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A Murder, Lies and Media December 16, 2012

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Media, POLITICS.
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Bishwajit 1A youth of 24 years, Bishwajit, was murdered on the street of old Dhaka on 9th December 2012 by the gang of so called political activists on the day of ‘Aborodh’ or street blockade called by the opposition. He was just an innocent guy like thousand of others who was passing through the street at that time to attend his small business shop. But at that time, a procession of opposition lawyers was paraded the street and then a group of pro-government students armed with lethal weapons started to chase them, 2 cocktails burst near the procession. The activists ran towards the direction and chased Bishwajit to a dental clinic in the second floor of a nearby building. He was beaten by sticks and cut mercilessly by ‘chapati’ or butcher’s knife and when he came out of room and in the street with blood all over his body, he was chased by others with sticks and rods. He fell on the ground and was taken to the hospital by a rickshaw puller where he embraced the death.

The dead body was taken to the village home and was cremated the same night. The parents dare not to file any case against the miscreants

The TV channels showed the scene vividly on their screens and people thundered seeing the barbarity on the streets in broad day light in front law enforcing forces. There were lots of people near the scene but were helpless.The print media published the news in the front pages. People from all walks of life condemn the incident.

Bishwajit 2The Home Minister MKA said that the culprits do not belong to the student wing of the ruling party, either they are ousted from the party or only ex-worker of the organization. Police Administration in defense of their inaction said police were busy taking care of the injured lawyers. Home Minister declared that every culprit will be arrested and proper action will be taken.But police and HM was differing on the number of arrests. In the backdrop of mental anguish, the Prime Minister office declared that the culprits are in no way connected with student league, the student wing of AL, the party of the government.The communique also asserted that it is found that the murders are relatives of BNP Jamaat men. The assertion was criticized from different quarters and media and citizen groups demanded that it is essential to arrest the murderers whatever political linkage they have. The Home Minister also is accused of encouraging the murder by ordering the party student activists to actively prevent the opposition.

People are waiting to see what actions are taken by the government. The incident reflects the political unrest, conflict among parties, poor law and order situation in the country. The incident also exposes the human rights situation, partisan role of police and lies among politicians.

It is the media that play a professional role in the current event and exposes the situation in its true perspective.

We hope that everybody will learn the lessons from their mistakes and do justice to the people and to the country.

An ordinary citizen

You Tube and Bangladesh November 2, 2012

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Media.
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I was looking for a practical demonstration of endotracheal intubation to have a visual impact of the process. I open the You Tube and found it still closed in Bangladesh. Like me, many of us would look into video clips of You Tube for useful purposes. But they will be frustrated.

I know that Bangladesh Government has closed down the You Tube in protest against publishing the hated film ‘Innocence of Islam’. Like Bangladesh , many of the Muslim countries also closed You Tube. But where some countries like Egypt, Indonesia only blocked the particular film, Bangladesh blocked the whole channel. It would have been better if Bangladesh could able to block specifically the film. It indicates the technical and diplomatic failure of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh should keep its effort continued to compel the Google authority to specifically cancel the film.

In the meantime, Bangladesh should open the You Tube so that people can use it as a source of information for useful use.

An ordinary citizen

Broadcasting Policy , Media and Freedom of Expression October 5, 2011

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, GOVERNANCE, Media.
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Bangladesh Government is mulling to introduce a broadcarting poilicy for the media in a view to regulate it to the tune set by the government.

The idea creates reaction among journsls, media workers and intelligentia.

They question the need of such a policy where dozens of rules are already imposed on the media. They think that this will be an unwise attempt on the part of the government to control the media that will curtail the freedom of expression and access to right to information. 

ABM Musa,a senior jouralist expressed in discussion meeting that when a government is nervous it tries to control the media and any attempt to control the media is obviously destined to fail.

An ordinary citizen

Draft broadcasting policy submitted to JS body-News
Cancel Draft broadcasting policy- speakers urge Government-news

Egypt: Role of social media in people’s revolution February 13, 2011

Posted by bdoza in International Affairs, Media.
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Wael Ghonim has been released after 12 days in the prison. He is a google executive and a social net-worker. His facebook page is ‘We are all Khaled Said’. Said was a myrter who was died after days of torture by the Egyptian security personnel.
Ghonim was welcome in the Tahrir square as hero. Embarrassed he said, ‘I am not a hero. Real heroes are these people’. One would easily understand why he was arrested by the Mubarrak regime by visiting his page.

