Mukti

সাতকাহন

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

(more…)

Comments Off on সাতকাহন

Shahbagh ramblings

Posted in activism, politics, society by jrahman on February 20, 2013

I had not been following the war crimes trial in much detail.  Like many, I was surprised by the sentencing of the Abdul Quader Mollah.  He was convicted, but not given the maximum penalty (death sentence) — what gives, I wondered.  I saw some facebook chatters about a behind-the-scene understanding between Awami League and Jamaat-e-Islami — the alleged war criminals don’t hang, and Jamaat abandons BNP and participates in the coming election, the speculation went.  I saw some facebook messages about a gathering in Shahbagh protesting the ‘farcical verdict’. 

Here is a video of the gathering.* 

I didn’t pay much attention.  I was wrong.  I was wrong not to pay attention. By the time I took notice, Shahbagh turned into a sea of people. I saw and heard and read of people of several generations going to Shahbagh. Some dismissed them as hujugey Bangali. But I think that’s insulting the sincerity and passion of large number of people from all walks of life. Clearly this was something we have not seen in Bangladesh for a long while.  And having been wrong in my decision to not pay attention, I decided to keep my mouth shut, and eyes open. 

In general, my reading of history and politics is that spontaneous, leaderless uprisings tend to eventually yield to organised forces.  I didn’t expect much from the Occupy or Anna Hazare movements.  Even in Egypt, I expected the much better organised Muslim Brotherhood to gain ahead of liberal forces.  The initial surprise and the large crowd in Shahbagh notwithstanding, I see no reason to change my view of history and politics when it comes to Shahbagh.  If Shahbagh changes Bangladesh, it will have to do so through the organised, mainstream politics of Awami League and BNP.  

This is not to say Shahbagh has no impact.  It clearly does.  Awami League has already changed the law governing the trial process, while BNP has explicitly stated that it will continue the trial.  Neither would have happened without Shahbagh.  Even if the movement stopped tomorrow, these are already concrete achievements.

And there may well be further ramifications, including the AL capitalising on the nationalistic sentiment for its re-election campaigns.  It’s just that whatever fundamental change we might be hoping for, I think the avenue for them is through organised politics.  If Shahbagh is to replace AL and BNP, then it has to eventually create organisation(s).  And by the same token, I don’t take seriously talks of fascism or fear of civil war.  Fascism requires a fascist party.  If AL is a fascist party, then it has been so without Shahbagh.  And a few renegade Jamaati vandalism or terrorist act a civil war does not make.

That’s about as much as what I have got on Shahbagh’s big picture as it enters the third week.  Over the fold, couple of specific issues that I’ve found interesting.

(more…)

Tagged with:

On da’wa and harakat

Posted in Islamists, politics, society, Uncategorized by jrahman on January 30, 2013

In a number of online forums including this blog and UV, I’ve chided Bangladeshi progressives for lumping all Islamic movements — harakat, to use the Arabic term preferred by many participants of such movements — as one monolithic and homogenous enemy, and demonising them as war criminals / collaborators / militants (if not chhagu or something worse).  For some ultranationalists, anyone with facial hair and skull cap — dari-tupi — or hijab is enough to warrant such derogatory tagging.  Childish such behaviour may be, but in a country where 90% of the people are Muslim, that behaviour will have dangerous blow back.

This post, however, is not about making that argument.  Rather, this is really my attempt at classifying several streams of harakat as I see them in (hopefully soon to be post war crimes trial) Bangladesh.  The analysis behind the classification is based on my own personal experience, observation and conversation, as well as a reading of the relevant literature (authors I would recommend include Gilles Kepel, Olivier Roy, Timur Kuran and Wali Nasr).

As always, the views are ever evolving and tentative.  I may well change my mind in future.  In fact, I will very likely do so.  But this is how I see the movements in near future Bangladesh.

This is a positive post, not a normative one.  That is, I am not going to comment on where I stand on the movements or their objectives.  Rather, the idea is to classify the movements.

(more…)

Why I stopped going to the mosque…

Posted in culture, society by mehomaan on January 29, 2013

(Guest post from Mullah Akbar).

Having grown up in Saudi Arabia, through the 80s, 90s, and the new millennium, I have seen the virgin desert turn into jungle of concrete, marble, granite and glass.

These are natural progressions which many of have already read about Saudi Arabia –the result of nature’s gift to this land –oil and religious tourism. The majority of these ignorant citizens are blessed, but they don’t know how to count those blessings. That would be attributed to lack of education –while the petro dollars are used for mosques, palaces and Bentleys. But they lack the education to appreciate and value these luxuries.
 
However, today I want to share my thoughts on the title of this post. The mosque. Yes, the divine place I stopped going to in the country which is home of Islam and the last Prophet. Three exceptions to the above comment. The two holy mosques in Makkah and Medina and Friday prayers. Because I respect my father, hence I have no choice but to join him on these occasions plus I am the sole designated son/driver at home.
(more…)
Tagged with:

Comments Off on Why I stopped going to the mosque…

সাতকাহন

Posted in action, comedy, communalism, history, Islamists, macro, movies, Muslim world, politics, Rights, science, society, thriller, TV by jrahman on January 25, 2013

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

(more…)

Comments Off on সাতকাহন

সাতকাহন

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

(more…)

Comments Off on সাতকাহন

সাতকাহন

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

(more…)

Comments Off on সাতকাহন

সাতকাহন

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

(more…)

সাতকাহন

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

(more…)

Comments Off on সাতকাহন

সাতকাহন

Posted in action, Bengal, China, Drama, economics, foreign policy, history, micro, movies, music, people, society, trade by jrahman on November 23, 2012

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

(more…)

Comments Off on সাতকাহন