Guest Post by Saif, in response to Zia Hassan
Ready made garments industry is one of the most important sector for Bangladesh (after agriculture and foreign remittance). True this sector has many problems, but none should get more priority than the issue of workers safety and ensuring their basic rights. Continue reading
Interview with Ekushey TV’s Nadia Sharmin who was assaulted during the Hefazat rally yesterday. Whoever did it said to her “Why is a female journalist here?” before beating her up. Lets ignore the politics of this and see it for what it is: yet another assault by our society on women, on their right to be equal members of society and on their right to choose how to live their lives.
While the Daily Star was busy printing cartoons covering Khaleda Zia’s u-turn on the role of army, a smaller u-turn by our esteemed Finance Minister was predictably not covered. This is in line with Daily Star policy of being understanding towards Awami League blunders.
On Thursday, Finance Minister AMA Muhith suggested that the Hallmark factories could be re-opened. On the face of it, there’s nothing wrong with this idea. These are idle assets that can generate funds. These funds could then be used for the costs of the investigation and recovery of the embezzled money.
Source: টিনের চালে কাক
So the rumour on facebook and twitter is that Baridhara Society may be banning rickshaw pullers from wearing the dreaded lungi. Continue reading
Recently we had an internal debate on the merits and demerits of Amar Desh as a newspaper. My argument was that it’s news/editorial policy had a noticeable anti-Hindu stance to it.
There is actually a story to be written about technology and its use in our justice system. But bdnews24 has not written that story.
Instead it has written a complete non-story about a laptop making its debut at ICT-1. The meat of the story contradicts the headline (i.e. it was not the first time a laptop has been used in ICT), but that’s another matter. Even if it was accurate, I would have had one simple question: who cares?
This would have been a NEWS story if there had been a single line explaining the significance of this. Or if they had bothered to inform readers whether the defence lawyers are being allowed to use electronic aids despite them being ostensibly banned. But as I said, bdnews did not write that story.
I was lucky to have had a preview of Naeem’s essay on history before it came out. This past week, I read the comments from AoD readers and they provided much food for thought. Great writing in response to the same.
A few thoughts on the comments over the fold.
Intolerance for doubt
I have a different take from Naeem as to what’s going on in Shahbagh. It is a more pessimistic take. If you are one of those people who think that a 18 year old speaking against Zafar Iqbal (Sir) should be treated like a Rajakar, please stop reading now and go elsewhere.
Excuse me a minute while I brace myself for the pro/anti-India epithets that might make their way to the comments. Because I am about to set aside the premature jubilations that afflicted the Tigers tonight and the hope that comes with fresh talents like Sohag Gazi and Anamul Haque.
Better than Brando
Instead, I will write about England’s tour of India. But only to point out an increasingly disturbing trend in the way Indians are coming across to the rest of the world. Captain India MS Dhoni shall serve as our representative Indian. And with England one wicket away from victory this evening , now is the time.
[Since April, the bloggers of Alal O Dulal have repeatedly warned that HR violations in garments industry will destroy this sector. Those in the garments sector, media, and government who deny reality and call human rights activists "enemy of progress" will reap a bitter harvest (even the PM dismissed the Aminul Islam disappearance on a BBC interview). In July we posted the headline "storm coming." We were ignored. Now the storm is here, as the bankruptcy of the HR situation in "golden" garments sector is revealed to the world.]
120 people dead and counting. Front page on the BBC, NYT, Guardian and – most ominously – the FT. (Links below the fold). The merchant princes of the BGMEA/BTMEA have insisted for two prosperous decades that any concession to labour’s demands for better wages or safety standards would drive them out of business. For them, the storm has made landfall this weekend taking 120 lives already.
We have warned about garments being in focus since we started this blog (links below the fold). We appreciate the unique role it plays in our economy. It is to preserve and grow this industry that the garments-wallahs need to wake up and listen to their workers.
Over the past two years, we have seen scandals snowball and precipitate an avalanche in the West, burying their victims before they have even had time to look up. Deep Horizon and Tony “I’d like to get my life back” Hayward, phone hacking and the Murdoch gang, Jimmy Savile and the BBC, love triangles and Dave Petraeus to name a few. Do the garments-wallahs really want to add to that list?