Thursday, September 4, 2008

Taslima Nasreen: ...Morality and Wisdom.

Taslima Nasreen:

Intercepting lonely Star's Morality and Wisdom.

Mohammad Gani (USA).

"It was war criminal Golam Azam and Nezami gangs those mercilessly killed our founding father Mujib and his immediate family members" says one of the dedicated young comrade of "Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee"!! No wonder why our original rising star Doctor Taslima Nasreen targets "burgeoning Islamic fundamentalists" in Bangladesh as the only culprits behind our women's freedom, equal rights etc,. No, here I have no plan to declare any war against her rights of free speech or have any intention to denigrate her "honest" odyssey of rescuing our neglected women society from "the hell". She must have her absolute right to say whatever she wants to say, whenever she wants say and the way she wants say.

For last several years, this stalwart defender (?) of our women's rights has become the front runner and been carrying the "torch" of freedoms of the women's world wide, especially of Bangladesh with her extra-ordinary genius ideals and superior mission. Sadly no one, I mean no one of her own creed has so far been jumping into her wagon and singing with her except only diminutive numbers of adulating MEN associates. "Messages" of her corrupted wisdom and scurrilous behaviors go against her "asperities" for women's freedom those would also be outright dismissed even in our modern and civilized/secular world.

Taslima's profane and grandiloquent proclamation on "a woman having sex with 10 men and could still preserve and maintain her virginity" (Ref; her interview with Devil's Advocate" posted in Mukto-Mona, dated, 20 August 2008) is an audacious and lurid expression of a perverted and morally exhausted mind. There is nothing decent and honorable about this iconoclast's idolatrous hyperbole who is riding on immoral and cyanic sarcasms those shall engender more indignity, pandemonium and compunction to our women society. Those of us, who believe in "morality" that helps separating right from wrong is unscientific and not logical, thus should not even exist; must be either ascribing to the morality of the animal kingdom or deceiving their own mind. Her illusory messages toward women's equal rights are implacable and "unproven truth" in our culture/society including women society. Our women society could never be proselytized by these inconsequential ideals and vagaries under the tutelage of liquidated Taslima Nasrin.

Years ago, mother Theresa was talking about importance of virginity to the girls (students) at Wellesley College and at Harvard. "It has more to do with love, affection, family bindings and spirituality than any physical/biological implication that shall keep human civilization moving" she said. I have difficulty in disagreeing with mother Theresa than accepting Taslima's permeating renditions of parasites. Obviously, infidelity is not a legal offense, thus spouses could not legally file divorce or legal actions against their spouse for cheating them. So, what is exactly so bad about infidelity and what it has, if at all, to do with morality, commitment, ethical conviction, trusts and family value? Are all these "virtues' of any importance to human civilization by any means? If infidelity is not a moral offense at all, then why the most powerful nation with civilized democracy, secularism, equal rights and freedom of speech (USA) and its entire Congress were so furious on President Bill Clinton's clandestine amorous relation with Monica Lewinsky? Why did they fail to accept that it was his all personal and private matter?

Here, one could genuinely come up with a debate on the definition of "Morality, Right & Wrong". I do clearly see the line that divides right from wrong is not defined in its absolute terms either and it is very relative. For instance, let us briefly talk about homosexuality; one cannot find anything wrong even in relative terms. If homosexuality is an act between two mutually consenting adults, what is exactly so wrong about it but honestly, how do we accept it in our real family, cultural and social life and why? I bet it is mostly the introduction of religions that have changed the dynamics of the issue since some of them have clearly stated that the act of homosexuality is a sin. In our real world of human civilization, we can also say that we have rightfully placed the concept of religion and God at a higher plane in understanding the concept and existence of life. We have our natural instincts pretty much in line with the law of the land and also equally with the religions because of the very fact that these laws were developed based on the opinions of the many (majority), many years experiments and statistical findings.

On women's equal right issue, this infamous character is spurious and more disparaging in attacking the Islamic fundamentalist than coming up with real issues of concerns those have been keeping our women behind and taking away their equal rights. This decrepit woman is motivated, saturated and occupied with her personal vendetta against them and thus coming up with no ameliorating objectivity instead. Of course, there many disturbing pictures on the issues of women's equal rights and freedom in Bangladesh those I hardly could comprehend. Only few weeks ago, a beautiful young woman, Aparna Roy (27) took her own life to get herself "freed at last" from the torturous "demand of dowry" in US soil (Woodside, VA). She left her crocodile; I mean "loving" husband Sumon Roy and 2 beautiful children behind. Aparna and Sumon were married only in 2001. This poignant ending of a beautiful life made me sick and emotionally charged with angers! There are hundreds of those so-called "accidents" in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan (not mentioning other Muslim nations) those are not becoming news or getting much attention. This is how our children (girls) in Bangladesh (perhaps in India too) are taught to treat their husbands as (almost) God or Debota during their childhood/youth and are forced to download all sickening abuses throughout their entire life.

Now, if we get back to the pre-Islamic history, we shall see that having "baby girls" was an indignity (in Arab world) and were buried alive. In medieval Hindu society, a widow was not looked upon favorably. She was at times considered a burden and there was fear for her purity, especially if she was young. They feared that she might partake in sexual activity. Men were, however, exempt from this if they were widowers. Some communities in our Indian subcontinent, wives still have no "divorce right". Women in Islam are not allowed to be Imam (conducting prayers in Mosque with man) though nothing is stated PRECISELY anywhere in the holy Quran to this motion or that only Men shall be the Imam. General meaning of Sura Al-Nisa (4-34, Women) in the Holy Quran is not conclusive on women conducting prayer (I mean only in the holy Quran). Women are not permitted to be Cardinals, Arch Bishop or Pope in Catholic beliefs. Dowry and acids burns have been taking tolls on women's lives and causing sufferings inhumanly. Sati Daha (Burning of widows) custom was a scary social custom practiced in portions of India in different times. It was the practice of cremating the widow live along with her husband. Its roots can be traced to ancient mythology; Sati, the wife of Dhakhsha, overwhelmed with grief at her husband's funeral jumped into the funeral fire and burned to death. This was an idealized representation of a wife's devotion to her husband and the custom bears the name of Dhaksha's wife, Sati. Through the works of some noble Hindus, especially Raja Ram Mohan Roy, this practice had been curbed. The Sati Daha custom had now diminished and in 1987 a law was passed making Sati Daha illegal, after a case of Sati Daha was reported.

Hundreds of years racial segregation known as "Apartheid" in South Africa orchestrated by Afrikaner (Dutch reform churches) and by early settlers in USA (before 1965) have been dismantled with the life long struggles of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King. It is only 1927; women achieved their voting rights in USA. And there are so many to mention……BUT WHAT DO THE ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS EXACTLY HAVE TO DO WITH ALL THE ABOVE? Isn't it 9/11/2001 that made all these out of focus except only the Islamic fundamentalist as a bill board?

