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Doraemon banned 8

Pohela Boishakh 13

FRIDAY APR 19 2013

vol 1 Issu e 1

The silent protector 24


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CONTENTS

A Weekly Pro ducti o n o f

Vo lume 1, Issu e 1 Apr i l 19, 2 0 13

6 FEATURE Time for a new beginning

Acting Editor Zafar Sobhan Magazine Editor Faruq Hasan Weekend Tribune Team Fahim Razzaq Sumaiya Shams Faisal Mahmud Tamoha Binte Siddiqui Rifat Islam Esha Fazle Rabbi Shakil Bassema Karaki Sheikh Mohammed Irfan Yusuf Banna Photography Syed Latif Hossain Cartoonist Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy Design Asmaul Haque Mamun Mohammed Mahbub Alam Production Masum Billah Email: info@dhakatribune.com Web: www.dhakatribune.com

26 CULTURE VULTURE Watching “Television”

27 OBITUARY Goodbye, Iron Lady

2 THIS WEEK 4 whose line is it anyway? Free speech or preach? 5 COLUMN Big Mouth strikes again 8 POST-RIPOSTE Doraemon banned 9 TOP 10 Asian cuisine with a Bangla twist 10 THOUGHT PLOT Summer of many faces 12 COLUMN 6 of connotations 13 PHOTO STORY 17 REALPOLITIK Defence against slander! 18 DIGITAL BANGLADESH Pinpointing the last mile 19 INTERVIEW Lights! Camera! Direction! 20 GAME ON A lasting legacy 21 STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND The joys and pangs of hartal 22 TOUGH LOVE 23 BACKBENCHERS’ CLUB 24 DAY IN THE LIFE OF The silent protector 25 THE WAY DHAKA WAS 28 LAST WORD

EDITOR’S NOTE

Not another newspaper! T

he day after I took on the job to be the WT editor, Newsweek died and went to cyber heaven. The slings and arrows of Twitter, Facebook and blogs had taken their toll, and alas, the poor global news giant had to retreat to a new virtual haven. I must admit that Newsweek’s “defeat” has left a mark on me. Do we really need another newspaper in Dhaka? Isn’t news coverage being saturated? With electronic media and television news channels apparently thriving, why should we turn to a newspaper or a magazine to give us news? All valid questions, but they all have one common denominator: print media has apparently become a dinosaur and has no relevance in a fast-paced world, where breaking news is not suited for the print media. Newspapers, journals and their kith and kin are now a square peg in a round hole – an uncomfortable fit for the newssavvy consumer.

However, to point out the shortcomings of a poor state is to diminish our own strengths, and that is we provide not only news, but analysis.

year’s festivities in the context of a couple of decades. You might hit the Like button on your friend’s Facebook pictures celebrating Noboborsho, but take a look at our Photo Story where we encapsulate how the whole nation celebrated. Go ahead and tweet about how you’re missing “Doraemon” cartoons dubbed in Hindi, but our Post/Riposte section goes one step further and explains that not everyone feels the same way. And, as I explain in my column, television channels and the Internet news portals may be efficient in disseminating breaking news, but as far as analysis is concerned, no one does a better job than print media as a whole, while at the same time trying to be non-partisan and giving our readers a balanced, holistic look at what’s going on around us.

While we have been busy celebrating this year’s Bangla New year, which we write about in our cover story, we also have another story placing this

So go ahead, enjoy the very first issue of the Weekend Tribune. I am convinced that we are here to stay, and I hope you are too.

My first reaction is to ask our detractors what market they’re talking about. It’s true: in the “West,” newspapers are slowly losing ground to electronic media and television. But in a country, and indeed region, where Internet penetration is among the lowest in the world, and where even a few hours of electricity a day is a luxury to many, newspapers and journals like ours are the main source of comprehensive news they will be getting throughout the day. The only competition we get is, well, other newspapers.

W E E K E N D TR IBUN E FR I DAY, APR I L 1 9, 20 1 3


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THIS WEEK IN INTERNATIONAL

Mike Hutchings/Reuters

A White Rhino and her calf walk in the dusk light in Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa’s North West Province April 19, 2013.

(AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

Pakistan’s former President and military ruler Pervez Musharraf arrives to present party manifesto leaflets to candidates at his residence in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, April 15, 2013. Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League APML, party will take part in the upcoming elections scheduled on May 31, 2013.

Leo Ramirez/AFP

Supporters of Venezuelan opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles protest in Caracas on April 15, 2013. Venezuela’s acting President Nicolas Maduro was proclaimed the winner of an election to succeed late leader Hugo Chavez here Monday triggering protests as the opposition demanded a recount.

W E E K E N D TRIBUNE F R I DAY, AP R I L 1 9, 2013

Mike Hutchings/Reuters

A White Rhino and her calf walk in the dusk light in Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa’s North West Province April 19, 2012.


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NATIONAL

Nashirul Islam/Dhaka Tribune

Dhaka Tribune

A worker arriving from abroad stranded at the Shahjalal International Airport waits for transport to the city in Shibir called hartal. April 10, 2013.

BUET remains closed sine die after a student was stabbed by unidentified persons in broad daylight on April 9, 2013.

Nashirul Islam/Dhaka Tribune

Mumit M/Dhaka Tribune

Far Left National shooter Sabrina Sultana practicing for the upcoming Bangladesh Games 2013 at National Shooting Complex last week.

Amar Desh editor Mahmudur Rahman arrested April 11, 2013. W E E K E N D TR IBUN E FR I DAY, APR I L 1 9, 20 1 3


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whose line is it anyway?

Free speech or preach? “In 1971, Yahya Khan wanted to burn down Bangladesh, not the people ... at present Khaleda Zia is following the same policy.” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

“However destructive and self-defeating the opposition’s policies might be, drawing comparisons with the atrocities of ’71 further alienates the opposition and intensifies the confrontational mood in the political arena. It’s ridiculous and I am tired of this.”

Quddus Khan

Cartoons:Tanmoy/Dhaka Tribune

“I think both the major parties should sit together and TALK.”

Sonika Islam

“In Bangladesh, we are all victims of the blame game.”

Rashid Imam W E E K E N D TRIBUNE F R I DAY, AP R I L 1 9, 2013

“I don’t know about who’s burning whom, but the current situation is killing our economy.”

Md Habibur Rahman


COLUMN

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NAHEED KAMAL

Big Mouth strikes again

Don’t ask a woman if she has issues when the future of the human race depends on it

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he universe works in the strangest ways, and no topic, area or issue within this universal cycle is left unaddressed for long. There is method to its seeming madness; some may prefer to call it randomness, but every woman knows what I’m talking about. “Have you got any issues?” the man asked. Incredulous as it may seem, silly little me did repeat the question and took his nod to imply I could rant and rattle off my list of issues, and let off the steam. My lucky day! Just a mundane question triggered a wave of outpouring and a chance for me to educate and rant, killing two birds with one stone. If I sound like a lunatic, then let me explain how I wound up talking about pornography, menstruation and the future of the human race in a doctor’s waiting room in Dhaka last week. Lunatic is correct, originating from Luna, meaning the moon, which has a cycle as it waxes and wanes. Women, too, have 28-day cycles similar to La Luna. And it was, for me, “that time of the month.” Women generally do go wee bit crazy around the time of ovulation. Given the changes taking place within a woman’s body triggered by ovulation, it isn’t surprising at all to have unusual reactions. While some

If I sound like a lunatic, then let me explain how I wound up talking about pornography, menstruation and the future of the human race in a doctor’s waiting room in Dhaka last week. senses are heightened, others are at rest or going mad. So most women, and those close to them, learn to recognise and accept, even embrace and celebrate the experience. So why menstruation is still a taboo topic, one

that both men and women are too embarrassed to discuss, has always been a mystery to me. I haven’t found any reasons to convince me that I ought to be ashamed of what my body does naturally. After all, people talk about indigestion and worse all the bloody time. So, when I thought someone asking if I had issues, I gleefully rattled them off. Starting with how much I hated not being able to travel on my own, the lack of semi-decent men, the overwhelming presence of people whom I hadn’t known all my life and their extended families, the disappearance of green spaces, the overcrowding, the shameful absence of proper bookshops, pubs and coffee, the bad body odour. I ranted about those awful loud speakers people insist on installing and then hire these screeching singers to torture the whole neighbourhood with their excruciating renditions of songs that are bad enough to begin with. Then I went off on a tangent about the sheer magnitude of how unfair life could be, and why I couldn’t wear whatever I felt like without courting the wrong kind of attention, and the issues related to violence, women’s rights, or lack of such in practice. And my biggest issues were why any man would ever believe he has the right to force himself on a woman against her will, and why I could never expect to get a straight and clear answer to this question from any man, at all, ever ...

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aving paused to take a short breath, baffled, bored, outraged and embarrassed were the expressions I saw, but undeterred I drove home my point. I can’t understand why people can’t ever talk about bodily functions that are natural, such as menstruation, but it’s all right to speak in details about the most vile, dysfunctional ones, such as indigestion and diarrhoea. Gross!

You will soon recognise, given the chance, or not, I am mighty pleased to speak about topics that make people uncomfortable. Women make people uncomfortable, our bodies more so, the functions of our bodies are the last topic anyone wants to hear of or know about. Women are reclaiming their (our) place in society, with our bodies, our minds, with words and actions, by turning language on its head, with

Naheed Kamal is an irreverent and irreligious feminist. An old soul of indeterminate age, with one too many opinions and a very loud voice (for a little person), she laughs a lot, mostly at herself. She lives in Dhaka, against her best judgement. Mostly, Ms Kamal rants, a lot!

