Things about the election results that are interesting.

Cursory evidence from the election commission websites puts the 'None of the Above' voters at betwaan a few hundred and a few thousand for every seat where there was data. And there were a lot of seats without that data. Thus I could go for a dodgy estimate of a couple of hundred thousand throughout the whole country. Congratulations to these very special people for integrity. I want to do a spatiopolitical analysis at some stage.

The allegation of wide spread rigging from the BNP is unlikely to be believed, but the ways in which the election processes and actors have been manipulated are food for thought. If just to point it out for next time. From the behaviour of the '2nd X1' CTG, Characteristically Crafty Awaminess, Foreign Meddling, the Army kicking the crap out of Tareque, and 'on-the-day' jiggery pokery I wish I could know what was really going on.
But I wont.

The use of centralised technology for 'scientific kudos', the ID card distraction and the use of foreign observer/development tourists who know nothing of the local community for 'white power kudos' make my ears prick up.


Next few Gaza Protests in London

So this is about Palestinian pea-shooters ey?

Tuesday 30th December 2008
In front of the Israeli Embassy
(Kensington High Street tube station, then turn right)

Wednesday 31st December 2008
In front of Israeli Embassy

Thursday 1st January 2009
In front of Israeli Embassy

Friday 2nd January 2009
In front of the Egyptian Embassy,
26 South Street, London, W1K 1DW
(off Park Lane)

National Protest
Saturday 3rd January 2009
2pm onward
Trafalgar Square

Will the last person out of Bangladesh please not bugger it up for those who stay.

The four party alliance performed very poorly in the deshi elections, they won just under 10% of seats. In a sense their quantitative parliamentary significance resembles that of the UK's LibDems rather than any opposition.

Some will interpret all sorts of secular liberationary mandate , but that is not my interest. It is hard not to be happy *by proxy* when so many others are happy and hopeful for some strange reason. Especially with such sad news from Gaza. My view has always been that adoption of secularism is a Chistocentric mistake and in the Muslim societal contest, a naff abdication of the social and political imperatives of Islam. That Islam frosted political parties at present don't inspire much confidence is not an excuse for cowardly Muslim political practice.

This is at odds with the common sense that is drummed into Bangladesh from the state down, through the education systems and perpetuated uncritically by the media. The Cult of Mujib and a simplistic 1971 creationist mythology drips a bitter blood that seeps through generations. As a consequence, I dont see Bangladesh Space at present as an interesting site for a superior negotiation, especially in an awami political field. Long term efforts should continue now that there is space to think, reflect and hide.

Personal practices and fashions will still be adopted from the global Islamic resurgence (mainly as status symbols), but in situ synthesis will be inhibited. (Unless something nonlinear happens). The Awami League are likely to play TWAT with America. Buckle up folks, this is going to be embarrassing.

They say that the magnetic pole of the Earth flips every now and again. Similarly, the political poles of Bangladeshi politics tend to go the same way. But which way is Up? Unfortunately we operate with an ideologically modified left-right axis. where 'rightist' implies traditional/religious and 'leftist' implies secular/atheist. These aren't completely false categories however as one might ask "What about Islamic left?". Islamic left never really took off, mainly because of political forcing from big powers in the Cold War and Allah took away Abul Hashem's sight. The first half of this rationalisation deserves greater reflection from the global muslim community.

The landslide victory of 'centre left' over 'centre right' means a few things can be assumed to be happening across the country. This is in the tradition of the political pole shifting in a highly nepotistic society where deperation for power swamps chivalry several times over then and the courts are full of Kangaroos. There will be a flurry of Occupation, or 'dokholing'. This refers to property disputes, institutional politics, turf wars, contracting and 'alternative security' complexes. Newly empowered political figures will not be able to restrain their relations and hangers on from capitalising on their status and buggering up society. The losers poor showing and immediate past performance will result in their complaints being heard less seriously.

On the loser's side I wonder what this really bad failure means to the BNP-JI four party alliance, as a compound and as seperate elements.

What happens when Nationalist meatheads get minced?

In a simple view Humiliation can be taken three ways. You fight against it blindly, you may carry on being steadfast and patient, or you can learn to improve. The first option is what the BNP did, but which suits the Awami League more. Indeed, the victorious Grand Alliance is fortunate that its castrated opposition cannot match its rage power.

It would have been a disaster for the caretaker government if the BNP had actually won. They are very angry at how Tareque Rahman was treated by the military, and how their party came of worse in the CTG's attempt to remove the two begums for the political sphere. Yet in many ways its back to square one after two years that had potential. Now its someone elses turn and I hope and pray they can perform the role of a patriotic opposition, even with so few seats.

The BNP was idiotic in many ways. Im sure that Indian intelligence and Awami unpatriotism had a role in its corruption and foolishness, but the fault is essentially their own. Putting aside the lack of an nonsecular political synthesis they don't have the spine to put forward a more accurate, warts-and-all picture of the 1971 creationist mythology. They simply copy and paste, find and replace the ordinary one with a heavily doctored script. At the more practical level they mistreated their talents and allies, alienated them and even killed some of them. Prof Aftab Ahmad's assasination at the break of Ramadan 2006 is a case in point. Intellectual cowardice, cheating and beastly behaviour retards their cognitive and creative faculties.

Following a star going supernova, the constellation remnants move with their own gravity. Are their any remnants? Is their any life in this star? can we have a new one please?

Khaleda Zia apologised towards the end of the campagning for earlier mistakes. I wonder how fundamentally this 'personal realisation' reaches. The country needs a better alternative to Awami-think. Looking at history, without violent insurrection and regime change it is increasingly difficult to construct better ideas and bed them in. Remember Bangladesh is the natural home for Shock Doctrines to be administered during electoral and meteorological depressions. It is everybody's social laboratory. The AnAwami constellation has a lot of work to do, perhaps more than an election cycle.

Its unlikely, but i think maybe its time for the BNP to cease to exist, and allow social forces to renegotiate themselves into a better political configuration.


Oh Mary don't you weep no more

As the Most Evil State in The World Ever! rains hot metal onto the neighbours whose land they have stolen and continue to inhabit...


Voting for these folks and ideas is apathetic, impractical and harmful

this is in the context of the Bangladesh elections.

The Probe Magazine 'analysis' suggests a BNP win, while the NewAge ''scientific' poll' points to an Awami League win. No real surprises there, and a lot to unpack if one was so inclined. If you want an answer in Bangladesh what do you do? ask people boring questions and bar chart their response, or exercise judgement?

Both means of knowing are easily misled.

The pundits are unsure as to which way young people may vote for the first time. I suggest tis will be a function of how many have been schooled correctly in the ways of the Mujib cult, associated blankslate 71ism and how they respond to the usual cynical exploitation of the 'war criminals issue'.

Giving all the parties the finger by voting no is not apathetic as it causes deeper reflection and action afterwards. My feeling is that the anti incumbency effect is most likely to bring in the Awami League this time and of course i dont like them. These people kill youths and jump on their dead bodies while being spurred on to kill more by their witch of a leader Hasina (and no you silly arabs, she is not a religious scholar). Who can forget October 28th 2006?

Voting no is opting out of the 'promise the heaven and deliver hell' approach to politics. Not prolonging it. The reason is simply because the society faces serious questions and there is a lot of work to do. There is only so long you can ignore them.

The bigger questions for bangladesh include:
How has the cult of Mujib and 71 mythology become so emotionally and rationally retarding on the public imagination?
How are secularism, atheism and Muslim stagnancy related to each other?
How can the public be made more aware of what secularism actually means?
How can this society reform itself and promote virtue above vice?
How do we resolve the treachery problem of the Awami League, and increasingly other parties? They seem bound by conscience to run into the arms of adversaries for backing, amplify conflicts and spread chaos?
People have been encultured with a narrow multiply persecuted monocultural experience for a while. What implications does this have?
People are more interested in religion now than in recent decades. How can this rediscovering and envelope pushing process be qualitatively and quantitatively assisted?
What kind of public adminstration do we need?
How can people be induced to paying tax?
How do we protect the land and the people from environmental, intellectual, corporate and political invasion?
How can we improve the three educational streams present in the society?
How much longer can such a fake donor fueled and schooled civil society persist without us completely losing our dignity?


Do not give them honour, vote 'No' in Bangladesh Elections 2008

On 29th December 2008, the two year period of caretaker governance in Bangladesh will enter its final transition phase. The people, who have been meticulously and technologically counted, branded and rendered official, will be given the chance to grunt.

They will be invited to grunt in two main ways, a few minor ways and a radical way. Their are two alliances running 1) an alliance of Muslim Nationalists and Islamists and 2) an alliance of Secular Nationalists, a former dictator, hurt Muslim Nationalists and every single have-a-go lefty one can imagine. In addition, there are a few independants running and some fresh parties.

Suffice to say that there hardly much *actual* choice. I described the political field a few years ago here. It will be business as usual, there has been no deep thought, learning and behavioural change. The political parties wet themselves and bribed their way back into the political arena, while the caretakers were weak and had no better idea.

There is a little bit of choice. There is a new player on the ballot paper. Its name is 'No', not the Democracy-is-Haram No, but a more confident No. Operation No cuts deeply into the foundation of the Tower of Bull that is the society's political space .

Voting No, and encouraging the option to be taken seems to me to be the right thing to do for so many hopeful reasons. It is not just about minimising postworldly personal punishment. The fundamental idea is that the Bangladeshi people, if they are to prosper and dignify themselves, should affirm their latent belief that these politicians and ideas are going to get them nowhere. They cant even administer effectively, let alon address the big questions and dillemas of our time. They are too drunk on development dollars and captivated by the wrong ideas to be of any essential value.

Nationalists, Secularists, Liberationists and Islamists only divide, alienate and deviate society. They score off the margins and survive on our latent idiocy. By giving unworthy people confidence, a voter is pouring more fuel on the fire which is burning down their house. This is a recipe for social suicide in the key of democracy.

Urging people to vote No is not an unreasonable request as it does not extend to those who are unable to eat or those who are stupid. The practical necesity-based logic will always plague the poor, who tend to err on the side of immediate perceptable benefit. The more materially endowed and perceptive must then exercise greater responsibility over the choices they make. It would be sad if they not only consumed resources but also failed to lead the general community out of its current dead end, towards real value.

Neither does the No make big claims or outline a manifesto of lies to play your symbols against you. The No vote will not empower the foolish and the corrupt directly. The Tower of Bull was constructed over more than a generation, by people erroneously giving status to fools and pouring petrol onto socially destructive ideas.

Several newspapers in Bangladesh have picked up on youthful, playful interest in the No option and are playing their traditional patronising role. Other no-so-young voices are voicing their own voices vociferously and interleaving such voices with the voices of youth. Apparently because they are unvoiced. Welcome to the Disaster in Democracy Industry.

The No votes are precious. No Voters are precious, thoughtful and what the future is made of. Their political and social participation does not boil down to a grunt at the time of election. They are very much more musical than that.


Moti Apa, that is not enough.

The 'We will not make laws that go against revelation and prophetic traditions' line harks back to the ideological castration of the Awami Muslim League. There is a history to it which needs to be unpacked.

The Awami Muslim League was formed as a counter to the East Bengal Muslim League's anal retentiveness. The EBML core, known as the 'Dhaka group', gave no space for incoming post-partition Muslim leaders from West Bengal or from Assam. Think of the disgust of newcomers at this self interest. Disgust is an important trigger for alternative political configuring.

Initially the Awami Muslim League packed quite a bit of Islamic mojo, influenced as it was by Shamsul Huq, a disciple of Abul Hashem. That's Abul Hashem of; Burdwan in West Bengal, ' The Revolutionary character of the Kalima', 'Khilafatur Rabbani' and father of historian Badruddin Umar. This chap, who I am fascinated by is perhaps the closest we ever got to Cerebral Islamic Left. I wonder how things may have been if Allah had not tested Abul Hashem with blindness.

Alternative presents aside, during one tense time Shamsul Huq was imprisoned and the Mujib group got prominence and the rest is history unfortunately. This newer group castrated the Islamic potency of their party to 'appeal to minorities' whilst still showing a safety blanket approach to Islam to the people. Nothing challenging or creative in that department. Its called parochialising oneself out of large mess and into a corner.

The creation of Bangladesh ushered in a political field in which secularism was injected in from the top as part of what some would call Mujibbad. Others, less impressed by the man's qualities would call it amateur Kemalism. Islamic political forces were generally wrong-footed, enfooled, murdered and sailed by the escalation of conflict that soon became an Independence war.

The costs of losing have been high and inter-generational on the character of the Bangladeshi collective mind. It explains a lot, though maybe I am completely wrong and the materialist character of so many deshi students and buddhijobbis is a greater function of their ahistoric disinterest in a challenging Islam. Maybe people like Shahriar Kabir have no agency in this realm. Put another way, if partition splattered the mojo of the Indian Muslim intelligentsia, 1971 purged a lot of deeni thought from the Bengali Muslim Mind. Brotherly betrayal scarred deeply, it was purposively designed to. Elite university students of the early 70s tell me scary stories of how they would secretively pass around Islamic tomes to each other in fear of public lynching. And no these aren't the Liberation Capitalists.

Nowadays the Bangladesh Awami League's Matia Choudhury repeats the 'Quran and Sunnah' slogan as if it means anything. I pick her because there is something of the warrior princess about her, a lefty namazi type of a totally different age. She deserves a better boss. Meanwhile, the two battling begums begin their 'secular' political campaigns from the tombs of Shah Jalal and company of Sylhet to curry favour with the masses and associate themselves with a figure of unified devotion. This is Spiritual Capitalism of the worst kind. And it makes me understand why middle agers and seniors in Bangladesh who are returning to their religion with vigour stay away from The Sufi Shelf. Petrodollar empowerment of 'Wahhabism' has less to do with it than disgust at corruption.

Secular abdication, confusion and defilement of the Islamic political imperative is now way to approach the challenge of our times. So Moti Apa, the 'Quran and Sunnah Platitude' is not enough. Islam is more than dead and dry legal traditions and religious rites, more than a set of taboos, more than liberation from castocracy. It is actually very difficult to develop and realise socio-politically.

And you are not helping. I'm fairly sure that you dont even think of it as a problem.

What I would like to see is 1) the social delegitimisation of the political symbols which allow The Platitude to breath, 2) increasing public realisation of the 'No' option in the election and 3) a better negotiation from the brains, the heart and the limbs of society.

All because Secularism, Nationalism and (m)Islamism have little to offer except for highly inefficient social mobility. Development Dung cannot hold together the cracks through which the better natures and aspirations of millions bleed.


Blog Off

Two meanings for this. The first is a bit of a curse, the second a contest of sorts.

1) "Blog Off" is an insult told to the kind of people who comment on Guardian and Telegraph websites. You know, the kind who lead you to believe that literacy and education are overrated and the human race is doomed.

2) The "Blog Off" is a contest between two (or more) bloggers. It proceeds like a Qawwali with some call-and-response conversation between the parties. It resembles a (skilled) jam session rather than a duel. More concerned with meaning than posturing, each discrete contribution feeds to the whole, with learning occuring.

Islamic Extremelyniceism

That rather splendid viral gorgeousness that emanates from somebody really devoted to their salah and falah.