May 2006


They also work in the production line. But instead of producing shirts, sweaters, undergarments, hats, pants etc., these workers are busy producing educated human being. Most of them have more than twenty years experience in these production lines.

They are the teachers of non government schools in Bangladesh. For the last 11 years they have been demanding a raise in salary.
While standard salary of these teachers is Tk 2600 a month ( $35), some of them are paid as low as Tk 750 a month.
One such teacher Mahbubul Alam says,

“We used to get Tk 500 as monthly salary from the government in 1992. Now after 12 years, we get Tk 750 when prices of essentials have shot up tenfold since 1992,”

Employed to teach 10 lakh students across rural Bangladesh, they also do not get their salaries regularly whereas the education sector always gets the highest allocation in the national budget.

“We are given our salaries most of the time three months after the salary dates,”

said Hafizur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Community Primary Teachers Association.

A teacher’s salary even in the government primary school is less than of a driver in a government office. It is even lower in the registered non-government primary schools, reports Mr Manjoor Ahmed of BRAC university in an in-depth analysis.

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These are pictures from last 3 years. This scene is repeating every year for the last 11 years.

They only want their salry to be equal to their government school counterparts, i.e. Tk 4000 a month.

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The sad part is that nobody listens to them. Even as I write this blog, hundreds of teachers are in hunger strike. And these news was absent from most of Bangladesh news media. I could not find any nerws in the Daily Star, neither in Ittefaq or prothom Alo.

Rather than sticking to non violent means, should they start burning their schools, breaking public properties, cars, I am pretty sure they would have been very much in the radar screen of our media, our nation and definitely our bloggers.

As soon as you are violent, you are noticed, you are mourned, you are talked about and you are taken care of. People start deep analysis of your plight.

You follow Gandhi doctrin, remain within civilized means, don’t break the law, you are doomed, nobody will talk about you.

In the pages of Bangladesh interest blogs, where you will be labeled BNP supporter if you dare disagree with even a single policy of Sheikh Hasina and where neutrality is a hated concept, one needs a lot of courage to write a tribute to Late President Ziaur Rahman. And I decide to take the unwise step to show the arrogance of writing a blog on Ziaur Rahman, foreseeing a barrage of attacks and a bleeding myself at the end of the ordeal.

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Zia

A quarter of a century passed since President Ziaur Rahman was assassinated by a group of ranking army officers. Before being assassinated he could rule Bangladesh for around five years. Here are some of my observations about Zia, his life and death, the people’s love and the legacy.

1. Freedom fighter Zia is way overshadowed by military ruler turned president Zia. His role in 1971 war never got the due respect, even during the current hay days of his party.
First attack on freedom fighter Zia came from his fellow jealous freedom fighters like Major Rafiq who smeared against Zia’s activities preceding March 25 revolt.

Intellectually retarded leadership of post Zia BNP, while unduly focusing on his declaration of Independence, always failed to portray the valiant fighter sides of Zia, his brave, shrewd war plans, his overall contribution to the warfare of 1971.

It is yet unclear to me why Zia, senior most sector commander in active duty was superseded by Gen Shafiullah, an officer of significant lower caliber and courage, to be the first army chief of independent Bangladesh.

2. While Zia is blamed ( To some extent rightly) for his heavy handed dealing with the army coups, killing of dozens of freedom fighter army officers, killing of sector commander- war hero- war wounded Colonel Taher; his role is stabilizing Bangladesh Army into a disciplined force has never been appreciated. We have to understand that when Zia was rescued from house arrest on 7th November 1975, a large portion of Bangladesh armed forces was under control of Marxist philosophy, and the other part of army was resorting to coup and counter coup on a weekly basis. The whole chain of command was shattered. And at the end, when Zia paid for his cruelty with his own life, Bangladesh Army was a more disciplined force.

3. Zia could have kept the one party rule mandated by 4th amendment of the constitution, but he decided to nullify the fourth amendment to pave the way for multi party democracy. He was well aware of the grassroots power of Awami League and he opted take the challenge with tools of democracy.

