May 02, 2008

BNP-bashing

This article is not about Kamal Hossain’s digbaajis. He has proven himself a non-entity in our democracy and I am not about to waste time on his potential as a politician. No, this is an appeal to thinkers in BNP.

This is Shameran Abed in New Age writing about Dr. Kamal Hossain in an unflattering way. Link
This is Mahmudur Rahman in Naya Diganta writing about Dr. Kamal Hossain in an unflattering way. Link

Please read each and note the difference.

Abed is “critical”, Rahman is “negative”.

Abed deals with what Dr. Hossain has said, done and whom he has professionally associated with. Rahman deals with whom Dr. Hossain married (are we talking about Hameeda Hossain here?), her background and who he might have associated with in 1971.

In short, Abed talks straight about the issues raised by Dr. Hossain’s (unsupportable) remarks and his latest political somersault. By contrast, Rahman tries to make the same points but manages to significantly weaken his case by first insinuating and smearing the person based on whom he married.

Which of these two approaches do you want to see in Bangladesh in the future? Issues or smears?

(Angry sidenote: And since when does someone, who held a cabinet-level post alongside a War Criminal like “Minister” Nizami, get the right to call out his political opponent based on the Pakistani origins of the latter’s spouse? It’s called a mirror Mr. Rahman. Take a long, hard look!)

We have had quite a few discussions on these pages about the lack of intellectual voices and a solid, positive ideology within the BNP. Those discussions were not motivated either by sheer opposition towards BNP or by a desire to “concern troll” on AL’s behalf. There are potentially very healthy trends within the BNP, which address concerns close to my heart: namely, security and free market principles. I, for one, would like to see them gain on their strength in these areas, and ditch the anti-Hindu, pro-Jamaati stands as soon as they can. For the better of this country and the party.

Regarding the lack of a solid ideology, I read with interest Tacit's post in which he regards BNP’s lack of solid ideological foundations as a positive thing. I hope that was nothing other than a rhetorical flourish, because, unfortunately, I have to disagree.

It is the lack of solid ideology that:
(i) sustains all sorts of contradictions within BNP during its ruling years, especially the tussle between the Young Turks and the Old Guard in 2001-2006
(ii) makes it easier for any potato-loving bullshitter to hijack the party without too much trouble.

While AL grassroots ask, “What have you done for our ideology?”, BNP grassroots cannot be left asking, “Are you for the people?” Of course they are! Who in this country is “anti-people”?

The lack of further depth in their ideology makes BNP a tabula rasa, a blank drawing board on which any hijacker can come and draw his own bullshit and gets away with it. Unless they address this issue, they will not become a sustainable political party.

And the road to this is hampered by people like Mahmudur Rahman, who once sued people despite VIDEO evidence that showed he had no case. In fact, suing CPD members, instead of responding vigourously, cleanly and perhaps with a pinch of ridicule to their “clean candidate” campaign back then, is exactly the kind of politics that has harmed the BNP.

I am not saying that he is the only BNP intellectual out there. There are many others who are far more articulate, respectful and intelligent, such as Professor Mahmudullah of Jahangirnagar U. or his brother Mahfuzullah the journalist. But Mahmudur Rahman is certainly the most outspoken, most prominent, and, apparently, the most stubbornly stupid one among them at the moment.

Both he and Shameran Abed had the same end-goal. Can you necessarily agree with their means?

The means matter. Firstly, such smears appeal to the lowest common denominator, so that intelligent people who might agree with what you say are driven away. Secondly, the politics of dirty smears drives out intelligent discourse from within BNP ranks, discourse that might solidify into positive ideology.

Thus, a culture develops in which these smears are taken to be “politics” and issues are taken to be “atelism”. No coincidence then that foul-mouthed, bigoted SaQa Choudhury was nominated for OIC Secretary General while Dr. (“Our sons don’t get along”) Badruddoza was thrown out of the party?

I mean, how ridiculous was that?

