May 2008


So its dialogue season again. ‘Dialogue’ is the talk of the town now a days.
This dialogue is in fact a formal face-to-face meeting of leaders of a political party and representatives of the government, which, under order of the military generals, is ruling Bangladesh since 1/11/07.

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Courtesy: New Age

Ex-Ministers and BNP leader Smamsul Islam, Ex-BNP leader Mannan Bhuiyan and Jamaat Amir Motiur Rahman Nizami have been arrested yesterday. They were all accused in the so called GATCO corruption case and ex-PM and one of her sons are already in jail in the same case. We will discuss the absurdity of this case in detail in a later post, lets talk about the arrests today.

While there were hardly any resistance to the arrests of Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina, except for some half-hearted protests here and there, the immediate reaction or anger at those arrests were also very muted.

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JaiJaidin’s new editor in the embodiment of the pathetic condition that is currently prevailing in Bangladesh media industry as well as the country as a whole. The founder editor of the newspaper, Shafiq Rehman  has been removed without getting the chance to make the slightest noise about it. This is the same Shafiq rehman who single handedly discredited and exposed the character of ex army dictator Ershad. While other big editors of that time became big fan of Ershad’s poems, this Rehman defied Ershad, got ejected from Bangladesh, his paper banned twice and had the electric/water connection of his father’s home disconnected by government. It was the same Shafiq Rehman who was the first and most forceful critique of Magura bye-election rigging during 1st BNP govt of 91-96. The JaiJaidin cover story ‘Ma–Gura’ paved the way for Care taker govt movement and fall of first BNP govt. This same Rehman was the instrumental force in establishing Valentine’s Day tradition in Bangladesh and he energized the youth in 2001 to bring BNP back to power.

The new editor replacing Shafiq rehman, literally brought from the street (unknown song writer, film extra supplier of FDC) started writing pro-army editorials on a daily basis. The quality of those editorials are, IMHO, worse than a fifth grader’s writing. Wise men say that it is better to have intelligent enemy than a fool friend. Post Shafiq Rehman Jaijaidin has now turned itself into one such fool friend of DGFI government. One such stupidity was this JJD editorial by one Barun Shankar.
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Everybody, every single person in this planet Earth is very eager for the unification of BNP. Newspaper staff writers, TV talk show chattering class, civil society commentators, and even prothom-Alo/Daily Star are eager to see BNP united as soon as possible. And BNP’s reformist leadership (Whose philosophy is to reform BNP to get rid of dynastic politics, corrupt princes etc) are yelling day and night; “at any cost…Je Kono Mulye..” BNP must be united under Khaleda Zia. The ‘reformist’ AKA DGFI-ist leadership are making predictions like BNP will be united before certain date and the newspapers are publishing stories of imminent unification. Seems like BNP unification is the spectacle of the century and children are being put to sleep rhyming that BNP will be united in the morning.

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The government issued a circular Monday ordering the easing a ban on indoor politics all across the country.

Before the vocal world of savy Bangladeshis succumb to the irresistable urge to congratulate their beloved entity, let me remind all of the strings those are attached to this mock gesture towards democracy.

  1. There will be no meetings in open places.
  2. The political parties have to inform the police about any meeting, 48 hours ahead of its start.
  3. But the electronic media will not be allowed to broadcast the meetings live.
  4. Political parties will not be able to use loudspeakers for the meetings.
  5. The meetings will take decisions only on organisational activities and elections. No other discussions are allowed, according to the circular.
  6. The government has limited the venues for meetings to houses, community centres, hotels, restaurants and party offices.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers all over the world.

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