4. While Zia was immensely popular to the youth and the students of the 80s and 90s, he failed to develop any following among the intelligentsia. In my observation, the weakest link of Zia legacy is that there is not a single progressive intelligent mind in Bangladesh who will talk publicly in favor of Zia. Bangladesh media or blog scenarios are such examples. You will get hundreds of trash quality books on Zia written by BNP MP wannabees, not a single enlightened analysis of his political philosophy.

Has any poet ever write poem on Zia? Did any painter lovingly painted Zia’s portrait? Did any Zia follower dedicated a website on Zia? Answer to all of them in NO. And these are Zia’s failure.

5. Zia’s rehabilitation of dalals and razakars was, although short sighted, very much needed to politically face a huge grass root party like Awami League. Shah Aziz is one such example who very successfully tackled AL in the parliament. But all these razakars kept their name by dumping BNP for Ershad’s JP in the first opportunity.

6. Zia’s scrapping of secularism, another short sighted step, was, although very popular at that time, took Bangladesh a leap backward. Zia didn’t have that significant political opposition at that time to resort to this sort of drastic constitutional measure.

The irony is that although Zia is regularly termed as “unknown major”, ” Military dictator”, ” tyrant”, his vision of Bangladesh’s political system, a ‘quasi religious, quasi nationalist, half-hearted democracy”, is being followed page by page by all the proceeding governments. Nobody ever expressed any feeling of discomfort in this system.

7. While Zia struggled and succeeded in maintaining a corruption and nepotism free image, his legacy, his dynasty, his family is solely based on rampant corruption and shameless nepotism. This is probably the worst failure of Zia legacy.

8. I used to live in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar when Zia was killed. I’ve never seen a bigger human gathering in Bangladesh and I’ll probably never ever see the collective spontaneous expression of deep grief by millions present in the funeral service. Unfortunately that generation is not in existence anymore. Zia’s party, although carry Zia’s image in election posters, depend more on votes from Awami League haters than the votes of Zia lovers.

9. Zia should never be compared with Bangabandhu Mujib. They are not comparable. Mujib will always have a different, high up place in history. But there should not any hesitation in crediting Zia for holding the country in steady hand during the post-Mujib vacuum.

Thousands more die in Indonesia. Earthquake strikes once again. Poor Iran, Indonesia, these countries lie on the fault line. Historically most of the earthquakes happened on the fault lines. California is also situated on a tectonic plate border, the fault line. And all the structures in California are built earthquake safe.

Here is a map of all the major and monor tectonic plates of the world.

platemap

If you can locate Bangladesh in the world map, you will see two plate bounderies, i.e. two fault lines cross Bangladesh. On the noth, the Indian plate clashes with the Eurasian plate and on the east, Indian plate borders Australian plate and continues to Burma plate.

I am not a geology student and won’t pretend to know or understand the basics of the importance of these plate bounderies and earthquake possibilities.

Different newspaper reports inform us that many scientists have been warning about the probability of a devastating 8-9 richter scale catastrophic earthquake in the northeastern and southeastern parts of Bangladesh.

So, major earthquake is also possible in Bangladesh. Are we ready?

Can the authority in Bangladesh speak out with certainty that at least one, only one single rsidential apartment in Bangladesh have been bult to withstand a7.0- 9.0 richter scale earthquake?

We we talk about issues, a variety of issues. There is a word in english dictionery, ‘Priority’. Should we, as a nation, relearn the meaning and implication of the word?

Today is the 107th birth anniversary of our rebel Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.

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One of my early childhood memories is that of visiting Nazrul. It was probably the fashion of early seventies to go visit Nazrul. I remember, me with my mother and some aunts, waited in line for long time before getting to enter the room where Nazrul was sitting.

