Blocking of DeshCalling indicates the true meaning of Digital Bangladesh
Blocking of DeshCalling indicates the true meaning of `Digital Bangladesh '
I recently received an email from a yahoo forum indicating an article linked to the DeshCalling blog operated by Barrister MBI Munshi. When I opened the link I saw a caption stating that the blog was blocked to viewers in Bangladesh . Visitors to the site apparently see only a white screen or a backdated version of the blog without recent posts being displayed. Since I am in London I could view the blog and tried to discover the reason for the Bangladesh government's action. It seems that Barrister Munshi had published two articles (written anonymously) on the Pilkhana Massacre which revealed direct government complicity in the tragedy. The publication of these articles must have caused a great deal of consternation and annoyance in ruling circles hence the blocking procedure. I delved further into the archive of DeshCalling and read through several law related articles on the recently concluded Sheikh Mujibur Rahman murder case which presented in full the defense of one of the accused. There were also a number of articles written by Barrister Munshi that displayed a negative attitude to Indian foreign policy as applied to Bangladesh as well as other South Asian countries. One may argue that Barrister Munshi should have been more sensitive to the present government's agenda and avoided such controversial subjects and thereby avoided the blocking. But when one reads about death threats against Mahmudur Rahman ( Amar Desh ), Nurul Kabir (New Age) and Shahidul Alam (DRIK) one gets the impression that something else is going on here. A relative of mine, residing in Bangladesh , sent me a message a few days ago expressing surprise that the newspapers and TV channels were not showing the large and violent protests in Dhaka over pay, loadshedding and extortionate practices of the AL or BCL . It should now be clear to all what this Digital Bangladesh charade is really all about. Its purpose is to control opinion and censor information that could prove embarrassing to the government. Everyone should be aware of this pernicious trend and what it means for the future of Bangladesh . Digital Bangladesh is merely a cover for government oppression and the shutting down of oppositional viewpoints. DeshCalling could be the first of many blockings that will result in the narrowing down of opinion creating a climate of fear and distrust that is essential for the government's own survival.
S. T. Islam
Imperial College London