Knowledge of the reproductive cycle is vital for both sexes and sex to result not merely in copulation, but also procreation, and vice-versa. words as mundane as vagina and as shocking as slut and bitch, that are not necessarily negative in the right context. Speaking up about our natural biological functions is imperative, for women’s rights, and for both sexes to learn to understand each other better, for mutual respect and empathy. So, ovulation, which is related to reproduction, and sex. Let us consider the sexual act: if we say there’s the missionary position at one end of the spectrum, and say Tantric yoga at the other, then reproduction is but one thin layer of a multitude of layers that make up the experience. Knowledge of the reproductive cycle is vital for both sexes and sex to result not merely in copulation, but also procreation, and vice-versa. What is my point? So many of us turn to the internet for the vast source of information it is – with all the answers to all the questions. We can educate ourselves, learn about stuff, open our minds ... but Google will serve up only so much depending on what we are searching for. Typing “free porn” is not the answer to the question. That is my point! n

W E E K E N D TR IBUN E FR I DAY, APR I L 1 9, 20 1 3


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Yusuf Banna is a Staff Writer at Weekend Tribune. He would be happier if he could be a poet, 24x7. He also dreams of being a painter and is envious of those who can paint.

FEATURE

Bangla noboborsho

Time for a new beginning Yusuf Banna writes about celebrating Pohela Boishakh and Bangali culture Photos: Mumit M

I

n the recent chaotic times when the passion of Bangladeshis has been put to test, we have also been presented with the opportunity to start anew. It may sound easy, but it involves a lot of courage and struggle. During the last few months, a large part of young Bangladeshis raised voices to seek justice, which gave the nation the hope for a new beginning. Amidst the political instability, the new generation was determined to welcome the Bangla year of 1420,

celebrating Pohela Boishakh on April 14 with the dream of making Bangladesh free from corruption, hierarchy, war criminals and injustice. The history The celebration of Bangla Noboborsho (New Year) began during the Mughal reign. Emperor Akbar the Great initiated the creation of the first Bangla calendar, based on the Hijri lunar cycle and Bangla solar cycle. The celebration of Noboborsho has

Pohela Boishakh slogan for 2013: We want a Bangladesh free from Razakars.

W E E K E N D TRIBUNE F R I DAY, AP R I L 1 9, 2013

its roots in the agricultural activities of the Bangali people. At first, the new year was celebrated by observing the change of season and the time of sowing and harvesting the crop. Later, the first day of the month Boishakh was decided to be the first day of the Bangla year. The rural people had accepted the new Bangla calendar because of economic reasons: it was the day when khajna (crop taxes) was collected by the kings and later the zamindars (landlords), and also when new halkhata (ledger) was opened by the traders after paying and collecting all debts in the previous year closing the old halkhata. There were many other events to mark the occasion: boli khela (a form of wrestling) in Chittagong, bull fight, gambhira gaan (a genre of folk ballad) in Rajshahi, and above all the most popular Boishakhi mela. Some of these rituals still exist. However, the modern format of this celebration was first set by the Tagore family in Jorasanko, Kolkata. After establishing Santiniketan in 1901, Rabindranath Tagore pioneered in creating a Pohela Boishakh celebration, as he had with other season-based festivities in Bangla culture. Pohela Boishakh and Borshoboron Utsab is probably the only secular festival in our country. Celebration as a weapon of rebellion During the times of need, celebrating Noboborsho created a scope for rebellion as well, which is another prominent feature of the history of this occasion. In the 60s, during Ayub autocracy, Rabindra Sangeet was banned in East Bangla. It was an assault on the nation, as these songs were considered inseparable from our culture. Then, as a protest, Chhayanaut, one of the renowned cultural organisation in the country, started welcoming the Bangla year under the banyan tree in Ramna Park by performing Rabindra Sangeet at the sunrise. To this day, this ritual is fervently followed and has become an integral part of the Borshoboron Utsab. This year, the theme of Pohela Boishakh was “A Razakar-free Bangladesh.” With the ongoing protest

Did you know? l

The first Bangla calendar was initiated by Akbar the Great on March 10, 1585, but it became official on March 16, 1588.

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Borshoboron also marked the khajna collections from the farmers by the zamindars.

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The ritual of khajna collection was called punnah, derived from the word punno, which means sacred in Bangla.

at Shahbagh turning into a revolution which was willingly accepted by many Bangladeshis, the theme of this year’s celebration is certainly appropriate. Celebration in the present days: Mongol Shobhajatra by Charukala Charukala, as the Faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University is fondly known, has played a significant role in the preservation and promotion, as well as the revival of the Bangla culture and traditions. It mixes the age-old rituals with new ways of paying homage to being Bangladeshi and


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Bangali. Students of Charukala take much pride in their historical role in the Bangla New Year celebrations. The colourful parade, known as Mongol Shobhajatra, has become identical to the Borshoboron festivities. Every year, the procession begins at Charukala and heads towards the Doyel Chottor in Motijheel, moving on to DU’s Faculty of Science and coming back to Charukala. With the huge colourful masks and figures of birds, animals and mythical creatures, the parade has grown bigger and better over the years. Satirical effigies of Razakars as portrayed in the posters during and after Bangladesh’s War of Independence are a part of the rally too, reminding everyone of our history. Since the independence of Bangladesh, students at Charukala

have been working to keep the Bangali pride and heritage alive. The Boishakhi Mela, reminiscent of the rural fairs that used to take place all over Bengal (the present-day Bangladesh and West Bengal), are organised and funded by the students themselves. Preparations start months ahead of the designated day to set the stage for the festivities, which include cultural performances and setting up stalls that sell masks, handicrafts and all things Bangladeshi. How do the students fund such a massive celebration? They do so by selling the assorted items they make for the occasion and sell at the fair, which starts a month ahead of the big day. This year, the celebrations had a new flavour, with the Shahbagh Movement lending new fervour to everything.

One has to visit Charukala to see what’s on offer during the Pohela Boishakh preparations. As April 14 comes nearer, things get more and more hectic. Artworks by young artists are sold at Tk1,000-2,000, while the works by senior artists and faculty members of Charukala are sold at as much as Tk15,000. Smaller items are available at Tk200-500. Usually, the senior-most class of Charukala coordinates with the teachers. “This year, the 12th batch of Charukala alumni was in charge,” Ratna, one of the participating students, said. Everyone is welcome to the big day’s festivities from dawn till dusk, as all Bangladeshis here and across the world come together to celebrate Noboborsho. It is the one aspect of our culture that truly unites us. n

Despite the political turmoil that has plagued the nation for the past two months, the Bangladeshi spirit remained high in celebrating the biggest festival in our history.

W E E K E N D TR IBUN E FR I DAY, APR I L 1 9, 20 1 3


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POST-RIPOSTE

HINDI-dubbed CARTOONS

Doraemon banned I

n February, my favourite cartoon character Doraemon stopped speaking. Wait, let me rephrase that: my favourite character Doraemon stopped speaking in Hindi. I think a little context would help here. Doraemon, of Japanese Manga fame, is an intelligent robot cat whose daily travails have been entertaining both young and old all over the world. In Bangladesh, “Doraemon” was telecast by the Indian version of Nickelodeon. The problem is that it was telecast entirely in Hindi. It was February, the month in which Bangla suddenly becomes a focus again, when our Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu literally put a gag order on poor Hindispouting Doraemon, almost following a Pavlovian instinct. However, for once, I happen to agree with our wellmeaning but usually incompetent ministers. The justification on Doraemon going mute is that we are being invaded by a deluge of Hindi-speaking cartoon characters, a phenomenon that would derail our children from learning Bangla. As hysterical as it may sound, there’s a certain grain of truth in all this. I learnt Hindi by

Naheed Kamal

W E E K E N D TRIBUNE F R I DAY, AP R I L 1 9, 2013

What vexes me is the utter unilateral nature of the flow; not once have I seen anything from Bangladesh telecast in any part of India. So ban my Japanese cat-friend Doraemon for a while. Let our kids focus on Bangla instead, or maybe take up Japanese to really get Doraemon flavour at its Manga heart. Better yet, let’s send a signal across the border: we CAN live without you ... for a while, at least. n

Yay! Faruq Hasan

Tanmoy/Dhaka Tribune

Nay!

watching Hindi movies; so did my peers. My cousin in France picked up the language watching dubbed French cartoons in Paris. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that kids will obviously pick up a language that they’re exposed to the most. It also might be at the expense of learning another language, namely Bangla in this case. But the move got my support not because of its pedagogical claims or patriotic fervour, but simply because of the political response – however negligible or slight – it sends to our Big Brother Neighbour across the other side. From time immemorial, we’ve been consumers of Hindi programmes. From Doordarshan in the mid-80s to the contemporary Hindi serials, and of course the cartoons, we keep on importing culture from the Other Side.

