July 2006

Another attack. Another event of sense less mass murder.

Serial bombing on Mumbai commutar railway system kills 145.

When this will stop?
On what logic this sort of killing can be of a good cause?

I worry this event may start a domino of more blood shed.
Communal violences, currently under control should not be allowed to flare up again.

I also worry, like previous incidents, the blame again may be immediately put on so called ‘perpetrators from Bangladesh’.

–15 year old Shazneen was raped and murdered in her bedroom.

–Shazneen is the daughter of one of the most influential families of Bangladesh. Her dad owns both the most circulated Bangla and English daily newspaper of Bangladesh. In addition he is a top notch businessman and leader of the business community.

–Many of Shazneen’s family members and family friends are leaders of the country.

— The culprits were easily identified. They were mostly people with no means.


—- Shazneen’s family went through daily recollection of the grisly rape murder of Shazneen, as they witnessed and participated in explicit court proceedings of Shazneen murder case. Shazneen’s dad had to describe, in minute details, his youngest daughter’s mutilated body multiple times in front of the court.

— Shazneen murder case ran so far for more than eight years. Today it crossed the highcourt obstacle. Ahead is more time consuming supreme court appeal process and then presidential mercy petition.

–Who know may be eight more years will easily go by before Shazneen’s soul will get the much coveted justice.


Can anyone tell me what is the current state of Bangabandhu murder case? Initiated at the beginning of AL rule, 5+5, nearly ten years have passed so far, but Bangabandhu killers have not been punished yet.


The top ranking police officer, the IG P, get’s punished, looses his job within months after some in his department fail to salute a highcourt judge. This happens while people run, year after year, from court to court, in search of justice for the killing of their near and dear ones.

Only these judicial system has the professionals who can refrain from performing their jobs on the plea of feeling embarassed. Can a physician or a journalist or any other professional refuse to perform their assigned job in this manner?

We, the human rights activists can spend years shouting against the extra judicial, illegal, immoral, unethical killings by RAB and police. But I am skeptical how much we can doto sway the public opinion favoring the ‘encounter’ killings by RAB and other law enforcement agencies.


Being disabled in Bangladesh….

1. You do not have any constitutional protection form being discriminated for job, education etc.

2. You do not have any hope for a meaningful self sustained life.

3. You do not have any way to use public(?) transportation. So the disabled are not public?

4. You will not be able to access governmnet offices, as there are no special accomodation.

5. Who cares you are disbaled. You have to learn to live like an ‘abled’. There is no concept for special accomodation, special bathroom for the disabled.

6. Forget about village, can you imagine those rickshaw clogged, uneven brick paved lanes in Dhaka? Now think of a wheelchair stroll through that. So you are pretty much confined to home.

7. When you are young, you are the responsibility of your poor parents. But when you are old?

8. What about normal competitive schooling for a disbaled kid?

9. Disabled women? Where are they? Do you see them unless they are your family?

10. While 10% of our population are somewhat disabled, how many, except those street beggers, disabled people you see in Bangladesh offices, schools, businesses or public places? Where are they? What did they do to deserve these forced house arrest?

In our political game, in the struggle to win the ‘cup’, i.e. the ruling power of the country, now after the end of this round, the result is a 1-1 draw.

The side on the offensive tried hard for a goal, a dead activist in this case and scored one early goal yesterday during the countrywide strike. However they couldn’t maintain the lead, as the other side scored the equalizer with another goal, another deadbody, now a dead police.

Now while there was no referee to put the blame on, both the teams are resorting to post games spins to score out of field goals.

One such spin is the governmnets claim that the police was killed very shortly after the opposition leaders instructions to attack the sister’s of police members as a revenge to police brutality. An added spin from this side was the lack of bullet or lethal wound on the dead AL activist, claiming it to be death by heart attack.

The opposition team counter spinned claiming the government itself arranged the killing of the police officer to vindicate the off track remarks of the opposition leader.

‘Jhhalmuri’ is a delicious snacks for which I always craved . There were ( I am saying ‘were’ as I don’t see jhhalmuri vendors that visible anymore) no public place you could imagine without a jhhalmuri vendor around. I remember school gates, bus train stations, stadium gallery during football or cricket game or the other corner of the neighborhood—-used to have a permanent fixtute, the jhhalmurui guy with the typical container full jhhalmuri.

However when I was in Dhaka earlier this year, I found jhhalmuri vendors being replaced with popcorn vendors. You hardly can stop in any traffic light without being solicited to buy the pre packed popcorns.

Jhhalmuri-ghoogni vendor>

My friend invited me to have dinner with them, and as ususual popcorn was the starter. My transient comparative discussion about popcorn and jhhalmuri was quickly dismissed by the host as the American vacationeers ultra-romaticism .

Popcorn vendors

Another extinct item in our culinary genre is ‘lebur sharbat’. I very much miss this ‘lebur sharbat’ or lemon serbet. Wasn’t it Bangladesh culture to entertain with lebur sharbat when the surprise guest used to show up? Now a days, I bet, you will definitely be treated with RC Cola, sprite or Tang, not ‘lebur sharbat’.

And talking about the ‘surprise guest’? In this cell phone era, you will definitely get a running commetry of the journey that the guest takes to get to your house.So ‘the surprise guest’ is another extinct breed.

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