Nazrul, as I can remember, was visibly angry and probably uncomfortable at being treated like a zoo inhabitant.
The room was full of people, visitors like us was passing in a line, and a room full of musicians singing Nazrul’s songs.
And Nazrul’s attention was apparently on the fly which was trying to sit on his nose.
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After falling ill in 1942, Nazrul quickly became irrelevent. Wife Pramila died, financial, physical handicap slowly overwhlemed the rebel poet. Wikipedia puts the rest of his life this way,

He entered a world of increasing isolation, until 1972, when the newly formed nation of Bangladesh rediscovered him. He was taken to Dhaka and honoured as the national poet. However, Nazrul’s physcial and mental condition never improved, and he died on August 29, 1976. In accordance with a wish expressed in one of his poems, he was laid to rest beside a mosque on the campus of the University of Dhaka.

Now three decades later I ask myself, was, what we did with Nazrul those days, fair way to treat a severely demented person? May be he was the national hero. Did any of us ever saw Ronald Reagan after he got Alzheimer’s?

I still don’t understand the rational to ship Nazrul out of calcutta to Dhaka. Nazrul was born in Bardwan in West Bengal and spent most of his adult life in Calcutta. Does it mean that Nazrul, because he is a muslim is ours and Rabindra Nath Tagore not ours because he is a Hindu?

Nazrul

Or, Bangladesh, a new born state, needed a national icon like Nazrul to promote and solidify Bengali muslim nationalism? Did it serve it’s purpose?

Our sick President was flown to Singapore for further treatment. One news told he was in coma, one news told he had chest pain. But there has been no clear press briefing from a medical person about the real conditions.

Last week Shafiur mentioned leader Saifuddin Ahmed manik was also in Singapore for treatemnt.

What a testimony to our healthcare system! Even our head of the state don’t have the trust in our healthcare systemhas and travel to foreign land for for an emergency critical treatment.

Our prime minister goes to Saudi Arabia for her knee treatment.

Our opposition leader goes to Singapore for treatment of her ear injury.

And every hour, hundreds of thousands of people die in Bangladesh with diseases which were easily preventable.

Recently I wrote a post about the remedy of our politicians power lust.

One remedy was to bar government leadership and politicians, law makers from going abroad for treatment.

That will help im multiprong way.

1. One our leadership will be sincere in cleaning the mess in healthcare sector in Bangladesh.
2. Leadership positions hopefully will be less tempting
3. According to good old friend rafiq ahmed, it will help in this way, ” Actually another net benefit of barring medical treatment abroad, or forcing treatment at home, is to allow government officials to die natural deaths, therby cleansing the system a little at a time. I like this one.”.

Is it really all about the class struggle between oppressed workers and the blood sucking garments/textile factory owners? May be. Most likely. Then shouldn’t we all, who talk and work for the oppressed, support all what is being done by the workers in Bangladesh today?

But I am really having trouble loooking at the events in plane black and white and take the right side i.e the side of the workers and start supporting all the anarchy that is happening in Bangladesh right now.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no sympathy for the garments factory owners or current government. Garments and it’s subsidiary industry has the highest rich and poor gap in Bangladesh. Time and again I have seen what a lavish life the garments buusinessmen’s children lead around the private universities in Bangladesh. You, with your western wage, go to Helvetia and can afford to have a chicken brost once a while. This kids do it daily, hours after hours a day while indulging in Tk 5000 an hour pool game. And I have no doubt the money for this chicken brost and Tk 5000 an hour pool game comes from exploiting those poor teenage boys and girls working behind the locked collapsible gates.

But what good it brings to the nation when bands of hooligans go in rampage, start burning industries that come in front of them. These industries are backbone of the nation.

Today, about 500 garments factories around Dhaka are closed. They are closed for an indefinite period. What will be the immdediate implication?

Those poor daily paid workers will have no income for days. Who will feed the famly?

Factories will miss shipment datelines. They will definitely loose business to competitors in China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam ,Cambodia, Mexico, Jordan, Oman, Nepal, Jamaica etc.

I know garments owners also play with the sentiment, they kind of blackmail the nation with these issues.

