December 2002

There are forty five dead bodies.

While we savor our ever intensifying patriotism over our keyboards in the heated (or chilled) environment of our bedroom,those forty-five dead bodies,already began to decompose, await post mortem.

We discuss humanism over the net.On this cyberworld, we confront Hindutva; we discover neo-Indian imperialism over Bangladesh.Those forty-five bodies, with vivid evidence of disease all over,each a text book of malnutrition,keep on rotting at the hot and humid mortuary floor of Gaibandha District Hospital.

We, on the pages of the web,resent US foreign policy,wage war against Islamism, fundamentalism.We discuss faulty global economic policies,we write up lengthy sophisticated articles on the current autocratic andreligio-fundamentalist state of Bangladesh.Those 45 bodies; children; men—young and old;women—mothers, grandmothers and to be moms;lie naked on the floor of the dark and haunted GaibandhaDistrict Hospital morgue.Now more rotten, infested with maggot, insects. Waiting for Post mortem.

We struggle die hard for the causes of rationalism,we are hell-bent to fight any infringement in freedomof speech,we spend hundreds of web hours to ensure press freedom. And the children of those fathers among the forty-five dead, cry day and night, now in hunger, not in grief anymore.

On this net we are ever vigilant against any blasphemy against our sacred independence and we rally to uphold the spirit of our war of independence.The typical North-Bengal village where those forty five came from, gets poor and poorer.

And, Finally Those forty-five rotten bodies get the post-mortem done.

Cause of death.

Cause of death????????????????????????????????

Cause of death!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We needed post mortem to know the cause of death, Huh!

Will it show the real cause of those forty-five deaths?
Will post mortem reveal Poverty, The unforgiving curse?

We keep on humming on this net. From our suburban study-rooms, from our cubicle work stations.We remain the vanguard of everything noble about Bangladesh.

And yet another forty-five, the child, wife, husband of those already dead forty-five , desperate to relieve the hunger, runs into another stampede,the stampede to flee the curse called poverty.

The stampede grows bigger.

Let’s imagine.Two journalist, one from Bangladesh and the other,suppose, from Pakistan, slips into this country with avisa for visiting a friend or going to school etc.Then they move around this country in search ofcertain exceptions, some injustices. They take thefootage from some vandalized mosque, they interviewthe family member of some people whose members are inINS custody without access to anybody since 9/11 andthey interview people like like Pat Robertson andJerry Fallwell and edit it only containing the veryinflammatory comments against other religion. Theytook the picture of a Sikh in front of a downtownhaunted burnt down house with false bandages on hisarm and other parts of the body.In the meantime Bill O’Riely gets the scoop and letthe whole country know about their activities,different other right wing media gets the news andstart making big hue and cry.And Finally, these two journalists are confronted byINS agents at the US-Canadian border when they triedto leave this country by road with all the material,camera, video etc. What do you think the USauthorities, gripped in this post 9/11 paranoia woulddo? Let them leave uninterrupted, making the govt.vilnerable to right wing media backlash by O’riely etel? Or they would arrest them citing immigrationinfringements initially and later link them withAl-Quida and bring sedition charges against them ?And now think about Bangladesh government, alsogripped with paranoia of western media propagandaafter bad press by Bertill Lintner, Alex Peerry et el.It’s the same knee-jerk reflex my friends, samereaction. Be it the icon of civilization, liberty,democracy-The USA or be it Bangladesh.
[ Still we need to protest the arrest of journalistsin Bangladesh, if it happens in US, it doesn’t meanits OK to happen in Bangladesh.]