I am not here to rescue the Islamist fundamentalists or be any apologist for them but am only urging to broach the real culprits and issues of concerns against our women's freedom and equal rights in a colloquial manner. I did see the atrocities myself committed by "JAMAT" to our innocent men/women and against our freedom during 9 months liberation war against our so-called "Muslim brothers" of West Pakistan. Taslima's acrimony and concepts are grown from her personal animosity, transpires iniquitous and disgraceful. A Bangladesh "without religious fundamentalists" shall not "GUARANTEE equal rights and freedom for women there, will it? I wished it would have been that easy. Our motherland Bangladesh (former East Pakistan or India) is not ruled nor was ever ruled by fundamentalist like Taliban in Afghanistan or Khomeni in Iran rather has been a matriarchy for last 15 years. How many families/people of 150 million of Bangladesh are actually fundamentalist and how much control do these fundamentalists have over 150 million people/families and precisely how? My experience is most of the Bangladeshi people/families today are pro-Western in their heart and have great respects for western cultures.

So, we (Taslima included) need to look up for roots beyond making only religious fundamentalist a scapegoat against women's equal rights and freedom those have been embedded into our cultural bloods and social systems as norms and been reigning over for hundreds of years; many years before 9/11/2001! We also need to recognize that our cultural identity is based on our traits and values that are learned in the family, school, social gathering etc. as part of our ethnic origin, religion, gender, age, socioeconomic level, geographical region, place of residence but we do notice that all these are CONSTANTLY CHANGING, though not enough! Our mental modernization believes and trusts that science could lead us down to the road of progress real fast but question always remains whether only science could really get us there. The aphorism is "Haste makes waste".

We need cogitate before adjudicating on the risk factors of our women's prerogatives with uneven opinions or conclusions those could be misleading and distract us from actual core problems. We need to address and attack our poverty, education, standard of living, unemployment, healthcare........and all other basic needs along with the introductions and manifestations of public laws first to ensure a prosperous family of extant traditional culture, happiness and prosperity for all women. Yes, often religious fundamentalist (of any religion: say, recent Orissa event) could be obstacles and be on the way of our spirits and momentum of progress on women's equal rights and thus it must be addressed as culpable too; because it is an issue but not the only issue!

Nevertheless, the bottom line is; this picayune and evanescent star's temerity and laudatory ebulliences shall get lost real fast with full disgrace from the history of our time and beyond our notice.

Mohammad Gani Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Courtesy of VM

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Nationalist Agenda for Bangladesh

A Nationalist Agenda for Bangladesh

By MBI Munshi Bar-at-Law

The installation of the Caretaker Government after the proclamation of emergency on January 11, 2007 by military fiat provides an excellent opportunity for the conscientious citizen to thoroughly reappraise and also reassess our political ideals and national objectives prior to the return of democracy. While the political parties have been striving to reestablish their credibility and relevance to a disillusioned and apathetic public the issue of what ideological principles the nation should rest upon has been largely set aside although this is the most important question of all for the nation to tackle. This article is intended to provide an intellectual framework upon which nationalist debate may take place and covers the political arena occupied by the BNP, Jatiya Party and Jamaat-i-Islami and to some extent the now defunct Freedom Party and other smaller nationalist entities such as Gen. Fazlur Rahman's newly established nationalist formation.

What is common to all these parties (except that of Gen. Fazlur Rahman which has only begun operations in Bangladesh) is that they have all failed miserably to uphold the nationalist ideal. The obvious reason for this failure is that there is no single accepted document or formal expression of the terms of the nationalist agenda for the 21st century (although there exists many outdated opinions on the subject) and the majority of the general public has largely relied on intuition to determine a party's nationalist credentials in the modern era. There are several important books on the subject of Bangladeshi nationalism but they tend to over intellectualize the concepts and the basic principles put forward appear contradictory after closer examination. More often than not they involve matters that are subsidiary or ancillary to the main tenets of the ideology. This vagueness and ambiguity has allowed scope for the corrupt, opportunistic and mediocre to thwart and misuse the ideals of nationalism in favour of self-interest and greed. The main cause or reason behind this lack of ideological commitment is the absence of an objective standard or criterion for determining the legitimacy of decisions or actions approved by the party hierarchy when set against the requirements of nationalist ideology. A major consequence of this is that there exists an absolute minimum in ideological content and understanding within the party and an over reliance on charismatic leadership for guidance, however, misguided or irrational it might actually turn out to be for the country as a whole. It is due to this ideological failure that the Freedom Party and Jatiya party both fractured and then collapsed in quick succession during the early 1990's and is also the cause of the BNP's dramatic downfall after the 1/11 takeover by a military-civilian conglomerate.

The terms of the nationalist ideal according to this author may be explained through the use of the following four broad tenets or core elements of Bangladeshi nationalism–

1. Honouring the nation's independence and sovereignty achieved through immense struggle, blood and sacrifice in the 1971 Liberation War.

2. Non-interference in the Islamic values and beliefs of the people as enshrined in the constitution [Art. 8 (1A) – Absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah shall be the basis of all actions]. The emergence of Bangladesh is a direct consequence of the Two Nation Theory and the Lahore Resolution and the war of 1971 was not intended to negate either of these ideas. Bangladesh remains a majority Muslim nation and the nationalist creed requires the respecting of Islamic values with particular emphasis on the virtue of toleration which is a peculiar characteristic of the people of this region who generally abhor all forms of fanaticism It is for this reason that compared to the secularist approach the non-interference method can accommodate Muslims, non-Muslims and even people of no faith since none will be interfered with provided that all practice toleration towards each other and adopt the policy of mutual respect [i.e. Art. 2A – The state religion of the Republic is Islam, but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in the Republic] (see below).

3. Adherence to the inclusiveness of Bangladeshi nationalism which is based on territorial exclusivity rather than on ethnic exclusivity. In other words, a Bangladesh national should be appropriately described as Bangladeshi [i.e. Art. 6 (2) – The citizens of Bangladesh shall be known as Bangladeshi] rather than a Bengali which tends towards territorial inclusiveness with West Bengal which is a part of India and where the Bengali identity is subservient to the superior and universal Indian one. A Bangladeshi can never accept his identity to be subsumed into a larger Indian one which is an entirely separate nation as per the partition of the subcontinent in 1947 into three separate territorial parts and two political entities (India and Pakistan). This separate consciousness of Bengali Muslims began during the 1905-1911 partition of Bengal which was vehemently opposed by the upper-class Hindu landlords whose power and influence over their Muslim tenants dwindled during this period but Hindu dominance again reasserted itself once the partition was rescinded seven years later and the Muslims were returned to their former slavish existence.