Simple advice for our litigious former energy advisor: leave the smears at home, talk issues. Not much hope that you’ve learnt your lesson.

25 comments:

Tacit said...

I agree that comments about Dr. Kamal Hossain's marital life were uncalled for. There are some things that none of us should stoop to. Ever.

A minor point: Mahmudur Rahman, competent man that he is, never held a cabinet-level post. As energy adviser, he was of the rank of a state minister. His father-in-law, Harunur Rashid Munnun, did hold a cabinet post though.

Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury's OIC nomination was an unfortunate alignment of local politics. Morshed Khan, then Foreign Minister, was quite enthusiastic about getting him out of the Chittagonian political scene. So was Abdullah Al Noman. People who liked Chowdhury liked the idea of elevating him onto the big stage. People who disliked him were quite glad to have the opportunity to be rid of him.

I understand you point, but I must maintain, being pro-people is rigorous enough for any political party. If BNP was indeed a tabula rasa, it could have been a BNP standing committee member demanding that the army be present in the dialogue with the government.

Rumi said...

Very good observation DS.

Our leading editors / columnists/ bloggers were extremely critical of previous regime because they anticipated that the EC "WILL" do evil things. But when an election commisiion really started doing evil things, all those folks siddenly became dead silent about EC/ACC.

Since 1/11, I had no option but to look forward to Forhad Mozhar, Mahmudur Rahman, Masud Mazumdar etc for columns critical of the government's massive scale corruptions like using election commission to hijack political parties, shamelss use of anti corruption commission for petty political interests etc.

There were no one else to speak out when really the tiger has attacked the herd.

And, you are right, despite all my approval and appreciation of their bold stand, I always cringed at some cheap tactic they used. Some of the tactics include anti-India rhetorics, family affairs or cheap stuff like criticize of the authorities for advising the bird flu panicked country to eat chicken etc.

However I do understand the reason. These sort of critiques are more palatable to the public.

As a nation we have lost the distinction between what you beautifully described as being critical and being negative. Look at all the famous mainstream vateran columinsts AKA pro-AL comunsists/bloggers, you will see nothing but hatred filled negativism. These people will give away their life for the spirit of 71. But they will not spare a chance to hint that Khaleda Zia was under pakistani military custody during 71 and what might have happened to her at the hand of pakistani officers etc. I see this sort of attitude as a combination of negativism and double stadard.

But finally we now have some sane voices who can find a less popular platform called New Age or some 'not the most read' blogger who will dare criticize both Mahmudur rahman and SB Ahsan.

Jyoti said...

Didn't Hannan Shah also say that army was welcome at the dialogues?

Rumi bhai, yes Mahmudur Rahman/Farhad Mazhar etc have been the only ones calling things as they are (mostly). One part of it is that the anti-BNP opinionmakers have been silent because BNP has been at the receiving end of the manipulations. When AL's time comes, these voices will become vocal again.

But there is another side to this. BNP leadership has done the country a great disservice by abandoning the battle of ideas to its opponents. Someone like Farhad Mazhar or the New Age are no more a follower of Zia's ideology as Matiur Rahman is a follower of AL's. But because BNP has completely ignored the ideas front, in its time of need it has to rely on others like Mazhar whose opposition to the current regime is based on his own politics, not that of BNP's.

And Tacit, this is why being pro-people is not enough. How you are being pro-people also matters. Moeen and others around him probably think that they too are being pro-people. So do all the editors and other bhodrolokes. If being pro-people was enough then we should be welcoming any dictator so long as he can deliver economic growth.

fug said...

the pre 2007 assasination of prof aftab ahmed seems very related to this. it knocked the wind out of a lot of people.

Tacit said...

But aren't you overlooking the difference between claiming to be for the people/thinking that one is for the people, and actually being for the people?

Isn't the aim of any ideology to be pro-people? Isn't the ideology just a mean to an end?

Anonymous said...

