7.7.07

Where on Earth is the BNP?

Grr... I need to interview some district presidents of political parties... and none of the BNP (Bangladesh, not British) seem to be around in any useful shape or form, they have all disappeared or are in jail or have cases pending and don't want to talk.

How dare they disrupt my sampling regime!


Not that the other parties are too fussed. I really do get annoyed by the Awami types, I'm asking them about opinions on a specific matter, and all they want to do is go on and on about themselves, what committees they are on and which countries they have been to. There is a problem of self love here i feel, i saw it in a field site where a wannabe MP named a ladies college after himself(not his mother, not his father, not his granny, not a religious nor a political figure) and several years down the line staff members (the staff student ratio is 1:3!!) wonder why the institution didn't get accreditation from the last govt.

Claiming credit for infrastructural work is not an entirely accurate affair either. Theres this set of river revetments which were actually built to prevent the Jamuna combining with the Bangali and screwing up the down stream Jamuna bridge configuration(billion dollar investment). This doesn't however stop the Bogra -> BNP -> spatial favoritism (or local service) commonsense that is spun around these structures.

Anyway, taste aside there is one constant that I'm finding, they are all flabbergasted by the presence of alcohol and drugs in the society today.

There is a big difference between the Awami League sensibility of the banani-gulshan group and the rest of the country. Indulge my caricature for a few moments. The former considers itself liberal, prints 'relationship advice' in its publications, writes of alcohol consumption as an individual choice and regards moral objections as bigoted. The latter loves their Bongobondhu, has a values set that is similar to the norm and isn't really all that aware of how silly the secular position is from the point of view of religion, they are also well aware of the atheism lurking behind some of their comrades secularism and very aware(too much?!?) of the hypocrisies present historically and presently in the more.. religious version of the nationalism

For example, and i'm interpolating here, the latter group 'got' the point behind the MoU with one of the splinters of Bangladesh Khilafat Majlish. Whilst the former, who are aligned to a harder core seculo-banglavision became vexed. The latter 'get' the point about Nobel Winner Dr Yunus being an 'interest-eater', but the former, who are further away from rural realities and enchanted by development speak. The latter hold a big grudge against the Americans for spoiling bongobondhus BAKSALite plan for self sufficient economic revival (which i'm very interested in exploring the theory and perception of), the former are for all intents and purposes American. The latter sit on maddrassa committees and try to improve them, whilst the former promote the secularisation of the education process.

So theres cooperation between to groups of the society that have very different views and experiences of the world. One copies down ideas and constructs the foreign cover, the other provides the grass roots and the numerical legitimacy, and The Loving Memory of Bongobondhu is the glue.

Its the morally decent element with foresight that i have most hopes for. Will they come to the fore in the next government or will the more boring powerplay electioneering dominate?

2 comments:

Saif said...

A great post, Fugstar... Been meaning to write something about something about the Gulshan/Banani vs. rest of the country in addafication. I'm glad you started this discussion...

Fugstar said...

aww...i think there are parts of gulshan, particularly around the mosque communities that work quite well, as networks of virtue and memory of what it is to be part of a joint society. Perhaps this is just my old foguey bias towards retired accomplished people.

maybe some have-a-go NGO should engineer a murrabi blogspace..