4. Aggressive promotion and advancement of the national interest and an uncompromising attitude to national security.

While all the parties claiming to uphold the nationalist agenda have been more or less consistent in protecting Islamic values this has often been done opportunistically or exploitatively. All that this condition requires is non-interference as opposed to the 'excessive' or overt promotion of Islamic values which tends to have a negative effect (a major reason why Islamic parties do badly in elections) on public sentiment which is still very much influenced by the secularist/Indian propaganda about the 1971 war which illogically views Islam as responsible for the atrocities committed by the Pakistan army. Bangladeshis are by nature and temperament moderate in outlook and sentiment and are equally tolerant in matters personal and so a too rigid approach on religion normally gets a negative or unfavorable response. Non-interference in Islamic values is the least onerous of the conditions in the nationalist agenda since it is a negative requirement requiring virtually no action to implement. This is not the same as the secularist agenda favoured by the AL and other leftist parties since they have promoted interference in the Islamic values of the people with the objective of eroding religion from society and rendering the state totally neutral in matters of faith and have even gone so far as to undermining Islam through propaganda and ill-motivated government policies - this is the complete opposite of non-interference and is widely resented by the general public.

The third condition has usually been a problem for the anti-nationalists such as the Awami League party as the notion of Bengali nationhood became untenable when West Bengal showed no signs of seceding from India after 1971 and even more importantly - from a nationalist perspective - after the CHT insurgency when the tribal groups refused to adopt Bengali customs even after the vocal and uncompromising demand of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman that they do so. This issue was resolved when President Ziaur Rahman amended the constitution and designated all citizens of Bangladesh as Bangladeshis emphasizing the territorial rather than the ethnic aspect of our nationhood.

It is, however, in the area of national interest and security that sharply differentiates the nationalists from the other ideological inclinations. In the past, too much emphasis has been placed on the dichotomies raised by faith vs. secularism or Bengali vs. Bangladeshi but these are only indications of attitude and the real test is whether a party is prepared to assert the national interest and aggressively ensure the security of the nation and state. If the answer is in the positive in both cases then by necessity the party in power is advancing the majority faith and Bangladeshi nationalism as well. All the nationalist parties (BNP, Jatiya and Freedom) were established on the twin pillars of national interest and security. The events of 1975 (both 15th August and 7th November) were attempts to reassert the national interest against encroachments and interference from India (this statement is not intended as approval or disapproval of either of these events but simply of their occurrence as a factual and important part of our history. The question, however, needs to be posed whether the nationalist agenda could have reasserted itself so forcefully without these violent incidents having taken place. Similarly the ruthless suppression of communist revolutionary forces after Gen. Ziaur Rahman ascension to power could be described as a dire necessity since Indian infiltration into Bangladesh had been so extensive and pervasive that a lesser response may have been easily defeated) and Ershad is claimed to have wanted to establish another army division to thwart any possible invasion by Bangladesh's big neighbour. It is the AL and other leftist parties that have continually compromised on the national interest and security in order to serve their real masters in New Delhi.

The national interest and security involve by implication the most complex political, social, economic and military questions. It is for the country's political leadership to determine which economic or political system best serves the national interest or which social policies should be implemented to advance overall national well-being. There is no easy answer to these questions but what is needed is a set of practical policies that can produce a dynamic and fast growing economy that will sustain an educated and healthy workforce and in turn finance the internal and external security needs of the country. Sectional interests must not be allowed under any circumstances to become an obstacle or hindrance to national development and economic prosperity.

Gen. Ziaur Rahman, Gen. H.M. Ershad and Col. Syed Farook Rahman when they formed their political parties had these objectives in mind but gradually overtime the ideological elements of their party program became diluted and the pursuit of money became more important. While Gen. Ziaur Rahman and Col. Syed Farook Rahman were personally incorruptible their followers and the subsequent generations of leaders were far less inclined to follow this lead and became addicted to the pursuit of wealth and indirectly compromised on the fourth tenet of nationalism – national interest and security. It was with this new generation (especially in the case of the BNP) which saw the sidelining of committed nationalists and the promotion of the most disreputable and corrupted elements of the party and this is the surest sign of internal decay and clearly indicates the disintegration of the party as a united political force.

In conclusion one should evaluate where Bangladeshi nationalism stands today and especially in the light of the 1/11 change over. It is grievously unfortunate that even without the anti-nationalist parties (i.e. AL, JSD, Workers Party etc) at the helm of power Bangladesh has drifted very far away from all the four core principles of Bangladeshi nationalism. The most obvious failure of the caretaker administration in securing our national objectives appears to be the appeasement of India and the adoption of their foreign policy as our own. This assimilationist agenda has adversely affected our national interest and security and must be reversed if Bangladesh is to remain an independent nation. It is in the area of national security that Bangladesh must concentrate and policy-makers should not be fearful of offending India (which will naturally be the target of any security policy) since India has no qualms about offending Bangladesh which it often describes as a sponsor of terrorism and a threat to its security. The countering of Indian propaganda will also necessarily take a high priority in Bangladesh's security policy but New Delhi's canards against its neighbour has unfortunately been embraced by anti-nationalist parties such as the AL, JSD and Workers Party who have described the country as a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism and an exporter of terrorism.

Bangladesh has yet to devise a security strategy even after almost 37 years of independence which is quite astonishing and at the same time completely unacceptable. One of the principal tasks of a government is to ensure the security of the nation from external threats and this can be best achieved if those responsible for the defense of the nation have a detailed security policy to guide them. National security in this broader sense refers to the requirement to maintain the survival of the nation-state through the use of economic, military and political power and the exercise of diplomacy. This may be accomplished on several different levels and should include the following –
using diplomacy to rally allies and isolate threats
maintaining effective armed forces
implementing civil defense and emergency preparedness measures
ensuring the resilience and redundancy of critical infrastructure
using intelligence services to detect and defeat or avoid threats and espionage, and to protect classified information
using counterintelligence services or secret police to protect the nation from internal threats
To implement these features effectively in Bangladesh would require a National Security Strategy to be devised. The first step would be to set up a National Security Council which will bring together in one place all the relevant agencies, bodies and experts on this vital issue. This would include the President, Chief Executive, Chiefs of the army, navy and air force, intelligence heads, other security officials belonging to law enforcement, diplomats and experts from various fields who will be called in as the need arises or be allotted to an advisory board attached to the NSC. The NSC would be assigned the responsibility for coordinating policy on national security issues and advising the chief executive on matters related to national security. At regular yearly intervals the NSC would prepare a National Security Strategy document that will guide all elements of our defence, security and intelligence apparatus and also influence the manner and conduct of our foreign policy. The advantages to such an approach would be consistency and comprehensiveness in our national security outlook. While I have tended to concentrate on the defence aspects of security the NSS would give equal priority to strengthening economic security, expansion of trade and investment, and promoting economic development. The NSS would provide guidelines and proposals on economic security, energy security, transport security and terrorism finance. This would involve the business community as stakeholders in the nation's security with direct input in policy formulation.

