To: baba@... Subject: Bangladesh American Community Center is now being formed in Silicon Valley, CA
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 2008 00:55:33 -0500
We are delighted to inform you that BABA has been working on
a plan to establish a "Bangladesh American Community Center (BACC)" in Silicon
Valley, CA. Attached is the pledge form and project plan for the center, which
explains in details the goals, strategies and milestones for the center.
I know BNP leaders will feel famine since HAWA Bhoban won't able to collect money like before. Well the bottom line is that family politics of AL and BNP will bring famine in Bangladesh in the next 5 years.
Bangladesh can get out of future famine once Hasina and Khalida stop their family political business in Bangladesh. For God sakes, you women have everything (money, power and respect), why you don't you stop your village politics, play with realistic expectation and show your capabilities in Bangladesh.
Both of you have run Bangladesh and we have seen what is your capabilities. Please help yourself and help Bangladesh by removing yourself from Bangladesh politics, put new good blood in the party system (AL, BNP, JP).
I still believe that Bangladesh has credible and competent people who can run this country effectively with rule of law, responsibilities with better vision for Bangladesh.
Even though I have close relatives in the both parties (BNP & AL) who are running in this election, I still like to see new good blood in the political parties for the development of Bangladesh on focusing job creation, expanding economy in various sectors, developing infrastructure outside of Dhaka with realistic and affordable plan, and bringing more people out of poverty.
If I see degradation in Bangladesh in the next 5 years, I will join Bangladesh politics for 2013 if needed. But I still believe that there are qualified people (not CTG) to lead Bangladesh under AL and BNP umbrella in Bangladesh.
[From the Moderation Desk:
Shetubondhon congratulates Dr. Khan for his just published book.]
Dr. Md. Maimul Ahsan Khan
Professor of Law (Islam, Human Rights and International Commerce)
University of Dhaka
Dhaka - 1000, BANGLADESH.
It does not matter who win in the next general election (probably AL), Bangladesh will face from two sides storm. One side is worldwide depression with lower credit line, lower donation, lower export, lower job creation and lower remittance. On the other hand, few political parties were not able to loot enough money for the last 2 years and for AL it was last 7 years. Therefore, lots of hungry politicians in Bangladesh for the next 5 years.
Bangladesh does not have enough resources to feed these hungry politicians unless it brings from 160 Million general people wealth.
All we can hope for best in this coming situation. Only God can save 160 Million People in Bangladesh, not you and me.
1.Bangladesh Bijoy Dibosh with Special Presentation
3.Pitha Party competition
4.BangladeshAmericanCommunity Center (BACC) Presentation
6.And a Lot of wonderful time together as a great Community !!!!!!!!!!
From: baba@... To: baba@... Subject: BABA Bijoy-Dibosh/Eid-Reunion/Pitha-Party/Community Center (Dec 20, 2008) Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 04:26:31 -0500
BABA (Bay Area Bangladesh Association)
You are all invited
to our next BABA Program -- Eid Reunion, Bijoy Dibosh Cultural Program, and Pitha Competition -- Free Admission !!
Date: December 20,
2008, Saturday Time: 5:00 PM to
5 - 7 PM Bazar Opens & Pitha Competition, 7-10 PM Bijoy Dibosh
Cultural Presentation, Live Singing Show by Local Artists, and
Bangladesh American Community Center Presentation with Q & A)
Highlights: Eid Reunion, Bangladesh Bijoy Dibosh with Special Presentation & Cultural Program,
and also Pitha Party competition.
Competition Details: Please tell all your friends to bring their best
pithas to sell. Judges will receive free samples of these pithas and
will judge them anonymously. The top 3 pithas will be awarded
attractive prizes. For further questions regarding the Pitha
Competition, please contact Piu Tahera: 408-451-0707 This program is
free for everyone. Dinner and drinks (water, soda, tea) will be
available for purchase. So, please come and attend this program and have a
wonderful evening together with our great community.
In response to:
Congratulations Dr. Khan.
I regret that I was too busy to review your first book although I wanted to,
please send me word file of this book so that I can review it.
Thanks for mentioning me in this book - you made me shy.
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2008 19:03:46 +0000
Subject: [Shetubondhon] A new book on Islamic J. and Women's Rights from
Bangladesh is finally ready to create a new milestone in conducting a free and fair election peacefully and democratically to elect its 9th elected parliamentary form of government since independence. Most of the past elections after the death of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were dominated by personal enmity between the heads of the two main political parties Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).This time however, there seem to be a different angle of the issues dominating the elections.People are expected to vote more on the issues rather than the individual personalities.Thanks to the interim caretaker government to have shifted the focus of the elections.They have successfully implanted a great value in the national elections that they deserve the credit for.
It is a great honor for Bangladesh to have received the best positive remark ever by a US politician.Mr. John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate of the US, has had a lavish remark saying that Bangladesh is about to see and show the fairest and just elections ever to be conducted in the whole world. The reason for this lavish endorsement of Bangladeshi Election is yet to be analyzed and understood.
It is one of the most important elections Bangladesh ever had, not as much for the timing of it but mostly because of the changing colors of the political parties, their manifestos and the expectation of the general mass. The fight, as always, would be between AL and BNP but the premise of the fight would be different than what used to be the main theme in the past. The main issues at stake would remain to be the identity of the Bangladeshis.Bangladesh has had a split identity since the departure of Mujib.The infighting of the two ladies heading the main two political parties has divided the nation right in the middle.One heads the Bengali nationalism and the other holds the cap of
Bangladeshi nationalism.These two identities often bring a fundamental clash of the identity.While 33% believes firmly in Bengali nationalism, the other 33% believes in the Bangladeshi nationalism.15% constitutes the far right following the Islamic ideology, 9% believes in the left leaning ideologies and the rest are independents.
With the alliance of the right, BNP holds a lead with 48% to 42% of the alliance of the Centrist AL and the alliance of the left.The deciding factor of this election would be the power of the independents who are mainly the urban Middle Class. BNP however might loose out about 3% of their base to AL owing to their mismanagement of the party affairs during the transition and the eventual split would cost them quite dearly.The balance of their base support would therefore rest at 45% to 45%.The tilt of the vote would entirely rest on how the independents would vote in this election.The influencing factor of the independents can be listed as follows:
1.The global trends of political winds coming from the west.
2.Who would handle the economy better
3.Who has a better plan for the reform of education and health
4.Who has a better manifesto for tackling the internal security and social justice
5.Who would support the widening of the middle class base
·The senses of the global trend would obviously help AL and its alliance due to the elections of Obama in the US.This will get a minimum of 3% of the independents sway to AL and its alliance giving AL a total of 48%.
·The economy would favor the BNP alliance because of their positive manifesto to growing export businesses giving another 2% point to BNP totaling their pot to 47%.
·Education and health would favor AL alliance by 2% point giving AL a total of 50%.
·On the internal security issue BNP is expected to get a favorable vote of 1% over its rival totaling their pot to 48%
·The widening base of the Middle Class would favor AL by another 2% giving AL and its allies a clear advantage of 52%.
It is therefore, conceivable that AL would win the 9th parliamentary elections of Bangladesh by a clear majority.This would be a great win for the AL and its alliances over their arch rival BNP.The power and influence of the armed forces in Bangladesh would unfortunately hit an all time low, although they deserve to be credited with most of the good work they have undertaken during the transition.Some of their strategic mistakes during the transition, specially involving the students, the intelligentsia, and the mismanagement of the arrest of the two leaders of the main political parties would have serious negative implications with their image as a non aligned force of the country.The single biggest gain of this election would be attained by the Jamaat, who would expand their popular support base by at least 3%.However, their increased support base would not cut away from the traditional AL support base but would be from the BNP and other right wing parties.
I believe that finally good news are coming for Bangladesh. I believe that general people have started to open their eyes what is good for them and what is good for their country and need "honest and educated MPs" in Bangladesh to survive in the 21st Century. They also have started to realize that they need international politicians, not village politicians.
We might be going closer to brighter future rather than back ward. My projection is that 50% good blood (honest and educated MPs) will come in this 2008 MP election and another 30% good blood (honest and educated MPs) will come in 2013 MPs election. Therfore, my projection is approx 80% MPs will be honest and educated with vision by 2013.
