20.5.08

Symbolic powers

So the amir of jamaat e islami has been put in jail, accused of corruption. Before departing he indicated that his party was in safe hands without him. Afterwards, his party declared a 4 day fast. Later the awami league seem to open up to the idea of going to polls without their own leader, 'they will let the grass roots decide', and organise a 6 hour hunger strike. Thats some transfer of political technology.

Its like several months ago, when the BNP would ape the awami leagues moves, but just a bit more retardedly. To cast it ritually, AL wali Motia Choudhury would say "samiAllahu liman hamida", and BNP wali Selima Hussain would say "rabbana wa lakal hamd".

A fast is an act of worship directed as God, supererogatory worship is common in Muslim societies, once you've covered the mandatory ones. But this is also politically messed up. Major niyyat purity issues batman. However the symbolic power of it was enough for the awami league to launch what looks like a secularised, purely human attention seeking copycat attack. I wonder if the 6 hour strike will be followed by self congratulatory secular feasting.

The daily Ondokar (darkness) chimes in with a very gloaty hurrah for the leader's incarceration. They are very interested is saying what history is or isnt. As well as the usual stuff and the mandatory lack of finger-on-the-trigger detail, they add a spurned BNP minister's accusation that the leader was a patron of a contemporary terrorist organisation. At a time when the security agenda is being vigorously pursued from within and without. Classy.

Usefully, the Ondokar points out that jamaat rules read that after 6 months of a leader's absence the amir post becomes vacant. Well its mid may now and elections are at the end of the year.... hmmm. Consider this with the symbolic baggage above...

Resolution of the 71 baggage issue, fairly or unfairly, with all the facts to hand is unlikely to be allowed because of its symbolic power. Bangladeshis who believe the standard few variants of the national mythology do not want to know anything new, or complete their view. Major political parties, and desacralising forces capitalise on the symbolism all of the time.

In this scenario, Jamaat could do something creative, or something conservative. It is hard for such old organisations to move towards the former but leaving the political field might be an interesting experiment. I wonder how long it would take the remaining political groups to mobilise around the symbolic value of the deen. They can't really compete now, but if Ji didnt exist any more i do wonder what would happen, how long would it take for the gaping hole to be felt.... would there actually be one?

I hope this organisation reforms, or/and a better organisation forms, building on whats good in previous ones, but also drawing on Abul Hashem's rendering so long ago of Khilafatur Rabbani. Linking with all those talented people that awami drunk deshis wrote out of history and tainted with their jahil, poisoned tongues. Taking and deciphering lessons from contemporary Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey, Muslim countries of positive integer value.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Awami League have been proposing hunger strikes quite often over the past couple of months. It's nothing new.

fug said...

doh! when was the last nationwide one ?

Anonymous said...

I don't know but we all know they had called for hunger strikes district and thana wide previously. I don't think chicken and egg on this particular matter is that apparent.

some random bloke said...

fugstar mate, you gotta make the font bigger. it's like reading little ants on the screen.

as for using religion and piety, anything new there? I mean do you remeber the whole 'Islamic banking' scam. Let's make everything 'Islamic' -- Islamic banking, Islamic cola, Islamic expos, Islamic KFC. Islamic expos is the best one, complete with Islamic rockstars,who sing Islamic songs and Islamic rap. Followed by Islamic motivational speakers.

Now the Jamaat are having an Islamic hunger strike.

I do agree with the symbolic violence observation.

fug said...

dude, try CTRL+ '+', several times if you like.

theres some good people trying to translate the spirit of islam in the midst of the bismillah banking scene. i know it. i'm looking forward to VCs with some spirit chucking some money at some thoroughly hadharising projects. islamic coke is not really that important, the nursery rhymes.. well they are more annoying... especially as our cultures have the best music. its easy to moan about these things, but look around, there are plenty of people generating quality content without tags.

im more interested in how muslim individuals and societies throw their money and talent in the path of whats right and wholesome. clearly investing in porn and wine were never going to be dominant modes of investment for us.

Why the islamic tag? well hadn't you heard... we are trying to find our mojo again and this involves explicitly reinserting crucial values.

the tag gets our attention, because we want to live the deen. but its the enduring quality of the product, the enablement it offers and the values it embeds that are the target.

problem is with temporary thickness though... confering credibility to somethings which are naff.

thats why you need old people, they do you symbolic damage when things get too crass.

ummah caramel wtf?!?

Anonymous said...

I suppose Gandhi's fasts were also inspired by a vision of what Jamaat would do 80 years later

fug said...

he had a religious and symbolic power of his own. he also hadnt diluted his symbolic power so much.

political field has certainly changed a bit post arrest.