This post contains an excerpt from the book Manob Sagor Teeray, by Shankar (মানব সাগর তীরে/শংকর) about france, the french and often about how different of similar they are to Bengalis, or the rest of the world. Insightful and funny accounts from 1990.

"এই একটা ব্যাপারে ইন্ডিয়ার লোকদের কিচ্ছু শেখার আছে. রাষ্ট্রপ্রধানদের নামে রাস্তা করা ফরাসি রুচিতে বাধে, যদিও অন্য রাষ্ট্রপ্রধানদের নামে রাস্তা করতে ফরাসিদের আপত্তি নেই - তাই রাস্তা আছে জর্জ ওয়াশিংটন, লিঙ্কন, ফ্রাঙ্কলিন, রুজভেল্ট, চার্চিল ও জেনারেল আইজেন্হাওয়ার-এর নামে. ....

শিল্পী, সাহিত্যিক, অভিনেতা ও দার্শনিকের নামে রাস্তা করতে প্যারিস অবশ্য সারাক্ষণ উঁচিয়ে আছে. ইবসেন থেকে বালজাক পর্যন্ত কেও বাদ যাননি. লর্ড বায়রনের নামে রাস্তা আছে অথচ উইলিয়াম শেক্সপিয়ারকে কোনো অজ্ঞাত কারণে ফরাসি এখনও যাতে তোলেনি. দার্শনিল কার্ল মার্ক্স-এর নামাঙ্কিত রাস্তা রয়েছে, কিন্তু লেনিন ও স্তালিন ঢুকেছে পিছনের রাস্তা দিয়ে, এঁদের নামে রাস্তা না ঠেকলেও স্তালিনগ্রাদ ও লেনিনগ্রাদ নামে রাস্তা আছে. ভারতবর্ষের একমাত্র প্রতিনিধি মহাত্মা গান্ধী. "
For non-Bangla readers, the writer above is talking about how in India, it is common practice to  name streets, buildings or bridges (the latter two not in the above excerpt, but elsewhere in the book) after head of states, where as for the French, it went against their taste. As for buildings and bridges, as mentioned in another part of the book, bear the names of the designers or the architects (makes sense, give credit, where credit is due). In the above excerpt, he notes how they have streets named after artists, writers, actors, and philosophers - Ibsen, Balzac, and Lord Byron for example.

The flip side in Bangladesh is not far from India naturally. Though, the writer here claims that the Indians only had Mahatma Gandhi, a Bangladeshi from an outsider's point of view could claim that they also had Nehru. Coming back, I have often mentioned often that we have a merry-go-round of 5 year power grips of the two major parties here in our democracy (demo-wha!?) - BNP and the BAL. Thus, every 5 years its common to have a lot of money spent to rename a lot of things - be they schools, or places like the "Moulana Bhasani Novo-Theatre"or a stadium. Like I said in my last post - Love They Leader, each party loves their figurehead, and would gladly accept a 15 year old spawn from them as their next leader (almost, you should see it isn't too far fetched).

Both parties also require from their members a pledge to respect and revere the establishing fathers of the parties, and to do so unconditionally. That is noticeable each time one of them is in power, in the form of a portrait of that establishing father in every govt. office. I was joking with a fellow the other day, that if we produced a frame that had their photos on each side, then we could just turn that around every 5 years! Maybe its already whats happening, I don't know!

Its a noticeable trait of a society, to see who they name the streets after - showing in turn, who they uphold. I applaud the French in this small acceptance of even foreigners' names on their streets in remembering what those foreigners upheld - a noble attempt in politics, literature, arts or another field. BAL's strong arm tactics however would have anyone believe that most of our notable upholders of the goodness of humanity came from Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family. The lunatic is most inraged about the treatment Moulana Bhasani's name has been getting.