The other day I was listening to a discussion in Al Jazeera on the role of conventional media vs social networking in the peoples revolution in Egypt. Experts on the show acknowledged that the social networking played supplementary role in the uprising. Out of 3 experts, only one gave major credit to the social networking.

The April 6 Group that first initiated organizing youth movement, used mobile phones, text messaging and social media for promotion of their objectives and intercommunication.

It is true that social media act as a tool by the organizers and the power of social media to engage and empower the young minds is reflected by success of the revolution so far achieved in Egypt.

The power of the social media would only be intimately felt by the users of this media; the expert from the other world will never understand the magnitude of its appeal.

Some people wrongly try to draw a line between the social media and the conventional media. 8ut in the social networking, the important and referable content become intermingled and the reverse is not true. So, a social media user will be more conversant with the trends in society and politics where first hand reports are more trustworthy, though ‘non professional.

Face book,twitter, blogging and internet will be written down in history with unprecedented revolution of people in Egypt and will inspire the minds of the modern generation in other countries to change the course of history.

An ordinary citizen

Facebook:’We are all Khaled Said’

Newsweek: Facebook Freedom Fighter

Facebook: April 6 Youth Movement

Wikipedia: April 6 Group

Ads and Accountability December 26, 2010

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Media.
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In a way it can be said that we are staying in an age
of advertisement.

Advertisement is there for since long. But never it was so visible and/or audible. our papers and magazines are filled with ads. It becomes so engrossing that the front and back pages of a newspaper are mostly occupied by the ads, not to tell about the inner pages.

In the electronic media, the ads are interrupting different programs- the news, drama ,talk shows, music etc.The most disturbing is of ads intrusion during news. You will get the ad before the news, after the headlines, and at intervals throughout the news. Sometimes it will be seemed to you that the news is secondary to ad.

Both the electronic and print media men will argue with you that the ads are required for their survival and profit. You will also encounter ads in the roads and highways. The billboards stand tall obstructing your views beside the streets. If it falls on someone and kills him, there will be none to take the responsibility and to give the compensation.

The ads also play with the health and nutrition of your children. The ad of Horlics and Complan have so mesmerized the children and their parents that they are thinking that these are the magic foods to be long. Sometimes the pretensions surpasses any imagination’- such as the ad of a flip-flop that make one taller. The cream that makes one fair and lovely also don’t do any miracle.

The ads become a huge industry and to promote the ad different sectors are involved including Ad manufacturers, promoters and models,none will take the responsibility of the failure of the product for which it is intended. Models portray the characters and influence the human psychology.The models form the main bridge between the people and the ad. They influence the people by their charisma and acting.

So if people are bluffed, would they not take the responsibility and be accounted for?

An ordinary citizen

Dr.Yunus, controversies & comments December 16, 2010

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, GOVERNANCE, Media, POLITICS, Yunus.
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When I first saw the news in a leading Bangla newspaper, I was surprised and hardly believe myself. The headlines and the news is arranged in such a way as if Dr. Yunus has removed $700m from Grameen Bank for his own purpose. Many people who didn’t go into the depth of the news would be confused the way it was presented in the media except a few.

Tom Heinemann, a journalist from Denmark cites in his documentary of the events of 14 years back that was shown in the Norway National Television. The documentary shows that Norway and allied countries collected 700m and donated to Grameen Bank for the alleviation of poverty.

Grameen Bank in a Board Meeting headed by Dr. Yunus decided to transfer the money to Grameen Kalyan for better utilization of money. The money was deposited back to Grameen Bank, the interest of which was utilized for education, housing and business of the poor people.

Interesting is that the news got huge coverage in Bangladesh media. They not only accused Dr. Yunus of wrong doing but many of them expressed their in-confidence over the microcredit system operating in the country and abroad. In the Internet blogs, facebook and other social media were flooded with posts and comments. While many of the comments from Bangladesh were crudely critical, the observation from outside were mostly cautious. The Grameen Bank on behalf of Dr. Yunus was awkwardly trying to defend Dr. Yunus by disseminating the facts at its hand. Even MPs demanded inquiry into the allegation. Prime Minister Sk. Hasina came out as the harshest critic on the event. Dr.Yunus hails the bid for inquiry. He emphasised that there was no wrong doing. A news also circulated in the media in reference to Indian PM which proved false.