This will lead us greater deleopment work to start by begining of 2014 and see implementation by 2015. So I can project that light can be seen at the end of the tunnel if we continue educate general people what is right for them and their country. Change Bangladesh Organization (CBd) is working with multiple organizations in Bangladesh to educate general people about their future and their responsbibilities to elect honest and educated MPs in Bangladesh.
CBd believes that we are making progess in multiple sectors as long as policy and strategies are concern for better Bangladesh.
FYI, CBd has close communication with major political parties and will continue to do so to implement better policies in Bangladesh near future.
I would say hope and change are there and 160 million people is waiting for it.
Change is coming to Bangladesh
M. M. Chowdhury (Mithu), Virginia, USA www.changebangladesh.org ------------------------------------------------------------ The Daily Star- nielsen Election Opinion Poll-2, 2008
Voters rate polls process high, want honest men
Wednesday December 24 2008 00:16:57 AM BDT
As the nation goes to a much-awaited parliamentary election on December 29, a vast majority of voters said they are satisfied with the poll preparation, The Daily Star-Nielsen Election Opinion Poll-2, 2008 revealed. Voters also believe the country's political culture will improve after the elections.(The Daily Star)
And a thumping 95 percent of respondents covered in the survey are confident that they can cast vote without coercion this time, as 98 percent said election environment and procedures have improved than before.
The majority of the respondents said honesty, capability and education of the candidates will determine their voting decisions.
The survey also revealed that people have high confidence in the media to make political parties accountable in case they deviate from their election pledges.
The three major areas covered in the survey are: change in political culture, people's confidence in the election process and institutions and party standings on certain issues.
The survey also touched on a raft of issues ranging from people's reaction to manifestoes to what voters want to see in a prime minister.
The survey, the second in the series by The Daily Star and Nielsen, was conducted during December 14 to December 20 on 5,040 voters in 90 constituencies of 44 districts. The respondents included equal numbers of males and females living in six divisions -- Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet. Of the respondents, 1,792 were from urban areas and 3,248 from rural setting. Income-wise, the respondents were divided into seven groups -- the lowest range being Tk 1,000 to Tk 5,000 a year and the highest above Tk 100,000.
--- On Mon, 7/28/08, M. M. Chowdhury (Mithu) <cgmpservices@...> wrote:
From: M. M. Chowdhury (Mithu) <cgmpservices@...> Subject: Major Political Parties should yield more that 10% MP nomination to NRB To: cgmpservices@... Date: Monday, July 28, 2008, 9:24 PM
I like to remind us that this is an election year in Bangladesh and we need to involve in politics to reinvent the wheel of Bangladesh economy and social justice. As I have said many times before that if you want to help Bangladesh, you need to be policy maker. Just suggesting and provide speeches will not lead anywhere.
I like to urge major political parties to yield at least 10% nomination to young blood which will lead healthy politics in Bangladesh. I also prefer expatriates to join with the major political parties to compete in this upcoming MP election in Bangladesh.
As most of you know that there are lots of competent NRBs (non-resident Bangladeshi) who are working for Bangladesh for better future. Now its time to give them a chance to serve the country. I believe that this will be a win-win opportunity for Bangladesh and the major political parties. This will bring new ideas and new strategies to develop Bangladesh in economical and social development.
I also like to point out that majority of our political party leaders are senior and we have to increase the educated and competent young participation in the political process. This will yield great success in the years to come.
Please join with me to call major poltical parties to yield more that 10% MP nomination to educated and competent young leaders/workers (i.e. NRB) in the upcoming MP election in Bangladesh.
It's a powerful argument from both Bangladesh major Political Parties (AL & BNP). Hasina is saying that vote for AL to save Bangladesh from corruption and Khalida is saying that save Islam and foreign interferences in Bangladesh by voting to BNP.
I personally believe that General people are real confused whom to vote where approx. 90% people in Bangladesh are friendley, simple and nonviolent and good heart Muslim. I like to urge general people to vote based on who is the candidate, not which party he or she belongs to. Since if you do not plant good tree, you won't get good fruite, this is as simple as it goes. You might have a good field (Major Party) but not good trees (MPs), you will be deprived from good and quality fruites.
I hope that I was able to make the right case for general peolple what to do on December 29, 2008.
We are looking for peaceful and acceptable General Election on Dec 29, 2008 to make Bangladesh a prosperous country. Democracy is the back bone of any country and democratic Govt is essential to move forward. We expect a smooth transaction to Democratic Govt in Bangladesh on January 2009.
God Bless Bangladesh and her 160 Million People.
M. M. Chowdhury (Mithu), Virginia, USA
Director, Political and Economical Development in Bangladesh
I just like to remind all of you in Abroad and in Bangladesh that there can be only one winner in any election and only one Prime Minster. So all losers in election should learn to accept this as an universal legal law and work on future election in Bangladesh.
We Bengali become too emotional regarding election and its outcome and forget our responsibility as citizens of a nation. Election is not the end of life, there are so much work to do after election in Bangladesh and we need all your support regardless whom you support.
I also like to suggest that new Govt won't able to loot like previous elected Govt since general people are more conscious and Organization like us (CBd) and Media will play greater role to develop Bangladesh in the years to come. Our organization will work with newly elected Govt regardless AL or BNP to transfer new technologies, new policies to create more jobs and expanding Bangladesh economy with the help of foreign expertise like ours living various countries in the world in various sector (i.e. Pharmaceuticals, ICT and Export, etc.).
We expect all political parties to be more realistic and focusing on only Bangladesh and her future. All political parties activities in this election and after the election will have positive or negative effect on future development in Bangladesh.
God Bless Bangladesh and Her 160 Million People.
M. M. Chowdhury (Mithu), Virginia, USA
Director, Political and Economical Development in Bangladesh
Weekly Blitz Exclusive
Anticipating the landslide victory of Grand Alliance led by Bangladesh
Awami League, former Prime Minister and chief of the alliance Sheikh
Hasina is busy in finalizing the names for her 45-member cabinet and
set to take oath on January 10, 2009.
A highly placed sourced in Bangladesh Awami League on condition of
anonymity told Weekly Blitz that, Sheikh Hasina is confident of
winning the Monday election with at least 168 seats, while she has
finalized most of the names of her 45-member cabinet. She has also
instructed some of her personal staffs to start working for the oath
taking ceremony on January 10, 2009.
According to the source, some of the names in Sheikh Hasina's next
Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim
Ashraf Uddin Ahmed
Barrister Fazle Noor Taposh
Mustafa Jalal Mohiuddin
Sajib Wajed Joy
Sara Begum Kobori
Abul Maal Muhammed Muhit
Maj Gen Abdus Salam
Saber Hossain Chowdhury
Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
It is also learnt that, Bangladesh Awami League chief has decided to
elect eminent Awami League leader Zillur Rahman as country's next
President. Grand Alliance leader earlier promised to give the
Presidency to former millitary dictator Hussain Muhammed Ershad.
Ershad, who is now in Rangpur, sensing Awami League's preparation in
forming the government and deceiving him from the post of country's
next President has also instructed a number of leaders of Jatiyo Party
to get prepared to form the next government in the country with him as
the Prime Minister. Party's acting President Barrister Anisul Islam
Mahmood is reportedly busy in preparing another list of cabinet led by
Hussain Muhammed Ershad.
We in Change Bangladesh Organization (CBD), USA (www.changebangladesh.org) congratulates AL for their extraordinary win in the 9th Parliament election in Bangladesh. CBD welcomes this peaceful and acceptable election where people of Bangladesh have send the message of Change, a message was built by CBD, USA in 2006 for Bangladesh.
AL was able to adopt CBD's message of Change and delivered to people of Bangladesh in this election more effectively. CBD also congratulate all the elected MPs in election regardless their parties affiliations. Moreover, they are all Bangladeshi, not just AL or BNP.
CBD is expected to work with AL administration within next 12 months regarding in the following Sectors in Bangladesh:
1) Taking Total Overhaul of Bangladesh Drug Administration to produce safe medicines and increase export markets in the world.
