This year brought no shortage of other examples. Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam was jailed for more than 100 days for making “false” and “provocative” statements after criticizing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in an interview about mass protests in Dhaka Continue reading “The Guardians: Time Magazine Person of the Year 2018”
‘Go back NTPC, get out India’
Of all the slogans raised in protest against the coal power plant being built at Rampal in Bagerhat, this one’s the best. Continue reading “RESISTING RAMPAL”
M. Shahidul Islam?in Toronto
?Propaganda must be planned and executed by only one authority,? said Adolf Hitler?s chief propagandist, Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945). In today?s cyber world, such a strategy holds little water given that the ordinary people too have access to what is deemed as secrets by the ruling coterie.
FOR the past month, tens of thousands of Bangladeshis have filled Shahbagh Square here, demanding justice for crimes committed in 1971, when Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) attained its independence from Pakistan.
This month, the Grameen Bank, the organization that won the Nobel Peace Prize for extending small loans to impoverished village women, has come under renewed attack from the government of Bangladesh. Last year,?I reported?that the government was attempting to forcibly remove the bank?s founder, Muhammad Yunus, from his position as managing director on the pretense that Yunus, then 70, was beyond the official retirement age. The government prevailed.
Now it has struck again. On Aug. 2, the cabinet of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed?approved?a proposal to amend the 29-year-old law that governs the Grameen Bank so the government can bypass the bank?s board of directors and handpick Yunus?s successor. This is a brazen step to seize control of an institution that serves 8.4 million poor villagers across Bangladesh and provides inspiration to social entrepreneurs around the world. Sadly, it is occurring in a country where the government has been consistently ranked as highly?corrupt. Just this past June, the World Bank?canceled?$1.2 billion in financing for the much-needed Padma Bridge because of corruption at a high-level within the government. Continue reading “An Attack on Grameen Bank, and the Cause of Women”
He did resign in the end. And the resignation was accepted. Minutes before the announcement, it was still being debated on the talk shows. Would this be another hoax? Would she accept the resignation? Had we finally gotten rid of him? Regardless, it was too little, too late. Continue reading “Padma. A bridge too far.”
by rahnuma ahmed
In the end, treachery will betray even itself.
When the prime minister, the finance minister etc., not known for being democratically-oriented, feel obliged to respond publicly according to the terms and conditions set by the National Oil-Gas Committee, it is clear that the tide is shifting.
It is clear that? the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports (NCPOGMR) has made a significant impact on public consciousness. That there is a growing national awareness of the issue of ownership of natural resources; of the terms on which production sharing contracts are signed with international oil companies (IOCs); a growing suspicion that exporting extracted gas may not be the best way of solving the nation’s energy shortfall. More precisely, of the hollowness of the government’s reasoning as to why gas blocks need to be, must necessarily be, leased out to multinational companies.? More broadly, of whether the nation’s ruling class, regardless of which political party is in power, does act in the interests of the nation, of its people.
It is clear from what top ruling party leaders are now obliged to say, to repeatedly say, we are patriotic, we are not treacherous, that they have been forced to cede ground.
It is clear that a moral battle has been won.
Continue reading “De-energising Bangladesh”