But other than being blackmailed by these businessmen, what option this nation has?

Like all of you, I also can write emotional or factual stories on garments horror. But what purpose it will serve?

Should we support the anarchy of burning all the compliant units, all the showcase better workplace units or the joint venture units in EPZs?

Then what?

Peace?

Prosperity?

How?

I see the media in Bangladesh has taken a middle of the road aproach in this event. Lets follow that lead. First let the anarchy stop.
Then keep vigil for a follow up. Lobby, pressurize the government, regulatory agencies, owners association to ensure a minimus wage, work hour requirement. With buyer’s help, this is doable.

Please don’t burn a single more industrial unit. Bangladesh needs more industry. Can’t afford to burn whatever few we have.

News: After 4 and half years of corruption and utter failuire, our state minister for power is finally punished, –He has been transferred as state minister for agriculture.

We need Mr Donal Trump to join the government of Bangladesh as the ‘minister of firing. While the ministry of hiring has always been supervised by our crown prince His highness Tareq Zia, in the backdrop of repeated failure of our prime minister Khaleda Zia to pronounce the word, ” You Are Fired”, the addition of Mr Trump as the minister of Firing of the governmnet of Bangladesh will definitely embolden the government functioning and enhance the image of Bangladesh.

You're Fired

The popular TV realty show Apprentice host Donald Trump has become famous for his tardemark words, ” You’re Fired“. With his long experinece in firing, Mr Trump will sure bring dynamism in the day to day business of Bangladesh Government.

Fired

Otherwise, our governmnet will have to open another ministry and hire another minister to take care of the ‘Jobless officeless ‘ ministers– the ministry of transferred ministers.

Daycare

Bathroom break? House fire, earthquake?

After 15th August 1975, we lost one of the greatest assets of our natonal idenitity, i.e. our constitutional declaration of secularism.

30 years have passed since then. It seems like slowly we are getting used to our non-secular constitution. Nobody talks about it anymore. Dream of a secular Bangladesh is no longer promised in our political party meetings. It’s no longer a prominant election highlight.
In last 30 years, as far as I can recall, no party has ever submitted a bill in our parliament in an attempt to bring secularism back in Bangladesh.

In fact the word secularism turned into a ‘name calling’ word now a days. People use it as the words like fascist etc and the people in the receiving end also do not pride too much in being secular anymore.

And in the backdrop of our relentless regression away from secularism, Nepal changes it’s constitution to bring in secularism, first time in the history of this traditional Hindu kingdome. Bravo the people of Nepal. Bravo prime minister Mr Koirala, Bravo the parliament of Nepal.

She was in my head all day. Listened to her last night and her raw expressions, candid melancholy kept me bemused. Listen how this rural bengali women expresses her passions for love. Listen to this by clicking here.

This was a recent picture from Bangladesh newpapers. Not going into the context of the news, look at the different outfit the father and the son are wearing.

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While lungi remains the prime outfit of working and older middle class of Bangladesh, it has been loosing (or lost) it’s popularity among the youth. When I grew up, started living in dorm, “lungi” was the trademark dorm dress of Shibir students only. For rest of us shorts replaced lungi.

However as I came further along my life, I am now again a happy ” lungi wearing”, “rice and bhat eating” Bangali.

Nothing can beat lungi as the casual homewear. Only, you have to be very quick in running back after collecting your mail or newspaper or throwing trash. Otherwise the neighbours may find you wearing this strange skirt.

Man, I love lungi.

A front page news in todays Daily Star, ” No dialogue with war criminals: Joy” .

I have no roblem with it. This statement definitely makes sense. But, wait a minute, may I ask who are you? Did you replace Abdul Zalil as the spokesperson of 14 party alliance? Do you hold any leadership post in Awami league or any of other alliance parties? In what capacity did you make that statement on behalf of 14 party alliance?

Joy, how much you know of Bangladesh? How many years of your life you spent in Bangladesh? Did you do your primary/elementary school in Bangladesh? No. That was in Noinital, India. Did you do high school/college in Bangladesh, No. Where did you do your undergrad studies? In USA.