Tacit,

Yes I mixed up the cabinet-level thing. That was something I was kind of iffy on to begin with. My point still stands. As energy advisor, he no doubt had to interact frequently with a known war criminal, who was holding the industries portfolio during his tenure (I forget dates, but I do think their tenures overlap). That is a professional relationship, and one that matters to me more than his own private relationships. I hear he and his f-i-l don't get along either. Didn't exactly make an issue out of that did I?

The tragedy is that I've heard him speak on gas and energy issues and found him pretty impressive. Why he has to stoop to these tactics is beyond me. Rumi bhai mentions that the aam jonota wants to hear this type of thing. IF that is true, let the SaQas of this world cater to the aam jonota then. Someone's gotta keep standing straight.

Lastly, no, being pro-people is not enough. EVERYone is pro-people in Bangladesh. EVERYone is a good Mao-badi in China. EVERYone supports the troops in the U.S. This might have the advantage of BNP becoming a political chameleon - always right/wrong to the right/wrong people. The transformation that the Democrats made among African-Americans for instance is the kind of thing you seem to have in mind. That change took about 100 years.

If you want to become a brand, there has to be underlying differentiation, not just packaging. The Zia name goes far, but then ruling people is a bit more than just slapping on a Zia label. BNP has got to start standing for fundamental principles that make it different from others. Maybe it does already and I'm unaware of it: I did mention two issues where it COULD distinguish itself. It better start soon.

Otherwise, beware of pro-people potato-eaters.

Anonymous said...

Mahmudur Rahman is a partisan hack. He is writing out of his anger and not out of love of democracy. We knew how democratic him and his party was. Uttara meeting any one?

Rumi is obsessed with others. He is completely ignoring how his own writing is filled with negativity that he so hates. All his defences start with 'hey, I didn't do it first, but the sushils did'. Well, if its bad according to you, then why do you do it as well? How are you different than them?

Those who support Farhad Mazhar and Mahmudur Rahman for their supposed 'bold' writing omit to say that these people's stakes have been extremely hurt because of the changes. So it is natural that they want the status quo back.

I wouldn't say it for others who did not benefit from past regimes but are still upset at the undemocratic govt. The case of Mahmud, Shafiq Rehman, farhad Mazhar etc should be judged entirely differently because they directly benefitted from the past regimes.

But its a shame that people like Rumi support them because of their short term outlook.

Jyoti said...

Criticism of Rumi Ahmed's views should perhaps be best done in his blog. He may be wrong, but he doesn't censor criticisms.

Also, prey tell exactly how Farhad Mazhar's stakes have been hurt in 1/11? I disagree with Mazhar's Islamic Left politics. I think it is the anti-imperialism of fools. But let's not confuse him with Mahmudur Rahman or Shafiq Rehman.

Tacit, ideology is a mean to the end. 'Pro-people' is a good end. But means do matter. I wouldn't support a Moeen takeover even if he could deliver 14 taka per kg of rice - surely a pro-people thing. Would you?

Jyoti said...

Criticism of Rumi Ahmed's views should perhaps be best done in his blog. He may be wrong, but he doesn't censor criticisms.

Also, prey tell exactly how Farhad Mazhar's stakes have been hurt in 1/11? I disagree with Mazhar's Islamic Left politics. I think it is the anti-imperialism of fools. But let's not confuse him with Mahmudur Rahman or Shafiq Rehman.

Tacit, ideology is a mean to the end. 'Pro-people' is a good end. But means do matter. I wouldn't support a Moeen takeover even if he could deliver 14 taka per kg of rice - surely a pro-people thing. Would you?

Anonymous said...

I'm with Jyoti bhai on that: please re-direct your criticisms of other bloggers to their blogs. Personally, I feel if Mahmudur Rahman had a quarter of the personal integrity, manners or tolerance of opposing view-points that Rumi bhai has, I wouldn't have written this post.

That political parties and factions within them retain some "pet" intellectuals is no secret. (Paul Krugman anyone?)My point was that BNP needs to have more intelligent people "losing out" when it loses power, not just half-baked individuals like these ones.