2) Providing Stimulate Package to Local ICT Companies in Bangladesh which will create hundreds of thousands of Jobs in Bangladesh in the next 18 months.
More details of this proposals and policies will be published once go to implementation phase. CBD expects cooperation from all elected MPs to develop Bangladesh in various sectors.
God bless Bangladesh and new elected Govt and her people.
Change Bangladesh Contributors, USA
M. M. Chowdhury (Mithu), Virginia, USA
Director, Political and Economical Development in Bangladesh
Hasina Will Work With Opposition: Very Sensible Decision
Newspapers have reported thatAwami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said her party will work in unison with the opposition in parliament to strengthen democracy and develop the nation, true to the pledges that won the AL-led grand alliance a thumping majority in Monday's polls. She made the observations at a meeting with a delegation of the United Nations election observers at her Sudha Sadan residence in Dhanmondi.Quoting her, HT Imam, co-chairman of the AL election conduct committee, told reporters that the AL chief wants cooperation from the opposition parties in efforts to take the nation forward. The UN mission chief said they would convey the AL president's message to the opposition. The visiting polls observers said they hope the ruling and the opposition parties will work together in the interests of the nation.
We appreciate the statement of Sheikh Hasina.This is the spiritof democracy and good political culture.Unfortunately Bangladesh could not build up a good political culture in the past.If this government initiates this process it will be a big achievement for Bangladesh. We also urge Sheikh Hasina to concentrate on positive program such as to hold the price line or reduce it as much as practicable, also the issues ofenergy and agricultural production .We urge her not to be influenced by her leftist friends who speak much more than what they are.We also ask her not to hurry up constitutionalamendment or try to bring back 1972 constitution. Much water has gone down the Bay of Bengal and it is not possible to go back.If she tries to replace Islamic provisions like, Faith in God as a pillar of the constitution, her popularity will plummet as quickly as ithas come.We wish her best of luck.
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life changes drastically, from pursuing efficiency and fundamentals in
appraising businesses to questioning the fallacies embedded in hard
core capitalistic haunting bonanza. Freshly graduated from Princeton,
highly motivated pursuing career to coveted aristocracy, Changez
moves past his classmates and colleagues at Underwood Samson in rapid
pace, beaming with unmistakable confidence in his every strides,
demeanor and winning smiles. September 11 changes everything as he
reflects on his plight: "the door to the elevator was shut upon me and
I began to travel down the shaft, alone."
Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a slender novel, but with
substantial pathos imbued in sharp observations, without relinquishing
a good story's structured rhythm into cliched
slogans against power and superpower. The effective monologue that the
writer used where an unnamed American was entertained over a cup of tea
and later the mouth watering dinner of Lahore, the twist and turn and
underlying tension as the story unfolds revealing life of Changez in
his abandoned beloved Princeton and New York, made this a novel unputdownable,
so readers should be forewarned: you will be tightly embraced by its
fast moving plot.
Like the Guardian's reviewers (Link)
I also found the writer used allegories, depicting plots and subplots
with the reality of our world, like Changez's
romantic relationship with Erica (Am-Erica), Erica's subsequent
breakdown from tragic loss of her dead boyfriend Chris, and comparing
Erica's grief with American grief after September 11: ""it seemed to me
that America, too, was increasingly giving itself over to a dangerous
As the war in Afghanistan started, Changez's outlook had already begun to
not to watch the partisan and sports-event-like coverage given to the
mismatch between the American bombers with their twenty-first-century
weaponry and the ill-equipped and ill-fed Afghan tribesmen
below................I was reminded of the film Terminator, but with
the roles reversed so that the machines were cast as heroes."
not only war and aftermath that this novel is about. There are fine
sporadic descriptions of Lahore's cuisine delicacy like the following
fragment: "such an authentic introduction to Lahori
cuisine; it will, given the dishes for which this market is justifiably
renowned, be a purely carnivorous feast -- one that harks back to an
era before man's knowledge of cholesterol made him fearful of his prey
-- and all the more delectable for it......No, we are surrounded by
instead by the kebab of mutton, the tikka
of chicken, the stewed foot of goat, the spiced brain of sheep! These,
sir, are predatory delicacies, delicacies imbued with a hint of luxury,
of wanton abandon....Here we are not squeamish when it comes to facing
the consequences of our desire."
desire to be part of an exclusive elite society in America shuddered
to halt during his work trip to Valparaiso in Chile, the home of
legendary Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, where the publisher of the company
he was appraising, Juan-Bautista "added considerable momentum to
journey, a journey that continues to this day...."
was direct in his characterization of Changez, asking:
it trouble you," he inquired, "to make your living by disrupting the
lives of others?" "We just value," I replied. "We do not decide whether
to buy or to sell, or indeed what happens to a company after we have valued
it." He nodded; he lit a cigarette and took a
sip from his glass of wine. Then he asked, " have you heard of janissaries?"
"No," I said. "They were Christian boys," he explained, "captured by
the Ottomans and trained to be soldiers in a Muslim army, at that time
the greatest army in the world. They were ferocious and utterly loyal:
they had fought to erase their own civilizations, so they had nothing
else to turn to."
That was the final blow on Changez's deluded world. "Juan-Bautista's
words plunged me into a deep bout of introspection. I spent that night considering
what I had become. There really could be no doubt: I was a modern-day janissary,
a servant of the American empire at a time when it was invading a
country with a kinship to mine and was perhaps even colluding to ensure
that my own country faced the threat of war. of course I was
struggling! Of course I felt torn! I had thrown in my lot with the men
of Underwood Samson, with the officers of the empire, when all along I
to feel compassion for those, like Juan-Bautista,
whose lives the empire thought nothing of overturning for its own gain."
left his job in his beloved New York to return to his homeland to be
with his family, away from humiliating strip search at airport, the
looks of suspicions, and war frenzied flag waving
to his native land where the similar drum rolls
of war were raising louder into higher pitch in every passing days from
tension between India and Pakistan.
Hamid could make this novel a bit longer. Perhaps, more dialogues and
extensions of plots like the sudden disappearance of Erica (Am-Erica),
incidents in Chile, aftermath of September 11 both in U.S. and inPakistan
in more vivid detail could have raised this novel to a level similar to
ones reached by Jeffrey Eugenides' splendid Middlesex or
Atonement. On the hindsight though, the slenderness of this little
novel preserved its charm and iressistibility due to its same
minuteness in words but with razor sharp tensed storyline.
Aleksandar Hemon's story published in The New Yorker on September
22, 2008 was one of the best stories I've read this year. The title of
this sparkling and mini-voltage filled story is The
Noble Truths of Suffering.
A novice Sarajevo writer's encounter with an American prize winning
author, the observations through a voice of drunken stupor, and
elaboration of violence through Buddhistish non-violence made the
conflicting descriptions of war, brutality and politics painfully live.
Here is an excerpt from Aleksandar Hemon's "The Noble Truths of
ex-marine who would have been a hero in the battle of Falluja had he
not been dishonorably discharged for failing to corroborate the
official story of the rape of a twelve-year-old Iraqi girl and the
murder of her and her entire family, an unfortunate instance of
miscommunication with local civilians. Tiny returns home from Iraq to
Chicago and spends time visiting his old haunts on the North Side,
trying vainly to drink himself into a stupor, out of turpitude. He has
nothing to say to the people he used to know; he breaks shot glasses
against their foreheads. The city barked at him and he snarled back.
High out of his mind, he has a vision of a snake invasion and torches
his studio with everything he owns in it, which is not much. A
flashback that turns into a nightmare suggests that he was the one who
slit the girl’s throat. Lamia Hassan was her name. She speaks to him in
unintelligibly accented English.
He wakes up on a bus to Janesville,
Wisconsin. Only upon arrival does he realize that he is there to visit
the family of Sergeant Briggs, the psychopathic bastard whose idea it
was to rape Lamia. He finds the house, knocks on the door, but there is
nobody there, just a TV playing a children’s show. Tiny stumbles into a
nearby bar and drinks with the locals, who buy him booze as an
expression of support for our men and women in uniform. He tells them
that Sergeant Briggs, a genuine American hero, was one of his best
buddies in Iraq. He also tells them about his friend Declan, who got
shot by a sniper. Briggs dragged him home under fire and got his knee
blown off. Tiny tells them not to trust the newspapers, or the
cocksuckers who say that we are losing the war. We are tearing new
holes in the ass of the world, he says. We are breaking it open."