Probably the only reason that a National Security Strategy and NSC have yet to be established in Bangladesh is the apprehension of the adverse reaction it might generate in New Delhi. A truly nationalist party would disregard such considerations and put the nation's interest and security first. India has never compromised on its national security requirements which usually targets Bangladesh so there should not be any hesitation on this side of the border in doing the same in regard to our own defense needs. Critics may argue that this would undermine democracy and put too much power in the hands of the military. This ignores the fact that political parties have continuously undermined the national interest requiring occasional interventions by the army. To prevent such occurrences this paper argues for the institutionalization of the nationalist agenda so that each arm of the state apparatus and machinery works to fulfill that objective. It would, however, only work effectively under a democratic system as the people will be the final arbiters in determining if any particular government is actually living up to the nationalist ideal. An extended military role in state affairs should not be considered since the present army is not the same as the army of Gen. Ziaur Rahman, Col. Syed Farook Rahman and even Gen. H.M. Ershad which actually fought a war and understood the meaning of the words national interest and security (this statement will probably seem unpalatable to many because of certain actions taken by these individuals but those unfortunate but necessary incidents of our history constitute the basis of Bangladeshi nationalism and also its defence. There is some dispute whether the Jail Killing incident of November 3, 1975 falls into this category since many suspect that this was orchestrated by RAW to prevent a strong leadership emerging around Tajuddin Ahmed. The acquittal of 12 accused in the case by the High Court lends credence to this view). The present army although describing itself as modern and democratic is actually more a peacekeeping force having the mentality of compromisers. The army's approach to the national crisis since 1/11 has been superficial and wholly unprofessional (What is the objective and plan for this intervention and where is the exit strategy?). Rather than seeking the advice of committed nationalists and experts they have resorted to taking assistance from various individuals of dubious backgrounds and qualifications. A democratic political party representing the nationalist ideal would serve the nation better provided the top leadership remains incorruptible and appoints statesman to the helm of government affairs rather than amateurs and opportunists.

MBI Munshi

September 1, 2008


Tuesday, July 29, 2008


আমরা বাংলাদেশি আপনাদের সবাইকে স্বাগত জানাচ্ছে। অনুগ্রহ করে আপনাদের মতামত আমাদের কাছে পাঠান, ্যাতে আমরা আপনাদের মুল্যবান মতামতকে বাকিদের কাছে তুলে ধরতে পারি। আবারও অস্ংখ্য ধন্যবাদ।



Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sink your teeth into this.....

An Immodest Proposal: Sink your teeth into this….

Jason Miller
(Associate Editor of Cyrano’s Journal Online)

Let’s face it, my fellow freedom and burger loving Americans. It is becoming painfully obvious that our non-negotiable American Way of Life is increasingly under attack. Yet while our meat consumption may be a wedge issue our foes are using against us, it can also be our salvation.

We are facing swarms of terrorists in the Animal Liberation Front, mobs of fanatical extremists at PETA, and hordes of Nazi-like, in-your-face vegans and vegetarians. Like deranged street prophets, they spout all kinds of nonsense about speciesism, the suffering of sentient beings, animal rights, compassion for livestock in factory farms, and other deluded ramblings.

Though we recognize their ridiculous utterances, beliefs, and acts to be those of mentally unbalanced losers who need a ridiculous cause in their miserable lives to prevent them doing the world a favor by committing suicide, how long can we afford to ignore these violent and dangerous individuals? Their numbers are growing way too rapidly for my comfort.

We also need to consider that our addiction to meat is also causing problems so deep that we can no longer maintain our dominant position simply by beating down environmental activists with our clever arguments and significantly larger wallets. The hideous truth is bubbling so close to the surface that we can no longer maintain the status quo with specious arguments and asinine sound bites disseminated by our allies like Fox, Viacom, the New York Times, and CNN.

Cattle, the source of our beloved beef, are now the number one source of greenhouse gasses. And even some of our staunchest supporters are beginning to admit that Climate Change is a real phenomenon.

Our meat habit is causing deforestation to accelerate at an alarming rate. Since we need the trees to cleanse the air of carbon dioxide and replenish OUR oxygen, we must preserve OUR remaining forests. I still can’t abide those moronic tree huggers who fail to realize that the trees are OURS to do with as we please, but when OUR survival is threatened, it’s time to do something!

Our supply of potable water is shrinking at a frightening pace. Those enviro idiots do have a point when they remind us that it takes far more water to raise livestock for meat production than it does to cultivate crops. Obviously we don’t give a damn if millions of Third Worlders in places like Timbuktu die of thirst, but when treasures like Vegas are increasingly in jeopardy, we need to stir ourselves to act.

Much of the arable land we could use to produce more crops for human consumption is instead used to raise and feed livestock. 35,000 people die each day from the effects of starvation. We needn’t concern ourselves about those people per se, but the deeper issue is that that number could amplify, people who matter could start dying, and riots or revolutions could threaten our free market system.Animal loving freaks terrorizing us. Polar ice caps melting. Chaotic weather. Forests on the verge of extinction. Food riots. A rapidly dwindling water supply. Capitalism under siege. We are facing a nightmare, ladies and gentlemen.AND the Earth is grossly over-populated. At 35,000 deaths a day, our de facto culling process is grossly inadequate to preserve OUR planet for those of us who count.

Humanity has exceeded its carrying capacity and our numbers continue to grow exponentially. We’ve got to start killing off the expendables much more rapidly and efficiently.So what to do?It’s quite simple, really. We must abandon all types of meat we now consume and begin satisfying our palates and protein requirements with human flesh.I know the notion of cannibalism violates a long-standing taboo in most cultures, but if we abandon conscience, morals and ethics (which are nothing more than antiquated absurdities that impose ridiculous restraints on our behavior), logic dictates that we begin eating our fellow humans.Our necessary humanitarian interventions and courageous efforts to advance the democracy of free markets are already justifiably eliminating millions of barbarians who stand in the way of the proliferation of the American Way.

In fact, we are doing those wretches a favor by putting them out of their misery. Yet instead of employing our military to kill our enemies and leave their corpses to rot, why not have our soldiers round them up and process them in factory farms designed to process humans?We Americans are the fittest of the species, and hence the most well-equipped to survive. History has proven that beyond the shadow of a doubt. As the fittest, we have the right to utilize our inferiors to ensure our survival. So why not eat them?