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nly in Bangladesh would a Japanese cartoon be banned to prevent Hindi invasion. The call came on February 3 by an MP in Parliament to ban “Doraemon.” The animated character was accused of “only teaching about telling lies and speaking Hindi.” The lawmaker must have spent considerable time watching the show to make such an allegation. Let’s look at the reports, because the decision to ban something is never taken lightly in Bangladesh. According to reports, the MP was concerned that it might “change our mother tongue in the future” owing to its “negative effects.” On February 15, AFP reported the Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu banning the cartoon because “the government doesn’t want children’s educational atmosphere to be hampered by ‘Doraemon’.” It seems we have little “Doraemon” addicts speaking in Hindi to each other instead of Bangla. Perhaps the month of February

brought out a frenzied love for the mother tongue in Bangladeshis. I completely agree that there’s way too much Hindi everywhere. We do need to ensure children know how to speak and sing in Bangla, but it’s no harm if they also learn other languages. Given the fact that we’re a Bangla-speaking nation, there really shouldn’t be any cause for concern that our mother tongue may be altered and changed beyond recognition due to a single cartoon dubbed in Hindi. I think the problem starts at home and with parental guidance/control, or lack thereof. No amount of Hindi skills in children should distract them from being able to speak in Bangla. Children pick up languages easily, which is a good thing. Scientific evidence proves how their development benefits from learning various languages. The series is actually about an intelligent robotic cat that travels back in time. The episodes use comedy to teach values, such as honesty,

perseverance, courage and respect for elders. It also addresses environmental issues. One would think these are lessons we would want our children to learn, regardless of which language they learnt them in. Now, it would be wonderful if the ban could ensure that our children no longer converse in Hindi and their educational atmosphere is not hampered. For that to happen, the guardians and caretakers of said children would also have to stop watching the innumerable Hindi channels, ban Hindi music and dance routines at weddings, and much more. But then, wouldn’t the men have to deal with their irate wives? There’s one thing that’s still bothering me: did the esteemed lawmakers notice that there’s also a cartoon channel that airs Pakistani ads? Wouldn’t it have made more of an impact to ban (if you must) that channel? I rest my case. n


TOP 10

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bangla-chinese restaurants

Asian cuisine with a Bangla twist

Sumaiya Shams lists the top places in Dhaka where you can enjoy deshi Chinese delights We Bangalis have always favoured our spice-loving taste buds. So it’s no wonder that we would want to tweak authentic recipes to suit our tongue. Of all the cuisines that have been introduced to the Bangali palate so far, Chinese food has made it to the top. And most “Bangla-Chinese” restaurants have blended local flavours with the original cuisine successfully. So, here are 10 names for your consideration. These restaurants have been picked based on their ambience, service, prices, and most importantly, the food!

Four Seasons

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Four Seasons Restaurant is located near the Dhanmondi 27 (old)-Satmasjid Road intersection. A popular joint during the weekends, their menu offers an array of Thai and Chinese items at a reasonable price range (Tk200-650, with the special items priced at Tk750-850). For the main course, Beef Sizzling, Chicken Chilli Onion, Mixed Vegetables and Mixed Fried Rice are good choices. Four Seasons takes the second place as its menu isn’t as diverse as that of its counterpart above.

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Chilis

Located near the Panthapath-Dhanmondi-Mirpur Road intersection in Dhanmondi Road 11, Chilis Thai and Chinese Restaurant is one of the most popular choices amongst foodies in Dhaka, serving mouth-watering Bangla-Chinese dishes for close to two decades. The elegant interior with woodwork and glass decor is pleasing to the eye when you enter the restaurant, and as you’re led to your table, you’re greeted by a group of dedicated servers who are intent on making you happy. The menu covers a wide range of Chinese and Thai items, from amazing appetisers to sizzling main courses, all within the range of Tk 100-900. Their Sizzling Chicken, Sweet N’ Sour Prawn Ball and American Chop Suey are especially good. For the complete dining experience that the restaurant provides, Chilis easily makes the first place on this list.

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Xinxian

Located at Dhanmondi Road 8, Xinxian Restaurant and Four Seasons share the same owners, and thus have very similar cuisine. However, you can pick some subtle differences in taste between the foods if you really pay attention. For one, the Sizzling Beef at Xinxian tastes a little bland compared to the Sizzling Beef at Four Seasons. Do try their Chinese Chop Suey; it’s good.

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Sumaiya Shams is a Senior Staff Sub-editor working at Weekend Tribune. When she isn’t busy with grammar corrections, she tries to write.

Jing Ling

Located in Dhanmondi Road 4A, you’ll find Jing Ling Chinese Restaurant full most of the time. The servers there are prompt and friendly. Do try the Jing Ling Special Chowmein. The prices are within Tk600. Photos: Syed Latif Hossain, Sumaiya Shams, Abacus Restaurant

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Golden Spoon

Golden Spoon Thai and Chinese Restaurant is in Uttara sector 1, and stands out for its big, well-lit golden spoon at the entrance. Its warm and cosy interior makes you feel as if you’re home. The seating arrangement ensures guests at each table the much-desired privacy. Food is quite reasonably priced, compared to other restaurants around. The popular dishes there are Special Fried Rice and Thai Chicken, and they have special ice creams for dessert.

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Chang Pei

When there weren’t so many restaurants mushrooming in every corner of Dhaka, Chang Pei Chinese Restaurant was one of the places where people went for dining. It’s one of the oldest restaurants in the city, situated on Kemal Ataturk Avenue in Banani. It has a steady base of diners who visit the place regularly, especially students in the nearby universities and the office-goers. They offer set menus that draw a lot of youngsters, and the buffet, which is reasonably priced too.

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Sea Shell

Sea Shell Restaurant offers delectable foods that are very reasonably priced. Most of their popular dishes are priced at Tk240-300. Besides Chinese, Thai and Szechuan items, they also offer Indian food. It’s located in Uttara sector 4.

Abacus

Abacus Restaurant is particularly popular among university students and office people. In all four outlets of Abacus (Gulshan, Dhanmondi, Banasree and Uttara), they offer Chinese and Thai food within the price range of Tk200-990. You should definitely try the Abacus House Chowmein and Prawn Balls. Their main attraction is Lunch Express – set menus for one person, priced at Tk220-300. They also serve a number of Indian dishes.

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Park Town

Park Town International Cuisine has combined Chinese, Thai and authentic Indonesian cuisines. As you take in the sophisticated yet cosy settings, the delicious aroma of Grilled Red Snapper, Grilled Chicken and Lobster, and Beef with Ginger will stir up your hunger in no time. The restaurant is located in Monipuri Para, near the Sangsad Avenue-Bijoy Smarani intersection.

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Broccoli

Broccoli is a little place on Satmasjid Road in Dhanmondi (near Road #10A) that offers Chinese, Thai and Szechuan foods. The place is usually quiet, but gets busy during lunch as office goers flock in to enjoy a nice meal. Prices vary between Tk250 and Tk500. n W E E K E N D TR IBUN E FR I DAY, APR I L 1 9, 20 1 3


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THOUGHT PLOT

pohela boishakh over the years

Summer of many faces Faisal Mahmud is a Staff Reporter at Weekend Tribune who specialises in writing IT and telecom articles with depth and analysis. He is also in charge of the weekly Tech page for the newspaper.

Pohela Boishakh is no longer what it used to be. Is technology changing how we celebrate one of our oldest national celebrations?

Faisal Mahmud writes about how Pohela Boishakh celebrations have evolved

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he “urbanites,” especially a big part of this busy generation, have found their own little way of creating an occasion out of everything. However, Pohela Boishakh, the first day of the Bangla calendar as well as summer, is no ordinary day for celebration. It’s a special day that gets the nation together, regardless of caste, religion, political affiliations, etc. Pohela Boishakh celebrations have changed over the years, though. With the advent of countless new TV channels and print media, people just can’t keep themselves in a state of oblivion about the occasion … unless they want to. And then you have social media – literally the digital heartbeat of this new generation. Ask any guy or girl; they will tell you that it’s like committing social suicide if you are not in the latest fad. And celebrating Boishakh is the latest now, hands down! The point is, Pohela Boishakh – a celebration that dates back hundreds of years – has stayed quite the same. Only, new dimensions have been added to it in the last few decades – in a good way, of course – and the active participation in it has increased exponentially. First of all, let’s have a look at our fashion houses. In the last 10 years, renowned fashion brands have been storing and selling clothes for the occasion, especially using the combination of white and bright red and maroon, the colours that represent Boishakh. Weekend Tribune spoke with some of the fashion houses, all of whom agreed that the sales before Pohela Boishakh are no less than that before the Eids. One salesman at Kay Kraft dubbed the night of April 13 “chaan raait.” It was about 1:45am on this year’s April 14, and business was in full swing at one of the Kay Krafts outlets. A salesman told this correspondent that the fashion house had included Pohela Boishakh on the short list of occasions when they can make huge profits, besides the two Eids. Adnan Rajib, a fashion designer

W E E K E N D TRIBUNE F R I DAY, AP R I L 1 9, 2013

Mumit M/Dhaka Tribune

Syed Latif Hossain/Dhaka Tribune


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Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Mumit M/Dhaka Tribune

at the clothing store Manja, told Weekend Tribune that the fashion outlet started its preparation to creating a special Boishakh-themed line almost a month back. “It’s a competitive market now. Look at the others (fashion outlets); they are not sitting idle. Everyone does it. So we had to do a lot of brainstorming before the event so that we could come up with a better collection,” he said. The restaurants – from the regular ones in the neighbourhood to the big and fancy ones – completely change their menus just for this one day! Korai Gosto, a renowned eatery in Dhanmondi, serves a Pohela Boishakh menu with the delicacies of Bangla cuisine. “We took meticulous preparation to come up with a different and mouth-watering menu for Dhaka’s gourmet eaters,” one of the supervisors of the restaurant said. Perhaps the most unique trend of Pohela Boishakh took birth just a year ago. In the night before, thousands of volunteers take over the street of Manik Mia Avenue to draw alpona, donning the widest road of the capital with beautiful designs and an array of colours. It’s a scene to behold. “This started last year,” Avi Sankar, studying at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Dhaka University, said. “And it gained huge popularity among the mass. The media also gave it a good coverage, so why not do this every year?” he said, while drawing parts of the massive alpona. There were thousands of people enthusiastically watching and participating in that event at 2am. That tells you what adding a new dimension to the Boishakh celebrations means. Again, only a few years ago, it was all about the Faculty of Fine Arts and its Mongol Shobhajatra, which was participated by a huge number of people. Then there’s the customary celebration at Ramna’s Botomul (Ramna’s famous banyan tree). Today, you can actually find places for huge gatherings all over Dhaka.