Tacit, apologies if the last comment seemed a bit too confrontational. I re-read it and thought it sounded that way. That's not how it played out in my head when I was writing it.

~DS

Rumi said...

I try my best to be critical, not to be negative. I know in our sense and sensibility, it is a very thin line to walk. Please point to my specifis negative post, I'll try my best to correct myself.
Also it seems that the level of tolerable criticism is different based on who you are criticizing. It is fairly a polite thing to call Tareq rahman a thug, a criminal, or Mahmudur Rahman a hack. On the other it is seen as very hateful negative statement if someone dare mention the double standards of Kamal Hossain, Mahfuz Anam, Motiur Rahman etc.

And to be frank, there are few mainstream columnist, writer, journalist who do not have a relationship of gain with the political entity they support. Yes, Mahmudur Rahman, JJD had stakes with BNP rule, so does daily Star, Kamal Hossain etc have stake with this government, Saber Hossain, Abed Khan have gainful interest with AL govt.

How do I say one of these journalists, writers are better than the others? What scale is used in these judgements?


On totally different note,

read this article, and some more around this issue...

http://www.shaptahik2000.com/shonkha/2001/20011019/pk20011019.pdf

Mahfuz Anam's Weekly 2000 dissects intellectual columnists reaction of 2001 election.

We should try to look at things in a broader time frame. and nobody is too much different. And most peopel look at things in a short term interest. In 2001 getting rid of AL was short term interest of Mr Anams.

Anonymous said...

rumi said:
"We should try to look at things in a broader time frame. and nobody is too much different. And most peopel look at things in a short term interest. In 2001 getting rid of AL was short term interest of Mr Anams."

Indeed, you are not too much different from them either. As I said, any defence of your arguments start with Mahfuz Anam did it first, you have done it here again. :) Let's show that you are better than them and not LIKE them.

On the broader issue -- another example of BNP's lack of ideology would be its upcoming unification. People who called for reform will now want Khaleda's release because cases have been brought in upon them. So those who are now the democracy-r potro evong konna -- how about taking a long term view of their activities?

Anonymous said...

Oh and what scale mahmudur rahman and shafiq rehman different from Mahfuz Anam, Dr. kamal Hossain? frankly I don't know of them financially gaining out of this government or any other government for the matter. Similarly, despite all its bad publicity, prothom alo and ds has had plenty of contribution for Bangladesh. The choice is not very difficult to make.

Tacit said...

My dear DS, no harm done. :-)

I never perceived your comments as anything but part of the discourse.

If anyone finds Rumi Bhai's comments offensive, please take it up in the specific post where he made the comments. This isn't about him, so please don't try to make it about him.

Dr. Kamal Hossein and Mahfuz Anam are culpable because even now, if given the option, they would have chosen this military government over other alternatives.

Rumi said...

Dear Anonymous

I am a lowly blogger with only a few hundred readership. I am not a mighty newspaper editor who is a principle force guiding national policy and a major power broker. I am by no means comparable to MA/MR et el.( Please read whatever few I wrote in Newspapers, and compare those if you indeed want to compare. Again, please don't compare a personal blog to a policy dictating editorial. And BTW, I would really like to say that even in my blog, I could not go as low as MA/MR went in their relentless character genocide.)

On your question of financial gain, let me point to you how the DS group gained financially by this govt. DS Managing Editor got a government minister ranking job, and his next job as ambassador to Canada has already been declared. Kamal Hossain is directly being paid by this government for being their lawyer.

And surely DS /PA has done great jobs during last decade when media was free. It must be commended. That does not give them immunity from their current crime. And similarly Shafiq rehman's contribution in anti-Ershad movement is above any other journalist. That did not give him a free ride post 90.

The choices people have made over the last year is indeed very clear. There should not be any shame attached to it. DS/PA at least are not ashamed of their dalali and continue to do so proudly. One should do what his/her heart wants and it should be done without any hesitation or disguise.