We already spend nearly a trillion dollars a year defending ourselves from millions upon millions of evil savages. Rather than devastating the infrastructure of nations we are Americanizing with bombs and missiles, why not round up uncooperatives and carve them up into delicious steaks in Halliburton-constructed meat-packing facilities?Imagine what a peaceful world it would be if we began serving Palestinian instead of KC strip.A billion Chinese Commies would guarantee us an adequate food supply for years to come. And talk about solving the population problem!For those who prefer sun-dried jerky, there’d be Arab, African and Persian cuisine on the menu. Those savage creatures are only standing between us and OUR precious resources anyway.And let’s not forget those bastards who beat us in Vietnam. After all, revenge is a dish best served cold.

For those of us living in the free world, where democracy, capitalism and Anglo culture reign supreme, the most appealing aspect to putting human flesh on our plates would be the elimination of the undesirables, useless eaters, and enemies in our midst.Mexican illegals? Yo quiero Taco Bell!Welfare queens, crack whores, and drug dealers? Dark meat anyone?Gays and lesbians? Adds a whole new connotation to “taste the rainbow,” doesn’t it?Repulsive homeless scum? Their meat might be a little tough and stringy but what’s wrong with eating a little wild game once in awhile?Domestic terrorists and anti-American dissenters? We’d savor that flavor, wouldn’t we?

Close your eyes and envision a world defined by these conditions:1. A sustainable human population level2. An end to the relentless efforts of those animal rights crackpots.3. A cessation of food riots4. The elimination of the possibility of starvation for those of us who deserve to live5. A significant reduction of greenhouse gasses6. World peace (dissenters, non-conformists, and terrorists are pretty harmless once they’re on our dinner plates!)Implementing such a plan will be fraught with difficulty.

It will also be quite an adjustment to adapt to our new source of the meat we crave.However, our non-negotiable American Way of Life is at stake. If we want to preserve the safety, comfort, and pleasure to which we TRUE Americans are entitled, we must put aside our fears and silly moral inhibitions.Here’s to outgrowing our childish idealism, adopting an uncompromisingly pragmatic view, and simply saying, “Meats meat so let’s eat!”

courtest: news from Bangladesh.

Death of a Kingfisher


by Dr Abid Bahar
(editor's choice)