Rabindra Sorobor in Dhanmondi has become a prominent venue for Boishakh celebrations. A concert with the theme of Boishakhi music has been taking place at the parking lot of Bangbandhu International Conference Center for the last few years, which has attracted a lot of spectators as well. There’s another place in Mirpur 10 where big Boishakhi events are held. There are other similar locations scattered around Dhaka as well. Social media, especially Facebook, has undoubtedly a lot to do with adding new dimensions to the celebratory face of Boishakh. Open your homepage, and you’ll still see everybody talking about it. Technology – the internet, to be more precise – has brought endless sources of information to the users, with the choice of making decisions and adopting something new to enrich our culture. There is no doubt that these are actually making Pohela Boishakh celebrations a bit more special. Unfortunately, this vibrant celebration was marred by hate crimes that took the lives of innocent people a decade ago. On April 14, 2001, bomb blasts at Ramna Botomul killed 10 people who had joined the crowd to welcome the new year. Many years have gone by since then, but the police are yet to catch the criminals. Considering the current political turmoil in the country, many had anticipated similar incidents to occur this year as well. Thankfully, no such violence took place this year, as predicted by international news agencies such as Associated Press and Reuters. The law enforcement agencies also provided tight security. Enthusiasts celebrated with a sigh of relief. The point is, a national festival like this is something Bangladeshis are proud of, and no amount of needless violence will stop this celebration. After all, it’s our own summer with many faces. n

The essence of Pohela Boishakh remains the same: it is the one big bash that brings all Bangladeshis together, regardless of age, ethnicity, and religious or political affiliations.

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12

COLUMN

As a Nigerian journalist, Adeyanju Pinheiro consistently gives an analytical mind and critical eye to activities and events around her. When not working, she is an outspoken and lively person who enjoys travelling, meeting people and playing Scrabble.

adeyanju pinheiro

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The glamour, colour and culture that take the centre stage during the Easter celebrations in Nigeria

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aster is the most ancient of Christian festivals – older than Christmas – and is considered one of the most important dates in the Christian calendar. Most commonly, Easter is understood to include Good Friday and Easter Sunday, which are three days apart. Easter in Nigeria is loaded with lots of activities; get a glass of something cold as I take you to two fun-filled cities in Nigeria. The norm on an average Monday morning is the bumper-to-bumper ride in all parts of Lagos, the largest city in Nigeria. However, it was a different experience on Easter Monday this year (April 1), as Lagosians trooped out en masse to celebrate the Lagos Easter Carnival IV. Thousands of people converged as early as at 10am at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Onikan, adorned in various colour-

The Lagosians will not be forgetting soon the uniquely sinuous collaboration of costume and motion at the dedicated festival venue – Freedom Park. ful costumes and headdresses. Glamour, colours, fun and beauty were in focus on the Easter Monday, with various groups representing diverse neighbourhoods. Communities, associations and selected schools in Lagos put up a masterful display at the Tafawa Balewa Square as the weeklong Heritage Week came to an exciting end with the 2013 Lagos Carnival. The Lagos Heritage Week, designated “The Year of Brazil,” was formally launched in December 2012 by the award-winning Samba group Thobias da Vai Vai. The Lagosians will not be forgetting soon the uniquely sinuous collaboration of costume and motion at the dedicated festival venue – Freedom Park. The grand parade of masquerades, a moving

W E E K E N D TRIBUNE F R I DAY, AP R I L 1 9, 2013

mosaic of colour and motion drawn from all corners of Yorubaland, ushered in the festival. This year also introduced a modern brass band, the legacy of the Afro-Brazilian returnees who dominate the area around Campos Square, famous for its surviving Brazilian architecture. The Bariga Kids injected youthful verve into the general medley of rhythm and motion. Memory formed a critical dimension of the festival. Like every year, the continent’s dark past was commemorated and its victims honoured in the Fitila (Oil Lamp) Procession, a reminder of the Slave Era, and the triumph of resilience and survival. The celebration did not end on a sombre note, however; there was the Lagos Street Carnival, a tradition that rounds up the festival, preceded by an innovation that enlarges the scope of youth participation – the Children’s Street Carnival. A percussive medley of voices, instruments and pounding feet took to the streets along a designated route that began from Awolowo Road and ended in Tafawa Balewa Square, with the crowning of the Beauty Queen at the festival. Prominent among those who witnessed the colourful displays were several tourists from within and outside the country, including a delegation from Zimbabwe, among other countries.

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his year’s carnival had over 12,000 adults and young people, beautifully costumed, parading the streets of Lagos Island. I must confess, it was really a colourful day as revellers displayed varied creative designs and colourful costumes with a large number of beautiful people. It was, indeed, a jazzy Easter for the residents of Calabar, Cross River State too, as the maiden edition of the Calabar International Jazz Festival took place. The event, scheduled

This year’s carnival had over 12,000 adults and young people, beautifully costumed, parading the streets of Lagos Island. for the Easter holidays, was a threeday activity that featured foreign and local artistes, including Eric Benet – a four-time Grammy nominee and neo soul singer-songwriter, Asa, Darey Art Alade, Bez, Jonathan Butler – a two-time Grammy Award nominee, and Burna Boy. The event, which took place at the Cultural Centre, Calabar, brought together guests from the ancient city and other parts of the country. For the jazz fans, it was sheer delight to meet Butler, a Jazz artiste long and widely admired, who didn’t disappoint them with his performances of the hit song, “If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me).” The ancient city of Calabar, the first capital of Nigeria, is the cleanest, greenest and safest city in the country, with its undulating landscape. In addition to the concerts, there were fun activities and tours for the families during the days, which included boat rides, golfing classes, telecast for children, movies, the arts, rich theatre, arts exhibition, fabulous VIP after-parties, tours, and more. There was something for everyone. There was also the opportunity to sample some of the local delicacies that have led to Calabar being acclaimed as the best kitchen in the country. Side attractions included an art exhibition showcasing works of over 20 artists as well performances by a steel band and colourfully costumed dancers. n


PHOTO STORY

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BOISHAKH

Pohela Boishakh Fun and peace-loving people swarmed the streets despite the rumoured terrorist attacks to welcome the Bangla year 1420. The town burst in an array of music and colours.

W E E K E N D TR IBUN E FR I DAY, APR I L 1 9, 20 1 3


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PHOTO STORY BOISHAKH

Mumit M/Dhaka Tribune

Mumit M/Dhaka Tribune

Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

Syed Latif Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

W E E K E N D TRIBUNE F R I DAY, AP R I L 1 9, 2013


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Mumit M/Dhaka Tribune

Mumit M/Dhaka Tribune

Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

Vicious-looking papier mâché sculptures symbolised absolution of evil forces from our country, while the festivities dissolved bounderies. Even adults were seen playing with children’s toys.

W E E K E N D TR IBUN E FR I DAY, APR I L 1 9, 20 1 3


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PHOTO STORY BOISHAKH

Mumit M/Dhaka Tribune

W E E K E N D TRIBUNE F R I DAY, AP R I L 1 9, 2013


REALPOLITIK

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DEFAMATION LAWS IN BANGLADESH

Defence against slander! Ikhtisad Ahmed writes about libels that occur in the name of freedom of speech

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he nature of freedom of speech is such that any fierce defence of it comes with the caveat that certain necessary evils – pornography, for instance – are unavoidable if it is to be upheld unconditionally. Novelist Brad Thor argued that the freedom of speech includes the freedom to offend people. It can be problematic when that offence is directed at esteemed public figures, especially politicians. Over the years, the Bangladeshi government has created a framework that seeks to control this right in order to steer clear of such offence. The laws pertaining to defamation have been instrumental in the exercise of this control. Defamation is any intentionally false communication, either written or spoken, that harms a person’s reputation. Article 39 of the Constitution allows freedom of speech to all citizens “subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by the law.” Defamation is one of those constitutionally permissible restrictions, made a criminal offence by Section 499 of the Penal Code, and under Section 500 it’s punishable by up to two years in prison. Exceptions to what constitutes defamation are expressly outlined by the Penal Code, and include defence protections (particularly if the material in question is true or in the interest of public welfare), or if the expression has a good faith basis. Thus, it would seem that freedom of speech can still be exercised as a right according to our laws, even though it may draw the ire of the populace. The situation, however, is compounded by other legal provisions that give the edge to the authorities. The Special Powers Act 1974 allows for people to be arrested for stories that are critical of government officials or policies. They can also be charged with contempt of court in order to silence them. A glaring recent

Defamation laws around the world n

The Middle East, Africa, China, Russia, North Korea and Cuba are some of the places in the world where defamation is still a criminal offence. n

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.” n

example of the restrictive nature of the law and its effects on every citizen is the blocking of internet sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. People have been arrested for posting material on these sites that are deemed unsavoury. The current government has taken steps to preserve the sanctity of the right to freedom of speech. The Right to Information Act 2009 aims to improve transparency. Additionally, in December 2009, the

cabinet approved draft amendments to the criminal code that would relax the defamation laws. These sought to outlaw the arrest of editors, publishers, journalists or writers with cases of defamation filed against them. However, these are yet to enter into law, and arrests stemming from defamation charges continue to occur. Bangladesh is far from being the only country in the world in which defamation is a criminal offence, though the company it keeps by doing

Wikimedia Commons

so is no matter of pride. Moreover, the UN Human Rights Commission ruled in 2012 that the criminalisation of defamation is a violation of human rights. Lawrence Ferlinghetti once said: “Freedom of speech is always under attack by Fascist mentality, which exists in all parts of the world, unfortunately.” It would appear that this fundamental human right is destined to remain a qualified right, rather than an unconditional one. n

1972: Article 39(2) of the Constitution establishes the rights to freedoms of speech and expression. 1974: The government passes the Special Powers Act that allows for detention of up to 90 days without trial for stories that are critical of government officials or policies.

