Campaigning on Bangladeshi Issues Abroad
- Dear Alochoks
Whilst the following statement is true : "... our actions at home are
responsible for building our image" it is interesting to see which
bits of our actions people like to highlight.
Like the post-election violence against some minorities, people are
now jumping up and down to alert (!) the world of the army's abuses.
This is all well and good but actually serves NO USEFUL PURPOSE. In
fact, it is detrimental to the long term interests of the very people
whom such activists purport to serve.
In a country where law and order is non-existent and its enforcers
themselves criminals, such publicity undermines any international help
to address the problem.
Instead of running around shouting the odds about small groups of
crimes that have politically correct currency in the west, why don't
they talk about crime generally and ask for help and pressure to
address the core issue.
It makes more sense to ask the British and US government to HELP us to
rebuild (build?) our law enforcement infrastructure and root out
corruption than to tell them to demand that the present government
reign in the army.
After all, without the ability to enforce law and order, defending
human rights is nothing more than an empty slogan and an issue that
guarantees its activists column inches well into the future.
Before certain quarters start jumping up and down about human rights,
let me ask them this : WHAT SHALL WE DEFEND HUMAN RIGHTS WITH? (in
Bangladesh) Answer this and then can we talk about human rights abuses.
Is this too simplistic? I think not.
If you want to raise issues abroad to genuinely help Bangladesh,
choose them carefully.
Emanur Rahman, UK
In response to Lopa Tasneem's forwarded article from Daily Star
Alochok Emanur raised a very important point in his mail when he stated, "Instead of running around shouting the odds about small groups of crimes that have politically correct currency in the west, why don't they talk about crime generally and ask for help and pressure to address the core issue."
On campaigning on Bangladesh related issues abroad some may say that human rights organisations, media and individuals are always active to protest against small group of crime. However, do we have any idea why the same bodies are seen to remain passive to protest against the crime in general? Do we have any idea why they are never seen to be active to respond to the development of core areas like economic, political or socio-cultural field?
- Dear Alochoks
First of all I'd like to concede that I did indulge in Deshi Style
of political discussion and that is not a fruitful of way of
discussion at all. This is not to sound like an excuse but my main
complaints arose from two things, 1) the constant `labeling' of Sk.
Hasina only that her actions are harmful for our nation. 2) that
we cannot or should not discuss about the problem of fundamentalism
in the present day context.
Yes, I stand accused of (and truly so) bringing old/deshi style
comparison of Khaleda Zia's old records (I mean it not in any
arrogant way). But I also see an alarming trend of sweeping issues
under the cover and muffling the opposition voices in the name of
long term national interest and accusing them of treasons. Sometimes
I feel this taking time off from voicing opinions `in-the-name-of-
national-interest' is too broad of a rain-check we are handing over.
I hope I'm wrong, but I suspect jamaat and the other islamists are
taking the advantage of the relative proximity to the power and the
silent sympathy factor that's sweeping the Muslim majority nations
of the world these days.
Talking about issues, have we tried to understand what would be the
consequences if we don't communicate our concerns about
fundamentalist parties gaining power in the absence of any political
discussions. And if the fundamentalists do come to power by scoring
in an empty field, can we think of - how much foreign investment or
award will we generate from the western nations?? Alochoks, the fear
is real. After the Bali incident, the FDI in Indonesia took a direct
hit on its nose. On the other hand Malaysia announced that it will
start monitoring the radical imams by putting video cameras in the
suspected mosques. Now who do you think has more credibility in the
civilized world? These concerns, I hope, are not taken
as `pontifications' about fundamentalism.
I am no fan of any of the current political leadership of Bangladesh
either. Just like you, I disagree with Sk. Hasina citing not so
believable Time, WSJ etc. articles. I also complain constantly about
the near-sightedness of our current leadership. To my strong belief,
Bangladesh is still one of the most uniquely liberal and progressive
muslim-majority nations in the world. By no way it is a `hotbed' of
fundamentalist-terrorist activities. But I won't take it as a
guarantee that we will remain that way forever without us fully
tackling the issue of rising fundamentalism around us. I am a proud
Bangladeshi, proud of our heritage and proud of our liberal tolerant
society. We have to be proactive to keep our long standing tradition
of being a liberal, tolerant society and not succumb to the
Wahabbi / Advani versions of religions.
Sometime I feel we only complain / finger point about one-side only.
We don't see the danger of the other side. This is where I might
have misunderstood Alochok Emanur's verbiage as a one-sided Sk.
Hasina bashing. He has been kind enough to point out the flaw of the
discussion style that I employed. Thank you. I hope, with my mistake-
laden way, I have tried to call your attention to this other side of
P.S. About the common knowledge the middle-east connections, I would
like to point to the first part of my comment where I have
conveniently put a disclaimer about this comment being a comment
based on common knowledge :)). Nevertheless, I do admit that it is
terribly hard in Bangladesh to find the exact details behind these
assertions (especially for ones who are out of the country for a
In response to : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/alochona/message/5988
[M:JJ] Alochoks should take note of Alochok Yousuf's comments. An important process for all of us including moderation is to evolve the way in which we discuss things. Moving away from "complaining and finger pointing" will allow us to actually achieve an outcome from our discussions. More often than not the reconciliation or understanding of differing viewpoints is lost due to the inability to get past recrimination. Our thanks to Alochok Yousuf for setting the example and in doing so, the standard for all Alochona discussions.