..................He tells them the gory details of the rape—Lamia’s
moans, the flapping of her skinny arms, the blood pouring out of her—and
the old man listens to him unflinchingly, while the mother goes to the
kitchen to fetch coffee. They seem untroubled, as if they’re not even
hearing him. For an instant, he thinks that he is not speaking at all,
that this is all happening in his head, but then he realizes that there
is nothing inside them, nothing but grief. Other people’s
children are of no concern to them, for there was no horror in the
world beyond Declan’s eternal absence from it. Tiny is sobbing."
only the fragments of this beautifully written story doesn't elucidate
the complete rewards that can be attained reading it in its entirety.
What made me more surprised after reading the last sentence of
Aleksandar Hemon's short story was the "Shoes" video
propping up on the net. Muntather Zaidi threw his first shoe with uttering
"This is a gift from the Iraqis. This is the farewell kiss, you dog",
and he hurled his second shoe saying, ""This is from the widows, the
orphans and those who were killed in Iraq"
A frustrated Iraqi
journalist throwing his pair of shoes at Bush, missing both his throws
less than an inch, but the ultimate insult was done for an American
outgoing President, whose neocon directed murderous wars caused so many
millions of unnecessary deaths, bloodshed, rapes, and destructions, and
whose answering back to a journalist's question afterwards proclaiming
that democracy at play in Iraq and the man who threw the shoes only was
trying to grab attention to himself were as usual missing the mark of
While the protesting shoe throwing journalist
was subdued on the floor, and was screaming from pain, words can be
heard, "Camera! Camera!", and the heads rolled toward the recording
camera that was documenting everything. Perhaps the "democracy"
protecting goons spared him the pain for the moment while being
recorded in camera, but off camera the story will turn to gory detail,
even a gifted story writer like Aleksandar Hemon may find it difficult
to describe the plight of tortures on protesters and any opposition
termed as "enemy combatant" at the whim of whimsicals beyond the flashy
lights and camera.
about the dispossessed, poor and the destitute is not a small feat.
Poor and the impoverished do not own the press. They don’t have any
powerful and effective lobby group to represent them in the government
or corporate sectors.
Portrayals of this
underrepresented segments of human society is mostly superficial and
marginal at best.
Aravind Adiga’s The
White Tiger reminded me Monica
Ali’s The Brick Lane,
not in its depiction of men and women in Indian sub-continent, but the
razor sharp words of critiques, untangling the myths and disillusions
perpetuated by the ruling “master” in the name of preserving so-called
democracy, have similarities in overall texture. Also, various issues
Roy’s poignant non-fictions, essays are explored in White Tiger in
moving dialogues and monologues.
story of Balram Halwai is the story of a common man who can be found in
every city of South Asia. His story of pittance, nauseating corruptions
of politicians and businessmen, the desperation in the eyes of deprived
and caricature of democracy in the most voluble scandalous scenes is
heart wrenching but is a necessary tale to be told.
ascendancy from “Darkness” to “Light”, from being born in an
impoverished family, seeing his mother’s untimely death and funeral,
his rickshaw puller father’s eventual succumbing to same fatal fate to
Tuberculosis, death without any medical help in a government run
hospital shaped Balram’s life’s frame of reference in strokes of
surreal reality. As his father was being “permanently cured of his
tuberculosis”, Balram learned about healthcare for the poor:
“Why isn’t there a doctor here,
uncle?” I asked. “This is the only hospital on either side of the
it’s like this,” the older Muslim man said. “There’s a government
medical superintendent who’s meant to check that doctors visit village
hospitals like this. Now, each time this post falls vacant, the Great
Socialist lets all the big doctors know that he’s having an open
auction for that post. The going rate for this post is about four
hundred thousand rupees these days.”
“That much!” I said, my mouth
not? There’s good money in public service! Now, imagine that I’m a
doctor. I beg and borrow money and give it to the Great Socialist,
while touching his feet. He gives me the job. I taken an oath to God
and the Constitution of India and then I put my boots up on my desk in
the state capital.” He raised his feet onto an imaginary table. “Next,
I call all the junior government doctors, whom I’m supposed to
supervise, into my office. I take out my big government ledger. I shout
out, ‘Dr. Ram Pandey.’”
He pointed a finger at me; I
assumed my role in the play.
I saluted him: “Yes, sir!”
He held out his palm to me.
you – Dr. Ram Pandey – will kindly put one-third of your salary in my
palm. Good boy. In return, I do this.” He made a tick on the imaginary
ledger. “You can keep the rest of your government salary and go work in
some private hospital for the rest of the week. Forget the village.
Because according to this ledger you’ve been there. You’ve treated my
wounded leg. You’ve healed that girl’s jaundice.”
the patients said. Even the ward boys, who had gathered around us to
listen, nodded their heads in appreciation. Stories of rottenness and
corruption are always the best stories, aren’t they?”
view of education system had a good overview too from his early
childhood when Munna (Balram’s nick name) learned how his schoolmaster
was stealing the government allocated lunch money for the students. “There
was supposed to be free food at my school – a government program gave
every boy three rotis, yellow daal, and pickles at lunchtime. But we
never ever saw rotis, or yellow daal, or pickles, and everyone knew
why: the schoolteacher had stolen our lunch money. The teacher had a
legitimate excuse to steal the money – he said he hadn’t been paid his
salary in six months. He was going to undertake a Gandhian protest to
retrieve his missing wages – he was going to do nothing in class until
his paycheck arrived in the mail.........No one blamed the
schoolteacher for doing this. You can’t expect a man in a dung heap to
smell sweet. Every man in the village knew that he would have done the
same in his position. Some were even proud of him, for having got away
with it so cleanly.”
In not so long ago,
myriads of castes were normal in India, however, as we are progressing
century, there is difference now. Aravind Adiga’s protagonist sums up
the differences in caste system – “in the old days there were one
thousand castes and destinies in India. These days, there are just two
castes; Men with Big Bellies, and Men with Small Bellies. And only two
destinies: eat – or get eaten up.”
Halwai’s persistence to get away from his impoverished village paid
off. He found a driver’s job. His employers were the powerful landlords
from his village Laxmangarh. Here is a description of Balram’s employer
that sets up the plot of this “dark” story that the writer eventually
unfolds: “......what the Buffalo did to his domestic servant. The one
who was supposed to guard his infant son, who got kidnapped by the
Naxals and then tortured and killed........The servant said he had
nothing to do with the kidnapping; the Buffalo did not believe him and
got four of his hired gunmen to torture the servant. Then they shot him
through the head. Fair enough. I would do the same to someone who let
my son get kidnapped. But then, because the Buffalo was sure that the
man had deliberately let the child be kidnapped, for money, he also
went after the servant’s family. One brother was set upon while working
in the fields beaten to death there. That brother’s wife was finished
off by three men together. A sister, still unmarried, was also finished
off. Then the house where the family had lived was surrounded by the
four henchmen and set on fire.”
the election, Balram Halwai had received valuable lesson from his
father before his death: “It’s the way it always is..........I’ve seen
twelve elections – five general, five state, two local – and someone
else has voted for me twelve times. I’ve heard that people in the other
India get to vote for themselves – isn’t that something”?
when someone from “Darkness” goes “mad” after listening to all the
heart pumping election slogans, and wanted to fulfill his basic civic
duty, voting, shocking surprises waited for him:
began walking straight to the voting booth at the school. “I’m supposed
to stand up to the rich, aren’t I?” he shouted. “Isn’t that what they
keep telling us?”
he got there, the Great Socialist’s supporters had already put up the
tally of votes outside on a blackboard: they had counted 2,341 votes in
that booth. Everyone had voted for the Great Socialist. Vijay the bus
conductor was up on a ladder, hammering into the wall a banner with the
Great Socialist’s symbol (the hands breaking their shackles).....Vijay
dropped the hammer, the nails, and the banner when he saw the
“What are you doing here?”