When the tide was at it’s peak, the Government of Norway issued a statement that there is no irregularities or embezzlement of any fund by Dr. Yunus and Grammeen Bank and the issue was settled in 1998. The statement drew a curtain over the controversies regarding Dr. Yunus and Grameen Bank pointing at the shallowness of our thoughts and intellect as a nation.

I was amazed by some of the answers of Dr. Yunus to the journalists when he came back to Bangladesh a few day’s back. At the end of interaction, he hoped that Bangladesh will move forward by the collective effort of us all.

But one thing is not clear to me why Tom Heinemann, took an event of 14 years back, the dispute of which settled at that time. Is it because he is a self employed journalist who thrives on so called investigative report and chose Dr.Yunus, who was at his peak of popularity , as his target to become famous in days? But it is not him to blame but it the temperament of Bangladesh people that made the news so important.

An ordinary citizen

Links: Opinion
Vilification of Grameen: Daily Star editorial
Honouring ourselves- Dr. Rehman Sobhan
Proud of Dr. Yunus-Dr.. Muhammad Ali Bhuiyan-University of North Carolina
A very dignified response-Abdul Hannan in Daily Star
Why this tirade against Professor Yunus-Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed -a Rhodes Scholar

Follow up:

A case has been filed against Dr. Yunus in a magistrate court in Myemenshigh for making comments against the politicians in 2006.

A parliamentary committee has been formed to probe into the allegations against Grameen Bank.
Dr. Yonus appeared at the magistrate court to reply to the summon.

USA requested Bangladesh to deal with respect the matters related with Dr. Yunus.

Parliamentary subcommittee has submitted 16 allegations against Dr. Yunus and Grameen 8ank.

A case has been put against dr. Yunus for adulteration in the Sakti dai. Sakti dai is a food product of Grameen Dannon a joint venture of Grameen with Dannone- a world leader in nutritional product.

BDR ‘mutiny’: Role of media March 8, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, BDR mutiny, Blogging, Media.
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‘Mutiny’ in the Pilkhana caught everybody surprised. No one ever imagined such an event to be happened in Bangladesh .

People close to the Pilkhana, the high ups who were informed by the victims themselves and close relatives of endangered officers were probably the first persons who were heard or informed of the sitaution.

Most of the people knew the fact when the electronic media started to telecast the incident live. From then on People were virtually glued to the media and were following the progress of the incident.

The first interview with the mutineers was by Munni Shaha on ATN close to a BDR gate where more than half a dozen of the mutineers, some of them masked tried to express their grievances in a haphazard way. It is said afterwords that this interview and some of the others in the first day glorify the demands of the mutineers.

Probably in an oblique reference to these telecasts, the Information Minister urged the jourrnalists to play their role more responsibly.

But as a whole, electronic media tried to convey the real-time phenomenon to the viewers. The telecast not only gave an idea about what was going on around the incident in Philkhana, the footage recorded by them will also be of help to identify the criminals and to follow the course of events.

The web media also make the issue lively in the internet. Bloggers, social networkers and web hosters discussed the different aspect of the issue, projected pictures, audios and videos and expressed their opinion unhindered. The web this time attract more young viewers than the print media and presented more information and thoughts.

It looks that the Bangladesh web media will be more vibrant with increased number of visitors in future. One advantage of web media is that there is scope for every visitor to participate in the discussion and it is so interactive which is not so with the print media or tv channels.

With time web media will be more popular and more representative.

An ordinary citizen

Role of TV in restructuring language & culture February 22, 2009

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I was listening intently to a TV talk show on the night of 21 February of two leading personalities of our literature and cultural arena – Mostafa Monwar and Abdullah Abu Sayeed. Faridur Reza Sagar was conducting the program in ‘Tritiya Matra’
The theme of the discussion was also interesting- the role of TV in the restructuring the language and culture of our society.

They opined that it is not possible for TVs to play effective role in the restructuring the language and culture. TV as a medium is always a restless one and try to dramatize events for its own purpose.

For its dramatic inclination, more classical programs are gradually loosing its space in the TV schedules. We see very few classical soiree now a days. Even in drama, the dramas of more depth and meaning are not produced and telecasted today, channels are more opted for short entertaining episodes.

TV is also for commerce and commercialization. TV is full of ads and programs become secondary to the ads.