History will tel us who ( DS/PA or the evil people) were right. We all have the right to make mistakes.

Jyoti said...

Seems like BNP-bashing has become Rumi-bashing. Let's see if I can take the focus back to BNP.

Yes, Daily Star-Prothom Alo are not at all shy about their support for the current regime. They may chide the regime for some particular action - why is so-and-so not arrested, why is so-and-so arrested, should not interfere in actual cases, must not delay the election etc. But they are by and large with the regime.

And while I don't have any data to back it, I hear from people that their support for the regime has cost them some readership. I also understand that three newspapers - two Bangla and one English - are vying to take the readers who have been turned off by DS-PA.

Of these, Shamokal's editorial line is unmistakably alligned to Awami League. People who write for Shamokal may or may not have personal gains to be made from an AL government. They may or may not be party hacks. Someone like Abdul Ghaffar Chowdhury can easily be called an Awami hack even if he doesn't make a single cent from an AL government. The point here is, Shamokal's ideological and partisan mooring is clear.

This cannot be said of the other two newspapers: New Age and Naya Diganta.

New Age's parent media house has the same ideological roots as Messrs Anam and Matiur Rahman. Go back 40 years, and they were comrades. In the late 1970s, New Age / Holiday founder Enayetullah Khan joined Gen Zia. But today's New Age is no more BNP than Daily Star is AL.

Naya Diganta's pedigry is unmistakably that of the right. But is it BNP?

Forget about the BNP equivalent of DS-PA. That's the wrong comparison. What's the BNP equivalent of Shamokal? If it doesn't exist, is that a problem? If it is a problem, who is responsible for it, and what will BNP do to solve it?

Anonymous said...

No will solve the problem of it because BNP never became more than club. It never promoted itself to a political party or promoted an ideology.

Comparing DS's Fahim Munaem's appointment to show that Mahfuz Anam financially benefitted from this government is simply dishonest. Same with Dr. kamal HOssain's appt with the election commission. Dr. Kamal hossain, as I sure, earns far more lucrative clients, than to salivate off the money he gets for his service for election commission. Contrast that with the JJD-Bashundhara-media palli-hawa bhavan nexus. The difference is clear. Whatever choice Dr. Kamal or Mahfuz Anam made, they have made because they thought that would be the best choice for the country -- that may be wrong for the country but they were not driven out of personal financial gain like that we have seen with many people who personally benefitted in the past and now are aghast at the current administration. So i would take their criticism, a lot of which may be valid, with a huge grain of salt and will not tout it as 'bold'. It is their survival strategy.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to move this discussion off to Mahfuz Anam vs Shafiq Rehman. But Rumi asked "What scale is used in these judgements".

and I pointed out the scale should be about personal conflict of interest and personal gain through abusing your influence. A lot of these people who are vocal critics of the changes ongoing personally gained through abuse of power and connections and influence. However, there is no proof (yet) to show that MA, Kamal Hossain et all are personal gainer financially by chooosing the sides that they chose. That, to me is the yardstick to judge someone's honesty and sincerity.

Tacit said...

If we're going down that path, what financial gain did Mahmudur Rahman get out of serving as Chairman of BOI and Energy Advisor?

Before he served in our government, as an employer of Beximco, he used to be the highest-paid employee in Bangladeshi corporate history. After intensive investigation, the ACC did not find a single issue under which he could be sued; he was prosecuted for doing something still in the private sector with Beximco.

Similarly, Shafiq Rehman's transactions with Basundhara were private transactions. This government threw everything and the kitchen sink at him and prevened him from going abroad, but they still haven't been able to accuse him of any wrong-doing or file any cases aginst him.

So I'm afraid your theory of financial loss motivating Shafiq Rehman or Mahmudur Rahman is simply untrue. We're all losing sight of the fact that ideological proximity means a lot too. It's a very, very rare feeling in Bangladesh to be able to believe that what you think matters to the goverment in power. Matiur Rahman is enjoying that after ten years and Dr. Kamal Hossein after thirty-three years. I imagine that's enough motivation for them.

