Sunday, January 12, 1997

Background To Geeti Michil (Gonotontro)

Democracy in Bangladesh has never had a foundation worth comparable with any other in the free world. My frustration grew intense when even after three landmark events following the Liberation war of Bangladesh and Independence in 1971 i.e the overthrow of the fascist dictator General Hussein Mohammed Ershad in 1990, the installation of the BNP in 1991, and the Awami League in 1996 - did nothing to benefit DEMOCRACY in anyway. What we have really inherited instead is a pseudo capitalist society created by usurpers and opportunist with connections to power (whoever that be) and where the rich and poor divide has only enlarged.

Intolerance has become so endemic that even the parliament has been reduced to a 'national wrestling exhibition' where 'f*** you', 'motherf***ers', 'sister f***ers' to 'son of a bitch' in Bangla are relayed live from parliament proceedings to our bedrooms on national television - courtesy : state patronage !

The culture of civility as known and practised in the free world is something that our politicians are unaware of - such is their level of pettiness. The bizarre and politically incorrect behaviour of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia convinces me that they too have been badly been affected by the disease of pettiness.

The songs is all about the hurt, all about the let down and all about those wonderful young people who died in the streets of Dhaka and elsewhere in Bangladesh - dreaming of DEMOCRACY!

I live to tell the world - that the DREAM lives on - the fight goes on, Bangladesh has never been a democracy - and will not be in a long time to come. A flag, a map is all we've got - FREEDOM from clutches of petty mentality - still a long long way away.

The dreamer, dreams

Gratefulness and acknowledgement: To Somnath Chatterjee of Calcutta, India for egging me on to write and complete this song. The first stanza is half written by him and to the eminent poet and columnist Farhad Mazhar of Shyamoli, Dhaka, for coining the word 'constitutional thuggery' in 1994 in an article in 'Bhorer Kagoj' and permiting me to use it in the song.