Apr 28, 2013

If the Savar collapse wasn't the prime opportunity for the sarkar to put some shine on their armor otherwise laden what what hit the fan, I don't know what is! However, my problem is I always think I am too smart for the sarkar, when I've been totally outrun by them my whole life.

I apologize for the title, since there is a matter other than the sarkar that is eating at my grays. Its our media. Its no secret that the news media, especially the TV news channels, get a chance to get more viewers in this case, but hey, we the people, appreciate getting a direct telecast of the gruesome events also, its information we crave. And of course, one has to notice the 'emotional journalism' that takes place often here (as opposed to passionate journalism, terms I've come up with), e.g. juxtaposing violin and cello music on top of slowed down footage of those suffering loss and pain.

But whats more troubling is the blind eye they all turned on the massive civil action (not a lawsuit) that is taking place to help this rescue operation. Anyone who turns on Facebook now sees the different groups and individuals who have been communicating back and forth between the Savar site and those who are on their toes to go out and give blood, buy supplies - anything from medicine, dry food, shrouds, torch lights to oxygen tanks. Not to forget, cash donations also. You can even see advertizing agencies lined up there among medical students and pharmaceutical companies and Walton -  a crazy and passionate mix of people there.

From day 1, there has been one noticeable party who has been slow to respond - Le Sorkar! (or is it La Sorkar?)

However, on Day 3, we hear from our Health Minister AFM Ruhal Haque, respond to the media's coverage:
“Last night, Ekattor Television in a talk show said there is scarcity of medicines. But we have stockpiles of drugs in Savar hospitals. We have supplied double the demand. I talked to them (doctors in Savar). No one says there is a dearth. We have enough blood, enough oxygen. We have deployed an agent of the government’s oxygen supplier. They are instructed to supply any amount.”
The minister assured that government would provide Bangladesh’s ‘best treatment’ to the injured ‘as long as they need.’  [BDNews24]
On Saturday, we also saw Tuku from the Home Ministry answer about government initiatives first with a rant on how the visit by Khaleda Zia (Opposition Leader) wasted 3 hours of rescue time, and then with a vague "we will tackle this with the help of the people". To which the reporter thanked him. Intense stuff!

Social media's role in overthrowing governments have been widely covered by media corporations before, but seeing them ignore these valiant efforts that are clearly taking place now in mitigating this catastrophic situation is beyond me. Then again, I am the lunatic.

Overpowering my skewed sense of justice, is of course a sadness, at the deaths, and also at those who are making it out alive without an arm or a leg, disabilities that might take away their livelihoods. That is still another issue that is being widely avoided at the mainstream media desks, and if you want to see what has been done, switch to your Facebook.

You could follow:
Red Blood
Iresh Zaker
1 Degree Initiative

Story of one survivor: http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2013/apr/27/back-grave
(Some survivors have shown signs of psychological trauma and fought off the rescue workers)
Thoughtless? http://www.dhakatribune.com/editorial/2013/apr/28/think-things-through 

Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013

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Apr 25, 2013

Posted on Thursday, April 25, 2013

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Apr 6, 2013

On Mar 10, yours truly ranted on about how he thinks that people have forgotten the purpose of having a government, and how they seemed to have launched into the War Crimes Trial half cocked.

April 6, we're looking at a massive gathering of the Hefazat-i-Islam - the protectors of Islam at Motijheel, the older commercial center of Dhaka. When they announced it last week, they said it'd be to protest the blog posts that satired the life and character of Prophet Mohammad SA, the prophet of Islam. When the time came closer to their march of the 6th, they published 13 point demand that went beyond demanding punishment for the bloggers. The word 'punishment' there is listed as 'death sentence', and includes other things as demands to change the constitution to include a declaration of total faith and reliance on Allah and his messenger, and a stop to all development programs that are formulated around women or independence of women.

Again, the government seemed lost as to how to react to this one. To support or stymy?

Well, forget my analysis, this time, I'll share Prof. Ali Riaz's points from Prothom Alo's editorial of yesterday.