Bangladesh is the world's biggest delta country. People survive here on fishes caught from its rivers, ponds marshes. Most Bangladeshis perhaps don't know that India put barages over all most all the rivers that flow from upstream India. As a result of this Bangladeshi man, the fisherman suffers the most. It seems that if there was no Farakka dam, India would still be considered by Bangladeshis as a friendly country. While this is going on, unfortunately Bangladesh politics has also been occupied by opportunist and anarchist politicians remain aligned with WestBengali India. In the recent past when these anarchist leaders created a mess, a third party took over power; it was the Care taker government backed by the military. Lately, to many Bangladeshis' s surprise Moyeen U received red carpet reception in India and was given the gift of 7 horses. We also know that our joans die in India's target-shooting. Who is this General and his backers? Who are the people that helped to create anarchy for the military backed government to take over power? The CTG stunned the country. Under the circumstances, people question "is Bangladesh progressing? "The term progressive means "change in a desirable direction." If we consider progress in Bangladesh, it must be a desirable direction for Bangladesh and the Bangladeshis. In the following we will try to understand the leadership of one of the major Bangladeshi political Party's leaders and see if her leadership moves Bangladesh toward a desirable direction.It is true, Awami League (AL) was first founded by Maulana Bhasani as the Awami Muslim League but later on changed by him as the Awami League. Bhasani also founded the Ittafaq, the other national institution for Bengali's struggle for gaining rights. Mujib's AL gave the 6 points in pre Bangladesh and gradually moved the nation towards independence. In the post Bangladesh period, he turned the AL into BAKSAL one party system with Munising and Muzaffer’s pro-Indian communist alliance. In the early 80's Hasina revived the AL but in her democratic alliance she has all the groups that comprised the BAKSAL.Hasina's ALToday, Hasina's AL kept some of the pro-Indian Moni Singh/ Muzaffer BAKSALITES that were clearly in favor of non stop nationwide hartals. Motia, prominent among them during the strike, even loved to sleep on the street than at home. Is this a progressive thing for Bangladesh? Hasina's political slogan is still the BAKSALITE "joy Bangla" consistent with the BAKSALITE pro-Indian "Joy Hind," "Joy Bangla" slogan. Hasina's nationalism for Bangladesh is still BAKSALIT's "Bengali nationalism" not Bangladeshi nationalism. Even though it has been close to 40 years she doesn't want to change it which would annoy the pro-Indian elements in her party.
Hasina while in power gave limited autonomy to the Hill Tracts and now the tribals want to change the name of the region from Chittagong Hill Tracts into Jumaland of a region where 45 percent of the population (found in the last census) was the nontribals and surprisingly, these tribes are not even indigenous to the land. Research shows that all the tribe's ancestors migrated from Arakan of Burma and not very long time ago; some even migrated during the British period. During her terms in office Hasina signed an agreement with India for water sharing, but there is little water India gives to Bangladesh. Hasina understands this and says, "Boishak mase ter hatu jol Thake,"Hasina's election politicsHasina fights against fundamentalism by calling strikes. 1996 election her main slogan was to try Golam Azam. The street side gonoadalat against Golam Azam was made famous by her. But after she came to power she did nothing to Golam Azam. In 2007 she also made contract with Khalafat fundamentalist party. When challenged by her pro- Indian so-called “secular" elements" she was surprised and called it only an election strategy. Is this progressive politics?Hasina can not compromise until it is her way or no wayHasina was the one who demanded to introduce the first Care taker government (originally a Jamat idea) after BNP won a second term in 1996 election.
On the basis of this, the BNP's1996 election had to be made null and void and the first Care taker government was introduced. Hasina’s apology for the BAKSAL rule and the nonstop calls for nationwide strike and shutting up of the port cities finally won her the election.In 2001 the BNP's election winning was not again accepted by her. Immediately after the election, she began calling strikes that in all totalled close to 200 during Khalida's term. It is to note that in addition to the loss of revenue, Hasina perhaps didn't know, strikes breed common lawlessness. But who decides to call these murderous strikes? In this unfortunate and improvised country with huge burden of population such moves has always been Hasina's election strategy. If it is not Hasina but AL’s supreme command council's commands these calls are definitely not progressive for Bangladesh. Again, in 2007 Hasina refused to accept the Care taker government that was to replace the BNP government. She kept calling strikes. Ten people were killed by the AL on brad day light. Hasina personally defended the AL action. The nation came to a stand still. She kept calling strike until the fruit was ripe for her to win the election.
Alas, this time, instead of her capturing power, the military backed Care taker government took over power. At first in her joy, she mistakenly even attended the oath taking ceremony of the new care taker government. But she now languishes in jail.Hasina raised in the Mujib family, has many similarities with Mujib's agitative style. But the difference is that while Mujib was fighting against Pakistan, an unfriendly people, Hasina has been fighting against Bangladesh.
It is interesting to note that in 1966 Mujib gave the 6 point demands with the condition of separate currencies within Pakistan. Such demands were considered as quite radical for his time. But the extreame measure helped him in the Pakistani suspicion over him which also helped him gainning popularity. In March 1971 some forces led Mujib to sworn his legislators at the Polton Maidan by the Quran to not accept a bit less of the 6 points. The question is, if that was his idea, why Mujib kept negotiating with the military rulers? Was that a strategy or was to create extreme pressure over the government to make him the Prime Minister of Pakistan. While Mujib didn't take any precautions, the Pakistani military did accumulate more and more army. What were the terms of Mujib's negotiation?
It appears that like today's Hasina, Mujib agitated the Bengalis but continued negotiation with the Pakistani rulers to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan. It is now clear that it was indeed his election strategy. Finally he surrendered like today's Hasina who uncompromosingly agitated in 2007 to get to power but now is put in jail. During the liberation war, Mujib stayed in Pakistan and his family in the Pakistani care in Dhaka survived. But from the Pakistani General's mistrust and Mujib's lack of flexibility, there unlashed genocide over the innocent Bangladeshis. Of course, Pakistani Generals and Bhutto in particular were largely responsible for the genocide but questions abound, what was there in Mujib's motive behind negotiation until the 25th of March? India was behind to divide Pakistan and Yahya Khan wanted to keep the integrity of his country and Mujib's sole motive appears to be to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan until he was arrested. Bangladesh through enduring the genocide became an independent country by mostly because of favorable circumstances is undoubtedly is a good news. But will there be similar good news for Hasina trying to destroy Bangladesh through her agitative policy? The big question is in the way it is carried out, can we call her politics as a matter of progressive politics in Bangladesh? Of course it could be progressive to the Indian elements in her party. It could be their progressive struggle to fight against Bangladesh so that it becomes India's dependent country. But is this a desirable thing for Bangladesh and the Bangladeshis?Mujib escaped death in Pakistan but he was assassinated with his entire family for introducing the one party BAKSAL. Mujib's rule of anarchy and misrule also earned the nation as the "bottomless basket case."
Like her father, Hasina was attempted assassination more than once; after the last one she survived; she now can hear things as "Su Su, bo bo." Is this sound along with the slogan "Joy Bangla" are the sounds of progressive politics in Bangladesh or it is the beginning of another bad news? It seems Mujib's history repeats itself in Hasina's so-called progressive politics in Bangladesh.Hasina's is not a progressive politics in Bangladesh. But Hasina's anarchist power base lies in the AL-Moni Singh-Muzaffer alliances in the Bangladesh's cultural sectors and in the AL centers in villages. Do the Bangladeshi villagers know who Hasina is or how Hasina is being manipulated by anti- Bangladesh forces? Then what could be done to change AL into a more progressive political Party away from Hasina's? How to create new awareness in villages to save Bangladesh and to bring fresh air in Bangladeshi culture and in rural politics? How to help remove the Hasina's agitative anti- Bangladesh politics of "Joy Bangla,""Joy Hind" slogans. Unfortunately most pro-Indian elite’ talks about Islamic "fundamentalism" as the biggest challenge in Bangladesh, "pro-Pakistani razakars" are the most dangerous people, but betraying them Hasina even takes the fundamentalists to her side to win election. Fortunately, only lately, some independent and truly progressive- minded scholars are beginning to identify and redefine these regressive forces working against Bangladesh. In the mean time, did the kingfisher die? Not yet and here, I didn't mean the death of a kingfisher as being the death of Mujib or Zia, both of whom were assassinated. I meant that our rivers and riverines have been dried up, our political institutions have been messed up by unrest and in the midst of the chaos Moeen U takes over control from behind the scene.
Two years for the Care taker government is too long says Anwar Chowdhury. . With the excuse of anarchy, in future if General Moyeen settles for a Pakistani style military rule in Bangladesh and if the democratic process is disrupted, it will bring the death of many ordinary but hardworking Bangladeshis, as if the death of the hardworking kingfisher of the delta. Here the foreign hunter kills the kingfisher even before it catches the fish and enjoys the meal in his own shonar Bangladesh!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Social Attitude need to be changed for Rape Victims


Social Attitude need to be changed

Musfique Prodhan

A young housewife of Chandina, Kumilla have reported been abducted by criminals and gang raped. These criminals were previously accused of seriously injuring the alleged victim, after failing to force her into submission to their lust.

This is just not a isolated incidence of rape. According to the survey by "Odhikar" for a period of 7 years ( Jan 01 - Feb 2007), approaximately 6000 women were the victims of rape. There are enough reason to beleive that the actual number would be much higher than that, as the victims often refuse to report such crime in fear of social rejection, corruption/negligence by the police, time consuming judicial process, and mental torture during cross examination.*

The victim above had suffered the most common two pronged means of violence against women. Though there are very strong laws against Acid crime and Rape ( Acid Crime Control Act 2002 on 17 March 2002 and Suppression of Violence against Women and Children Act 2000 )

Under these laws, the convicted can be awarded from death penalty to life imprisonment along with hefty fines. And these laws have provissions to swift the judicial process, so justice could be served more effectively.

Despite the presence of such strong law, it seems that the number of rape victims in Bangladesh are on the rise.* And the news of conviction and sentencing of such crimes are rare.

This must be because of the weakness called "Bail System" in our judiciary. Exploiting of which, the accused either absconds or intimidates the victim's family to withdraw the case, or commits murder, or seeks refuge under political influence, to escape justice. Success to these tactics, are the true reasons behind the crimes to rise to a hightide.

People accused of rape or any kind of violence against women shouldnot be eligible to receive bail, under any circumtances, until the verdict is announced.

Traditionaly, Bangladeshi males are very protective about their women. Along with dream of independance, and counter against genocide, the rape of hundreds and thousands of their women, had been a vital catalyst for the Bangladeshis to be engaged in armed guerilla warfare.

Surprisingly, after the war, Bangldesh's social attitude had been extremely unfavorable to the rape victims. Despite branding them as"Birangona"'s and urge to accept them socialy by Bongobondhu himself, the response was extremely nominal. The result was devastating.

Some of these Birangonas had comitted suicide, some of them took refuge in the brothels and most of them headed towards an unknown destination. Later no one cared and they had become an unknown entity to the nation.