2009: The cabinet approves draft amendments to the criminal code to outlaw restrictive provisions of defamation law. These are, however, yet to enter into law.

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Bangladesh is a party to both the aforesaid international law provisions that emphasise on the right to freedoms of speech and expression.

Right to freedom of speech through the years 1860: Section 499 of the Penal Code states: “Whoever by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation or such person, is said, except in cases hereinafter except, to defame that person.” Furthermore, Section 500 states: “Whoever defames another shall be punishable with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or both.”

Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 reiterates the above, but allows for derogation of the right for the protection of national security, public order and a situation of “public emergency which threatens the life of the nation ... to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation.”

2012: Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that the respect and reputation of others need to be taken into account when exercising the right to freedom of expression. However, the UN Human Rights Commission rules that it’s a violation of this article, and of fundamental human rights, for defamation to be a criminal offence. W E E K E N D TR IBUN E FR I DAY, APR I L 1 9, 20 1 3


18

DIGITAL BANGLADESH mapPING BANGLADESH Bigstock

Faisal Mahmud is a Staff Reporter at Weekend Tribune who specialises in writing IT and telecom articles with depth and analysis. He is also in charge of the weekly Tech page for the newspaper.

The mapping project at a glance Eight RERs and over 400 amateur cartographers are relentlessly working to create a map of Bangladesh up to the union level. n

At present, 64 districts, 486 upazilas and 188 union parishads have been added to the Google Maps database. n

The Bangladeshi map making community has members across the country who provide information regularly to create and update the maps. n

Google Maps now provide live satellite imagery and people on the road can actually find out the traffic condition of a particular area by using the application on their smartphones.

Pinpointing the last mile Faisal Mahmud writes about the cartographers working to create a detailed map of Bangladesh on Google

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ap making has been in practice for the last 8,000 years; travellers went to the end of the world and recorded their routes down to the very last detail. Avijit Roy Kabbo didn’t have to go that far, but the task he and his team have been doing is no less significant, at least to the Bangladeshis. Under the project “Bangladesh Mapping Completion Plan,” this group of amateur cartographers is creating digital maps of over 4,486 union parishads of Bangladesh and adding them to the Google Maps (GM), so that anyone can avail them from the internet. As of now, political boundaries of 64 districts, 486 upazilas and 188 union parishads with high accuracy and quality have been added to the GM database. “We are doing this voluntarily; no

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one is paying us for this work,” Avijit, a regional expert reviewer (RER) of GM in Bangladesh, said. “Since its inception in 2004, GM has been a hugely popular tool for the internet users. People in different countries have been using it for finding locations, navigation purposes and recreational activities,” he said. Avijit’s team is enriching the GM database by adding mapping information like pictures, latitude and longitude of particular establishments, roads and areas in different parts of the country. “GM is an open-source application, and like other open source applications, anybody can enrich and update its information,” he said. Google launched the Google Map Maker in 2008, a service designed to

expand the service currently offered by GM. Since then, different amateur map makers across the world have been enriching the GM database by adding mapping information of their own localities. “Map makers in many countries even add the height, length and width of the buildings, restaurants, etc to the GM database so that people can see the three-dimensional (3D) view of their localities,” Avijit said. In 2011, some amateur cartographers in Bangladesh started uploading information on different areas of the country to the GM database. At that time, Google recruited some RERs here, who formed a community named Mapping Bangladesh; they have been working to create and update the maps since then.

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xplaining their mapmaking process, Avijit said: “At first, we collected all the available digital maps of different districts, upazilas and unions in the country from the websites of government departments, Bangladesh Railway, the home ministry and other online resources. “Most of those maps are in KML (Keyhole Markup Language) format – the file format Google Earth uses for the exchange of geographic information. In Google Map Maker, these KML files are overlaid to draw features like roads and specific buildings.” There are three kinds of drawing tools available to draw different

features on a map: placemark (a single point of interest on the map), line (to draw roads, railways, rivers and the like) and polygon (to define boundaries and borders, and add parks, lakes and other large features). “The approach encouraged by other map makers in different countries as well as Google is to trace features from the existing satellite imagery, integrate it with the available KML map files and earmark different places using those tools. We also follow the same measures,” Avijit said. As Avijit’s team created and updated the maps of all the districts and upazilas in that manner, a user can find the map and available images of a place by typing its name or latitude and longitude in GM’s search bar. “We started this project in the middle of last year, and in a little more than seven months, we have completed the mapping of all the districts and upazilas of the country,” Avijit said. He also mentioned that they are working on these maps without the help from the government. “We don’t want any fund from the government but some technical help, which will add momentum to our work. The Department of Survey has lots of KML files of the unions. If we get those, we can complete the mapping of all the unions within a year,” he said. While talking to Weekend Tribune, Colonel Mohammad Nabi, director of the Department of Survey, appreciated the efforts of these amateur map makers, adding that his department is updating and creating the detailed 3D union-level maps of the country too. “It is a project funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It will be completed by 2015. After that, all those maps will be available on the department website,” he said. n


INTERVIEW

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REDOAN RONY

Lights! Camera! Direction! Tamoha Binte Siddiqui chats with the prominent film-maker

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s I sit waiting for Redoan Rony on the set of a well-known TV drama, I am nervous and in awe at the prospect of meeting a person of his calibre. When Mr Rony emerges, he’s haggard and exhausted from just having shot a challenging scene, yet he is pleasantly cordial and surprisingly down-to-earth. Despite having tasted fame at a young age as the director of the widely talked-about movie “Chorabali,” as well as popular television dramas such as “Houseful,” Rony is humble, casual and quite easy to converse with.

Tamoha Binte Siddiqui is a Staff Correspondent for Weekend Tribune, because weekends are the highlights of her life. True story!

When did you first realise you wanted to be a film-maker? Ever since I seriously started thinking about a career, I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker. After my HSC exams, I wanted to get training in this field. However, back then, none of the universities in Bangladesh offered film-making as a subject, so I had to enrol as a computer science student in one of the private universities. After that, I got acquainted with my mentor Mostafa Sarwar Farooqi and worked with him as an assistant director for the television drama “69.” I started to direct by myself in 2006. As a budding director, who were the people that inspired you? All film-makers! All film-makers whose movies I grew up watching inspired me: Christopher Nolan, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Quentin Tarantino, to name a few. Danny Boyle also served as an inspiration because of his ability to make great movies despite having budget constraints. You have worked with various people throughout your career. Who do you like best? I like working with everyone, but I’m most comfortable working with people whom I can also hang out and have a personal connection with outside the set. Tell us about the different projects you have done for the small screen. While working on television dramas, I experimented with telling stories of different lengths. For example, I directed a 70-minute drama called “Urojahaj,” and even worked on megaseries such as “Houseful.” I was also the first person to come up with the concept of the five-episode Eid special, such as “Behind the Scene.” How did “Chorabali” happen? When did you first come up with the concept for the movie? I always felt that there was a demand for well-made commercial movies

Director of the box office hit “Chorabali" n

The mind behind the tv series “Houseful” n

Assistant director of the TV drama “69” n

Syed Latif Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

in Bangladesh which can be enjoyed by the general public, especially youngsters. Most movies made in Bangladesh are either art films, or commercial films that are deemed tasteless by educated audiences. So, I decided to make a movie which would neither be too artsy nor too gaudy, but a movie that will appeal to the larger audience. The main concept was already set in my mind from a long time back. It was only a matter of bringing together the different elements and adding some spice to make it entertaining. What problems did you face while shooting “Chorabali”? When making a movie in Bangladesh, one has to face a lot of technical difficulties. For instance, there are no car mounts for cameras in Bangladesh. So we had to take great risks and put ourselves in hazardous situations to shoot certain scenes. Also, while shooting the last scene of the movie, I was hoping to get permission to shoot in an actual jail. Unfortunately, that was not possible due to security reasons. I wish that film-makers in

Bangladesh could get the kind of support that foreign film-makers get from their governments and non-government bodies. Moreover, there are no modern post-production labs in Bangladesh. Therefore, after completing a movie, we have to go to Bangkok or India, which is an extra hassle.

What do you enjoy more: making films or making TV dramas? Films, of course!

