Bangladeshi Engineers resist corruption, but then get a beating, police chicken out

Deshi newsarticle


LGED engineer assaulted Police refused to take case

SHERPUR, May 22: A government engineer, beaten by ruling party activists seven days ago, Monday moved the court as police refused to accept case, reports UNB.
Magistrate Suraiya Begum of the cognizance court after hearing the petitioner directed the OC of Nakla thana to record the case after preliminary investigation into the allegation.
Lawyers outside the court said the magistrate should have referred the case to some others for investigation as the police had already declined to accept it under political pressure.
Subhash Chandra Malakar, Assistant Engineer
of LGED of Nakla filed the case against JCD leader Tutan Chowdury and his seven or eight accomplices for beating him and his senior colleagues on May 16.
Informed sources said Tutan, brother of whip Zahed Ali Chowdhury, secured Tk 65 crore contract for construction of a bridge. Halfway of the work Tutan pressed them for illegal favour that would sustain heavy loss to the exchequer. On refusal Tutan and his accomplices beat him, executive engineer Jamal Hossain, upazila engineer Mahbubul Alam and accountant Zafarullah Bhuiyan.
Following the incident LGED engineers went on work stoppage protesting the incident.
The engineers said they were under threat on their life.

I read this story and felt a number of things. I am assuming that the reporting is representative of the truth.

1) Really pissed of at such blatant skanki-evil-criminal behaviour on the part of the contractor,, who has shamed his family and political background. I think hadd punishment would be a good idea to deter this kinda thing.
2) Thankfulness that there are some in public service who are openly resisting the corrupting influence of the powerful.
3) Amazement at the police refusal to show any backbone, maybe this is one for RAB?
4) How lacking the NGO-social engineering types are when they bleat about 'techno fixes', 'engineering lobby', 'corruption at LGED' and 'lack of public participation'. everyone is passing the buck.

In Bangladesh, engineers come under a lot of pressure to do favours for individuals. When the demands come from political types they have the power to transfer the public servant to some place far away, distressing the family. there are other ways of getting compliance as well.

When i was there last one lovely guy from the water board said 'Bangladeshe ..shodh pothe thakte onek oshubida ase' which would mean 'In Bangladesh it is very difficult to stay on the straight/true path'.

So on behalf of I , Me and Myself i would like to thank Subhash Chandra Malakar, Assistant Engineer of LGED, executive engineer Jamal Hossain, upazila engineer Mahbubul Alam and accountant Zafarullah Bhuiyan. May invisible hands come to your protection and those who show such quality as you did. May the multitudes be inspired by your stand.

Not that they would ever be reading this, but yknow, as a pathetic blog tribute which at least makes me feel better.


death, refresh and transition

Death is so much more important than....yknow, the others; marriage and birth, especially when it happens to other people. We know what to do and demostrate greater than normal collectivity.

In the mosque[recent experience], the collective intelligence figures out that for a janaza there is no need for'prostration space' so there can me more rows. also vehicle convoys seem to stay together more than at , weddings. The act of grave filling then oozes interpersonal kindness and cooperation. Though maybe this reflects the people connected to the individual, rather than the kind of event. hmmm.

<-- for a glimse of a talented creative IT company in Bangladesh, they do 3d animation amongst other things like gaming.

Laid my hands on a rather special book recently. It was the 2nd edition of 'Islam in Transition - Muslim Perspectives' edited by Donogue and Esposito, 2007, Oxford Uni press.

This volumes brings an incredibley ecletic yet vital set of muslim discourses from the 19th century to the present day. Its like 'Later.....with Jools Holland' crossed with an 'Ummahvision song contest'.

I hope muslims, especially young ahistoric ones benefit from reading this kind of work, with around 60 individual contributions there is something worthwhile to learn for every disposition.

It does lack what id call 'geographical extent', but most books written after certain fetishised events tend to have a middle eastern focus.


How to say it all without saying anything at all

sometimes i hear words and sentences coming out of peoples mouths and marvel at the pointlessness of these utterances.

its normally from transient types of sources like politicians or journalists, for whom truth was never really a virtue. if the person is on the telly i can switch off and do something else, or verbally abuse the space in fornt of me.

but what about in real life? wait for them to finish and then get out of there? slap em?

The Conservative party in the uk is going through a couple of cosmetic changes these days. Our Local Council elections are taking place in a few days. So, there's a cheesy party political broadcast with David Cameron doing his best to sell 'blue' as 'green'.... so contrived and paid for it makes me cringe. Not that these elections are at all interesting anyway.

Unless I look at the areas where the respect party stand a chance and there is actually some contestation, The Ganjes and the Pindes. Incompetant Labour councillers from Tower Hamlets are in for a rough ride. Theres a new crop of motivated people standing for the new party (as well as a bunch of SWP folks). its good for these areas, where doorstep concenrns are often the dangerous ambience of the local environment. I met some candidates who were locally known , embedded and credible. iA they will do the job well!

Whats even greater is that a few more people are being brave enough to stand as independants, in tower hamlets at least.

In bangladesh, Tata have resubmitted their industrial proposal to the Bdesh Board of Investment. The Indian corporate giant has upped its offer and included newgoodies like a 10% GOVERNMENT STAKE. who knows about these things? not i.

I reckon that a lot of govt work in desh might get done in the run up to the general election in early 2007. The opposition is looking to embarrass the government, while the goevernment is looking to show how good it is. No this isnt a virtue of democracy, its not even an upshot of the temporary leadership change system. its only a fraction of a fraction of whats needed.

Positives of this past 5 year period
  1. The institution of RAB seems to have made the streets safer.
  2. They caught the criminals who kept bombing places.
  3. I think Muslims, and organised Muslims have learn a lot, diversified, won a lot of arguments and enabled a little more virtue.
  4. the remarkable benefits of the natural gas have begun to really help matters.
  5. The govt sometimes shows a few testicles to the NGO-donor nexus.

  1. Nepotism and missappropriateion of dosh in the first family seems to worry most people i talk to, its expected though, which is really sad. Especially Given that General Zia was especially good at keeping his family away from his offices and had self control in this department.
  2. Some ministers have really let the side down (corruption, bullshiting, oncompetance).
  3. Opposition and similarly aligned media and political actors have bad mouthed desh a great deal in EU and US. its sad because all of our honour is affected this cheap tactic.

I love the system of Waqf
Hamdard Waqf in Bangladesh
Islamic Relief's Waqf Programmes

may you become stronger, deeper, wider and greater. May you countinue to translate virtue into public good on the long term.