There is far and few educational programs. Most of the time they are not entertaining. To make the educational program entertaining you need vast budget as that of “Sesame Street’ in BTV which is sponsored by the international organizations.

It is not true that TV can’t play any role in contributing to the culture and language of a society, it can if the organizers and the producers of house think over the matter seriously and set their programs accordingly and sometimes produce program for the minority viewers.

An ordinary citizen

On Trade, Transit and TIFA February 6, 2009

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The new government become suddenly busy in signing bilateral trade, on the issue on transit and TIFA.

The haste draws criticism from opponents and citizens. The Commerce Minister tries to assure the public that Government will not do anything which goes against the interest of the country. He also assures that every major treaty will be disclosed and discussed in the parliament. He asserted that as this government came to the power with the mandate of the people, it will try to respect it.

The State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Hasan told ‘Transit is an economic issue’ . But many consider it has political implication also.

Regarding TIFA, USA is eager to sign the bilateral agreement with different countries including Bangladesh. USA tried to pass the treaty during the last political regime but due to disagreement on some of the clauses, it was not ultimately approved.

In the meantime, Council of Ministers approved 2 trade agreements with India. It is said that one of the agreements was first sign in 1980 during Ziaur Rahman regime. It was extended by the past governments and it is now resigned only. In this treaty, the signing countries is allowed to use the roads, water ways and railways for transportation of goods between two places in one country through the territory of the other. The second agreement is a new one by the name ‘Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) to boost trade and investment with India.[DS].

We hope that every treaty should be disclosed to the public,be well debated in the media and in parliament and only be accepted if it appears good for the country in short and long term basis.

An ordinary citizen

Full text of the Trade Agreement with India
Trade and Investment Framework Agreements of USA

Politics, lies and media January 30, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Media, POLITICS.
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Our new political government has started its journey after a landslide victory in the long waited general election on the 29th December 2008. The members of Parliament and the Prime Minister took the oath. The ministers have been selected and started their job.
The first session of parliament also started and people gladly observe that both the treasury and opposition bench attended the session.

The first shock came with the announcement of the Deputy Speaker and AL nominated Col(Rt) Showkat Ali to the post adding frustration to the aspiration of BNP-led opposition. AL told that they would have withdrewn the nomination if BNP submitted their nomination for Deputy Speaker. They have also proposed to create a second post of deputy speaker to accommodate a BNP candidate. But BNP is not pleased with the whole move. They are telling that AL committed to give the post of deputy speaker to BNP in their manifesto but they are now avoiding their commitment.

The parliamentary session also from the second day is seeing the absence of BNP MPs in their seats on protest on the distribution of seats to the opposition. The AL wanted the seat on proportional basis and the new speaker arranged the seat accordingly from the second day. But BNP insisting on the arrangement of the seats as was on first day of the session as set by past speaker. Treasury Whip said that AL is following the tradition followed in the earlier parliaments. BNP is saying opposition always given the left hand side front seats in earlier parliaments.

The opposite description of the events also came from the two major political parties on the upazilla elections.

Politics is in our country a game of twist and lies. But because of advancement of media both electronic and print, people are more informed, the events are more transparent and facts are better recorded.

It is now easy for the people to differentiate between truth and lies because of the media.

An ordinary citizen

Mumbai carnage, Islamic terrorism & Bangladesh December 10, 2008

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World witnessed the Mumbai carnage with horror few days back which left about 200 dead and 300 wounded. It also shattered a nation, battered the relation of two countries and make the world leaders a little nervous with dimension of terrorism in the coming future.

It is blamed that Pakistan terrorist groups are directly linked with the terrorist act. India is blaming Pakistan for patronizing the terrorist, though Pakistan denies the accusation.
Though Bangladesh is not officially blamed for any link with the act, Bangladesh is also feeling the heat of the carnage. With the spilling of terrorist act to Pakistan and then to India, Bangladesh is not far away the site of carnage.

Bangladesh is not immune from the terrorist activities. In the near past, an Islamic militant group Jamiatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) made an all out effort to demonstrate their presence by blasting bombs in all over the country at a time. In the following months people of Bangladesh witnessed the bombings in the courts, killing of judges and innocent people. After months of panicky situation,many of the JMB leaders were arrested, tried in the court and given death penalty. The penalty was materialized during the tenure of the caretaker government and people felt temporary relief.

