Picture one of those nice sleek ads that we saw last month for Independence day. Or two weeks ago for Pahela Boishakh. Then keep the audio the same, but replace the visuals with the images from Savar. Why change the visuals but keep the audio, you may ask? Easy answer, I am a big coward. I can look at a dead body and maybe imagine it is still alive, if not for the veneer of white dust accumulated on the face and limbs. But the cries for help? Those whom we have doomed to die? I can’t handle that. So, just the video please.
During the last semester of grad school, I took a Civil Liberties course. It was a grim affair. Every day, we would enter as lighthearted students and leave sad and depressed, convinced that America was on its way to a dictatorship. However, there was one moment of genuine mirth.
I have been wondering about the correct frame of reference for the Projonmo Chottor movement. Although comparisons have been made to Tahrir and Occupy, I think there is a more apt comparison that is closer, both temporally and spatially.
The grisly murder of Ahmed Rajib Haider is a heinous crime that deserves swift investigation, prosecution, and punishment. The Bangladeshi state has impressive technological resources at its command for keeping track of its citizens and their means of communication. There should be no lack of political will to investigate this murder.
Anger and rage. Calls for prosecution for sedition. Invoking the Constitution. Expressing concern for future generations.
All standard fare nowadays. But this time, it was from unlikely sources: Mita Huq, Sadi Mohammed, Khairul Anam Shakil, noted singers all. What has aroused their wrath?
And what does Khiyo have to do with it all?
London Review of Books had an extremely interesting article about the original sins of Indian democracy by UC Berkeley Professor Perry Anderson. It especially discussed the treatment of Muslims and other minorities at the hand of the secular Indian state. This got me wondering about how Bangladesh stacks up against India in this regard.