Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Re-Axe: Bangladesh: Time Then and Time Now......

"It's not the critic that counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have been done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena."

-- Theodore Roosevelt

Hi Pradipta,

Thank you so very much for your comments and criticisms, which I appreciate are indeed very well intentioned.

I agree the majority Indians accepts Bangladesh as a reality not worth ignoring or overlooking and we surely have come a long way. But truth is whatever things positive has happened thus far, was because of the tireless hard work and serious inputs by the commonest of our people - not the Government, Military or the Politicians.

If you are talking about a 'political minority' – I am proud to say that I am one of them – but that term would be utterly fallacious because what we the so-called 'minority' get to talk or write about (and in my case even sing about) is indeed the very passionate voice of the 'vast majority', dying to be heard – who as is the legacy of Sub Continental subjugation, have always been bludgeoned into silence.

A quiet resistance has always been there from some of us - but then who the hell are we and does the establishment take us any more seriously then look at us as the 'lunatic fringe' who do not deserve any attention? But what is really funny, is when push comes to shove, they have only but our 'old bold words' to fall back upon to further their mandate? Words that initially earned us our well-deserved 'notoriety'!

When I say the 'establishment' I do not excuse the fourth estate - as I would be very lucky if any mainstream publication will ever print this relatively 'harmless' exchange either in Bangladesh or in India? The right to freedom of speech cosmetically enshrined in both our Constitution is more than a little misnomer, and it is not as if the Government of the day (any day) has a say. In Bangladesh, there is such a thing called 'self censorship' – and by that parameter of judgement, any individual who has the capacity to rub people the wrong way, or even provoke new thinking is necessarily a NO NO. In India, your major Media Mughals are pathologically xenophobic, protectionist and sorry for the inference – casteist and communal.

You have either got to be 'somebody's somebody' or sell your brain for a price to someone, or agree on terms of somebody's well marked 'limitation' territorial status quo to have your dubious mindset printed as 'daily offerings' in newspapers.

I remain a 'restricted writer' - not because I urge the people to revolt or am an agent provocateur - but essentially and thankfully the clarity of my thoughts are based on inputs from the commonest man on the street and day to day life interactions, to the simplest and economically marginalized (not poor) whose cry I have to endure painfully on a daily basis.

Maybe who I am and how I live my life, makes them feel vulnerable or convinces them that I am 'trouble'. I maybe completely wrong as some may even feel 'guilty' denying me my space. There are surely good and brave women and men out there – who agree with me privately, but prefer to remain silent cause they don't want to get involved. Nobody really wants to be without a job…

Nonetheless, I haven't given up and never will whether that be through my writing, songs with political contents, my struggle with the bAULS to reinforce Faith as opposed to Belief and studying and promoting plural Islam continues. That for me is Resistance - for I believe that "To Resist is to WIN".

That is one side of the story – but the other is: I also believe in my convictions and have more than once been 'convicted' for my belief.

On 'blaming India' and your point to 'resist and build a general consensus across the country' – I will get back at an opportune time.


Uttara, Dhaka, 2nd September 2009

Re-Axe: Bangladesh: Time Then and Time Now......

Bangladesh: Time Then and Time Now....

From Pradipta Bhattacharya (Tampa Bay, FL)

Mac - serious and interesting insights to the current situation. You have clearly captured the story of last two years - starting with "Care-takerism" to the latest BDR incident.

You also said - which remains unsaid most of the times - that practiced Islam in the Eastern Part of Indian Sub-continent (that geographically includes Eastern Bihar till Bangladesh) is a lot more pluralistic than the world brand of Elitist Wahabism. It has its own ethos - thats totally different from the global notion of Islam.

But given all that - I would like to note here that presence of Bangladesh is a reality that the current Indian Citizenary accepts. Its a different country (in fact there is nothing I believe called Indian Sub-continent that can politically ever exist - however socio-cultural similarity we may have).

So time has also come up for Bangladesh to become an adult country and stop blaming India and Pakistan for all its problems and issues.
Please realize what you have today in Bangladesh - has been created and built by people of Bangladesh.

Whatever political structure you follow is your own. If you do not accept these facts - then resist and build a general consensus across the country. Or are you afraid of your Historical heritage that goes much beyond last 50 odd years.

Its easier said than done - but don't your post made a similar call.
Leaving aside this part of the criticism - I am personally very interested to know more about the political minority - their thoughts and movements. I think a deeper analysis of them will possible provide the world with an alternate image of modern Islamic state.

Could you please continue what you started.