Bangla Bloggers’ siege Home Ministry for murdered journalist couple

Dhaka, Bangladesh. 15th May 2012 — Police set up a barricade to stop journalists advancing forward as they declared a ‘Home Ministry siege programme’ demanding justice for the journalist couple Sagar and Runi. — Journalists demonstrate in front of the Secretariat demanding justice for the journalist couple Sagar and Runi who were gunned down in their own bedroom. (C:Demotix)

Crossing various hurdles, the Bangla bloggers conducted their programme of singing protest songs in public. Comments by the police commissioner that “permissions will be required”, not allowing the required temporary electricity connection at the protest venue, and even sudden rains during part of the evening, nothing could stop the bloggers, journalists, students and ordinary citizens from showing solidarity and participating in singing the protest songs

Bloggers have once again taken to the street, demanding justice for the murdered journalist couple Sagar Sarwar and his wife Meherun Runi.. On 11th May, 2012, they organized a protest in front of the public library in Shahbagh, Dhaka. This was their fourth protest gathering. In the early hours of 11th February, 2012, the couple was found brutally murdered in their West Rajabajar apartment in Dhaka.

At the end of the day’s event, the next steps and upcoming protest programmes were announced. Among the future protests being planned by journalists and bloggers are the following:

1. 20th May to 15th June – Public meetings at all the media houses
2. 5th June – March to the Parliament and submit a memorandum to the Speaker of the House, demanding arrest and trial of the killers of Sagar-Runi
3. 26th June – Protest march towards the Prime Minister’s Office.
4. If the administration still fails to deliver justice, all journalists across the country will stop work and undertake a ‘pen down’ programme.

Three months have passed since the murder and till date, the police have been unsuccessful in discovering any clues or leads that would help them to solve the case. The Bangladesh High Court has expressed dissatisfaction with the progress (or lack of it) of the Detective Branch (DB) of police investigating the murder. The case has since then been transferred to the anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit – Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). The bodies have already been exhumed for a repeat postmortem. However, till date, there has been little progress in the investigation.

Book Review: The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh

The Shadow Lines is the second novel written by Amitav Ghosh and is considered to be his best work till now, for which he was also awarded the Sahitya aAademi Award in 1989. The novel was begun by Ghosh after the assassination of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then PM of India. This can be clearly made out in the novel as the entire text consists of undercurrents of political vendetta and is splashed with the idea of nationalism.

The major characters of the novel are the narrator himself, his dominating grandmother, his eccentric uncle Tiridib, and the two women in his life, Illa and May Price. Novy Kapadia says, “It’s basically a memory novel, which skillfully weaves together personal lives and national and international events. The circle of reason, the interest and the focus is on story telling. Coil within coil of memories unfurl in the narrator’s story.”

The book is divided into two parts, the first is given the title, “Going Away” and the second part is “Coming Home”. The central character is strangely not given any name and is portrayed as a mirror image of his uncle Tridib, giving his nationalist and internationalist views. The novel is made of lives of characters living in three different countries namely- India, Bangladesh and England. Ghosh in his novel uses a complex pattern of going forward moving backwards and going zigzag in terms of narration of the time and space.

(courtesy: Youth Ki Awaaz & Madhur Gupta)

The novel all in all is a parallel drawn between war and riots, India and Europe to show how all violence whether committed in the name of nationalism or freedom is to be given no other color. All in all it is a must read for people who want to enter into an era long forgotten and who have a zest for nationalism and modern contemporary history.

Symonds, Lara & Jayasuriya to play Pakistan Premier League

Pakistani cricket authorities confirmed that pakistan’s very own t20 league will happen soon in near future. According to pakistan cricket board chairman Zaka Ashraf said:

“most probably t20 league will be held in october 2012 in the same format of IPL,BPL and Big Bash. The name of proposed league is yet to be decided but it will not be Pakistan premier league because we are not coping any thing from India.”

He also confirmed that board is in contact with foreign players to make t20 league successful and many players wants to come to pakistan. He also hinted that Andrew Symonds of Australia,Brain Lara of WestIndies and Jayasuria of SriLanka will feature in pakistani t20 league. courtesy: Dr Owais Karni’s Blog

Modest Kohli says, scaling “Paji”‘s century of ton, a “mission impossible” !!

“It is mission impossible”

At 23 years, Virat Kohli is burdened with the passing of the baton. He is expected to fill in for Rahul Dravid in Tests and simultaneously be the team’s momentum dispenser during tight chases under lights. After his 183 stunned Pakistan, Kohli addressed the press with a fine blend of an old man’s diplomacy and a youngster’s sense of wonder.

A Pakistani scribe asked him: “Your celebrations after getting the hundred said something, did anything happen on the field?” Kohli’s answer was seconds away from being an explosive breaking news item but he played with a straight bat. “Ah nothing really, haven’t performed well in my previous matches against Pakistan, so I was keen to do well. There was nothing on the field. Yes in international matches, teams compete hard but I have friends in the Pakistan team too,” he said.

His eyes brightened when asked about a probable 200. “To be honest, it did cross my mind once. And I thought ‘no, this can’t be real’ and I just concentrated on the ball,” Kohli said. His best line was reserved for the last as he said: “It is mission impossible.” It was a reply lost in laughter after a journalist asked him whether he is dreaming about scaling Tendulkar’s century of tons!

The mirror that cracked

The media manifests itself in many ways. Usually it is a mirror that reflects truth but when the glass is distorted, reality acquires other shades. It happened in the manner in which a few television channels handled the Saeed Ajmal issue.

The controversy started perhaps with the Men in Blue’s machinations that led to a story being planted among the Indian scribes: Ajmal’s action has been questioned and an informal complaint has been lodged with the International Cricket Council officials.