Now with your BS degree from a mediocre college in US, you are a salaried employee of a small US company. And once a while you take 12 days vacation from job and your american wife, go back to Bangladesh. There you make policy making statements and even give key note speech in national ICT conference. Am I missing something here? May I know what is your qualification to be the key note speaker in ICT conference?

Then you want to do politics in BD. Good. I have no problem with it. People may accept you as the grandson of Bangabandhu. But the precondition is that you have to bring a change in the politics of hatred, distrust and inefficiency.

So far in your speeches, I didn’t see anything but partisan hate mongering rhetoric aginst BNP.

Let me give you a secret, Bangladesh is not what your mom always says. People tend to take your mother’s words with a grain of salt. So before making your next speeches, please listen to people outside your mom’s home.

And lastly, we need honesty in our politics. You just gave a key note speech in an ICT session. Do you believe you are qualified for being the key note speaker? Is it honesty Joy?

They are up for finding a killer of Nasreen Haq. The driver ‘beta’ must be the crook, so remand him, beat him up ad nauseam until he say, “OK Ok I did it, now please stop the torture.”

And while we wait for him to “confess”, we miss or we forget about the real killer, the real criminal. That is our non existent trauma system.

Nasreen died of a low speed car impact on her thigh. Her femoral artery was injured. People don’t die of this injury. How can I make it more dramatic, what a shame it is on our healthcare system! Even someone of that VIP status, in the heart of Dhaka, with that quick transport to hospital can’t expect to live after this moderate limb injury. Then what we have left of trauma system in Bangladesh?

And we talk of being well prepared for bird flu. Huh!

Mr SAMS Kibria died of minor splinter injury in his leg too.

A roadside high school graduate paramedic in USA is capable of handling the injuries that killed Nasreen or Kibria. And we? We keep sending the patients from here to there. Nobody has the slightest sense of urgency in emergency management. What a shame! What a shame!! Oh our great doctors!!!!!

When 21st august bomb injures Ivy Rahman and others, we only had rickshaw vans moving crumbled bodies.

We must use the most advanced cell phone Motorola V RAZR, we drive Lexus and Hummer, we are active bloggers, not lacking behind in any other sector, but are still in Rickshaw van age in dealing with our sick. We don’t have a national ambulance system.

With our ever unsafe roads and highways, unruly rampant drivers, lack of law enforcement, blatant disregard for life, nobody in the country is immune form a traffic accident injury.

You are rich, powerful, you go to Singapore, Bangkok, India for tooth extraction, stomach aches, but what will you do if your car got hit by a bus near Feni on Dhaka Chittagong highway? You need a timely intervention to be able to see the sunrise of the following day. You, then, don’t have the time to fly to Bangkok or even go to Apollo.

I am happy to see that our country is adequately concerned about the threats of bird flu and government and nongovernmental sectors are joining hands in at least pretending to be prepared for bird flu.
Definitely Bird flu is the smart thing to talk about now a day. All of the developed world is drenched in bird flu horror paranoia. People of all sort of life are waiting in deep fear, when the bad guy called h5N1 will go through the necessary genetic shifting and drifting to be able to attack mankind.
Apparently this Asian bird flu virus and the fear is being spread for at least 8-10 years. Here is 1998 Time magazine cover story picture on bird flu.

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If you ask me, I am not so sure about the potential of bird flu to be the next big catastrophe. As you just saw the 1998 Time cover picture, the bird flu virus and the associated fear is wandering around for quite a long time. What happened? Isn’t 10 year enough long a window to complete the cycle?

Per May 8 estimate by WHO, so far there are 115 confirmed worldwide casualty of bird flu. Yes that is worldwide.