How is directing a TV drama different from directing a movie? There’s a huge difference, of course. Directing a movie is more challenging because everything is on a larger scale: larger sets, larger cast, larger crew and larger arrangement. It’s also more challenging because you have to grab the audience’s complete attention and ensure quality entertainment so that they get their money’s worth. Lastly, in case of TV dramas, I usually get only feedback from friends and family members, since it isn’t possible to directly see the audience’s reactions. In the case of movies, though, I can just sit in the corner of a movie theatre and observe people watching my movie, and get uninhibited feedback through their laughter, tears or even shouting!

What do you like the most about film-making? A number of things. While thinking up a storyline or a new concept, I feel ecstatic and excited. It’s a feeling I can’t put a price on. While shooting, there are moments when I can feel magic being created in front of my very eyes when the actors portray a scene even better than my own imagination. After the movie is released, I like seeing the reactions of the audience while watching my work.

Conceptualised a five-episode Eid-specials

What advice would you give to the aspiring film-makers in Bangladesh? Be serious. Be ready to handle a lot of hardship and overcome a lot of hurdles. Don’t ever give up.

Tell us about your future projects. I want to concentrate more on film-making. I have already started conceptualising my second movie. Hopefully we’ll start shooting this year. n W E E K E N D TR IBUN E FR I DAY, APR I L 1 9, 20 1 3


20

GAME ON

MUSHFIQ’S DOUBLE CENTURY

In the BangladeshSri Lanka test where Mushfiqur Rahim scored his – and Bangladesh’s – first double century, another record was made. Mushfiq partnered with Ashraful for the fifth wicket and they scored 267, the highest in the history of Bangladesh cricket for any wicket in tests.

A lasting legacy

Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

Rabiul Alam talks about the captain’s knock in the recent Bangladesh tour of Sri Lanka

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ongratulations, Captain! You have made yourself, your fans, and your country proud! I could not have been happier that it came from none other than you, my captain. This is true leading from the front, and I am sure this will inspire the rest of your team to follow suit. However, the most important aspect of this double ton will be its lasting legacy: it will allow you to consolidate your authority and respect within the team. When you were handed the leadership role after a period of musical chairs with captains, you were handed the rudder to lead a broken ship to a safer shore. You are a good, honest, and hardworking man, much loved by all. Part of this is due to your no-nonsense attitude and part, of course, is due to your boyish good W E E K E N D TRIBUNE F R I DAY, AP R I L 1 9, 2013

looks. However, in order to lead, you needed to earn the respect from and authority over your team members. Let’s face it. You are not as flamboyant as Tamim of the Khan family. You are not as enigmatically talented as Ashraful. Nor are you the supremely capable superman Shakib. Neither are you the popular yet pagla Mashrafe. In other words, you were never the best batsman, nor the best bowler, nor the best all rounder. You were just this solid wicketkeeping batsman who could score 30-40 runs, keep decently, and chatter a lot. With the passage of time, though, you became this pocket dynamo who could, sometimes and now more often than not, punch way above his weight. Still, it does take more than this to earn your peers’ respect

and keep the heavy hitters in check and under control. With this record-breaking and historymaking innings, you have ensured just that. Under your leadership, you have now taken Bangladesh to heights never seen before. Now, when you tell Tamim to play a big knock, you don’t have to hear: “What do you know about big knocks? How many do you have? I have a blistering 150 or something. Do you know who my uncle is?” Shakib can’t tell you: “Don’t tell me what to do. Do you know that I am the world’s best all rounder?” Ashraful can’t tell you: “Do you know, if I sing, the world dances with me?” Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not accusing any of the players of saying anything like that. I’m just illustrating how tough it is for anyone else in his position to

tell the team heavyweights what to do. Without being the best or the most fancied, you have achieved a feat that will only inspire the best in your team to challenge themselves and follow your footsteps. Your ability to unite your team was already evident with the team’s performance over the past year, but now it just seals your position as the true leader of this team. With this commanding double, you can now command authority and respect from you team. Under your wings, you can now lead the team to soaring heights. Much more than a double century, this innings will have a far-reaching and positive impact on Bangladesh cricket for years to come. Thank you, Mushfiq. n


STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND

21

HARTALS

The joys and pangs of hartal

Bassema Karaki is a LebaneseAmerican married to a Bangladeshi. She shares how strange, crazy, and humorous life in Bangladesh can appear to an outsider looking in.

Bassema Karaki writes about the hilarity of Bangladeshi general strikes

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the back and face of an old man on the street! I understand it’s their duty to maintain peace, but what happened to human rights? Police have the right to arrest and withhold people, but not to beat them raw! The fact of the matter is that the police force is just as unruly as the men on strike.

the order of the country, crippled businesses, handicapped education and vandalised personal property, have absolutely no guilt for their actions. During lunchtime, they simply stop the action, go to restaurants and demand free food. This applies to both the police and those on

all. Probably the only way to enjoy these days, if you’re not on strike yourself and not a policeman, is to appreciate the calm and empty streets — at least where no cocktail bombs are being thrown. It’s pleasurable to take a rickshaw ride and see children playing cricket in the empty roads, taking

Tanmoy/Dhaka Tribune

iving in one of the most crowded cities in the world means I have to deal with the constant influx of noise every minute of the day. That is why I must shamefully admit that hartal days are my favourite days of the week! Not only do the roads remain traffic-free all day, but my surroundings remain calm and quiet, which is nothing short of a miracle in Dhaka. Bangladeshi strikes are unlike those I’ve seen anywhere else in the world. Normally, a strike is meant to make a demand from the government or an institution and force them to adhere to it. People stand together in solidarity, holding signs and chanting slogans that proclaim their demands. In Bangladesh, on the other hand, strikes are a ridiculous excuse for violent men to raid the country. On the rare occasions that you see a group of people marching together, they simply shout “Hartal!” rather than express their actual demands. All we can expect during these events are men scattered around the country, taking out their frustration on innocent civilians. They break and burn trucks, buses, cars, and even the poor CNGs. They beat up random citizens going about their daily business. While all this is going on, their political leaders are sitting on their thrones, claiming they want to bring security to the country. What a joke! To make matters even more absurd, the government party itself holds “anti-hartal” processions. In what other country will you see a government governing a strike? Not only a strike, but a strike against a strike? Where is the sanity in that? The more I live in Dhaka, the more I learn to simply accept the people’s illogical sense of logic. As for policemen, they are always doing one of the two things during hartals: either they will loiter around the city in groups in places like parks, where they can avoid the chaos, or they will mercilessly beat up men in riots. Once on the news, I was absolutely horrified to see a policeman stepping on

You may hate the chaos and uncertainty that accompany hartals, but you can’t help enjoying the calm that comes with them either! What is even funnier is how people are arrested and then released the very next day! A couple of weeks ago, the newspaper published headlines about how a bunch of cocktail bombs were found in a political leader’s office, and how the leader and his party were arrested. The very next day, they were all released! How can they be released if they were hoarding bombs? What kind of law allows that? As I mentioned before, you just have to get used to the illogical logic. These men, who have disrupted

strike! Everyone else suffers at their expense. The good news is, it’s safe to drive during and after lunchtime when everyone is busy filling up their bellies, and you’ll probably never get to enjoy the roads like you will during the hartals.

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t’s true that everyone is suffering during these tough and chaotic times. Students are forced to attend night school and study on holidays, businessmen are incurring huge losses, civilians are living in constant fear and the cost of basic living has risen for

a break from the stress of school, with nobody honking or shouting at them. It’s also a great day to run errands if your area is safe. At least some of us can rejoice in the chaos! I have gotten so accustomed to the preposterous situation of the country that I no longer live in fear of it. The people running the show are never going to come to their senses and make peace, but I suppose this is the case with all politicians. Let’s just pray for rainy days to come, because there are no hartals with the inconvenience of rain! n W E E K E N D TR IBUN E FR I DAY, APR I L 1 9, 20 1 3


22

TOUGH LOVE

DINA SOBHAN

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Dina Sobhan is a freelance writer and a counsellor in mental health and substance abuse disorders.

Lately, I’ve noticed that I’m becoming increasingly moody. My mood can fluctuate from mild depression to anger to excitement up to four times a day. I know I have a family history of bipolar disorder, so I’m wondering if it’s possible that I’m developing the symptoms as I grow. When do I know that my behaviour is abnormal and it’s time for me to seek professional help?