On a wretched day when no one would come on record except for team manager Arindam Ganguly’s line about the issue being discussed, it was all about clutching at straws. The ICC also slipped in to denial-mode, as conveniently the august body had not received anything in writing.

Like an open secret that no one will acknowledge, the speculation hung uneasy in the air. Soon the man in question – Ajmal – was asked about his reaction to the whisper-campaign. The Pakistan off-spinner initially declined to talk but gradually opened up and said that his action has been cleared by the ICC and when asked about Sachin Tendulkar, he graciously and in a very respectful tone said: “He is a Sir. He is nearing the end of his career but he is still a very big player.”

Within minutes, a few television channels ran the story: Ajmal mocks at Tendulkar. The tweaker’s Punjabi drawl was misinterpreted as sarcasm and it proved to be a needless attempt to trigger tension between the rival camps ahead of the expected Indo-Pak final. The cricketing gods were obviously miffed and once Bangladesh trumped Sri Lanka and qualified for the summit clash, the talk about Ajmal died down but the damage was done.

One man, many moods

Mahela Jayawardene has a boyish charm and a quaint Sinhalese accent that often masks the intense competitor, who resides within him. During the course of a forgettable Asia Cup for him and Sri Lanka, the man displayed varied emotions ranging from anger to exasperation.

At a press conference, a sports hack from Colombo, repeatedly asked Jayawardene about the losing spree that started from the Commonwealth Bank Series finals in Australia. The Sri Lankan skipper answered patiently but once the media interaction concluded, he stepped down from the podium and had a heated exchange of words in Sinhala with the concerned scribe. Later it was gathered that Jayawardene had told his interrogator that the team is trying its best and questions that ‘mock’ the squad is not in good taste.

More was to follow once Sri Lanka crashed out following the defeat against Bangladesh. A Pakistani journalist bluntly asked Jayawardene about whether his men’s performance was a reflection of ‘poor captaincy.’ A bemused skipper said: “Amazing isn’t it, two weeks of cricket does that to you, eh? Well I don’t know, it is tough to answer that question. I have been beaten five times in a row before so I probably was in the dumps then! We played Australia in the (CB Series) finals and I can’t be a bad captain overnight. A captain is as good as his team and there are no secrets to it, just that he handles certain situations. We haven’t played good cricket, there are excuses for that. We were up against some quality teams – India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – and we haven’t played good cricket and that happens but we will move on.”

That Indian restaurant…

The yearning for home food forced a bunch of sports correspondents to race around town in an auto-rickshaw that presumed Dhaka’s packed roads were indeed F1 tracks! Muttering prayers and holding their hearts in their mouth, the hacks finally stepped in to a restaurant named ‘X-Indian.’ It was the biggest blooper of the tour. The food joint turned out to be a Chinese and Thai outlet. The misleading nomenclature was raised with the waiters and one said:

“Well its Xindian, meaning China!” And then the tired bunch of pen pushers cracked weak jokes like ‘Yeah, it is actually ex-Indian so it makes sense that they don’t serve our food.’ Finally hunger triumphed and a mix of soups and noodles were ordered in haste.

Weak smiles, wet eyes

Bangladesh’s dream run that concluded in a so-close-yet-so-far despair evoked a standing ovation from the press corps when a shattered coach Stuart Law and captain Mushfiqur Rahim walked in for the post-final media session. It was a moment that reflected the duo’s fierce self-belief and also revealed that even hardened journalists can at times forget their brief about being lizards on the wall and occasionally allow their hearts to dictate their responses. Law and Rahim kept nodding their heads with tired smiles and moist eyes at a time when Bangladesh had truly turned a corner.

Pakistan is home to the highest number of ‘harmful’ channels

Satellite TV channels from most of India’s neighbours figure in a list of ‘harmful’ channels compiled by Indian security forces, according to information provided to the Rajya Sabha by the government this week.

Not surprisingly, Pakistan is home to the highest number of ‘harmful’ channels, as determined by Indian security agencies.

Also interesting is the inclusion of channels from India’s other neighbours, one identified as ‘Nepal’ (presumably Nepal TV), Kantipur and ‘Bhutan Broadcasting Service‘.

Also in the list is ‘Saudi TV’ and nearly all private and government-run news channels in Pakistan.

China and Sri Lanka are among the neighbours whose channels don’t figure in the list (reproduced below.)

“Security agencies have identified a list of 25 illegal foreign channels and observed that the contents of some of these channels are not conducive to the security environment in the country and pose a potential security hazard,” the government said, in reply to a question.

The Ministry said it does not directly take action against cable networks that retransmit these channels. “..the action thereunder as per the Act primarily remains in the domain of authorized [local body] officers,” it clarified.

It may also be noted that Al-Jazeera News is currently licensed to broadcast to and operate in India.

The full list:

1. Al-Jazeera News
2. Saudi TV
3. TV Maldives
4. Peace TV (Dubai)
5. Madni TV(Pakistan)
6. ARY TV
7. PTV
8. PTV Home
9. PTV World
10. GeoTV(Pakistan)
11. Dawn (Pakistan)
12. Express(Pakistan)
13. Waqat (Pakistan)
14. NoorTV(Pakistan)
15. HadiTV(Pakistan)
16. Aaj (Pakistan)
17. NTV Bangladesh)
18. XYZ TV
19. Nepal
20. Filmax (Pakistan)
21. STV (Pakistan)
22. Kantipur (Nepal)
23. Q TV (Pakistan)
24. Ahmedia Channel (U.K. Based)
25. Bhutan Broadcasting Service