And do you know how many people die each year in USA alone by flu, not by bird flu, but the Human influenza, the real flu? In USA alone, in conservative estimate, about 36,000 people die each year of flu, the human flu. And this number is 36,000 after USA being the country which has the most elaborate, effective and extensive annual flu vaccination program and most advanced critical care system in the world. The annual human influenza epidemics are thought to result in between three and five million cases of severe illness and between 250 000 and 500 000 deaths every year around the world..

And Bangladesh!!! Nobody knows how many hundreds of thousands of children, elderly, adult die of flu related complication each year. Who cares? This is not bird flu! While flu shot supply crisis may cause a government to fall in USA, Bangladesh does not have any clue of the Influenza vaccination thing. Even the elderly or the sick won’t be able to get the life saving vaccine.

Will it be an attack against humanity if I ask the government and non government agencies to divert some of their attention on bird flu to help develop some human flu vaccine , at least for the sick?

People voted our current government to power with unprecedented parliamentary maority. People’s verdict was loud and clear. They wanted to get rid of a political leader called Sheikh Hasina.

Now lets see how this popularly elected goverment did.

Ideally, if you are a cautious analyst, you would expect, at the end of four and half years, at least least half of the electoral plaedges are fulfilled or half way fulfilled. And they have strong excuse to show for the unfulfilled pledges.

But what is the reality on the ground?

The truth is that , BNP goverment has failed miserably in each and every sector of governence.

1. Finance Minister has failed to keep the accounting healthy. Inflation rate is record high. One $ is 72 taka. Banks have no cash. No major change/developement has been made in public and private banking sectors. To help the newly rich handle the black money a lot of new 3r and 4th generation private banks have mushroomed.
2. Commerce sector is an utter failure. Rule number one in governing Bangladesh is that you have to keep the prices of essential food item, like rice, onion, dal etc stable. This government even failed horribly in this basic tenat of governing.
3. Foreign ministry was in hibernation all these years. There have been shameful failure in each step. OIC slapped up, WTO kicked us, Bangladesh has been successfully presented by India as a islamist militant country in front of the rest of the world.
4. Law ministry couldn’t seperate the judiciary. Moudud Shahib kept on twisting the words.
5. Roads transport sector didn’t see anything but corruption. No new highway, no new bridge was conceived.
6. TNT sector didn’t see any developement but price hikes and new tarriffs and taxes.
7. TV remained the servent to the rulers. And now all ruling BNP leaders came up with their own TV channels.
8. Health sector is in shambles.
9. Law enforcement agnecies failed, indulged in crimes and gave up on their job. Domestic law enforcement was reassigned to RAB, an offshoot of defence forces. A junior newbee state minister ran this ministry while 3 dozens of senior leadership enjoyed ministerial perks without really doing any good job.
10 Electricity, power, water supply have hit all time low. Goverment failed to ensure basic civil amenities.

……Many many more. You name it and I can tell that goverment is dead failure in that sector too.

Corruption, nepotism, violence reached it’s peak in history of Bangladesh. Morality, honesty, integrity is in it’s lowest point in Bangladesh.

This government has no moral, legal or logical right to continue governing Bangladesh after the next elections.

If an empty lot of land in Banani, Dhaka represents Bangladesh, then this lakeside land required a park, a place for people to breath some fresh air, and see some greenery.

Rather what the rulers did with this land symbolizing Bangladesh? They divided this Bangladesh into 100 pieces and distributed it among themselves almost for free. In fact, of the 100 pieces Bangladesh, or 100 plots of 5 katha lands, BNP inisters, MPs, leaders and their relatives got 94 plots. Of the rest six, two went to Jamaat leaders, one to a JP leader, one to an AL MP and two plots were kept for two friendly judges.

No protocol, rule or procedure was followed in this distribution. Rulers simply sat together and decided to take Bangladesh, divide and add these grabbed pieces Bangladesh to their already fabulous personal wealth.

While stealin the land, they also broke another law as they grabbed part of Banani lake. i.e. They simply did a “pukur Churi”. The law they broke, the water body protection act was, in fact, established by this same government. So law does not apply when rulers themselves are involved.

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Shame on our greedy dishonest politicians.

