Amar Shonar Bangla – Some Random Thoughts


Rabindra Nath Tagore

“Where’s Pakistani girl with teep?” was the sweet voice that embraced my ears while I was smoking in a quiet corner of BRAC Centre where our conference was being held. A warm and loving Shaheen Anam from Manusher Jonno was looking for me for something. My Teep (bindi) was a good news for South Asians who had gathered in Dhaka to deliberate upon the South Asian perspective of the Right to Transparent Governance. Most of them, however very familiar with empowered women of Pakistan like Asima Jehangir and Hina Jilani, did not know this strange way of defiance a woman could indulge in Pakistan. Bangladeshi friends including Naila Khan, a politician, Dr. Shirin Sharmeen Chaudhry, CEO of a local NGO and Ms. Hameeda Hossein, a veteran rights activist and at the forefront of women’s empowerment movement in Bangladesh, all Muslims but sarhi and teep wearing women, were absolutely at loss to understand why in Pakistan people have started taking Teep as something that threatens their religion? It remains a part of accessories women use to adorn themselves and it should be accepted, they say, by the Pakistani mullah as so.

Despite a raving frenzy (and a justified one) of a common South Asian about Bangladesh being rapidly arrested in religio-mania, I could not see as many mosques as I see in Islamabad. Although the number of mosques has increased by leaps and bounds as it was in 2003 when I last visited Dhaka. People are ritualistic and believe in structured religion but are generally much deeper than that. Number of Modrassas seems to be very low in the capital but one can see more women with Hijab now than were seen in 2003. I could see no hubbub and over excitement about “Waqfa-e-Namaz” (the prayers’ break) during the sessions, which is normally overly played in all the conferences in Pakistan. People, who want to say prayers, would quietly move out of the Lunch or the proceedings and would not make it a point to break the flow of discussions just because they want God on their side. Although you get to see many Bengalis with typical white Muslim caps and beard, their body language doesn’t seem threatening to the existing social fabric.

Bengalis don’t even need an excuse to sing and dance! On the humid evening of April 21 Shaheen invited all the delegates to her cosy and lavishly decorated apartment in Lake Breeze, Gulshan. With its neighbourhood rubbing shoulders with a horribly downtrodden slum area, Lake Breeze is an extravagant apartment building which is home to the upper middle class “intellectual elite” of Dhaka. The evening started with A Nazrul Geeti Keno asheley bhaobashiley followed by a folk number, a feminist song asking the world where’s a woman’s home. Two beautiful young students of a dance school performed Bharat Natyam before the delegates of every country were invited to sing a song. The evening was a very nice departure from dry discussion on how to improve regulations in SARC countries to make the governments more transparent.

Earlier, Usman Qazi, my lovely friend, who works with UN for displaced persons and is based in Dhaka, gave a call and excitedly invited for a chat. We went to Arung, a chain of BRAC’s sales centre for the products prepared by the women BRAC works with. Usman kept on telling me about his experiences in Dhaka throughout his now over two months stay here. “I love this city”, Usman washed away all my intention to talk about the disappointment about the city I got immediately after I left the airport for Mohakali. I have been earnestly following Usman’s Ramblings from Dhaka, his little notes on his experiences in the city. So, I knew he has his own unique and fairly deep perspective to look at the people and the socio-political phenomena there.

Dhaka has all the problems an overly populated city could have. It has been facing a Dhaka-targeted urbanization from all over Bangladesh being the only metropolis of the country. Power outages have surpassed Pakistan’s performance on this front. Every hour, in fact it can go out any minute for indefinite time. No wonder people came out on streets outraged by outage, stormed power sub-stations, blocked roads, damaged vehicles and got hurt in large numbers amid all kinds of allegations on the government for corruption in the energy field instead of resolving the issue in favour of people. Sounds familiar?

Today’s breaking news was allegations levelled by Abdul Jalil, General Secretary of ruling Awami League, against many members of the cabinet of being agents of DGFI (Bangladeshi equivalent of ISI). Civil society is uncomfortable with a seemingly anti-establishment, comparatively progressive Awami League’s absolute power in the country (with 4/5th majority in unicameral parliament), its corruption and its ongoing clandestine talks with religious right, the modrassas and Jamat Islami Bangladesh.

Well all this is diluting my homesickness to some extent! South Asia has a character of its own!!!


38 thoughts on “Amar Shonar Bangla – Some Random Thoughts

  1. ???? says:

    I in addition to my pals happened to be taking note of the best secrets and techniques on your web blog and then then developed a horrible suspicion I never thanked the web site owner for those secrets. My young boys appeared to be absolutely glad to read all of them and already have truly been tapping into them. Many thanks for truly being really thoughtful and then for deciding on certain cool useful guides millions of individuals are really wanting to discover. Our own honest apologies for not expressing appreciation to sooner. 2


  2. debt glossary says:

    There are certainly lots of particulars like that to take into consideration. That may be a nice point to deliver up. I offer the ideas above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions just like the one you carry up the place crucial factor will probably be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if finest practices have emerged round things like that, however I’m certain that your job is clearly recognized as a good game. Both boys and girls feel the affect of just a second’s pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.


  3. top free mmorpg says:

    Hi there, please is it possible notify me personally the reason does one come up with that will because now i am not likely satisfied result in when i will not see where don’t you wat to realize dealing with this specific?? separate type it you’ve got a very good blog! My oh my near forget about a person’s sitemap seriously isn’t doing the job. With thanks Jonh.


  4. chainsaws says:

    I wanted to write you one little observation in order to say thanks a lot the moment again with your pleasant secrets you’ve documented at this time. It is certainly pretty open-handed with you to grant openly what a number of people could have advertised as an electronic book in order to make some cash for themselves, especially now that you could have done it in the event you wanted. The secrets likewise served to be a great way to recognize that the rest have the identical eagerness the same as my personal own to realize a good deal more pertaining to this problem. I think there are millions of more fun periods ahead for individuals who read your website.


  5. MOTOROLA 89425 Bluetooth Headset says:

    I want to express appreciation to you just for rescuing me from this type of matter. After surfing around through the the net and coming across solutions that were not productive, I believed my life was over. Living without the presence of strategies to the difficulties you have sorted out as a result of your site is a critical case, as well as the kind that might have adversely affected my entire career if I had not come across your blog. Your good competence and kindness in handling a lot of things was valuable. I am not sure what I would have done if I had not come across such a solution like this. I can also at this time look forward to my future. Thank you so much for this reliable and sensible help. I will not think twice to recommend the blog to any person who requires care about this situation.


  6. hosting says:

    I’m speechless. This can be a very good blog and very engaging too. Nice paintings! That’s no longer really so much coming from an newbie publisher like me, but it surely’s all I may say after diving into your posts. Great grammar and vocabulary. Now not like different blogs. You actually recognize what you?re talking about too. So much that you simply made me want to discover more. Your blog has transform a stepping stone for me, my friend.


  7. opticians england says:

    I do like the way you have presented this problem and it does give me a lot of fodder for consideration. Nevertheless, coming from what I have observed, I just wish as the comments stack on that people today stay on issue and in no way get started upon a tirade of some other news of the day. Yet, thank you for this fantastic point and whilst I can not necessarily concur with the idea in totality, I value the perspective.


  8. talk to a girl says:

    Thanks for taking the time to debate this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If doable, as you gain experience, would you thoughts updating your weblog with further information? It is extremely useful for me.


  9. meeting girls says:

    Extremely rated post. I study one thing totally new on totally different blogs everyday. Deciding on one . stimulating to learn the paper content material from other writers and be taught a bit one thing from their website. I’d like to apply sure of this content material on my weblog you’re mind. Natually I’ll give a hyperlink right here we are at your internet-site. Admire your sharing.


  10. Shavon Casavant says:

    I recently came across your article and have been reading along. I want to express my admiration of your writing skill and ability to make readers read from the beginning to the end. I would like to read newer posts and to share my thoughts with you.


  11. Cell Phone Accessories says:

    I wish to show my appreciation to the writer just for rescuing me from this particular incident. As a result of surfing around through the world wide web and obtaining opinions that were not productive, I believed my life was well over. Living minus the answers to the issues you’ve resolved through your guide is a critical case, and ones that would have negatively damaged my entire career if I had not noticed your blog post. Your understanding and kindness in touching all the details was priceless. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t discovered such a subject like this. It’s possible to at this moment look ahead to my future. Thanks a lot so much for the professional and result oriented help. I won’t be reluctant to endorse the website to any person who would need tips about this problem.


  12. ufo led grow light says:

    The various types of these lights include High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Lamps, , LED Grow Lights and Metal Halide Lamps. While alot or mostof them have been picked at one timeframe and are still utilizedin this point of time to some extent, LED Grow Lighting are the chosen light sources since the point in time they were introduced.


  13. Marijuana Facts says:

    We would like to thank you again for the lovely ideas you offered Jesse when preparing her post-graduate research and also, most importantly, pertaining to providing all the ideas in a single blog post. Provided that we had been aware of your web-site a year ago, we’d have been rescued from the nonessential measures we were selecting. Thanks to you.


  14. gps watch says:

    obviously like your web site however you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the reality then again I’ll surely come again again.


  15. dedicated server hosting says:

    There are certainly numerous details like that to take into consideration. That may be a nice point to carry up. I offer the ideas above as common inspiration however clearly there are questions like the one you carry up the place a very powerful factor might be working in sincere good faith. I don?t know if greatest practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly recognized as a fair game. Both girls and boys feel the impact of just a moment’s pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.


  16. Vernon Damon says:

    Nearly all of whatever you say happens to be astonishingly appropriate and that makes me ponder the reason why I hadn’t looked at this in this light previously. Your article truly did turn the light on for me personally as far as this subject matter goes. But there is just one position I am not necessarily too cozy with so whilst I attempt to reconcile that with the central theme of the position, let me observe what the rest of the visitors have to say.Very well done.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s