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Bangladesh

In recent years, the phrase “partyism” has become quite popular -- it denotes a form of antagonism and predisposition that operates across political lines.There is another phrase, “partyarchy” which bears the same connotation in that the party in power tends to monopolise key state institutions.

 
 

This particular year, my regular Cannes trip has been special for two reasons. Firstly, I started the International Film Initiative of Bangladesh (IFIB) to help connect films and filmmakers from Bangladesh with the international film fraternity.

 

The public humiliation of a school headmaster, allegedly by a member of parliament in Narayanganj, drew attention throughout the country thanks to social media. There were criticisms pouring in on social networks from all sorts of people, symbolic social media events and discussions were held, all of which demanded swift punishment of the local MP and the people involved in the entire mess. Once again, we have witnessed the power of social media.

 
 

The cabinet has passed on February 29 the Nursing and Midwifery Council Bill 2016, replacing the Nursing Ordinance 1983, arguing that it would stop entry of “gate-crashers” into this very crucial side of health profession.

 
 

Once again, Bangladesh has demonstrated its resilience to disasters, as global leaders meet, in Istanbul this week, for the UN World Humanitarian Summit.On Saturday afternoon, cyclone Roanu left 24 people dead, and damaged nearly 140,000 homes, in 15 districts. The impact could have been much greater given the chronic vulnerability of the population.

 
 

There are three major Islamist forces in our country: Jamaat-e-Islami, Hefazet-e-Islam, and the jongis. All three have long histories and presence under various names, but they occupy different spaces.

 

In considerable part, willingness to dally with these extremists stems from an attempt to marginalise the organised religious party, the Jamaat-e-Islami, which is politically tainted owing to the association of several of members with the 1971 genocide. Indeed, in early May, the government sent a Jamaat leader, Motiur Rahman Nizami, to the gallows for alleged involvement in the killing of fellow Bengalis during the civil war.

 
 

The World Bank, in a study, has claimed that 90% Bangladeshis don’t have access to the internet. That makes it a total of 14.8 million people. On the other hand, according to Bangladesh government statistics, a total of 61.2 million people use the internet. The statistics don’t match.

 

On May 11, Bangladesh hanged Motiur Rahman Nizami, the 73-year-old leader of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. He was the leader of the militant group Al-Badr. The searing irony of this saga is that Pakistan’s ruling elite in 1971 outsourced the safeguarding of Pakistani nationalism to unsavoury characters from the Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing when Jamaat-e-Islami itself had opposed tooth and nail the creation of Pakistan just 24 years earlier in 1947

 

Poor Irfanul Islam. You are the ultimate invisible death in this nation of invisible deaths. You died for banal reasons: Money, robbery, cover-up. You lived normally and died unexpectedly, and nobody outside friends and family remembers you.

 
 


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