Even in the 90s, crimes like rape didnot turned into an epidemic. As I recall, during the rule of President Zia, one Dr. Iqbal was sentenced to death for murdering his wife. After such sentence was carried out, the violence against women was significantly reduced. In another such incident during the rule of Gen Ershad, Monir- a rich playboy was also sentenced to death for murdering his wife Rima. Which also brought down the rate of violence against women as well.

Such convictions and sentencing, carry out a clear message. People are reluctant to commit any crimes when they fear for the concequences. Sentencing criminals to maximum penalty so far have been found fruitfull to slow the crime rate, specialy against Women.

Unfortunately after a supposed "democraticaly" elected political Goverment took office in 1991, it seems that rate of violence against women have increased. Though the 2nd term rule of BNP Govt (2001-2006) should be credited for introducing tougher laws in favor of the victims.

Some beleive that, drug and porno epidemic in Bangladesh are the root cause of sexual crimes. And since, it is easier to escape/delay the justice by taking shelter under political influence as well, the criminals are more free to carry their evil.

Thankfully, despite their limitations, some NGO's have come forward to seek justice for crimes against women. But it is the society as a whole must condemn the rapists and should change their hatefull attitude towards the rape victims.

Unfortunately, the social weakness is such that, a wife gets divorced for been a rape victim, a daughter/sister is treated with utmost shame and brutaly gets barred from leading a normal life, when she falls victim to rape.

To make the matter worse, the illiterate / half educated Mullah's often call to punish the rape victims (non complaince with Islamic teachings), the full educated turns a blind eye, the law enforcing agencies and lawyers try to cash in maxium financial benefits and the politicians seek political benefits, out of a rape victim.

Women makes up 49% of our total population. Women is a mother, a sister, a lover and a life partner. So in order to achieve a stable society, we must provide peace and protection to them, whenever needed. It was never a Bangladeshi tradition to be engaged into sexual violence against women. So we must first detect the evil alien factors which is playing a key role for our changed attitude.

We must denounce any pathetic plight of the so called HR activists to spare the criminals from receiving maximum penalty, and carry out the death sentence to the guilty as recommended in the law. Also, anyone who is found advocating on behalf on such criminals, or found exploiting the rape victims, or tend to use wrong relegious teachings to punish the victims, should be treated as the criminal's accomplice. And should be awarded the same sentencing as the criminals.

People must not continue to harvest the same attitude towards a rape victim as they did in 1971. A girl doesnot inspire a rape, rather such henious ideas are manufactured in the brain of a maniac. And there is NO PLACE for sexual maniacs in this world, let alone the society.

So the nation must stand behind such helpless victims in every aspect of life, and the media should play a key role to educate people so they help to revive the normal life of a rape victim.



Caption: A rape victim of 1971 liberation war. Courtesy of Muktomona

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Freedom of Press. For Whom?


Today, June 02, 2008, while sipping my morning cup of coffee and having a look on my regional newspaper (SYSSVENSKAN or SDS in short, published from Malmö, Sweden) I was surprised to see the first page completely blank and the only sentence in it, when translated in English was:“THIS NEWSPAPER HAS NOT BEEN GIVEN PERMISSION FOR PUBLICATION BY THE STATE” But I knew quite well that it was nothing but a silly advertisement, a wicket trick for drawing readers’ attention for a particular self-interest of the daily. In its 2nd page, again almost blank and under the same heading, the text of the same advertisement continued:“That is not so in Sweden, not as yet by all means. However, according to a Sifo survey a majority of our members of Parliament want to limit freedom of the press by introducing new restrictions, eliminating the possibility for police to speak with the media and reduce the transparency of the investigations. Several analysts believe that the freedom of the press has not been as endangered in modern times as it is now.

Today, before lunch, the Chinese journalist Li Changqing will receive "The Golden Pen of Freedom" at a meeting of the media congress in Gothenburg. It is a price to the World Association of Newspapers awards each year to someone who has made a substantial contribution to the freedom of the press. Li Changqing revealed for a few years ago a great outbreak of dengue fever (in China) which the authorities tried to hush-up. For this he was sentenced to three years in prison. What happened Li Changqing should remind us as a good example when we consider the question of freedom of press. Every restriction, great or small, makes newspapermen weaker and that means that you get to know a little less about what is actually happening. Do you want it so?”My reaction to it was calm rejection. Nevertheless, and no doubt about it, that, it was a cleaver way by the daily to seek my support for “freedom of the press”.

But I wonder if any newspaper in the world really cares for my interest so far their news presentation is concerned. They present the news in their own way, often mutilating it and it matters very little for them “what is actually happening’ around my front or backyard. Freedom of press is a nice idea but for whom? Not for me or for any of my personal interest and I must support the idea to make the invisible rulers of the press more strong and powerful so that they can make the world as they think ‘could be good and nice’ for them.

Again I do not deny that the freedom of press is a nice idea and press freedom guarantees freedom of expression and thereby, as some people very clearly and loudly would say, assures ‘human rights’. To Western neo-colonialist and their loyalist agents in the 3rd world countries this “human rights” aspect which often means to them just the “freedom of expression” is very important and that also purports mostly speaking against a government that these partisan people do not like. But does this ‘freedom of expression’ aspect of ‘human rights’ make any sense to someone who’s belly is empty, sleeps under the sky, gets free shower from heaven without asking for it, dies of simple waterborne diseases or pneumonia or even mild fever? We need not mention here that most of the poor in the 3rd world countries do not have any access to education. The neo-colonialists’ ‘freedom of expression’, as often we see in their propaganda machines, is a trick of talking good with an evil motive. Food, shelter, healthcare and education, these basic necessities of people, are not that important to them as “human rights” are and it hardly gets their attention until there is cyclone, flood, earthquake and such a calamity. But again, they come with little help to mitigate the suffering a little so that it does not become a cause to topple the puppet government of the country that exists with their blessings. But that is another issue and this write-up is about freedom of press and more precisely freedom of press in general as an individual I experience in every day life.

Bangladesh’s prime English newspaper Daily Star’s front page slogan is, “Journalism without fear or favour”. What does it really mean? Do they really “Fear Not” anybody type of people while reporting on different things? Are the editors and journalists of different sections of this daily so courageous? I do not know and it is wrong on my part to say anything about which I have no actual knowledge. But favour they must do to some and thereby disfavouring some others. I understand favouring someone surely may not always imply disfavouring anybody else. The vital question however is how it is possible that this daily is very neutral? I do not believe that even the god can be neutral. Otherwise why he asks us to say prayer everyday? But let us remain with the press and newspapers as it is not always safe to talk about god and annoying Him.Reporting news and events are not always easy. You must take a side. Or present the news mutilating the information a little bit here or there or why not constructing yourself the whole in your own way? People construct history everyday and who says it is bad to mutilate a news and present it to your benefit is bad? “There is nothing higher than to speak the truth. Yet, it is better to speak what is beneficial than to speak the truth”, some divine message commands.