“Voting,” he shouted back. “Isn’t
it the election today?”
and a policeman had knocked the rickshaw-puller down, and they had
begun beating him; they hit him with their sticks, and when he thrashed
at them they kicked him. They took turns. Vijay hit him and the
policeman stamped on his face and then Vijay did it again. And after a
while the body of the rickshaw-puller stopped wriggling and fighting
back, but they stamping on him, until he had been stamped back into the
Halwai is a careful observer. He sees his “masters” flagrant corrupting
deal making with high level politicians, blackmailing, and outright
robbery, and he used the similar blackmailing to get himself a better
position, a promotion from “number two” driver to become the “number
one” driver and getting into Delhi, the epitome of India, the capital
The description of
separation between the rich and poor are especially stark when Balram
Halwai reaches Delhi.
was a good reason for the face masks; they say the air is so bad in
Delhi that it takes ten years out of a man’s life. Of course, those in
the cars don’t have to breathe the outside air – it is just nice, cool,
clean, air-conditioned air for us. With their tinted windows up, the
cars of the rich go like dark eggs down the roads of Delhi. Every now
and then an egg will crack open – a woman’s hand, dazzling with gold
bangles, stretches out an open window, flings an empty mineral water
bottle onto the road – and then the window goes up, and the egg is
Halwai still fills torn apart, seeing the other side, the “Darkness” so
much different than being in the periphery of “Light”, “We
were like two separate cities – inside and outside the dark egg. I knew
I was in the right city. But my father, if he were alive, would be
sitting on that pavement, cooking some rice gruel for dinner, and
getting ready to lie down and sleep under a streetlamp, and I couldn’t
stop thinking of that and recognizing his features in some beggar out
there. So I was in some way out of the car too, even while I was
Here is a
description of “complicated” political process:
“Look at that.”
looked out the window to see a large bronze statue of a group of men –
this is a well-known statue, which you will no doubt see in Delhi: at
the head is Mahatma Gandhi, with his walking stick, and behind him
follow the people of India, being led from darkness to light.
The mongoose squinted at the
“What about it? I’ve seen it
“We’re driving past Gandhi, after
just having given a bribe to a minister. It’s a fucking joke, isn’t it.”
“You sound like your wife now,”
the Mongoose said. “I don’t like swearing – it’s not part of our
But Mr. Ashok was too red in the
face to keep quiet.
“It is a fucking joke – our
political system – and I’ll keep saying it as long as I like.”
“Things are complicated in India,
Ashok. It’s not like in America. Please reserve your judgement.”
The masters in
Delhi know how to keep the “servants” in this “proper” place. A vivid
scene clarifies it more:
“I’ve lost a rupee.” He snapped
his finger at me.
“Get down on your knees. Look for
it on the floor of the car.”
I got down on my knees. I sniffed
in between the mats like a dog, all in search of that one rupee.
“What do you mean, it’s not
there? Don’t think you can steal from us just because you’re in the
city. I want that rupee.”
just paid half a million rupees in a bribe, Mukesh, and now we’re
screwing this man over for a single rupee. Let’s go up and have a
“That’s how you corrupt servants.
It starts with one rupee. Don’t bring your American ways here.”
that rupee coin went remains a mystery to me to this day, Mr. Premier.
Finally, I took a rupee coin out of my shirt pocket, dropped it on the
floor of the car, picked it up, and gave it to the Mongoose.
“Here it is, sir. Forgive me for
taking so long to find it!”
was a childish delight on his dark master’s face. He put the rupee coin
in his hand and sucked his teeth, as if it were the best thing that had
happened to him all day.”
was the youngest brother of Balram’s employer, and being returning from
America after his education, was still finding all these master and
servant relationships, the briberies of ministers, pollution, the stark
contrast between the rich and poor all troublesome. His eyes get on the
verge of tears seeing the daily injustice, he tries to protect Balram
from humiliation, steadily increases his salary without being asked to
do so, and argues with his brothers and wife when they wanted to
replace Balram with a more matured local driver. However, as Ashok more
and more got involved with shady deal making, briberies, he gravitated
towards the inevitability, fall from grace to the “darkness” of deceits
and shameful indifference for the plights of deprived.
Halwai understood why the “servants” and the poor don’t rebel against
injustice. There is a powerful imagery where the comparison between the
sufferings of downtrodden human beings and caged chickens, both
witnessing atrocity being committed on their fellow beings, but are
completely stunned and cowered to take any rebellious step.
to Old Delhi, behind the Jama Masjid, and look at the way they keep
chickens there in the market. Hundreds of pale hens and brightly
colored roosters, stuffed tightly into wire-mesh cages, packed as
tightly as worms in a belly, pecking each other and shitting on each
other, jostling just for breathing space; the whole cage giving off a
horrible stench – the stench of terrified, feathered flesh. On the
wooden desk above this coop sits a grinning young butcher, showing off
the flesh and organs of a recently chopped-up chicken, still oleaginous
with a coating of dark blood. The roosters in the coop smell the blood
from above. They see the organs of their brothers lying around them.
They know they’re next. Yet they do not rebel. They do not try to get
out of the coop.
The very same thing is done with
human beings in this country.”
Here is an example
of human being, being trapped in a rooster coop:
day, on the roads of Delhi, some chauffeur is driving an empty car with
a black suitcase sitting on the backseat. Inside that suitcase is a
million, two million rupees; more money than that chauffeur will see in
his lifetime. If he took the money he could go to America, Australia,
anywhere, and start a new life. He could go inside the five-star hotels
he has dreamed about all his life and only seen from the outside. He
could take his family to Goa, to England. Yet he takes that black
suitcase where his master wants. He puts it down where he is meant to,
and never touches a rupee. Why?
Because Indians are the world’s
most honest people, like the prime minister’s booklet will inform you?
No. It’s because 99.9 percent of
us are caught in the Rooster Coop just like those poor guys in the
before in human history have so few owed so much to so many, Mr.
Jiabao. A handful of men in this country have trained the remaining
99.9 percent – as strong, as talented, as intelligent in every way – to
exist in perpetual servitude; a servitude so strong that you can put
they key of his emancipation in a man’s hands and he will throw it back
at you with a curse.
...........Why does the Rooster
Coop work? How does it trap so many millions of men and women so
can a man break out of the coop? What if one day, for instance, a
driver took his employer’s money and ran? What would his life be like?
I will answer both for you, sir.
answer to the first question is that the pride and glory of our nation,
the repository of all our love and sacrifice,.....the Indian family, is
the reason we are trapped and tied to the coop.
answer to the second question is that only a man who is prepared to see
his family destroyed – hunted, beaten, and burned alive by the masters
– can break out of the coop. That would take no normal human being, but
a freak, a pervert of nature.”
may claim that Aravind Adiga’s protagonist is too simplistic, naive in
portraying a large and complex nation like India, and some may even
call him one sided polemist in caricaturing the rich, portraying the
upper class in India in hackneyed settings. Some of these claims may
have merit to raise these questions. However, White Tiger is a fiction,
but it is “built on a substratum of Indian reality.” The author
correctly points out the amount of research went into writing this
novel, one example he cited is the deaths of thousands of poor Indian
everyday from tuberculosis (The
Times of India Reference)
economic progress for many, especially for the last decade, is indeed
phenomenal. Millionaires and billionaires are increasingly abundant;
even in the upper portion of Forbes magazine’s annual chart of the
richest men now showcases Indian richest men. Middle class has more
purchase power now than ever before. However, the majority of Indian
one billion plus population “are denied decent health care, education
or employment, getting to the top would take doing something like what
Balram has done.”
in fiction, for the sake of sticking to the so-called reality, the
reality that is framed by a writer’s perception of surroundings, and in
most cases, the willingness and unwillingness of seeing and not seeing
the surreal ugliness of contemporary moral dilemma, the beguiling
tricks that mind can play for self preservation, preservation of status
quo, and societal pressure in place for not to explore the very painful
subjects that most in our world are
facing with but are not exposed in overwhelmingly majority of Bollywood
or Hollywood depictions in lush and flushed movies with a few notable
exceptions like Slumdog Millionaire, have linear progression from
peripheral marginality to willful amnesia or simple blindness.
