April 24, 2007

Fear and Loathing in Dhaka City

After the euphoria comes the crash. So it was then, so it is now: a high, followed by a new low. I have come to the conclusion that our short history is nothing except one big metaphor for drug abuse. Unfortunately, we are so divided amongst ourselves that we have little idea what sort of drugs and what sort of treatment is needed.

How many things can I list that pisses me off about the current situation. Well, once again in no particular order, here goes:

1) Exile: Really? I feel like screaming out: why exile when there should be trials? God knows it wouldn’t be hard to find evidence showing strong connections between the leaders and corruption.

2) "Foreign intrusion": Shahedul Anam rails against foreign intervention:

There are some curious things happening in our politico-diplomatic front, too. For instance, we have the unique distinction, we are perhaps the only country, of being represented by an ambassador accredited to Bangladesh, when the ambassador in question demanded a definitive time-frame for election claiming that it was what the people of Bangladesh wanted to know.
Not only do ambassadors represent their countries and speak for them, we have a situation where ambassadors seem to have arrogated to themselves the responsibility of speaking on behalf of the people of the countries they are posted in. And there will be many in Bangladesh to rush to the defense of the ambassador and excoriate me for my views

Now I am with him when it comes to stopping non-citizens trying to influence our policies. But will he (or others who think express such sentiments) criticise the CTG now for letting foreign governments influence our politics? One can hope, but I’m almost positive the hope is in vain.

3) Media: Congratulations to the Daily Star and Prothom Alo for covering such important (and relevant) things as the French Elections and the right to bail in their editorials! New Age at least showed some credibility by running an editorial on it, only perhaps because it is owned by people aligned with Hasina. But seriously, congratulations to the two big dailies. You make Fox News and the Bush Administration look like …well, Khaleda and Hasina!

4) Alternative Media: With the mainstream media taken out to graze in the fields, I have turned to 'Deshi blogs for information. However, with a few notable exceptions such as shadakalo and drishtipat, most of the blogs I’ve been reading have been depressingly partisan. The comments even more so. Let’s get one thing straight people: both Hasina and Khaleda are in a human rights dilemma. So, if you really have “human rights” in mind, mention the plight of both people. Otherwise, just confess that you’re a partisan hack and I won’t mind your lopsided concerns! To be fair, I’m not Technorati so I haven’t read ALL the blogs there are. I’m sure there are good ones. But some of the ones I’ve read are depressingly one-sided. Plus ca change…

The worst part is that so far, the CTG has talked sense. Its reforms are actually commendable and if implemented would benefit us greatly. However, what is has done is a completely different matter. To quote shadakalo: Jei jay Lonkay, shei hoy Rabon! In other words, welcome dear advisers (and your respected backers) to the world of power where you can say one thing and do another.

Among all these are just two rays of hope, one shining here and the other here in the last paragraph.

But of course, we’re used to rejoicing in hope in the first rays of our high before the crash sets in. Well, if this doesn’t work out, there’s always painful, regressive rehab.

1 comment:

Shamshir said...

Good posts, Asif.

My continuing thoughs on the minus-2 situation