I was going to write this post in October, as part of the fifth anniversary of the blog. But ‘real life’ got in the way. This piece by Shubinoy Mustofi on fire in a garments factory killing over a hundred workers reminded me about the subject, so here we are.
Corruption is our biggest problem. If not for corruption (or corrupt politicians/bureaucrats/businessmen/army officers), we would be a rich country. – How often have you heard statements like this? I often here things like this from Bangladeshis living in rich countries of the west, which is quite ironic because of the history of corruption in these countries.
Let’s take America, for example, which, Martin Scorsese tells us, was born in the streets.
So Barack Obama has been re-elected as the
Emperor of the World President of the United States. Cool. I guess I should do a post, just to mark the occasion.
The thing is, until very late in the game, I couldn’t get excited about this election. You see, until the first debate, betting markets consistently had Obama as the odds on favourite. And on most issues, I agree with the president’s politics. So what was there to get excited about? It’s not like any of this would ever happen.
Then, for a while after the first debate, it looked like things could shake up a bit. Except it didn’t. By mid-October, the betting market had gone back to portraying Obama as the favourite. And yesterday, the votes reflected the punters’ expectations.
But imagine if Obama had a better first debate? Would that have led to a landslide? Imagine if Michelle Obama had cut the president’s tie?
Sir Roger Dowler of Bengal was a terrible, terrible guy who used to spend all his time boozing and doing wicked, wicked things with women, all the while his countrymen were impoverished by rapacious men of avarice who loafed around in the capital. What? Never heard of Sir Roger? Sure you have, except you know him by his real name — Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent nawab of Bengal.
John Company’s men anglicised Siraj’s name. They also wrote about him being a very bad ruler, from whose misgovernance the people of Bengal had to be delivered by Clive and his men. And that historiography essentially continued with the orientalists of the 19th century all the way to 20th century Indian historians like Jadunath Sarkar and Ramesh Chandra Majumdar.
Of course, that history is not what any school child in either Bengal learns. What we learn is this: