Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

Sunday, 17 May 2020

The Unfinished Memoirs - Book Review

Bangabandhu's unfinished autobiography is one of the most-read books published in Bengali. Apart from Bengali, the book has been translated into many languages including English, Urdu, Spanish, German, Chinese and Japanese. Initiatives have also been taken to translate into many more languages. 
The Unfinished Memoirs Book Review

Book Review of the Unfinished Memoirs
Bangabandhu started writing this book in 1967 (while in prison). This book is basically written about the events from his birth (1920) to 1954. The Father of the Nation in Bangladesh is not a hero in his autobiography. The hero is Hossain Shaheed Suhrawardy. Throughout the book, Bangabandhu wants to talk about his political mentor and guru. The extent of Suhrawardy's influence in his political life will become clear as soon as you read the book. 

The author has explained his different personal, political and economic events and struggle in 'The Unfinished Memoir' from his practical experience. These include the introduction of his family (birth, genealogy, childhood, marriage), school and college education as well as social and political activities, Bengal famine of 1943, riots in Bihar and Calcutta, partition, politics of Muslim League, politics of East Bengal from partition to 1954, oppression of Muslim League government, language movement, the establishment of Awami League, the formation of the United Front & its election-winning, Adamjee riots, discriminatory rule of the central government of Pakistan. 

Bangabandhu used to play good football in his school life and he was the captain of the team. As a student, he was also talented and attentive. Sheikh Mujib was incredibly popular in student politics. He gained this popularity from his childhood. He had a deep respect for poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. He was an honest politician and when he needed money, he simply asked his father, the sister, and even from his wife Renu. The account of his travels to China, India and West Pakistan has given the book a special dimension. Bangabandhu's parents, children and above all his enduring wife stood by him in all difficult times as a supporting force in his political life and imprisonment. 

Suhrawardy, Sher-e-Bangla, Bhasani and many more! 
This book introduces us to the role of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq (popularly known as Sher-e-Bangla), Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani (Maulana Bhashani) and some other leaders and individuals. Moreover, the outstanding contributions of many heroes like Manik Mia and Shamsul Haque who are still underestimated have been revealed. 

The most talked-about person in this book is Suhrawardy. Throughout the book, the author has addressed him as Shaheed Sahib. Suhrawardy was simultaneously the author's inspiration to enter politics, a political advisor and a man of absolute respect. The review of this book can be completed only by writing about him! 

In the book, the author addresses Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq as Haq Saheb. The popularity of Sher-e-Bangla was so high at that time. One day, Bongobondhu’s parents told him not to make any personal attack against Sher-e-Bangla A.K. Fazlul Haque. He did not become 'Sher-e-Bangla' without reasons and the soil of Bengal fell in love with him. Mr Haque was friends of the poor. 

Some quotes from Bangabandhu
‘There is no need to work together with incompetent leadership, unprincipled leaders and cowardly politicians in the country. In that, the destruction of the country and the people is more than that of the service.’ (P. 273) 

‘If you love people, people love you too, if you accept a little sacrifice, people can give their lives for you.’ (P. 257) 

‘If leaders make the mistake in leading, the people have to pay the price. We voluntarily gave up the Calcutta that was built with the money of East Bengal.' (P. 79) 

Bangabandhu wrote in his autobiography (page 48), “Jealousy and betrayal are in our blood. Probably no other language in the world has this word, ‘Parashrikatarata’ (maybe - envy). ‘Parashrikatarata’ - one brother is not happy to see the improvement of his brother. That is why the Bengali nation, in spite of all its virtues, has had to endure the oppression of others all its life. The country is filled with so many resources and there are very few such fertile lands in the world. Yet they are poor for ages because they have been exploited on their own fault. They do not know themselves, and they will not be released until they know and understand themselves.” People go blind for the sake of self-interest. 

Summary of the Unfinished Memoirs (Oshomapto Attojiboni) - An autobiography by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

The period of Bangabandhu's autobiography described in the book can be divided into three sections. First Episode (1920-1942), starting from his birth to passing Matriculation examination from Gopalganj Mission School in 1942. The second episode (1942-1947), from admission to Calcutta Islamia College at Intermediate level and stayed at Baker Hostel to leaving Kalkata and returning to Dhaka after the partition of India in 1947. Part III (1947-1954), from after the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the arrival of Bangabandhu at Dhaka in September 1947 towards the end of the year 1954, Suhrawardy joined as the law minister at the "Cabinet of Talents" formed under the leadership of Mohammad Ali of Bogra and a motion of no confidence was raised against Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Haque as the leader of the United Front. 

Due to the political conspiracies against Bangabandhu (by the then Pakistani government), he was so separated from his family and it makes him unknown to his own children. What could be more painful for a father than this! In that pain, he said, ‘Even your own son forgets if he doesn’t see you for a long time! Who knows what a heinous act it would be to imprison a person without trial for political reasons and to keep his children and relatives away? Sheikh Mujibur Rahman sacrificed himself for the country, for the people of the country and for an independent country. He didn't think about his life, he didn't think about his family, he didn't think about his relatives. He thought of this country, thought of the soil and the people of this country. I didn't know how much a person could sacrifice for politics until I read the book. 

This book (the life of Bangabandhu's political activists) can be considered a must-read for students of all political parties in the country. There are examples of what an ideal student leader should be like. The notes at the end of the book, (1955-1975) enrich the book with an introduction to the author's political life, biographical notes on the persons mentioned in the text. 

After reading it, it seemed if there was a way to know more events in his writing, how much better it would be! So dissatisfaction remains at the end of reading! It would be the objective history of the birth of Bangladesh.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Political Impacts of Coronavirus on the South Asian Nations

The coronavirus has laid its footmark directly or indirectly on the economic, social and political ground. The pandemic has far-reaching consequences since Covid 19 spreads around the world quickly. Putting every single field is at risk, it has been dominating media headlines. 

At first, top leaders around the world including Donald Trump did not consider coronavirus as a serious matter. That is why USA, Italy and Spain are paying a huge price. In the Game of Throne TV show, John Snow tried to make people believe the danger of white walkers and upcoming long winter but general people did not believe until they saw it.

Monday, 24 February 2020

From Chernobyl to the Coronavirus: The price of denial and lies

From Chernobyl to the Coronavirus: The Importance of Transparency and Good Governance

Coronavirus has been fueled by the initial denial and lies of Chinese officials and the situation invoke a metaphor - Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Soviet Union.  These terrible incidents of Chernobyl and coronavirus do have similarities. These two situations are worsened by corruption, mismanagement and lack of transparency at the highest levels of the state.

In 1986, the nuclear explosion occurred in northern Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union but the communist government tried to hide information about the gravity of the disaster. The 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl exposed the failings of the Soviet system, which first attempted to suppress the incident’s real impact. The Chernobyl disaster accelerated Mikhail Gorbachev’s attempted reforms and is considered as a beginning to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The winter of 2020 was the starting point for an outbreak of a new disease known as Covid-19 and the virus has rapidly spread across China and abroad, killing people mostly old and children.

Li Wenliang, a whistleblower Chinese doctor in Wuhan shared the rise of a mysterious pneumonia-like illness on the famous messaging app ‘WeChat’. But he was silenced by the local authorities (police) for spreading rumours online after the post went viral. The hero doctor also died of COVID-19 later which prompted outrage in the country. At the time of treating patients in Wuhan, Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist contracted the virus.

Wuhan city mayor admitted later that the information on the virus wasn’t disclosed timely because he required authorization to reveal information in the time of an outbreak.

The Impacts of Coronavirus in the World

The Impacts of Coronavirus around the Globe

China has become a global market and China can literarily produce anything that we think about. If you need cheap products, China is a better place for you to trade. It will be really difficult to find an alternative to china. You may not get any country that does not trade with China. Countries dependent on biggest trading partner China are likely to experience a shock in the near future.

Since China is affected by the coronavirus, the growth of China has now become at slowest in 3 decades. Moreover, many countries are also affected economically, socially and politically as big supply chains are being disrupted in the world. Here are the examples.

Economic Impacts
The recent outbreak of coronavirus hampers the construction of China-backed mega infrastructure projects across the world. Human resources including Chinese engineers and labourers of these projects have been banned from returning.

# Countries around the world cannot continue business with china as a result price of the essential products gets high.

# The price of oil decreases because some factories in China are temporarily shut and cannot run due to the blockage, restrictions and labours shortage.

# Business conferences and international exhibition have been postponed.

# Hotel and tourism business have been severely affected in china as people don’t visit their places and growing restriction in crowded places. Countries miss earnings from the spending of Chinese visitors.

For example, the revenue of Apple is expected to be lower as worldwide iPhone supply is ‘temporarily constrained’ because of coronavirus.
James Bond tour of China has also been postponed due to the epidemic.
Airlines like Qantas and Air France-KLM face losses because they have suspended flights connected with china.
Despite no cases of coronavirus in New York, Chinese restaurant in New York's Chinatown has zero customers.

Social Impacts
# People in China and it's neighbouring countries are panicked by the outbreak of a new coronavirus, COVID-19.

# Prejudice & racism: The ignorance and misinformation on virus invokes racism against ethnic Chinese or anyone in the US who looks Chinese.

# Education: student mobility has become limited in china. Chinese students cannot travel to foreign countries for higher education.

# Health: Huge loss has occurred due to the health and well-being concern.

Political Impacts
The Chinese government is now at a pressure politically and internationally. Since the authority could not take steps at the right time, Chinese people also showed anger to their government.

Learning smart politics from an educated and successful politician

The story of an educated and successful politician - Arvind Kejriwal
Arvind Kejriwal, a former bureaucrat, tax inspector and an anti-corruption crusader-turned politician is the man who has defeated BJP & Congress (two most influential political parties) in Delhi (India's capital). Kejriwal has been reelected chief minister (CM) for a 3rd straight term in Delhi. In 2020, his Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man's Party - AAP) got a landslide victory over the present government’s party BJP. In the past five years, he has implemented pro-poor policies, fixed government schools and given free healthcare & utilities services etc. He has been praised for putting education and development first. He and his party are not committed to any ideology (Right/Left) but to addressing problems.

Who is Arvind Kejriwal?  
Arvind Kejriwal, graduated from IIT Kharagpur (Mechanical engineering) joined the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) in 1995 after working in Tata Steel. In 2006, he resigned from the government job. But why is that?

In 1999, Kejriwal and others found a movement named Parivartan (change), a non- registered NGO, in Delhi to address people's grievances. Moreover, Manish Sisodia and Kejriwal launched Kabir, a registered NGO in 2005. Kejriwal helped launch the AAP in 2012 to rid the corruption and inefficiency from Indian political system and government. The AAP's symbol is a broom and the promise is to sweep the administration of graft.

Social activists like A. Kejriwal, Anna Hazare, Aruna Roy and Shekhar Singh were the important contributor to the campaign for Right to Information Act (2005). For his involvement with Parivartan, he was honoured with the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership (2006). The award recognised Kejriwal’s for activating the Right to Information Act movement at the grassroots, and empowering poor people to fight corruption. With the prize money, he started the Public Cause Research Foundation to continue his work on RTI. When Kejriwal felt the Jan Lokpal Bill was not taken seriously, he joined with Anna Hazare in 2011. Hazare sat on a hunger strike and Kejriwal rallied the streets to seek an end to corruption. Kejriwal became a political celebrity after defeating (assembly election) three-term Delhi CM Sheila Dixit in 2013.

Friday, 31 January 2020

Indian’s Ban on Onion and Cow Export to Bangladesh & Its Effects

Impact of The Indian’s Ban on Onion and Cows Export to Bangladesh: A blessing or curse

Some say that everything has its positive and negative sides in its own ways. India banned onion and cows export to its friend and neighbouring country, Bangladesh

Consequences of The Indian’s Ban on Cows Export to Bangladesh (Pros & Cons)
The price for cows and other animals has gone high and the people of Bangladesh had to buy meat at a higher price. Since the Muslim majority country, they (90% of BD people) sacrifice halal animals (cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep, and camels) in the name of almighty Allah at the time of Eid al-Adha (locally known as Korbani Eid). During the time of animal sacrifice festival, the price of sacrificial animal remains highest.

Because of the high price and profit, cattle business in Bangladesh has flourished and many unemployed people involved in the cattle farm business. Now it has become an emerging source of income generation for the local entrepreneurs and dairy farmers (small and mid-level businesspersons). Due to the new business, animals for Eid slaughtering stay in stock at a good price and it is a win-win situation for both the buyers and the sellers. 

Bangladesh has now achieved self-sufficiency in animals and it has profoundly reduced cattle imports from Myanmar and India. The meat industry has also prevented virus attack from foreign meat.

Results of The Indian’s Ban on Onion Export to Bangladesh (Advantages & Disadvantages)
The sudden Indian’s ban on onion export has created a crisis in Bangladesh. Because of the continuous demand and price hike, the BD people are trying to consume less onion and avoid onion in food. The restaurants are using onion less and increase the food price.  The government of Bangladesh is mitigating the crisis by importing onion from several countries (Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, Myanmar, China) by air and sea. The government also sells those imported essential cooking ingredient through the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB – a govt body). Scientists of agriculture universities and agriculture research institutes are also trying to find alternatives. All endeavours to tame the skyrocketing onion price have not seen success because syndicates are taking the advantages of the export ban.

However, raising domestic onion production and becoming a self-sufficient like the country did after cattle ban from India should be the main motto. Bangladesh has unemployment problems and it also has demographic dividend advantages.

Nowadays, not only traditional farmers but also by educated youths involve in commercial agribusiness. In Bangladesh, those who are the actual producer and grower of food are usually poor and uneducated. A revolution is required in the agriculture sector. Our agriculture business will be developed if farmers are well-educated and smart to know modern production and marketing method like in Europe and the USA.

There is no option but to turn these challenges into opportunities and make more businessmen in the country. From meat production to grain cultivation, vegetables and fruits production, smart people should think about it and come forward to do business. Furthermore, the government also needs to motivate the young generation not to wait for govt jobs only but to become entrepreneurs and give others jobs.  We will reduce dependency on every sector if the business is grown and run well.

It must be kept in mind that cattle owners must be stopped to inject harmful substances (injections of steroid, hormone) into animals in the name of fattening. The farmers must be encouraged to utilize composts and green fertilizers in agriculture production.


The Major Challenges of Bangladesh Foreign Policy

The Key Challenges of Foreign Policy in Bangladesh
Bangladesh, a South Asian country, is located in a conflicted region and peace may be a dream in the area. India, Pakistan and China have an uneasy political relationship and rivalries. Moreover, Kashmir disputes aggravate the bitterness of their bilateral relations. Bangladesh has also unsettled issues with its close neighbours.

Rohingya Issues, Myanmar & Friends
About 1 million Rohingya refugees fled from Myanmar taking shelter in Bangladesh. International communities help to donate money and to provide foods to the refugees but Bangladesh has not received support from its close friends. As Myanmar has a strategic location and lots to give, China, India and Japan are investing in the country (Burma).

Balancing relationship with different countries
Due to the geopolitical advantage, many influential countries are now giving much importance to Bangladesh. The country has to balance its relationship with these big players (US-Rus, China, Japan & India).

Bangladesh aborted Sonadia deep seaport project with China in 2016. India had shown a concern that it would bring China’s direct presence closer to Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India.

Chinese 'debt trap'
A big challenging question is - Is Bangladesh going to fall in a 'debt trap' of China? China and Bangladesh have made numerous infrastructure deals (billions worth). However, some are concern that dependence on Chinese money will force Dhaka indebted to Beijing although these investments promise advantages.

A love-hate relationship with India?
The changes in the government of Bangladesh affect the relations with its neighbouring country India. There is some sort of mistrust and the love-hate relationship between India (the world’s largest democracy) and Bangladesh.

The sharing of river Teesta’s waters:  Indian PM Narendra Modi has committed on the fair share of Teesta River’s water, but nothing happens.

Border killing: Although India has committed to zero border deaths, shooting and killings, unfortunately, continue at the India & Bangladesh border by India’s Border Security Force (BSF). It is also worth mentioning that the picture of Felani's body hanging on the border fence caught international media attention and created much anger among Bangladeshi citizens. The India & Bangladesh border has been termed as one of the most dangerous borders in the world.

Cows and Onion Crisis: Following the cow trade ban, legal cattle trade from India has shrunk but cow smuggling is increased significantly in the border.

Bangladesh also faced a huge demand and price hike crisis due to the Indian’s ban on onion export to Bangladesh. Bangladesh is trying to mitigate the problem by raising domestic onion production in the future.

Muhorir River & Char: The disputes on settling the boundary along the midstream of the Muhuri River is one of the unsolved issues between the two countries. Despite repeated requests from the government of Bangladesh, India keeps the disputes hanging.

World Bank & the Padma Bridge Project Scam
World Bank (WB) blocked its promised finance for constructing the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project because of corruption conspiracy (2012) among Bangladeshi government officials with the key stakeholders. However, it was told (PM) that Muhammad Yunus stopped WB funding by using his relations with Hillary Clinton (the ex-US Secretary of State).

Money Laundering / Money Flight
Dishonest businessmen in Bangladesh generate capital flights (money smuggling) through opening fake LCs, over & under-invoicing of imports or hundi. The Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) and National Board of Revenue (NBR), the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), police and law enforcement agencies are trying to prevent money laundering but they have failed.

Drugs and smuggling
Bangladesh has become a supermarket for traffickers who buy the drugs from factories in Myanmar (a hub of ya’ba smuggling and trading) and India at cheap rates and sell in Bangladesh at higher price.

Migration & Remittance issue
Exports of labours from Bangladesh to the Middle East has declined profoundly for multiple factors, for instance: the higher migration cost, limited employment opportunities & promised salaries, violence against women workers, armed conflicts and lack of government initiatives to protect migrants etc. The manpower market is shrinking steadily. 

Terrorism and Extremism
After the attack on the Holey Artisan cafe in Dhaka (July 2016), a deadly extremist attack, there was a fear of growing extremism in Bangladesh but it has not happened thanks to the present government of Bangladesh. To stop terrorism and extremism, Anti-Terrorism Unit (ATU) and Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) have been established.

Imbalanced International Trade with China And India

Shortage of Bangladesh Diplomatic Missions Abroad

In foreign policy, friends are often changeable and there is no permanent friend or foe.  Only self-interest is constant (the real thing).

What should Bangladesh do?
Will BD make good friends with the influential countries who can help the country (without increasing enemies)?

Further Reading

Friday, 24 January 2020

Vote For Me and I Will Destroy You

Vote For Me and I Will Destroy You Gradually
Dear chickens,
I am one of the foxes competing in the election and I am a candidate in your area. Vote for me, please!

My promises are very simple and common. For instance:  
>>>  Stealing your money (in various ways) will be my sole motto. If I cannot, taxes and fees will be increased multiplied ways in the name of development.

>>> Opportunities will be given to my own people only.

>>> Power will be exercised by my party men.

>>> I will definitely corrupt me.

>>> You will be manipulated in several ways.

>>> You people will be divided into different sects so that I can dominate you precisely. 

>>> My family members will not be kept in the area and I will take my family members to the developed countries for education and permanent residency. 

>>> The ancestors’ glory will be praised but I won’t think about present problems and future challenges.

>>> If I need more money, gold or oil, there will be conflicts in the Middle East. 

>>> I will promote global peace through arms dealings and wars. 

>>> I will do whatever I want to.

With your support, I can legitimately cripple the country and get you free tickets to the hell. After all, I am honest and I am telling the truth.

My name is Adolf W. Trump and please cast vote me.

Make the Foolishtan fool again!