Adiga’s The White Tiger, albeit polemic, but has the sharpened teeth
required to shred volumetric deceptions of the powerful. This is a tale
to be shared, cherished and at the same time it is perhaps a
forewarning: increasing inequality brings increasing instability,
anywhere and everywhere.
I just like to emphasis that it's time to move on in Bangladesh after landslide win of AL. AL got people's mandate to work for the people and for the nation and we all should help them to reach that goal. We also should provide constructive criticism if they fall behind of their promises.
This election will be win for the people of Bangladesh if AL can lead the nation in new direction with creating more jobs, developing multiple economy sectors and pay attention on infrastructure spending and create more power generation with exploring more oil and gas. Since cost of food and materials are down in the international market, I won't expect AL to do anything except to check the local business cartels to follow international price standard.
All of us have to play our role and we will benefit together from the future success. We general people need to clarify to New Govt that corruption won't be tolerated and those people who will be involved in corruption will pay the price now or after 5 years. This time will be severe since corrupted people won't get second chance this time to get out of jail anymore like last 2 years.
Well I also believe that Bangladesh will be better served if we stop talking about which party leaders or activists should be jail now. This kind of hate crime against other political parties or grass root political people will create noise on the atmosphere and any noise could hamper the real progress in Bangladesh under the AL Administration.
I like to urge all people in Abroad and Bangladesh to work with newly elected Govt with real enthusiasm to build Bangladesh and change the direction for better future of our new generation. Expatriates also will able to play greater role in Bangladesh through transferring new technologies, international experiences and expertise, and with new investment in Bangladesh.
God Bless Bangladesh and her 160 million people.
M. M. Chowdhury (Mithu), Virginia, USA
Director, Political and Economical Development in Bangladesh
The Care Taker Government and the Military of Bangladesh has set up a permanent example on the face of the earth that being a temporary Government and Military implementing the Order can bring a country from the brink of total Chaos and collapse to a new front for the absolute prosperity in future. I am extremely hopeful that all politicians, including the born again old politicians, will "PUT THE COUNTRY FIRST BEFORE ALL ELSE". The new Government of Bangladesh should take the development and administrative programs in hand as soon as possible for the near and long-term future prosperity of Bangladesh. Some of these vital programs can be as follows:
(A) Separate Religion from Politics and no politics can refer to or take shelter to any religions. Religion must be confined inside the house and inside the mosques, mondirs, churches, pagodas, etc. only. (B) Trial 1971 War Criminals. (C) Modernize Trade and Tariff systems such that Bangladeshi exports can be increased to its maximum. (D) Control Inflation. (E) Provide ample agricultural subsidy. (F) Take all out programs for Economic Growth, including the public infrastructure building. Build own all-out transportation infrastructure such that the other countries like India do not have the chance to come to Bangladesh to build their transits inside Bangladesh. (G) Take active programs to build, nurture, and flourish all sorts of Civil Societies throughout the nation. (H) Create a vibrant and close, neutral and good, harmonious relationship with all neighbors such as India, Burma, China, Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, etc. (I) Modify Federal Governmental Structure to Local Government Structures (Independent Three-Tier Governments such as T1: Municipality or Village Council dealing with all public administrative affairs except money-military-foreign, T2: District Council providing all helps to all municipality/village council under jurisdiction except money-military-foreign, and finally T3: Federal Government providing all helps to all district councils in the country plus the money-military-foreign affairs.
If these plans work out and the Government remains above corruptions, as the precidence has been set by the present CTG, I hope things will all work out, and Bangladesh will turn into a real GOLDEN BANGLADESH one day.
Thanks, KR To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: manirul1@... Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2008 08:57:03 -0800 Subject: [BdStudents] Election in Bangladesh
PLEASE Congratulate Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed and his cabinet for the good job of a nice and notable election - and Welcome Sheikh Hasina for building a SONAR BANGLADESH..... Lets all extend our ALL POSSIBLE SUPPORT to the new government to achieve our goal of a DEVELOPED Bangladesh...
From the recent comments of some BNP leaders I think they are taking
the wrong lesson from this election debacle. The people did not vote
for the AL because they started suddenly believing what the party
stands for or that the public have adopted an irrational hatred for
The BNP simply should not have participated in these elections in such
a unprepared and disorganized manner. What would have been the problem
waiting things out? The result could not have been worse than it is
now. Those who advised Khaleda Zia to succumb to pressure have a lot
to answer for but it seems that they are still at the helm of affairs
in the party. These pseudo intellectual types should be immediately
removed from their positions.
However the real reason for the scale of the defeat is something
entirely different and this the AL have realized. It is probably the
AL who are now more worried since the size of their majority puts an
immense responsibility and burden on their shoulders. Simply put the
people of this country are hungry and desperate. Hasina and her party
have made some wild promises and pledges which will be near impossible
to keep without great cost to the nation. If the AL are not able to
deliver within a reasonable time the mood will change very quickly and
retribution could be swift especially if prices continue to go up.
It was largely the female voters and new voters who swung this
election. It is this segment of the population who are most concerned
at the price increases since they have to balance their family
budgets. The BNP corruption and the war criminals issue certainly
played a part but this does not explain the size of the defeat.
The BNP should not make itself the target of the AL by being a
nuisance since public ire will be again directed at it and be even
more unforgiving. The public wants to see the AL deliver on its
promises. The AL will attempt to do so but will eventually make a mess
of things as they usually do. It is then the BNP should act and gain
popular support. Hunger and desperation is now the defining issues for
In the meantime the BNP should do away with its old advisors and
reorganize the party top to bottom. I had given Khaleda Zia a 10 point
program for the elections. Most of it concerned internal issues that
she can still be implemented. The other issues in the 10 points were
to seek forgiveness and to choose better candidates. The first she did
too late and the second was ignored probably due to time constraints.
Most people I have talked to have said that if madam had sought
forgiveness 1 month earlier then the people would have voted for her.
The problem of the choice of candidates was insurmountable and so the
BNP should have taken more time and not participated in the elections.
By participating the BNP have legitimized the elections process and
the results also. It is no point crying foul now. They will get little
sympathy from the country.
We certainly appreciate Sheikh Hasina's call to her party workers for
restraint but the scale of attacks being made on BNP-Jamaat activists
and leaders leaves us gravely concerned. Even yesterday, at least 10
BNP and Jamaat supporters were injured in separate attacks by AL
activists in different parts of Khulna city. In Kishoreganj, Awami
League activists attacked the houses of local BNP men in Kuliarchar
and Katiadi upazilas, leaving 12 injured. Six BNP men were injured in
another attack by AL workers at Parbacharparatala village in Katiadi
upazila on Tuesday midnight. In Sylhet, AL activists set fire to the
house of a local BNP leader at Munshirgaon village in Biswanath
upazila early Tuesday. In another incident, four BNP activists were
injured in an attack by AL workers at Jasherpur village in the upazila
at the same time. On Tuesday, three people were killed and 34 injured
in post-election violence in different parts of the country amid
feelings of pleasure over Monday's dramatic election results.
It is time that the AL chief acts swiftly to stop her party workers
now going on rampage in different parts of Bangladesh. She also should
take note of a report in the daily Independent that BCL workers have
now returned to the campus in jubilation, occupied all student
dormitories of Dhaka University and ransacked several rooms of JCD
activists. Such spate of violence in fact belies her oft-repeated
statement that her party had never resorted to terrorism. But inaction
and silence in the wake of extensive attacks mean `go-ahead' to
vandals and musclemen. `Logi-Baitha' rallies are a grim reminder of this.
All these attacks are reminiscent of the 1996-2001 Awami League rule.
Terrorism, which once spawned in certain pockets, had suddenly spread
to the grassroots after AL took over. This had tarnished the image of
the AL so much so that during the 2001 general election, even party
men like Al-Haj Maqbul Hossain of Mohammadpur and Haji Selim of old
Dhaka area had to promise in their poll posters their firm resolve to
contain terrorism once elected. But then common voters, who had fallen
victim to their acts of terrorism, utterly disbelieved their promises
and voted against them. We welcome Hasina's move to set up a joint
South Asian Taskforce to contain terrorism in the region. We will
acclaim her more if she immediately establishes such a Taskforce
inside Bangladesh to weed out local terrorists as they only breed
seeds of civil strife, which will surely spare none in the society.