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Tanmoy/Dhaka Tribune

My father passed away recently (may his soul rest in peace), and I’ve been feeling extremely depressed ever since. A month has passed, and I’m still having problems accepting reality. When do I know that my grieving process is abnormal and that I need to seek professional help? The loss of a family member, especially a parent, is extremely traumatic and there is no such thing as a “normal” grieving period, particularly as grief is a very personal thing and affects every individual differently. You have to give yourself adequate time and the permission to mourn his loss without judging yourself as weak due to any difficulties you may have in coping. If possible, you should also turn to friends and family who are in a position to help. Have them shoulder some of your everyday responsibilities until you feel stronger and more capable. If you want to help yourself, however, my advice is to try and focus outward. The rest of your family have suffered the same loss and are equally in need of emotional support. It’s easy to become self-absorbed in times of sadness and lose sight of others and the practical considerations of daily life. A productive way of sublimating your sense of helplessness is by assisting others and thus feeling more useful. But if you feel that you’re unable to perform even basic functions, or have negative thoughts and/or are engaging in self-destructive behaviours, I would strongly advise seeking professional help. Often, just having someone to talk to who can provide an unbiased, outside perspective can help shift our thought processes and adjust our outlook on life. At the very least, the process of sharing your feelings can lessen their burden and help you begin the process of healing. n

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Mood disorders such as bipolar disorder have a specific set of symptoms that, while varied, follow a certain pattern and occur over an extended period of time. The initial onset of bipolar disorder is around the age of 20, and there’s a greater chance of inheriting the condition if there is a family history. It’s most commonly characterised by rapidly alternating moods over a period of at least one week, but can extend to a period of months. The highs, or manic episodes, include impulsive or high-risk behaviour with little thought of consequence, an abundance of energy and a decreased need for sleep, the desire to talk while often making little sense to others, and an exaggerated sense of one’s own abilities. The lows, or depressive episodes, can lead to feelings of fatigue, worthlessness, apathy, guilt and thoughts of suicide. While these symptoms can range from moderate to severe, depending on the individual case, it’s a chronic condition that will eventually lead to impairment in daily functioning, and negatively impact interpersonal relationships, academic/work life and one’s personal health. Based on the little information you’ve provided, it’s difficult to make an accurate assessment of your condition. Age, gender, environmental factors and external stressors can all contribute to feelings of anger, sadness, frustration and the general inability to manage our emotions. This is especially true for adolescents and young adults, who often have the added burden of hormonal upheavals and the lack of emotional maturity to contend with life’s crises. There’s a tendency nowadays to attribute these normal human emotions to a mental illness or disease, thereby absolving oneself of accountability for one’s behaviour and opting for the “quick fix.” However, if you still think that your mood swings are severe enough to merit professional help, and possibly a lifetime of medication and other therapeutic interventions, consult a trained psychiatrist who will only be able to make an accurate diagnosis after assessing your symptoms. n


23

BACKBENCHERS’ CLUB

Across 1 5 6 8 10 11

Award after November? (5) Alternatively, we hear paddle (3) Drunk as a drum (5) Girl that June follows (5) Fish payable on arrival (3) Where to find wrecked canoe? (5)

Down 1 2 3 4 7 8 9

Big bird confused chorist (7) Machine part found in disco gad get (3) Endless job list is nonsense (3) Replace head of Russian govern ment with German bug (7) Nothing in Westminster Palace is a ball (3) A party hullabaloo (3) King on the old whiskey (3)

Tanmoy/Dhaka Tribune

W E E K E N D TR IBUN E FR I DAY, APR I L 1 9, 20 1 3


24

DAY IN THE LIFE OF

A NIGHT WATCHMAN

The silent protector

Tamoha Binte Siddiqui introduces Md Enamul Haque, a night guard in Uttara Tamoha Binte Siddiqui is a Staff Correspondent for Weekend Tribune, because weekends are the highlights of her life. True story!

Syed Latif Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

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ight watchmen are the reason why we can sleep without a worry at night, secure in our houses. They walk, they cycle, and they whistle all night to keep us safe. Yet, I hadn’t realised how little I knew about the lives of our nocturnal protectors, until I met Md Enamul Haque. Enamul has been patrolling Dhaka’s streets at night for 16 years. Although he works eight hours a night, seven nights a week, he’s humble and polite; he was ready with a smile when approached by Weekend Tribune for a talk. Since you’re awake for eight hours every night from 10pm to 6am, do you use the rest of the day to catch up on sleep? Well, I do sleep most of the day, especially on days when I am not doing any daytime odd job to earn a little extra money. However, since I live alone and away from my family, I also use the time for cooking, cleaning and washing.

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Do your family members get annoyed with your routine as you’re away most of time? Yes, they do. I have three daughters; just today, my eldest daughter asked me to stay with her at her house, but I couldn’t. Missing a day’s work means missing a day’s worth of wages, and I can’t afford that. The supervisors are strict about skipping duty as well. When you started your job, how did you keep yourself from falling asleep? I’d usually chew on some betel leaves, or sometimes have tea. If I felt really tired, then I would ask permission from my supervisor to take 10-minute breaks and sit down by the road. What do you do when you feel hungry at night? We usually carry snack boxes with us on our bicycles. What do you like the most about working at night? Deep into the night, when everyone is asleep and silence

prevails, I feel very peaceful and close to God. At those moments, I like to take my Maker’s name and the Prophet’s (SM) name. What is the most painful or difficult aspect of your job? The rain makes our job difficult for us. It’s hard keeping watch while getting soaked all through the night, especially when the winds are strong and our umbrellas can’t hold steady. Also, riding a bicycle all night takes its toll on our bodies. When you see a thief or a robber, or suspect someone to be one, what’s your first course of action? I alert all the other night guards in the vicinity by a special signal using my whistle. After everyone gathers, we tackle the situation as a team. You have worked as a night watchman for 16 years. During this time, have you ever experienced anything supernatural? Many times. I remember

one particular event clearly even today. I used to work in Mirpur back then. I was patrolling a road by a lake, when suddenly a temple emerged from deep under the water. I saw the torso of a man standing in the temple. I took a few steps back and when I looked up again, it was gone. It seems like your job is not only exhausting, but also very nervewracking. Why do you still continue with such a demanding job? Like I said before, I have three daughters. I want them all to get a good education. It’s to give them quality education that I’m still working as a night watchman. After speaking with Enamul, it was impossible to not be touched by his sincerity, his daily hardships, and his determination to keep working for the education of his daughters. It’s reassuring to know that we’re being kept safe at night by capable and hardworking men like him. n


THE WAY DHAKA WAS

25

KAMLAPUR RAILWAY STATION

Kamalapur Railway Station 1982

Bangladesh Old Photo Archive

Web

I remember the first time I stepped into Kamalapur Rail Station in the early 80s. It was quite a treat, since the construction seemed to be going on for ages. Back then, there were no queues, only a few ticket booths, and one really grand restaurant. Of course, the station now is bigger and busier, and a bit out of control with the footpath shops and hawkers. I guess those days are gone forever.

Kamalapur Railway Station Today

Abbas Uddin Kamalapur resident since 1980

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CULTURE VULTURE

CINEMA

Watching “Television” Rifat Islam Esha reviews the latest Mostofa Sarwar Farooki flick Rifat Islam Esha is a Staff Correspondent at Weekend Tribune, who throws words around at her whims. She is also Social Media Editor at the newspaper.

Major recognitions for “Television” World premier at Busan International Film Festival, in October 2012 n

Special Jury Mention, Muhr Asia-Africa Competition, Dubai International Film Festival, December 2012 n

Nominated for Asia Pacific Film Festival Award December 2012 in Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography categories

his father’s wishes. He never crosses his father, at least not until he rebels against him in order to convince his beloved Kohinoor (Nusrat Imroz Tisha) to marry him. This part may seem typical, but you must watch the movie to understand the twist behind it. Keep in mind that all these struggles and conflicts that arise due to the arrival of a television symbolise the acceptance of imagination in a strictly conformist society. The character of Kohinoor is quite different from what you would expect. She’s a strong girl who refuses to marry Soleman after being insulted by his father in front of other villagers. Ultimately, she gets her way.

T

T

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that’s exactly the kind of compliment that you should want from a happy audience. Another strong aspect of the movie is the dialogue, delivered impeccably by the actors. There’s a side-splitting scene where Soleman (Chanchal Chowdhury) asks Mojnu (Mosharraf Karim) to drink on his behalf. There are other quirky instances, which collectively allow the movie to stand out. For example, little village children fill up the house of Kumar Babu, the Hindu schoolteacher who brings

the first television into the village, flocking to take math lessons, but really to watch television. That TV eventually ends up getting thrown into a river. The characters are seen getting slapped every now and then. There is an instance when Jabbar, one of Chairman’s disciples, creates a huge “halal TV” made of cement to replace the real television that had entered not only the village, but the hearts of the villagers. Chanchal plays the docile and innocent Soleman, who obeys all of

“First and foremost, I am a storyteller. I want to tell stories with all their complexities, where there is no black and white, no good and bad guy. I want to discover the complexities of the human condition.” Mostofa S Farooki

Courtesy

he first scene of “Television” begins with a small hilarious episode, where Amin Chairman (Kazi Shahin Huda Rumi) talks to a TV journalist about why he’s against watching television and has banned the “devil’s box” in his village. Through the entire interview, he stays behind a hoisted curtain so that the journalist can’t capture his face on camera. This scene sets the mood of the movie, followed by a series of scenes that are bound to make you actually laugh out loud, if not make your belly ache. The plot is not a simple one. To get the full impact, the audience should allow themselves to completely engage with the deceptively simple aspects of the movie. “Television” is not just a story of a boy getting married to a girl and living happily ever after, even though that does happen in the movie. It’s the story of a man of faith, Amin Chairman (also father of the film’s hero Soleman), who rejects imagination and anything that may help generate it. He deems it to be sinful. He stops all the villagers from watching television, but in the end, he himself has to give up his animosity towards watching television, emblematic of the futility of resisting change. The most remarkable aspect of the film is that it portrays humble Bangali rural life by using colourful, bright images that can be only found in rural Bangladesh. My friend, who was completely blown away by Golam Maola Nobir’s cinematography, whispered to me: “Where is this place? I want to go there.” I believe

here are some drawbacks, though: for instance, the songs used in the movie do not actually match the kind of life that Farooki portrays. However, the audience can easily divert their minds from the songs to the scenes and concentrate on the outstanding acting. The direction is, without a doubt, praiseworthy. Scenes like the one with halal TV and the opening scene need a clever and insightful direction technique, or else the audience might be misled or confused. The pace of the movie gets a bit slow after the interval, and the accent used by the actors fails to be convincing sometimes. However, I will rate this movie 4 out of 5. It successfully portrays a seemingly simple but complex world, affected immensely by strict rules, oppression and gender inequality, by employing stupendous direction and cinematography. n


