Nuclear Power for Bangladesh?

There was a news report that the emergency government will build a nuclear reactor to meet the appalling shortfall in electricity throughout the country, a problem which emasculates small and medium business and human life, causes riots and is heavily politicised and bureaucratised.
Googling around i found this Daily Star article from 2001, in the last days of the last awami league government. Unless there has been some creativity in the government, we might be forgiven to assume temporarily that what they are talking about a 600MW beast in Isarwardi (developed from a plan in the Ayub Khan period). The IAEA have been over this so its 'halal' by them.
This is an exciting development, one which could inject a little masculinity into the country or ruin a large part of it.
I think of all those highly skilled posts that will be filled by amazing people who up until now have only had a piddly 3 MW research reactor and medical remit to play with. Its mind bending to think that there is a government with some ambition in this department. In my time as a student dinosaur i have met so many brainy deshi physicists, talents destined to advance the human race, but alas not the Bangladeshi one. This is good news in that respect, there may be a destination for some of their genius.
I expect the NGO-development complex will scream and shout against such a plan. Yes, I can see it right now... 'We applaud the governments resolve to address the power crisis, but we wish we were consulted and that there is community participation and gender consideration in this matter.'
yes of course. participatory particle physics!
No seriously, a human being would have to be insane not to urge caution. I want to know what CS Karim's (Physicist, CTG Advisor and ex director of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission) thinking is on the matter.
I realise that;
  • we never really had that much gas in the first place.
  • we never negotiated properly with the companies that game to extract it and that a lot of it has dissipated into the atmosphere while we take ages to do absolutely anything.
  • politicians seized upon the coal issue and exploited it to vent their angst against the government.
  • diversification is a good idea, that CO2 emissions reductions are not a matter for us as the priority is adaptation not mitigation.
  • renewables at present are no good at generating significant amounts in a centralised manner to any degree of unidimensional economic efficiency.
But what i worry is that given successive governments jealous disregard for each others initiatives, that any funding cut, foolish politicisation of the issue or lunacy will lead to great harm. I also cant fathom why the south koreans would consider financing 60% of it.
If the government is going to spend a billion bucks or so on a single project. Is this really the right one? does this mean the Padma Bridge will be delayed? that other infrastructural wounds and hazard mitigation will be dropped for now? Is the bangladesh military able to protect a nuclear reactor? Won't the power development board totally screw the whole thing up?

Of course there is no link between atheism and secularism!

Some events put a grin on my face that takes a while do subside. In a country where there are a lot of people abusing the Muslim ethic of avoiding questioning someones iman, creating the impression that 'anything goes' in terms of organisational activity we have the launch of a platform for those who have abandoned their religion, and furthermore of it being promoted by the Secular Society. Tactically one could not make this up!

Secularism itself strikes me as a faith, (set of rather bitter beliefs) in of itself but without the devotional gorgeousness of religions, their rootedness, the spirituality, the history, the community and the transformative quality. Allah guide them to something better!

"NSS(National Secular Society) supports the launch of the Ex-Muslim Council of Britain

The Ex-Muslim Council of Britain was launched this week on a wave of good wishes and congratulations at an inspiring event at the House of Commons in Westminster.
Maryam Namazie, the NSS’s Secularist of the Year for 2005, is the voice of the London chapter of an organisation that is making waves throughout Europe. Following on from Mina Ahadi’s high-profile launch of the German Council of Ex-Muslims, other groups have sprung up all over Europe. It is clear that there is a need for an organisation that encourages people from a Muslim background who are uncomfortable being defined by a religion they may have abandoned.....

We hope that thousands – maybe even millions - of other Muslims around the world will hear the message of Maryam, Mina, Mahin and all the others who have been brave enough to be the first to say: I will not be defined by my religion, I will not be put into a box that limits my humanity and renders me powerless.".

Yahya Birt as usual has something interesting to say. (the only good muslim is an exmuslim)

Then there is The South Asian Fudge, where 'Secularism does not mean the absence of religion' or 'Religion should have nothing to do with politics' from the class of people who have been taught or discovered very little about Islam.

This stance might get you votes amongst the ritual followers and those oppressed by the allegedly religious forces but nevertheless wont get you very far past your own immediate interest and your real enemy's fishing net. It has been rendered into the common sense quite artificially in places like Bangladesh, through repetition, national ritual and demonisation of other arrangements. Thankfully i think the trend is decaying in desh.

The expectation is that as soon as people start wising up to the implications of secularism on religious life, policy, science and education the multi directional social equilibrium will shift in favour of faithfulness, trust and values. That is so long as rationality is increased in the system. Lustful lack of self control, consumerism, racialism and untempered individualism are some of the inhibiting factors.

Id like to set up a unit for the study of secularisms and atheisms. focusing on the relationships and experiences of conversion to in a range of regional, national, community and individual circumstances. This, for the beleiver at least is as big a research priority as figuring out the links between foolish religios sounding policies and violent crime.


Religion is the first maqasid (objective) of the sharia. and order matters. then comes life, intellect, dignity and property.


Warblings, not even bullet points

So more than half of my interviews are done.

Asking the questions and then resisting the urge to interrupt my (un)lucky respondents is tough. Keeping to the focal points of the interrogation whilst allowing these time generous folks to vent their spleens is too.

Funny how the question where I'm asking if they can think of any questions about the X hazard (i was fishing for nascent autonomous ganj research policy) regularly garnered a firm 'we want physical protection' demand. Not a group of vulnerable people looking for development lollipops to suck on then.

Now for the 'harder to get ones', unfortunately a lot of the political characters are now in jail

Why are the deputy commissioners (DCs - one for each of desh's 64 districts) and the government secretaries of the various ministries changed with such foolish frequency? how are they expected to understand anything?

Why does so much public engineering happen in the flood season?

Met a Muktijuddho veteran who was also a JI dude. I asked him... 'dont the Awami Leaguers call you a razakar?' (lit. volunteer, but local pejorative denoting treachery and vile things). He chuckled, and said.. 'no.... well some of them, some of the time, when they are REALLY angry'.
Another war veteran reflected 'Bangladesh has developed alot since Liberation, but our character has become ruined.' Time for the construction of an Akhaqi Bangladeshi methinks, The science of practical ethics reconstituted for this time and place, codified by very competant scholarly authorities of theory and practice. Then seeded into the public bloodstream a la Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi's Behesti Zewar.
Another aside aside, made contact with a ladies taleem circle in a ganj. The Maulana's publication still circulating! I wonder how dissapointed he would be if he could see the rats pachcha we have made... the muslim quam of India... maybe even amazed that nobody seems to have superceded his work.
Why don't even the madrassa educated people get the maslaha-jonnoshartho equivalence?

How comes so many politicians are presently behind the bars of Bangladeshi jails, but not a single engineer?

How can somebody simultaneously be a multiply imprisoned journalist and the district publicitymeistar of a front line political party and an EU research fellow on the question of whether the XXXX Jute Mill is feasible?

Is a confessional media exactly what Bangladesh needs or is it just not a very Asian valued(dignity, privacy, respect) means of feedback? Whats better? What can we practice that is better? Where are the lines between bearing witness to the truth, breaching trust, professionally selling information and being one of those ghoulish native informants? What am i?

Does Ed Hussain think this cuts the mustard?

Is there any peace in Dhaka?

Whats with the daytime mosquitoes?

Given the leaking of apparent interrogation recordings of detained politicians and their droogs, will people here show greater discernment in their choice of leadership?

Why is there such an absence of the Fazlul Huqs, the Maulana Bhashanis, the Suhrawardhis, the NAPs in the corporate media in this country? Why are they trying to make us forget and engineer a chosen memory?

Picked up an interesting prog rock album by a band called Adhar, they seem to have a playful guitarist and a singer well acquainted with raag and ghazal vibes (R'n'G!!!). Check it out.

Now that Gordon Brown looks set to replace Bliar's junta, will i feel less ashamed of the government and establishment of the land where I was born and raised and have spent nearly all of my days?

Why do the rich steal so regularly and in such large amounts and to such detriment to the public interest? Is it justice that they be merely contained in rooms whilst those who suffered for their foolishness and wrongdoing lumber on?

Why do the evil live for so long? Is Allah giving them an opportunity to repent and undo their bad works ? ... it cant just be that they can afford better health care. They really do make their dunya their paradise.

Reflecting on whats happening in Somalia and in Palestine and the brazen supression of movements of selfconciously Islamic character there, even in the most desperate situations (years of anarchy/occupation). There is disturbingly 'dog-in-the-mangery' and mean about the behaviour of the temporary, temporally bound worldy powers that be and the compliant natives that wannabe.