But the proponents of JMB are still there, many young people because of lack of understanding of true Islam,confused militancy as a means of achieving their ideological goal. It is found that JMB started their activities long before and was associated with major political killings in Bangladesh.

It is learnt that some of militants have participated in the Afgan war against Russia where they develop the instinct for militancy and later they grouped together to exercise the tactics in Bangladesh. It is said that JMB is more a home grown group and virtually had no contact with Al-Queda.

But it is not certain that they have been abolished and they will remain not so virulent in their attack in future. Sporadic news of their activities and arrests are still continuing.

Interestingly, a group of JMB minded Afgan mujahedin wanted to float a political party in Bangladesh in the backdrop of general election when the Election Commission invite applications for registration of the political parties. The appeal was protested from different corners and EC ultimately refused to recognize the party. But I am not sure whether it is better to allow a militant group to keep it activities open and work as political party.

A disturbing development is the breaking down of the sculpture in front of Bangladesh Airlines office in Dilkhusha, Dhaka immediately after the Mumbai massacre by some fanatics who rather advocating in favour of their wrongdoing even after arrest. With general election very close at the end of December 2008, government is also speculating nasty misdeeds by religious fanatics.

The best safeguard against the militancy is the people. The reason that the militancy so far didn’t get the root in the soil of Bangladesh is because people didn’t support and nourish it.

People will need to be kept aware and their participation will be needed to be ensured in the future also against the terrorism.

Understanding the rise of Islamic militancy in Bangladesh needs a thorough study and one can’t depend on sporadic reports of the print and electronic media to understand the philosophy and strategy of the groups. To fulfill the need on long term basis Bangladesh should have an Institute for security and strategic policy under the Ministry of Defense.

More attention should be given to make the Madrasha education modernized, practical, employment worthy,transparent and in communication with mainstream education.

And people and government must be vigilant against any suspicious activities regarding Islamic terrorism.

An ordinary citizen

Let Media play more positive role to make the local government elections effective July 11, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, GOVERNANCE, local government, Media.
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With the progress of the process of the local government elections, the constructive role of media is increasingly felt with time.

The political parties are trying to give the local government a political colour- they are choosing their candidate, declaring the names, urging others to accept their verdict etc. The media should try to uphold the non- political character of the local government elections. The candidates who are competing in the elections should be judged by their work, competence and qualities of character rather than their political affiliation. (more…)

Media not necessarily reflect the opinion of the people May 28, 2008

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We have a common impression that media reflects the opinion of the people. It is not necessarily so.
Media represents a group of people who hold the privilege to express the opinion on any subject in the name of people. The people neither nominate them nor they seek permission from the people. (more…)

Developing alternatives to conventional media May 9, 2008

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I was listening to a talk show few days back where the chairman of Public Service Commission, was telling that the survey they have conducted on quota system for Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) has been given to the journalists and it was hoped that the journalists would summarize and discuss it in the papers and TV channels. (more…)

Torture on Tarique Zia: manipulation of a London-based TV channel? January 18, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Media, POLITICS.
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The daily Star reports: A London based TV channel doctors a year-old picture of a prisoner to claim torture on Tarique Rahman

Link: the report

An ordinary citizen

The cartoon, Daily Prothom Alo and consequences September 21, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Media.
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A cartoon was published in the ‘Alpin’, a satiric magazine of The Daily Prothom Alo on the 17th September 2007 where the cartoonist used the word ‘Mohammad’ in the dialogue which has created much reaction in the religious community.

Different religious group protested the publication in the daily.

In response , Government confiscated the edition of the magazine, arrested the cartoonist and suspended the publication of the magazine.

The Editor of the Daily also seek apology for the mistake, suspended the departmental editor and cancelled the contract with the cartoonist.


Autonomy of state-run TV and radio-Renewed thought July 5, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Media.
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Few days back a discussion meeting was held in the city with some intellectuals and media personalities participating.

.They have urged the Government for the autonomy of the state-run TV and radio.

Autonomy of the BTV and Radio is  a popular agenda of the political parties since 90’s. They repeatedly declared the institution of autonomy in their manifestoes. From 1990 to 2006, the elected Governments came but none fulfill their agenda to keep their commitment to the people. Now, it is the turn of the CG to implement the program as if  they had the same committment to the people (actually it is reflecting the expectations of the people including the intellectuals from the CG).

But before taking any decision in this respect, let us have a renewed thought of the  situation. (more…)