OBITUARY

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MARGARET THATCHER

Margaret’s career at a glance 1951 Marries Denis Thatcher 1953 Qualifies as a barrister; has twins Mark and Carol 1975 Defeats Heath in Tory leadership contest 1979 Wins the general election, becoming first female PM

Goodbye, Iron Lady

Bigstock

Ibtisam Ahmed remembers the politician whose decisions led to a number of controversies

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argaret Thatcher, Britain’s only female prime minister, whose policies shaped the future of British politics but proved to be divisive and damaging in equal measure, died on April 8 after a stroke. She left behind a legacy that started with triumph but eventually led to her downfall and long-lasting unpopularity. Born Margaret Hilda Roberts on October 13, 1925, she grew up in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Her father Albert had an immense influence on her life and politics. After graduating as a chemistry student from Oxford, she moved to Colchester and became involved with the Conservative Party. In 1949, she was adopted as the Conservative candidate for Dartford in Kent, but she lost both times she stood for that seat, in 1950 and 1951. After another failed attempt at getting elected in 1955, she finally earned her seat in Parliament from Finchley in 1959, moving up to junior minister in two years. When the Conservatives lost in 1964, she became a part of the shadow cabinet. Constantly critical of Labour, she joined Ted Heath’s cabinet in 1970 as the education secretary. With the aim to implement spending cuts, she went on to withdraw free milk from school for children aged seven to eleven, earning her the moniker “Maggie Thatcher, milk snatcher.” It wouldn’t be the last time she provoked such strong public opinion. When the Heath government’s

term ended in 1974, Thatcher stood for the Tory leadership and won, becoming the first woman to lead any major political party in Britain. She was quick to make an impact. After a 1976 speech criticising Soviet policy, a Russian newspaper dubbed her the “Iron Lady.” Continuing to woo voters and condemn trade unions during the 1979 industrial crisis, Thatcher got her chance to run for the office of prime minister when the Labour government lost a vote of confidence that year. The ensuing general election saw her enter 10 Downing Street. She immediately began to rein in the government’s role in the economy in favour of the free market. Radical budgets were introduced to counter inflation as well as a major privatisation scheme that included the likes of BT and British Gas. Council home owners were given a chance to buy their own houses, but at the same time, trade union power was tyrannically subdued. The combination of all the major economic reforms caused unemployment to rise above three million. By late 1981, Thatcher’s approval ratings had fallen to 25%. It would take a miracle for her to hold on to power. That miracle came in the form of the Falklands crisis, when Argentina decided to invade the Falkland Islands in the Atlantic Ocean in 1982. Thatcher responded decisively, sending a naval task force that forced an Argentine surrender on June 14. Despite over 250 British deaths, she was hailed as a hero

and, with Labour still struggling to find coherent leadership, the Conservative party won the next election in 1983. Like her previous term, Thatcher was determined to push through with her brand of economic development. This led to a conflict with the miners’ union who would call a nationwide strike the very next year. Although the strike would eventually collapse, so would several mining communities. Many of them are still on the road to recovery. In Northern Ireland, Thatcher faced down IRA hunger strikers. She fancied herself firm and uncompromising; in reality, her hard-line approach infuriated even the moderates and drove many young Catholics to violence. She attempted to reconsider her terms, but peace was beyond her grasp. In October 1984, an IRA bomber attacked the Brighton Hotel where the Conservative conference was being held. Five people died and many more were injured. Thatcher decided to go ahead and deliver her keynote speech, a decision that was unanimously applauded from both sides of Westminster, even if her overall handling of Ireland was not. Having found a soul-mate in US President Ronald Reagan and a working relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Thatcher sealed an unprecedented third term in power in the 1987 general election. It would be her last. One of her first decisions was to introduce a poll tax, a flat-rate tax for local services that was based on the

individual, not the property owned. This led to some of the worst street violence in London’s history. While other Tory MPs – and Thatcher’s own cabinet – knew they needed to get rid of it, the Iron Lady would not budge. A Euro summit in Rome, where she ridiculed her European counterparts and refused to listen to her own ministers, was the final straw. Sir Geoffrey Howe quit the cabinet and delivered a crippling resignation speech. This was followed by Michael Heseltine challenging for party leadership. After failing to secure the leadership in the first round, Thatcher stepped down in 1990, 11 years after first taking power, and ultimately resigned as MP in 1992. She was later raised to the House of Lords and continued to be active in politics until her health deteriorated in 2001. Her policies, dubbed Thatcherism, became a mainstay in British politics for not just the Conservatives, but also the Liberal Democrats and New Labour. Unfortunately, that isn’t for the best, if Thatcher’s own time as the prime minister is any indication. Disturbingly, London saw its first major riots since the poll tax protests under the current Conservative-led coalition in 2011 against government cuts. With the passing of the Iron Lady, some have mourned and many more have cried: “Ding Dong! The witch is dead!” The lasting legacy of the Iron Lady will always solicit mixed emotions. n

1982 Sends taskforce to handle Falklands crisis; 258 Britons die but the operation is a success 1983 Wins general election by a landslide 1984 Fights a year-long battle with the miners’ unions and survives IRA bombing 1990 With the impact of unpopular poll tax and mishandling of Euro-relations still fresh, resigns after a leadership challenge 1992 Stands down as MP

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28

LAST WORD Faruq Hasan

Faruq Hasan is the Magazine Editor of Weekend Tribune and the resident devil’s advocate.

Print media is dead long live print media! Why we will always need print media

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s I write this column, I am getting my news from the news-ticker on my laptop. I glimpse the news channel on my television from time to time. Occasionally, I get a text message on my phone with the latest stock market update. I am not surrounded by news; I am engulfed by it. For a magazine editor, you’d be hard-pressed to find a newspaper or a magazine in my vicinity. In fact, you’d have to amble down to my makeshift study to find my usual stack of newspapers, magazines, and periodicals. That’s where you get the first clue about the state of

Just when you were ready to announce the demise of print media, we go back to the drawing board and reinvent ourselves. newspapers in most tech-savvy homes. Newspapers and their ilk are no longer the sole news purveyors that they once used to be in Bangladesh. For the first time in its history, the Bangladeshi newspaper business is literally getting a run for its money from competitors outside the industry. Is this the death-knell for newspapers that pundits and commoners have long been heralding as part of the much-hyped but little understood Digital Bangladesh? No, far from it. For starters, Digital Bangladesh never really took off; in fact, it’s been grounded for a long time. Internet penetration in Bangladesh is one of the lowest in the region. Our private news channels are still restricted to the capital. SMS-based news portals are faring better, but our real rivals are radio channels that are still under-utilised in the context of rural

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Bangladesh. Newspapers as a medium, it seems, still has a lot of mileage left. However, basing the strength of a medium on the weaknesses of another is not only churlish, but also a half-truth. I have to confess that newspapers as solely a breaking news provider, have their days numbered. Newspaper editors have to start getting used to constantly justifying our existence to not only the young, who are used to getting news on the go, but also to the converted, who we can no longer take for granted. But, to cite a cliché, when a door closes, a couple of new ones open. Newspapers and magazines have a few things going for them — always have and always will. True, we are deluged by news every day, but not by analysis. We know that a hartal is going to break out tomorrow, and we also know the reasons for it, but we don’t get a political or social perspective about tomorrow’s hartal from reading a text message or someone’s Facebook status. And that’s where an editorial or even a front page story comes in. Print media gives us a fuller picture, and it does so with a whole editorial team giving you research and analysis behind it, something that a blog or television channel is still lagging behind.

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rint media is also taking a leaf out of its digital cousins and constantly evolving. News might break out in an internet portal, but links are provided for the reader to go back to the print edition for a more complete perspective. The same journalist who broke out a hartal-related news on the web will take time out to write out a fuller interview or analysis about the hartal protagonists that is more comfortable on page 4 of a newspaper,

as opposed to a constantly changing web page. Advertising, too, has realised that it can comfortably traverse digital and print boundaries; doing so actually makes it more profitable. Consumers still prefer to hold, touch and feel an advertisement of a new car or a house being sold in the neighbourhood. In fact, it’s easier to bring along a copy of the advertisement that appeared in your paper today to your car dealership, than to carry around your laptop. Ads in newspapers and magazines such as the one you are reading now also have a higher shelflife: you can still find magazine copies from the 90s comfortably ensconced on my dentist’s waiting-room table, replete with ads from products that no longer exist. In the end, it’s easy to get obsessed about the medium in which news is going to appear in, and forget the news itself. In the future, news will increasingly be packaged both in digital forms and in paper. The important parts about print media,

Newspapers, magazines and their ilk have their own fortes; technology and innovation can help to amplify that. There’s enough room in this town for an e-reader and a book! the things that we like, are the thoughtfulness that goes into it and the time that goes into presenting it to the reader, including the editing, research and fact-checking. All this will never go away. The future will see both the formats thriving and feeding off each other, but there’s room in this town for both of us. n



Weekend Tribune Vol 1 Issue 1