A few old men

Posted in Bangladesh, democracy, elections, history, politics, Uncategorized by jrahman on December 4, 2018

A corrupt, selfish elite rules over you, an elite in cahoots with foreigners, to whom the nation’s assets and future is being sold; and the lying media and rootless intellectuals stop you from seeing the truth; and yet, you sense the truth, that’s why you flock to the leader; even as the enemies of the people demonise him for not echoing their sophistry, you feel he tells it as it is — that he will kick the elite out, drain the swamp, lock the corrupt up, kill the criminals, and fix what ails the country; and make no mistake, it’s not hard to fix things, it’s just the knavery and perfidy of corrupt elite that need to be rooted out, and the leader will do just that; and he has proved it, hasn’t he, in his remarkable career as (business tycoon or mayor or army officer or whatever); he will make the country great, because he is truly of the country, like you are, and unlike those footloose elite who will flee the land with their ill gotten wealth if things get tough.

In recent years, variations of the above have reverberated from Washington DC to New Delhi, Warsaw to Brasilia, and Istanbul to Manila.  And politics around the world has been shaken.  There appears to be one exception — there doesn’t appear to be a Bangladeshi strongman on the scene.

There might have been.  After all, charges of corruption and ‘selling the country to foreigners’ can be laid quite easily against the current regime in Dhaka.  And historically, Bangladeshis have proved as susceptible to the cult of the leader as any other people.  So there might well have been a would be strongman leading the opposition.

Curiously, as Sherlock Holmes might have said, strongman in Bangladeshi politics is a dog that didn’t bark.


Comments Off on A few old men

Fitna — redux

Posted in culture, society by jrahman on August 16, 2012

My very first post was about fitna (that is, division).  I wish I had good news.  But sadly, all these years later, things are perhaps even worse.  On the one hand, CIC has not quite lived up to its initial promise, being divided on leadership issues itself.  On the other hand, the Mosque itself has seen some ugly leadership tussle, with one Imam forcibly stopped from entering the premises.  Meanwhile, the two institutions continue their mutual antipathy.

Things got downright ugly last Ramadan.  While both institutions agreed to fast for the 30th day because the new moon wasn’t sighted, at 630am the Mosque announced it was the Eid day.  The result?  A sad spectacle of believers breaking their fast and rushing to the Eid congregation.

And the division is hurting the community, which is growing at a rapid pace.  A third mosque/centre is needed as the city — and the community — expands geographically.  In fact, a third mosque is being built — itself a source of some messy stuff.  More importantly, this yet-to-be-built mosque has attracted Islamophobic attention — oh, there is a city election in a few weeks, yes, there are racists here, why do you ask?

Ah well, fitna is the natural order of the Ummah.  That’s how it has been since the time of the rightly guided ones — after all, three of the four died violently, while the conspiracy theory has it that the other one was poisoned.

And yet, here we are, about to celebrate yet another Eid where, in the words of Nazrul, we forget the friends and foes and clasp hands together (ভুলে যা তোর দোস্ত দুশমন হাত মিলাও হাতে).

Eid Mubarak.


Posted in society by jrahman on March 20, 2005

There is fitna in the community.  Muslims of this town are divided, so much so that the Imam of the Mosque saw it fit to spend over an hour of the Eid sermon reviling the Islamic Centre (CIC).  And that was in November.  Since then, there may have been a fatwa issued, calling on people associated with CIC to reconsider their ways or risk being branded as apostates.  CIC however shows no sign of liquidating, so for the Mosque to retain any credibility, the Imam I presume will have to declare CIC and its members apostates.  Hmmm, then again, perhaps no second fatwa is needed – after all, no second resolution was needed for the UNSC’s will to be upheld.


Tagged with: