Towards Understanding the Tipaimukh Affair

So the Water Resources Minister of Bangladesh is a bit of a plonker. Plonker is a charitable description, because the other interpretation leads to a very dark place. He goes to India, declares that the Tipaimukh Dam is not a big issue to Bangladesh, and when questioned at to whether he visited the site, comes up with something along the lines of 'The weather was bad, couldnt get their in the helicopter'.

Clearly he cares very little for the 15 to 20% of the country's rice production that unfolds in Sylhet District. He has a BCom from Carmichael College in Rangpur, and is a businessman. If he doesn't understand water, you'd think he'd get by on brutal economistic logic. What is that they say about mutual self interest and rationality?

During periods like this, one wishes that Abdur Razzaq hadnt been shunted out of the Awami League's trusted circle. He had been water minister in the previous AL regime and pushed through a lot of Participatory Guidlines, a National Water Management Plan (Hello Halcrow and have-a-go- NGOs ) and a little destruction of Bangladeshi scientific capacity (Thankyou World Bank water sector Improvement). I mean, at the very least he'd have come up with a more convincing excuse.

Improving the living environment of Bangladesh is a very tricky task. Firstly there is a large 'ordinary' variability of the monsoon, then there is the Bangladeshi human impact, and the upstream modulations to rivers from India et al. On top of this another mysterious layer of climate impacts. The matter of Tipaimukh concerns upstream modulation, as Bangladesh constitutes a small areal proportion of the river basins that drain through its delta This is a Big Matter.

If any people needed to listen, adapt, assert, create and know the environment... I think it should be us. Yet you can see what political weight we give to the water sector by the quality of the present minister. Our previous battle to stop the Farrakha Barrage failed, and we see the devastating effects that barrage has had on the south east area of bangladesh. Some say that Farrakha was lost because Engineer Abbas and co were caught in a 'gratitude bind' with India. You see they had just liberated us and its hard to negotiate in that kind of action scenario.

Its funny how some within Bangladesh ask the question of 'prove to us that Tipaimukh is harmful'. I point you too whats happening on the Tista right now, and to the post-Farrakha impact. The Bangladesh Environment Network have issued this, if you are interested.
To ponder about:
  • There are two impressive people in the Awami leage government, one with a calculating mind (finance minister, who is also from Sylhet) and another with courage (agriculture minister). Can they pull off some political moves?
  • Can we get through to our indian neighbours of good will and express why this is the wrong this for their government to do.
  • How can we improve the living environment of Bangladesh?
  • Do we appreciate the natural systems in place, is this an Anti-Indian Mask issue?
  • Can we ensure that the water resources sector gets a Minister capable of comprehending it and disciplining it?
I will write more about this matter as I learn more about its unfolding.


Dutch University fires Muslim Scholar for hosting sho on PressTV

I just got this news.

I can imagine how it came to this. Press TV is very interesting, but comes under fire for not being white enough, namby pamby enough nor subservient to western commercial academic interest.

Oh, and its not exactly separate from Iran's Government. What I like is that it doesnt apologise for having unairbrushed assumptions. Its got a future i beleive.

This is why liberal jihadpornographers are hating on a simple alternative TV channel. Its their loss i guess. Prof Ramadan has plenty bigger fishing to do.


The Ganj is Green, Long live the Ganj!

What better way to nip nascent ummahtic mojo in the bud than to fund all sorts of anti-intellectual, de-politicizing civil society shizzle with flirty funds designed to formalise the informal and pour concrete over the fluid?
Constellationary Muslims embedded in London’s patchwork must think about the social architecture they are building every time they invest themselves in collective works. With PVE (Preventing Violent Extremism), ethno green wash, intercultural mosaic building, bismillah financing, charity quacking and social inclusion technospeak intervening from outside, it is easy to be sucked into the charade, mime islah (reform), feel good and bleed on.
Not that our internal reproductive pistons are tuned well at present. The social structures we inherit at political, sectarian and subcultural levels need to adjust to easy recognition, communication and creolisation. Yet the stage has not been cleared. On it reside some pretty established acts: failed yet flaying political parties from the decolonising world, sectarian willy waving, imamadolatry and subcultural in-breeding chafe and blister the joints.
If you want to hear just how badly tuned the Locomotive Ummah is, push the ‘insulting publication’ button, or the Eid one. Bring up and question that places real demand on the collective social intellect. Would you like a practical example? Perhaps you’d like to witness a badly staged election production featuring: the window dressing required for the charity commission, a scandalously sheepish audience with the angel of death playing Hope?
I’m just saying this because it is important to recognise certain qualities correctly and cast a critical eye upon those things to which we award respect. This is our social DNA. When labels are misrecognised, joint movement and action become impossible. We are not independent wiberal atoms.


[New Word] Flood clot

Cumulative Trouble caused by hydraulic block to the flow of water, sediment and aquatic life. Usually by unwise dam, barrage and bridge.

Narmada, Cauvery, Ambika, Farrakha now.... Tipaimukh?

[New Word] Tradiot

You know sometimes we stick to views in the mistaken belief that they are essential to a) who we are, b) entry to heaven and c) traditional continuity.

Well that is traditional idiocy, the characteristic of the Tradiot. You are a Tradiot if you nurture ignorance and malprotection with your safety blanket approach to life.

examples abound. why not list them.


The Yes Men fix the world

I watched The Yes Men fix the world and was quite motivated and in awe of the high of the righteous tomfoolery on display. The Yes Men are a couple of theatrical activists who demonstrate the depravity of corporate logic, shareholder irresponsibility and government abandonment in today's world. They remind me of Ralph Nader, Tehelka, Arundhati Roy and all things nice.

This particular film resembles a necklace of their recent performances. My favourite was where they wrote a special edition of The New York Times, set six months in the future, imagining what could be. They got a good response from the people in general, though not the folks who's armchairs they threaten. People still have hopes.

No policy wonk babble, civil society pretention or political idolotry. Thank goodness.

Another humanising and serious consideration that marks this out amongst the rest is their ability to follow-up. One powerful establishment swipe at their antics was that they gave false hope.

Whether their causes were the communities affected by the Union Carbide gas leak in Bhopal or Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, The Yes Men made themselves open to direct criticism from them, but got praise. Not the subaltern smile that makes us sick, it smelt distictly like political solidarity to me.

This film made me laugh, and gave me spirit fuel, but towards the end i had a look around me to find only 9 people in the theatre. I should be used to it by now, but that really sucked. I wish more people would benefit from this and strongly encourage you to see it while its on in London.

Its an eloquent way of helping someone understand the damage wrought by Milton Freedman, his horsemen and disaster capitalism.