The other day I was surfing in Google surf engine and quite accidentally I got the Indian Navy web page, and to my utter surprise, I learnt that the origin of today’s Republic of India’s navy “predates the birth of western civilisation”. And the writer continues, “The world's first tidal dock is believed to have been built at Lothal around 2300 BC during the Harappan Civilisation, near the present day Mangrol harbour on the Gujarat coast”. “Sanggatik Khabar” it must be and only problem is that no historiographer ever knew this story before. ‘Bapray-Bap’, how great that navy must have been! But the simple question is, when and where there was a country called ‘India’ that had shipyard and made naval ships? For that matter, did these high talking Indians ever knew anything about their past until the Moguls conquered some part of the Indian sub-continent and started writing Indian History?There should be some limit of constructing history. It is surprising that educated Indian intellectuals could match so perfectly to Muslim fanatics like Osama bin-Ladens or any other extremists you may mention.

Our Bangladeshi historians are not left far behind. Look at Mujibur Rahman, the man who was all through his life a communal fellow and nothing but a demagogue of worst sorts became a great secularist and one of the greatest leaders’ the world has ever seen to many Bangladeshi history writers. Of course, constructing history is a great art, I do not deny that, and I salute these great history writers. Look again at the Pakistanis, they write history on Jinnah, a wine loving, pork eating black Englishman who was almost an atheist but Pakistanis must make him a great ‘Allah’ fearing Muslim.

Constructing history for convenience is a great business and if one can do it carefully or speaking only the half truth as the BBC and other great media people do, he/she is sure to win the hearts and minds of great patriots, ultra nationalists, diehard fanatics, and of course of some innocent readers who read newspapers for fun. Journalists can make hero out of a fool and are capable of converting a wise into a silly dunce. But their great contribution to society is, as old Oscar Wilde said, “by giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community”.

“Press Freedom”, I am sure is good. But press freedom shall be for the selected people from the press and they must have freedom to write and present things that suit their social, political and group interests. Most importantly, they must be allowed to use their pen to mutilate your views and present it they way they like. Some weeks ago I read an article in Daily Star, Dhaka, on Rabindranath Tagore written by one Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman. I do not think that the justice wrote something that we did not know. But his comments on Rabindranath Tagore’s grandfather Dwarakanath Tagore was not very correct and my reaction to it was equally strong and hostile. I wrote a letter to Daily star expressing my views on both Dwarakanath and Rabindranath Tagore as a protest. I know that my remarks were offensive and not polite but surely were not fabricated. My information on Dwarakanath, a great stooge of the colonial power, is from distinguished researchers and really not of my own. The Daily Star published my letter but again, they mutilated and presented it in their own way. I present my original letter here and as it was published in Dhaka’s premium English daily so that the readers may see and judge what I am complaining about. I sent the letter to Daily Star on 7th May 2008 (in Bangladesh it was 8th May):Re. Tagore's pride by Justice Rahman (DS, 8th May 2008)-Tayeb HusainI reluctantly agree on some points what Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman has written about Tagore and his grandfather, the phoney Prince, Dwarakanath Tagore. He was welcomed by Queen Victoria and King Louis because they had to keep the interest of the empire in mind. Indeed he met many writers too including Charles Dickens in parties organized and paid by Dwarakanath Tagore. But what Dickens thought of him Justice Rahman did not fully elaborate. Dickens mocked his name and it was Dickens again who called him the “Oriental Croesus” (who was king of Lydia until he was defeated by the Persians about 547 BC). I do not know if Dickens honoured or mocked at Dwarakanath calling him “Oriental Croesus”. He also called him “baboon” at his back.So far Rabindranath is concerned my short comment is that, in Tagore we find a poet, a novelist, a dramatist, an essayist, a music writer, a composer, a painter and even a singer. He was a versatile man, unique in the world who dealt with so many sides of art and culture.

Tagore’s greatest triumph in life, however, was his winning the novel prize, a controversial prize one can say if one seriously considers every pro and con of this prize. But as a man, I am convinced that he was not as great as his flatterers want us to believe. He was a cruel Zamindar, a communal person, a spurious philosopher and in many ways a highly confused man. Harsh comments indeed but let the readers ponder and let someone prove that these savage attacks on this great son of Bengal are wrong and unjustified.

So far Rabindranath is concerned my short comment is that, in Tagore we find a poet, a novelist, a dramatist, an essayist, a composer, a painter and even a singer. He was a versatile genius who dealt with so many sides of art and culture. But he was a cruel zamindar too! ……….I do not disagree that writing offensive letters are not good but how good it is hiding the truth? Was not Rabindranath communal? Who was not communal at his time? And who says that a great poet or a distinguished singer or an actor must always be an adorable person as an individual in his/her totality? Tagore and men like him in those days did much harm to Bengal in many ways. Again, India, the country that colonialist Brits united by sward, most probably, would never have never been divided in 1947 if men like Rabindranath Tagore were non-communal and fair minded to every citizen of India. Then we can ask, what was his philosophy that people talk about? He was confused about his religion and politics. Perhaps it was due to the reason that he tried to master so many things at a time. And to say all these one needs not be a Tagore admirer or hater. We have every right to criticise Tagore because he is Tagore and we surely need to find out the truth about him. But the problem with Bengali people is that they are diehard Tagore flatterers and unfortunately very few are neutral and would like to appraise Tagore as he was. As a result it is hard for people to know who actually Tagore was. Of course I do not blame Daily Star’s editors for everything. They need to edit many things and most importantly writer’s English. English is not the mother tongue of Bangladeshi people but that editing must not be mutilating a write-up or twisting the views or making it as they want. I shall also be fair to Daily Star and my blame is not to this daily only; that is what editors and journalists all over the world behave and act.

Journalists and newspapermen everywhere are almost the same. They encourage you and publish your write-up if it goes with their lines. “Journalism will kill you, but it will keep you alive while you're at it” wrote Horace Greeley about the power of the newspapermen. Free and fair flow of information is not what journalism is all about but propagating and presenting things the way that is beneficial to their social, political and most importantly, economic interest. Often newspapermen work as spies and agents of the states or of particular groups. When George W. Bush and his administration invaded Iraq there were hardly any opposition in US media against this illegal action. If media and newspapermen write honestly and sincerely the truth without taking any side as our prime daily in Dhaka says about their own standing “journalism without fear or favour” much of the ills in the world could be impeded. Tayeb Husain, Sweden