ধারণা করা হচ্ছে যে সরকার গোড়াতে জামায়াতে ইসলামীর বিপরীতে ইসলামপন্থীদের একটা আলাদা শক্তিকেন্দ্র তৈরিতে উৎসাহ জোগালেও হেফাজতে ইসলামের নাটকীয় উত্থান, তাদের আচরণ এবং তাতে জামায়াতে ইসলামীসহ বিরোধীদের লাভবান হওয়ার সম্ভাবনায় এখন শঙ্কিত।
একসময় নির্বাচনকালীন সরকারের কাঠামো অর্থাৎ তত্ত্বাবধায়ক সরকারব্যবস্থার দাবিই ছিল মুখ্য। এখন তাদের লক্ষ্য হচ্ছে সরকারের পতন ঘটানো। এই অবস্থা মোকাবিলায় সরকার যে শক্তি প্রয়োগের পথ বেছে নিয়েছিল, তার পরিণতি সরকারের জন্য ইতিবাচক বা অনুকূল হয়নি। সহিংসতা দমানোর জন্য শক্তি প্রয়োগের প্রয়োজনকে অস্বীকার না করেও বলা যায়, সরকার শক্তি প্রয়োগের ব্যাপারে যথাযথ ব্যাখ্যা প্রদানে সব সময়ই যে সফল হয়েছে, তা নয়। অনেক সময় সরকারি কর্মকর্তাদের, এমনকি স্বরাষ্ট্রমন্ত্রীর বক্তব্য ভিন্ন ব্যাখ্যার সুযোগ দিয়েছে।
পুলিশ বাহিনীর সদস্যদের ওপরে উপর্যুপরি হামলা কেবল জামায়াত-শিবিরের কর্মীদের ভয়াবহ অমানবিক চেহারাই তুলে ধরেনি, নিরাপত্তা প্রদানে সরকারের ব্যর্থতাও প্রকাশ করেছে। সরকার সংখ্যালঘুদের ওপর হামলা মোকাবিলা করতে পারেনি, এখনো পারছে না। কোথাও কোথাও সরকার-সমর্থকেরা তাতে যুক্ত ছিলেন বলেও অভিযোগ রয়েছে।
যুদ্ধাপরাধীদের বিচারের মতো এত বড় একটা বিষয় হাতে নিয়ে সরকার তার গুরুত্ব ও মাত্রা বুঝতে সক্ষম হয়নি বলেই এখন মনে হয়। কেননা, এ রকম একটা কাজের জন্য যে প্রাতিষ্ঠানিক কাঠামো তৈরি করা দরকার ছিল, যে ধরনের মানবসম্পদ বরাদ্দ করা দরকার ছিল, বিচার-প্রক্রিয়ার সমালোচনা এবং বিচারের বিরুদ্ধে প্রচারণা মোকাবিলায় যে ধরনের প্রস্তুতি ও কার্যক্রম দরকার ছিল, তার প্রায় কিছুই গত তিন বছরে লক্ষ করা যায়নি।
বড় কাজের জন্য যে ধরনের শৃঙ্খলা দরকার, অন্য অনেক আশু স্বার্থ জলাঞ্জলি দেওয়ার প্রয়োজন, তা আওয়ামী লীগের নেতারা এবং সরকার দেখাতে পারেনি।
২০০৬ সালে নির্বাচন সামনে রেখে আওয়ামী লীগ খেলাফত মজলিসের সঙ্গে যে চুক্তি করেছিল, তা হেফাজতের ১৩ দফা থেকে আকারে ছোট হলেও মর্মবস্তুর দিক থেকে ভিন্ন নয়, অনেক দাবি আসলে একই। এসব সত্ত্বেও গণজাগরণ মঞ্চের সমর্থকদের একাংশ যে আওয়ামী লীগের কাছ থেকেই আশা করেছে, তা-ও আমরা ভুলে যেতে পারি না। তাঁরাই এখন এই বলে এখন ক্ষোভ প্রকাশ করছেন যে ‘আগামী নির্বাচনে দেখা যাবে’। কিন্তু নির্বাচনের সময় যে সম্ভাব্য দুটো বিকল্প তাঁদের সামনে থাকবে, সেই দুই বিকল্পের মধ্যে কাকে তাঁরা বেছে নেবেন?

Now, its a little dangerous to have so many anti-govt. points on my blog, so to even the sentiments out a bit, I think both sides are playing with fire in terms of their (open or covert) collaborations and agreements with the fanatics we see gathered in the capital today. They've labeled this government as being Nastik, the bangla for Atheist, and representatives from BNP are sitting on that stage as these are being said. The two parties have always proved that their enmity is bigger than the good of the state and the citizens, and now at a most explosive time of our history, and on a larger scale than before.

(via The Daily Star, the actual 13 demands:)
  • Reinstate the phrase “Absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah” in the constitution as one of the fundamental principles of state policy.
  • Pass a law keeping a provision of capital punishment for maligning Allah, Islam and Prophet Muhammad and smear campaigns against Muslims.
  • Punish the “atheist” leaders of Shahbagh, bloggers and anti-Islamists who make “derogatory comments” about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
  • Stop killing, attacking and shooting Islamic scholars and madrasa students.
  • Free all the arrested Islamic scholars and madrasa students.
  • Lift restrictions on mosques and remove obstacles to holding religious programmes.
  • Declare Qadianis (Ahmadiyyas) non-Muslim and stop their publicity and conspiracies.
  • Ban all foreign culture including free mixing of men and women and candlelit vigil.
  • Stop setting up sculptures at intersections, colleges and universities across the country.
  • Make Islamic education mandatory from primary to higher secondary levels after scrapping women policy and education policy.
  • Stop threatening teachers and students of Qawmi madrasas, Islamic scholars, imams and khatibs.
  • Stop creating hatred against Muslims among young generation by misrepresentation of Islamic culture in the media.
  • Stop anti-Islam activities by NGOs, evil attempts by Qadianis and conversion by Christian missionaries at Chittagong Hill Tracts and elsewhere in the country.

Posted on Saturday, April 06, 2013

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Apr 1, 2013

I have heard it many times, why can't our parties practice democracy in their own administrations? Why do the parties keep hanging on to the same leadership of the two Queens? Haven't you?

The point we fail to grasp again and again, is that without them, the parties cannot picture themselves conducting the simplest of affairs without falling apart! There is a lack of respect among the members of each of our largest political parties. They literally begged these women to come and take the helm of their ships at a point when otherwise, infighting would've created so many holes that they wouldn't have enough hands or behinds to cover them and prevent sinking. After decades of having these women, who also uphold grande symbolism due to the family trees they bloomed out of, the rest of the party men and women still don't feel confident or adult enough to conduct their parties without these figureheads. They are so unused to thinking of the future that all their glories are rooted in the past, and you can see from the asinine comments they make in the media that they are much more conscious of what their leader will make of them than the voters and the taxpayers. Their faith is so deep, that they are also welcoming their Queens' fawns as their next leaders rather than have to deal with deciding on fresh leadership based on merit and experience. Dynasty, Dallas, what have you.

To make a long (horror) story short, our politicians are much like babies who need their mommies, and we're sort of behind a TV screen watching this badly written comedy (like Everybody Loves Raymond maybe) by producers who aren't worried about ratings at all, as long as their urges are met.

Image from bangladeshwatchdog.blogspot.com/ 

I do not believe in Democracy

Posted on Monday, April 01, 2013

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