The election result appears to be not due to a new found love for the Awami League. Rather, it is a clear repudiation of the seriously bad governance of BNP and its alliance. The country is looking forward to another break that would allow the beneficiaries of the election to take lesson and not repeat its past mistake. However, the early sign is mixed at best. The following story reported in Daily Star might dampen the hope for many. The story is significant because apparently this incident is despite Hasina's directive. What do you think?]
Ignoring Awami League President Sheikh Hasina's instructions, cadres of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) have occupied the rooms of many students, journalists and leaders of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) in all dormitories of Dhaka University.
Resident students alleged that the BCL cadres have also gathered firearms in the university halls which, along with the internal clashes among BCL factions, has frightened them.
Meanwhile, DU authorities on Thursday postponed all examinations until January 5, for "unavoidable reasons".
After the landslide victory of the AL-led grand alliance in the ninth parliamentary elections, Hasina directed BCL General Secretary Mahfuzul Haider Chowdhury Roton not to engage in any violence on the campus, BCL sources said.
Hasina also directed BCL top leaders for taking strict action against those responsible for such violence, if any.
But cadres of the AL's student wing vandalised furniture and documents of JCD men and locked the rooms of many journalists, including DU correspondent of the daily Sangbad and a sub-editor of The Daily Star. They also vandalised the rooms of reporters of the daily Sangram and daily Nayadiganta.
Besides, a few former BCL leaders, who were not on the campus during the last seven years because of the dominance by JCD--student wing of BNP, have returned to campus with a good number of outsiders and firearms.
Hundreds of general students, who are roommates of JCD leaders, found their rooms locked after returning to their dormitories after the month-long Eid and winter vacations in the last three days.
A resident of Mohsin Hall told The Daily Star that he voted for the AL-led grand alliance thinking that there will be changes in all sectors. "But there is no change. Chhatra League men are doing the same as the Chhatra Dal," he said.
Sources concerned said after return of the former BCL men and their cadres the overall situation in the dormitories and on the campus is almost out of control of DU unit BCL President Shohel Rana Tipu and General Secretary Sajjad Saqib Badsha.
Talking to The Daily Star, both the leaders blamed these unwanted incidents on these former party men many of whom are not students anymore.
Top BCL leaders at DU said these BCL men are trying to establish their dominance in the dorms afresh by any means, especially by bringing in firearms, although they have no acceptance at the grassroots level.
Many warned of sudden massive violence on the campus if the situation is not controlled immediately.
Top BCL leaders have conveyed this message to the leaders of its DU unit, but the latter are unable to handle violent situation and anti-organisational activities as internal conflicts are increasing gradually.
Sources said the incumbent committee of the BCL unit at DU would be dissolved soon because of this.
National dailies have reported that an elderly woman was killed and about 100 people, mostly supporters of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, were injured in clashes on Friday as the post-election violence continued across the country. According to New Age correspondents, 36 people were injured in Cox’s Bazar, 25 in Natore, 22 in Magura, five in Comilla and seven in Jhenaidah.At least five people have been killed and over 218 injured in post-election violence in different districts since Monday. New Age correspondent in Jhenaidah reported that Parabashi Begum, 60, who, some locals claimed, was an activist of Jamaat-e-Islami, was hacked to death and seven others were injured at Srirampur village under Shailkupa upazila in the district on Friday afternoon when clashes broke out between the supporters of the Awami League and the Jamaat-e-Islami. New Age correspondent in Khulna reported that the district and city units of the BNP-led alliance at a press conference on Friday morning accused AL activists of attacking its supporters in Khulna city and different parts of the district. Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abul Kalam Azad read out the written statement at the press conference held at Khulna press club. BNP’s MP-elect for Khulna 2 Nazrul Islam Monju, former acting mayor of Khulna City Corporation Moniruzzaman Moni, BNP leaders Shah Md Sekendar Ali, M Nurul Islam, Jamaat leader Mia Golam Parwar and Khulna four-party co-conveners Latifur Rahman Labu and Sakhawat Hossain were present. The BNP-led alliance alleged as many as 35 incidents of violence against its supporters by the AL activists had taken place in Khulna city and nine upazilas of the district since the elections. Parwar, defeated candidate for Khulna 5, alleged that a member of religious minority was beaten up by the AL men in Dumuria but newspapers did not report the incident. MP-elect Monju said that he had informed the police about the ‘violence unleashed by the AL men’ but no action was taken. They threatened to announce protest programmes if the ‘violence’ was not stopped immediately. New Age correspondent in Comilla reported that assailants attacked the houses of a local BNP leader and his relatives at Haripur village under Barura upazila in the district Thursday night, leaving seven people, including two women, injured. The attackers also ransacked a number of houses and looted valuables, alleged Abul Hashem, joint secretary of Khasbag union unit of BNP. A group of people brandishing sticks attacked the houses of Hashem and his relatives at about 6:00am, leaving seven injured, said the BNP leader. Our Cox’s Bazar, correspondent reports, At least 36 BNP activists and supporters were injured in attacks allegedly launched by AL activists at Teknaf, Chakoria, Maheskhali, Ramu and Cox’s Bazar sadar upazilas in the last three days. Leaders of district BNP-led alliance made the allegation at a press conference at Cox’s Bazar press club Friday evening. Former MP Shahjahan Chowdhury alleged that a group of AL activists led by AL’s MP-elect Abdur Rahman Badi had attacked some shops and houses in Teknaf. They also beat up some four-party activists and supporters after the elections. MP-elect of BNP Lutfor Rahman Kajol and Jamaat’s MP-elect Hamidur Rahman Azad were present at the press conference.In Magura, 22 people were injured in separate attacks allegedly launched by Awami League activists on Thursday and Friday in Shibrampur village under sadar upazila, Debila, Uttar Dharma, Tilkhari, Bejora, Nohata and Shingra under Shalikha upazila and Kaluakandi under Mohammadpur upazila of Magura district since the polling day. At least 24 houses were ransacked and valuables were looted during the attacks. The injured were admitted to Magura sadar hospital. Helal Uddin, college lecturer in Shibrampur village, was admitted to hospital after being struck by hammer. The AL activists looted the houses of Ramanath and Gobinda of Shingra village, Laltu of Tilkhari village, Mohiuddin of Bejora village, Jiten member of Nohata village, Zainuddin Khan, Kalim, Iman, Jalal, Moti, Hafizar, Siddik, Alim, Shoeb, Oliar, Dulal and Kuddus Khan of Kalukandi village.
There are so many other incidents.We did not expect this after such a peaceful election., particularly from Awami league activists who have won the election in such a massive way.They should be now more humble and also grateful to God for what they have achieved.We urge Awami League leadership to quickly bring the lawlessness under control.We also urge police officials to be firm in the matter of maintaining law and order.
Kolkata's largely circulated Bengali daily newspaper Anandabazar
Patrika (ABP) has reported on December 31 that Sheikh Hasina has
invited Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee to remain present in
her oath taking ceremony in Dhaka.
According to the ABP report, the grand alliance leader and Awami
League President Sheikh Hasina has made a phone call to the Foreign
Minister of India Pronab Mukherjee requesting him to remain present at
the oath taking ceremony of her next government.
This was reported in the (ABP) in its 31st December issue, which this
correspondent retrieved from Internet. The ABP correspondent Joyanta
Ghosal reported from New Delhi, quoting a source at South Block
(India's foreign ministry), that the Manmohan Singh government did not
want to go ahead with any great expectation about Bangladesh although
the grand alliance of Sheikh Hasina won a great victory.
The report states that Sheikh Hasina means the past illusion of
liberation war particularly to the people of West Bengal. The report
probably for the first time prefixed the word 'Bangabandhu' before the
name of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and said: "Yet the Bangalee Foreign
Minister of India does not want to go by emotion, though the daughter
of 'Bangabandhu' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is poised to come to power."