Rumi said...

DS I am really sorry to abuse your blog for this 'mudslinging'. With this comment, I'll end this debate with anonymous.

I have been critical of Mahfuz Anam, Kamal Hossain etc for their double standard ( Mahfuz's double standard is very clear by now. Did you notice what kamal said about recent Supreme Court judgement against appeal right? His answer was that it was a judgement from Supreme Court and we all have to abide by this. It is just last year when he stormed the chief Justice's office to protest against a verdict of the same appelate division). In fact it is this 'double standard' that is my focus. And for doing so I have been accused of writing negative, being a hardcore BNP or 'Tareq fan' etc. Although I can't care less about what an anonymous person will say, I get very afaraid seeing the developement of this sort of attitude.

I get afraid when I see a tendency of holding of the sole agency of good virtue by a smal selected elite group of friends and family. The word "bold" becomes sarcastic remark when it is applied to any one except a select pick.

I would advise all to judge someone's writings, not the person who writes it. Please criticize Mahmudur Rahman's writings ( As DS did in original post), don't bring up how much money he made from BNP government. That is sheer negativism. Same thing about Ekushey TV. Discuss about what it did and how it changed the media landscape, not how it got terrestrial license from a friendly government.

When the accusitions are thrown about Media polli ( JJD got a plot there sure. So did Channel-I in the same polli) we forget to mention the ground on which he is not eligible for the plot.

I feel this sort of gestures by friendly governments are not new in Bangladesh. The interesting fact is that when SAMS Kibria gives a plot to politically friendly Wahidul Haq of Chhayanat it becomes great patronization. When JJD gets a plot, it becomes the crime of the century.

Again, that is a double standard and very narrow vision of the world. We ought to look at this world with much broader vision.

Anonymous said...

This is also my last comment. When substance is replaced by
sensationalism, this can only lead to comparison of a not for profit
org like chayanot with personal profit ventures of shafiq rehman.
Please make no mistake, had this plot was given to ahsania mission ,
no one would have had a thing to say.

Identifying double standard is a good thing and our elites are full
of it but when more time is spent in doing that rather identifying the crime of some of our leaders, who by the way, are also the super
elites, I become suspicious. I don't know what kamal hossain has said regarding the last Supreme Court verdict. Neither am I saying that he is a paragon of
virtue. But I have trouble with people comparing him with mahmudur
rahman under whom the energy ministry became known for dubious deals whereas Kamal Hossain and his company has fought many landmark cases along with cases for the 'little people' . What's Mahmudur Rahman's contribution in the society for his interest was not served. But i digress this is not about Kamal Hossain or Mahmudur Rahman.

Our judicial system is in a mess. Our public infrastructure has
broken down. The system was abused and raped while some of these super powerful people made millions. Now our esteemed blogger can do a wink wink and say this happens in all the developing countries. Fine. But that does not absolve these people for whom we are in this mess. Forget corruption, just look at the infrastructural damage! If you think the justice system is now compromised, you will
have to look back at the judicial appointments where specially people
without backbone and competence were chosen to serve the ruling
elite. They are simply continuing the process of serving whoever their master is. You can focus on the hypocrisy of matiur rahman and mahfuz anam as much as you want. But their crime is nothing compared to what was done in bangladesh by the super powerfuls. Those people played with lives of milions and millions of people. We are suffering and stil will be suffering because of the likes of moudud ahmed. His damage is more than corruption related damage that hawa bhaban folsk did.

