Shaptahik Pechal – Weekly Roundup
Shaptahik Pechal, our weekly round up of the must-read/watch/hear stories concerning Bangladesh this past week. Plus something to listen to with your post-breakfast Friday morning tea.
This week, we depart from our usual boorish behaviour whereby we designate some poor powerful sap as a w@nker. Instead we pay tribute to an author who understood ordinary middle class Bangladeshi lives far better than anyone else.
Say what you want about Humayun Ahmed’s works – “lacking cultural significance”, “trite”, “sentimental”, “cliched” etc – they entertained far more people than any other Bangla author since Satyajit Ray. If our allegiance to Azam Khan did not give it away, AoD bloggers invariably come down on the side of popular culture against elite culture, against culture that entertains rather than preaches or, worse, puts on airs of superiority.
And no one entertained better or with more generosity of spirit than Humayun Ahmed.
Grameen and Third Force
Government’s continuing war on Grameen now extends to Grameen phone.
Is Grameen paying for Yunus’ “third force” dream? Does not stop others dreaming and supporting it.
Money Laundering Banksters
HSBC helped two Bangladeshi banks with “suspected links to terrorism” move money across the globe.
An institution, which was not able to figure out for 10 years that Yunus was beyond retirement age, vows to investigate. How many days before Atiur proclaims Sheikh shaheb the actual genius behind Frank-Dodd? 23.
Amreeka’r chokhey amra (“We run…into the arms…of America”)
Congressional hearing on human rights issues in Bangladesh took place yesterday. Pressure on garments as witnesses asked to testify include: Tim Ryan, Asia Regional Program Director, American Center for International Labor Solidarity and John Sifton, Director, Asia Advocacy, Human Rights Watch. Click on links for testimony. Robert Blake’s testimony is here and includes references both to Aminul Islam and Ilias Ali.
New York Times runs 785th iteration of the “You may think Bangladesh is a poverty/famine-stricken country, but it’s growing bitches” article.
Abuse of Edward Said (AES)-watch: Critics of War Crimes Trial as Orientalists.
Is Bangladesh burning bridges with the World Bank, asks David Bosco at Foreign Policy Mag.
Daily Star’s exclusive interview with WB country director. Long and worth a full read.
Ethnic Cleansing of Myanmar’s Rohingyas – NYT op-ed by a Dhaka University professor. One of the pieces that calls out Suu Kyi and the West’s silence about this tragedy.
Toronto’s leading newspaper explains Suu Kyi’s plight. Crazy Canucks.
Meanwhile, “Mr Singh goes to Yangon” – Economist.
Muslims in the West: the …ummm… bathroom stuff is slowly creeping into the mainstream. After this, maybe we can have frank conversations in Dhaka about mosquito nets. (“Lota”? Really?)
Jews and Muslims in the West: German judge tries to turn the clock back to 1930s. Public supports him. Parliament says no.When I read stuff like this, I feel Said’s absence more than ever. Less entertaining than Azam Khan he may have been, but equally sensible he was.
Track of the Week