Power riots, after originating from kansat, then spreading to Dhaka, has now crossed the border into India. Power riot broke out yesterday in northern India. Residents across northern Uttar Pradesh state took to the streets late Friday, damaging government offices and clashing with officials after going without power for up to 14 hours, as temperatures crossed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
Every other violence that takes place India, blame usually goes to the islamic terrorists Bangladesh government is sending to India. I was dubious about those blames so far as I didn’t understand what Bangladesh government gains out of this terrorism transfer. But now I can’t deny anymore; definitely the sequence and similarity of events show that this new terrorism of power riot has come to UP from Bangladesh. No one can deny the temporal relationship.

Mr Lutfor Rahman’s wife left him, 20 years after marriage, to marry another German-American man. They had three teenage kids. They lived in Long Island, NY all the twenty year of marriage.
Several years later, last summer, Mr Rahman met his ex wife in the high school graduation ceremony of their son. She was accompanied by her new husband.
Following the graduation ceremony, Mr Rahman followed his ex wife and her husband with his GMC Yukon. He followed them all the way to her house in Roslyn, LI, NY, waited silently outside in the dark to let the chidren and the mother to enter the house. Then, as her German husband came out last, Mr Lutfor, with uninhibited rage, drove over in full speed. He crushed the german american man, drove over him again and again. Seven times as later reported.

Miraculously, the german american husband survives. But loses both the legs, spine, totally paralyzed. Bed ridden, feeding with feeding tube.

And almost one year after that incident, Mr Rahman, a pharmacist, out in bail, kills himself last week by jumping under a subway.

Does love, one sided, gives one the right to possess the other?

Tata, the Indian corporate giant, confuses me.

The more spokesperson Tata group comes up with, the more confused I get.

In principle, I strongly support Tata investment in Bangladesh. For many reasons, including,
1. Bangladesh will get foregn investment in much needed power and other industrial sector,
2. Jobs will be created in poor northwestern part of Bangladesh,
3. As it being the largest ever foreign investment by an Indian company, this investment works as a testimonial to investworthiness of bangladesh. This will refute all Indian media campaign relentlessly protraying Bangladesh as a Islamic Taliban style dysfunctional state.
4. With that huge amount of money at stake, Dr Sood’s assertion of a stronger Bangladesh is better for India will be reinforced.
5. It will pave the way for a better Indo-bangla relationship.

But some recent events made me suspicious of the deal.
1. Respected economist Dr wahiduddin Mahmood came up with an article showing the demerits of Tata investment for Bangladesh economy.
2. Tata started playing powerball with this issue. I feel the first powerball is the recent bangladesh shinning Time Asia Article. This article indirectly placed tata investment as a precondition to all future good about bangladesh. As I thought earlier, and weekly 2000 strongly suspects, this article may be a work by tata to bribe BD government and at same time pressurizing BD govt into accepting Tata offer.
3. Look at yesterdays newspaper, while in the daily Star the heading was this, FBCCI ( FBCCI is Bangladesh,s prime business body) not happy with Tata’s gas price offer, Daily prothom-alo headlined the news item as, ” bangladesh govt must make concession”, quoting tata resident representative in BD. When Tata resident rep meets FBCCI, whose quote should be in heading, tata reps or FBCCI’s? Protocol wise who is more important? And more interestingly, Tata rep today denied making any such statement.
And that’s not the end of it. Yesterday Bangladesh finance minister, without spending anytime analyzing the Tata offer, told the indian press, ” New Tata offer much better”. This also gets undue prominant coverage in Prothom-alo.

And do you know who will finally decide the Tata deal on behalf of bangladesh govt? A high powered committe lead by Industry Minister Motiur rahman Nizami.

CIA factbook on Bangladesh justifies the green color of Bangladesh flag as the representative of the traditional color of Islam in addition to representing the lush green countryside of Bangladesh. As I read all the history of Bangladesh flag , I don’t recall green being the representation of Islam in the flag of proposed secular Bangladesh.

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