ABP report says that after her victory in the election Sheikh Hasina
called the Bangalee Foreign Minister of India, "Dada, you will have to
come to participate in the oath taking ceremony (of my government)
with Boudi." But the Foreign Minister of India has not yet decided
whether he will attend the oath taking ceremony in Dhaka, though he
will surely visit Bangladesh before the elections of Lok Sabha, the
Several years ago when Pronob Babu switched his responsibility from
Defence Minister to Foreign Minister, the Foreign Minister of the BNP
government was the first among the foreign countries who sent him the
congratulatory message, the report said. The report added that India
had invited Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed to participate in the SAARC
Conference after the installation of the Caretaker Government (CG) of
Bangladesh to power.
The report said that, at that time a journalist, who is close to
Hasina, asked a question to this correspondent as to why India was not
coming forward in support of Sheikh Hasina openly in such a restive
situation. India did not do that. On the other hand, Foreign Minister
Pronab Mukherjee went to visit Bangladesh with relief materials.
During that visit it was seen that Pronob Babu was repeatedly
informing the CG about matters of mutual concern and he never wanted
to poke his nose into the internal politics of Dhaka. As Pronab Babu
says: "This is 2008, not 1971. At that time what India did that was
the necessity of the given circumstances. Now the situation has changed."
The ABP report further said: "Now India's stance is, India would
establish relations with whoever comes to power in the sovereign
neighbouring country. Even Delhi can not say that "it would not keep
relationship if military rule is imposed in any neighbouring country."
The report pointed out that once Indian premier Pundit Nehru opened
dialogue with Field Marshal Ayub Khan of Pakistan. Indira Gandhi was
compelled to initiate talks with Gen. Ziaul Haque after the hanging of
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Again Atal Bihari Bazpayee gave democratic
recognition to Parvez Musharraf by according him red carpet reception
at the Agra Summit just after the wounds of Kargil war. Atal Bihari
Vajpayee government also maintained good relations with Bangladesh
during the rule of Khaleda Zia, and continued bilateral relations.
The report recalled that during the SAARC conference in Katmandhu,
Khaleda Zia listened to Vajpayee's prescription for curing her knee
pain. Again Brojesh Misra did not hesitate to visit Dhaka to warn
about terrorist activities against India."
The report stated: "Pranob Babu, a follower of Indira Gandhi, knows
Sheikh Hasina personally for a long time." It is doubtless that Sheikh
Hasina has an image of a 'daughter of the same household' to New Delhi
and West Bengal. It is obviously easy for India to go for diplomatic
negotiations with the same much known 'daughter of Mujib'. But the
Foreign Minister i.e. Indian government is aware of the limitations of
the future government of Dhaka.
The report further said in the past Hasina had to pay a heavy price
for her 'friend of India image', when she was in power. Hasina also
learnt a lesson from her past experience. This time Jatiya Party of
Ershad is the ally of Sheikh Hasina's Awami League, if Jamaat-e-Islami
is the ally of Khaleda Zia's BNP. Like the Jamaat-e-Islami, the Jatiya
Party also announced that they would introduce blasphemy law in their
party manifesto. And it was Ershad who declared Islam as the State
religion when he was in power. As a result the other religious
communities became second class citizens.
The report further added: "Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wanted to lead the
country towards the path of secularism. Delhi is doubtful about the
ability of the 'daughter of Mujib' to renounce the influence of the
fundamentalist forces, when the party of Ershad is her ally. Jatiya
Party of Ershad also bagged 27 seats; so it will have some kind of
control. Besides, there will be a control from the cantonment, whoever
may come to power, under the given political situation of Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina is also not beyond the control of the military, though
she is not like Khaleda. Keeping all these in mind India wants to
strengthen the relations with Bangladesh because of recent conflict
with Pakistan. The objective is that Pakistan can not use Bangladesh
as the field of its anti-India activities. Referring to the act of
terrorism on the soil of Bangladesh Pronab Babu has made it crystal
clear. He said, "The problem will be raised when new government will
be installed. Let us see how far we can achieve."
The Ananada Bazar Patrika report further stated: "This was the only
hope of Delhi that the military and Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh have
not been strengthened as in Pakistan." This time it is also clear in
the elections' result. The military wanted a fragile government.
People have voted en-masse in favour of the alliance of Sheikh Hasina.
The Jamaat-e-Islami has become obscure as it is seen in the results of
the votes. Yet it is not that the extreme forces of the party of
Ershad would try to hold the country inside 'veils'. Will Hasina be
able to complete the trial of the killers of Sheikh Mujib by
neglecting those extreme forces? Will Hasina be able to chant the
slogans of development by discarding the anti-Indian card, when
Norendra Modi is not stepping back from demolishing temple in the
interest of development ? South Block is waiting to see that."
idst the heartbreaking scenario of the Gaza tragedy came the news of
Bangladeshi election results
Bangladesh - the days ahead
Amidst the heartbreaking tragedy unfolding in Gaza came
the news of Bangladeshi election results. By most accounts the election was
fair, participation was high and the result has been dramatic.
BAL deserves congratulations from all.
Memory flies back to the bitter days of the early
seventies when BAL was in power. Since then there has been political merry go
round between BAL and BNP.
BNP possibly paid the price for their corruption and poor
management and the people voted BAL hoping for a better future.
But this time BAL has won big. Is this a mandate for
change? If so, then the question is: Change from what to what. Some people are
saying that this election is a mandate against Islam.
The BAL would be under pressure to push for constitutional
change to bar Islam from the public square by banning Islamic parties and
creating an atmosphere of hatred for Islam.
If the Islamic parties are banned then what might be the
There are two possible outcomes: Firstly, such a move
might lead to their radicalization and eventual resurgence because Islam
thrives if and when under attack. Secondly, such a move might also force them
to choose the path of passive, peaceful programs. The second outcome might also
reap huge dividends in terms of growth of Islam in Bangladesh. That might be
greater than political power sharing.
But Bangladeshi people face harsh and desperate
conditions: being victims of political and administrative corruption, massive
economic disparity, extremely poor public service and generally callous
administrative machinery. BAL needs to concentrate their energy in solving the
basic needs of the people and serve them.
Going forward, in the days ahead great responsibility lies
on the shoulder of the Islamic scholars and leaders. Days are going to be
difficult in the near future. It is important for them to get out of their
comfort zones and go out and meet the people, serve them, work for them, be
their friends, understand their needs, be vigilant against local goons, protect
the poor, the women and the minorities. Frustration leads to inaction and
inaction leads to downfall.
They should understand that their primary role is not to
win elections and form government and make money but to be active in society in
spreading the message of Islam, speak up against social injustice, corruption,
nepotism, cruelty, oppression and ignorance.
It is true that political power might help the cause of
Islam but that is not an end by itself.
For too long Bangladesh has been led by mediocre
leadership. The future leaders have to be different from what we see today. The
affairs of leading has to be shouldered by a new generation of leaders.
But, where are the institutions to produce the future
leaders? Can the Bangla medium schools, the English medium schools, the
Madrasahs, the Cadet colleges, the military academies or the homes do the job?
The new generation of leaders will possess the spirit of
sacrifice, hard work, honesty, trust, spirituality, humility and compassion.
Grounded on a strong intellectual and spiritual foundation of the Quran and
Sunnah, he will be pious, devout and knowledgeable. He will know how to inspire
others, be concerned with the welfare of the people and be selfless. He will be
a voracious reader. Above all he will be God conscience.
But there has to be institutions to build these
foundations and prepare capable leaders to shoulder the massive task ahead. As
the future leader grows he has to learn not only how machines work, the human
body function, economies run, business/industries are managed but also inspire
and motivate people. The institutions we see today are specialized in their
Bangladesh needs leaders with combination of faith,
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Even though Hasina wants to pay her AL leaders for their help on her bad times but choosing Zillur is a wrong one. Bangladesh is a country where we need strong face to visit various countries to bring more help for Bangladesh where Hasina does not go.
He is a good guy no question about it but Bangladesh needs people with international experiences and strong person who can move quickly to one place to another place. He might need oxygen tank next few months who knows. I hope and pray for his health and he should take rest from politics.
Zillur is a very bad choice where we need some one to move Bangladesh forward. I still hope that Hssina will rethink about his nomination choice for the Presient of Bangladesh which will be good for AL and Bangladesh as far as development is concern.