Mukti

For Bergman

Posted in Freedom of speech, Rights by jrahman on July 7, 2015

Not Ingrid, nor Ingmar, but David — the nefarious Zionist Islamist enemy of our Holy Spirit of Liberation.  In a just and fair country, he would be lauded for his effort.  In a normal country, he would be ignored by everyone except for a few academic type.  In Bangladesh, well, sigh…..

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The not-so-curious tragedy of AKM Wahiduzzaman

Posted in Freedom of speech, Rights by jrahman on October 23, 2014

AKM Wahiduzzaman is a geographer.  He used to teach the subject at Bangladesh’s National University.  A keen sportsman, he represented Bangladesh in basketball in the 1980s.  And a vocal BNP supporter in various online platforms, he has been in jail twice in last three years.  For the past year, he has been in hiding. He may well be going back to jail soon.  Seeing his ordeals, his father has become seriously ill.

Make no mistake, his ordeal is because of his politics.

He is a very good Bangla commentator, with verve and wit.  He writes galagali free polished Bangla, not indulging in ad hominem attacks — itself an extreme rarity in Bangladeshi cyberspace.  Just as rare is his steadfast and frank support of BNP.  Unlike so many, he does not hide behind so-called non-partisanship.

Because of his politics, he comes under attack from the Awami Leaguers (and their ultra-nationalist ‘useful idiots’) as well as Islamists.  There is nothing curious about that.  And that’s not particularly tragic either — your opponents will try to hurt you, that’s how it works.

It is, however, tragic when those who claim to be neither Awami collaborators nor Islamists — the so-called non-partisans — don’t stand by Mr Wahiduzzaman.  If there is one genuine case in Bangladesh where free speech is under threat, he ought to be the one.  It is a tragedy that this is not the case.

But it’s not at all surprising.  No, not to me.  I am not surprised that our so-called progressives don’t speak out for him.  You see, to our progressive intellectuals and activists, Wahiduzzaman is BNP.

Sanaullah Babu was hacked to death four years ago.  He was BNP. There was no human right violation for him.  Similarly, no rights for Ilias Ali or others who have been abducted.  They are BNP.  So why should it surprise me that no one cares about Wahiduzzaman?

It doesn’t.  And this post isn’t about demanding justice for him.  Because he won’t get it.

Over the fold is an example of Mr Wahiduzzaman’s writing.

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Shahbag to Shapla Chattar — songs of water and fire

Posted in activism, Bangladesh, blogging, Freedom of speech, history, Islamists, media, politics, Rights, uprisings by jrahman on March 26, 2014

The blog went into a hiatus about year ago. The reasons for that extended absence are, unfortunately, still relevant. That’s why the blog has been far less frequent than was the case in the past. However, it is what it is. I am not sure when the blog can be fully operational again. For now, pieces will come infrequently, and the blog will often be an archive for material published elsewhere. Also, the comments section will be off —it is disrespectful to not respond to comments, but since I can sometime be offline for days, if not weeks, it’s better to have the comments off.

This means no direct interaction with the reader.  But this also means the blog will become what blogs originally were — an online diary, a weblog, where one records one’s own thoughts and observations.  I guess it’s somewhat fitting that the first post in the new format is on the set of events that rocked Bangladesh as the blog went into hiatus.

These events, according to the contemporaneous analyses, were going to change everything forever. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s clear that the contemporaneous analyses were mostly wrong. This is a for-the-record post summarising my evolving thoughts as the events unfolded between 5 Feb and 5 May 2013. It is important to note what this is not.  This is not analysis — I am not trying to offer an explanation of what happened, nor provide any insight into what they mean for our past, present or future.  This is not activism either — I am not arguing any particular case.  Rather, this is an extremely self-indulgent post, the target here is really myself years down the track.  If anyone else reads it, that’s just bonus.

 

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সাতকাহন

Seven trashes collected by the senses.  Well, bonus holiday edition of 20 trashes.

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সাতকাহন

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

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সাতকাহন

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

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Sympathy for the devil

Posted in Freedom of speech, music, Rights by jrahman on March 19, 2012

An econ/pol sci undergrad goes to a party he finds boring and flips through a Bulgakov novel — happened to me and here I am all these years later, happens to Mick Jagger and not only do we have one of the greatest songs ever, but also what I believe would have been a better title for Rushdie’s book. 

And I am with Rushdie on this — Pakistan has sufferred enough, and doesn’t need Imran Khan.

No, I don’t wish to debate this. Enjoy the music instead.

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