The lead critic lawyer
rafiqul huq and current champion of democracy also happened to be the attorney general of military dictator ershad. We know double standard when we
see one.
i'm also very intrigued at why no -one raises questions about the
personnel involved in some of our current 'human rights' stories.
Example rafiqul huq's about to start fronting a show on human rights? If we have good hypocrisy antenna we should have them for everyone.
It would be amazing if our bloggers also started to dig up stories about people why some of the people who are fighting due
process battles now are not just doing what they seem to be doing but really engaged in a massive battle to make sure that they get their patrons back in business. Shafique ahmed is a straightforward decent
person, he doesn't have a shady past. But rafiqul huq certainly does.
Ask two other lawyers and you'll get the tip of the iceberg. But you
need to dig down and collect info. why is no one in our brave
investigative media putting that story together. They know who he was, ershad's attorney general. then his main human rights cases for the last fifteen years were ershad and moudud, and then of course he got the current clutch. But ordinary people, everyday abuses, where has he
been? and why don't we want to ask or know.

General people are not duffers. Ds and prothom alo still
remains the highest circulated paper leading by leaps and bounds from their competitors and it hasn't come down after their open support of this unpopular govt.. That is no means say they have high journalistic standard but obviously they are doing something right that the public is not rejecting. So in summary, its fine that you are being righteous and picking faults with the elites who you have singled out to be three people. But then you are creating your own double standard. Your anger needs to be chanelled at the right place with the right priority without any double standard as well.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone,

Just a small reminder to refrain from ad hominem attacks. That was one of the points of this entire post.

I am assuming that all anonymous comments are from the same person because I didn't go back and check the IP on any of them. Anonymous bhai, you have made some excellent points.

However, there are ad hominem attacks here on another guest of this blog. That I cannot condone, despite many things in which I agree with you. If you have problems with Rumi bhai's coverage, please get in touch with him via his blog, NOT mine. :)

Lastly, I disagree whole-heartedly with your characterization of Rumi bhai's "coverage" in his blog. He has been one of the only people talking repeatedly about the crisis in BNP, which I feel is one of the most important political crises of our times. Yes, I believe that despite having frequently expressed derision for BNP (I too have called it a club and a family business). Refer to my "becoming India" post for one reason why I think so.

We come to blogs to get coverage that we cannot get elsewhere. At this point, there is a dearth of voices in the media protesting what happened inside BNP and the government's lack of an even-playing field for them. If there is a similar dearth in blogs, then that really is it. Thankfully Rumi bhai has made sure that doesn't happen.

~DS

Fariha said...

DS bhai and the rest,
I have a few questions, which might require attention and investigation

With regards to Mr.Mahfuz Anam's financial gain,

1) The DS now has enough power and nerve to walk up to Corporate Houses and propose CSR plans from which the 'cut' will have to go to the DS. You don't have to believe me on this, but please ask around or investigate. They've taken the round-table thing to a different level now. Oh and most round-tables were donor funded. http://www.thedailystar.net/suppliments/2006/roundtable/july/foodsecurity/index.htm
Now The DS has the leverage to seek private sector funding under immunity of their newly aquired power.

2)Has the donor funding of Shaheen Anam's Manusher Jonno gone up? I believe so. They are getting a lot of funds (UK and US based mostly than ever before). In fact, they have a paid project with Step Towards Development through which they are lobbying for "The Golden Age" to be taught in schools in Bangladesh. (Sorry for applying a Mahmudur-ian argument, I think a person's 'gain' can also be measured on a family level.) Again, I don't have enough substantive evidence on this, but would welcome proof of contradiction

3)Has ACC done an Audit on MA's accoutns and expenses over the last 2 decades? I know they stopped Shefik Rahman from leaving the country. How about someone doest that? Why hasn't anyone already?

lastly, about Rumi bhai: Anon, don't know who you are, but take it from someone who's gone at loggerheads with Rumi bhai before, the guy may not always be saying things you agree with, but he always, always hears you out. Which is a lot more than what can be said about respected institutionalized mediums such as The Daily (Glorified) Star which handpicks op-ed writers, columnists and editors.

As for Dr.Kamal Hossain, I doubt anyone in this blog would disagree about his 'little people' cases. But come on, we're not blind enough to ignore his hyacinth-ic politics or over-dosed on potatoes to not comment.

All: Sorry about the rant, was a tough week

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