Monday, 28 March 2011

Dhono dhanyo pushpo bhora

Dhono dhanyo pushpo bhora

দ্বিজেন্দ্রলাল রায়, Dwijendralal Ray, Songs, দ্বিজেন্দ্রগীতি, Video,

নুপুরছন্দ ঘোষ 

Uploaded by on Mar 28, 2011
This was recorded at Sisir Mancha, Kolkata, India in August 2010. This is a soulful rendition of this Dwijendralal Roy song by Nupurchhanda Ghosh.



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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Why March 25th should be the 'International Genocide Day'

Why March 25th should be the 'International Genocide Day'

by Naznin Seamon (নাজনীন সীমন) on Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 1:45am ·

Bangladesh-----how did the map come to be? What about the name itself? It’s a pretty long history, but not that old. There are many countries in the world who had to be emancipated from their oppressors, many nations and races suffered for a long time and were treated inhumanly, but no nation had ever encountered such brutality as Bangladesh did in 1971 and even beyond.
            The way Hitler attempted to wipe out the Jews and re-establish a nation with pure German blood, Pakistan also sketched a plan to annihilate Bangladesh and its’ population from the face of the world. Of course, they have tried everything to dominate this nation, undermine their abilities, ignore them as human beings, and crush them into little pieces. This process started soon after the British left the then, India and divided it into two halves, namely India and Pakistan, and gradually it moved towards the extreme while 1952 was the major turning point as they declared Urdu to be the one and only language of Pakistan and killed people protesting such degrading decision.
From then on, the repression kept taking different turns with intolerable vulgarity. The tension came to its’ peak when General Yahya Khan refused to allow Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to be the Prime Minister of  Pakistan despite of his party winning 167 seats out of 300 and they continued to alienate East Pakistan, now Bangladesh and its’ people from everything and denied all rights. As a continuation of this hatred and discrimination, on March 25th of 1971 their vulture like claws came out, and in one single night without any notice, without any prior sign like a bunch of cowards they attacked the innocent Bengali people with heavy weapons in the middle of the night while they were deep in sleep. Surely, the Pakistani Govt. was tempted, and as Mark Twain had stated, “There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice”, they chose night over day, attacking than discussing, acting than thinking without having the minimum decency.
        Who knows, maybe a mother was feeding her baby at that moment, a sick man or woman was crying for help, next morning was the greatest day of one’s life, someone was having a sweet dream! They snatched away everything within a flash. In his book, Why We Can’t Wait Martin Luther King, Jr. asserts, “Man was born into barbarism when killing his fellow man was a normal condition of existence. He became endowed with a conscience. And he has now reached the day when violence toward another human being must become as abhorrent as eating another’s flesh” (143). Did the Pakistani exhibit any conscience? Didn’t they eat the flesh of human beings as Dr. King Jr. had mentioned? Should the Pakistanis be still considered as human beings, then?
 Obviously, they were threatened by the Declaration of independence by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the Racecourse on March 7th. Their evil brain did not see any other way to hold onto the power, but they were totally reluctant to leave it. So, with their aggression they wanted to stop the independence movement of the nation by killing a mass number of people on the 25th March. And, March 26th came following one of the most heinous act of the human civilization as a necessary tool to once more announce and spread out the words of the Independence Day.
We all know this history; yet, we force ourselves to deny it or portray it differently. I, personally have not encountered any other nation that is divided to decide upon its’ revolution, emancipation like we have been, especially after 40 years of the birth of a nation. We are still fighting over establishing our roles on this historic event while the anti-Bangladeshi force is growing rapidly being very active. Though our Constitution states religious impartiality, we, still live in a country where religious based politics has been practiced in a full swing. We got our identity at the cost of 3 million fresh lives regardless of gender, religion, age, profession or any other basis, but we allow those collaborators of Pakistan to have our national flag on their high-cost imported cars while many of our freedom fighters have been forced to spread their empty hands in the broad day light on the street just to survive day to day.
        Bangabandhu had spent most of his life in jail transported from here to there with a constant threat of being killed at any moment. Yet, many of us don’t hesitate to say and teach our next generation that “he was having fun in India in the 1971”, or “he actually did not want Bangladesh to be free”, and many other nonsense stories. There is no nation in the world who debates on their father of the nation except us. It is not a rare case either in Bangladesh that people think they have options to choose the father of the nation and this honor can go to many people as they allow to be as if it is no difference than doing our weekly grocery, or choosing one menu over the other in a restaurant. What a childish act! What a shame! Or, is it cowardice as Confucius has mentioned “To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice”?
        Pakistan had exceeded all records of brutality by killing 3 million people only in 9 months, not to mention the number on March 25th alone when roughly at least 50,000 people were murdered only in Dhaka. Even Hitler, one of the worst dictators would have been ashamed to learn this huge figure in such a short period of time. In those nine months period the Pakistani force and their Bangladeshi collaborators engulfed the days of Bangladeshies with horror. There are many fictions, non fictions, biographies and auto biographies written and taught in schools of different parts of the world that projects the historical truth of different nations. The Diary of Anne Frank itself has been translated into almost every language in the world, and we enter into the horrendous situation created by the Nazis through her description. In contrast, we are still living in the era of distortion, our young generation are in a great dilemma.
        This is the time to act now. Majority of the world population are still unaware of what had happened to Bangladesh in 1971, how did the Pakistani Government turn March 25th the darkest night of human civilization. As this ruthless event supersedes all preceding atrocity performed against any nation, it deserves to be called the “International Genocide Day” to make the world aware of this monstrousness and at the same time to show our earnest respect to those martyrs. We need to raise our voice and demonstrate our pro advocacy to freedom and justice.
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    • Sk Mosharraf Hossain Truth is slow in catching up....

    • Naznin Seamon ‎"সত্যের শিখা নিভু নিভু করে জ্বলে"; কিন্তু আর কতোদিন, ৪০ বছর তো কাটলো? আমি এসবের সমাধান দেখে যেতে চাই।

    • Sk Mosharraf Hossain তুমি আমার আকাশ থেকে, সরাও তোমার ছায়া, তুমি বাংলা ছাড়ো।

    • Motashim Al Razi The seed of this clash was sowed when the question arose whether there would be a feudal state or democratic state. Obviously, Bangladesh by blood she is on the side of democracy and socialism. On the other hand Pakistan was on the side of medieval feudal life, life of darkness.

    • নীল কন্ঠ
      এদেশের সবচে বড় সমস্যা এর জনগন। স্পষ্টতঃ দুটো ভাগে ভিভক্ত। এক ভাগ ইতিহাস ধরে আছে আর অন্যভাগ অন্ধের মত মিথ্যে গল্প সাজিয়ে তাদের আখের গোছানোর ধান্দায়---একবার ভেবেও দেখেনা যে জাতীয় মূল ইস্যু গুলোতে সবাই সহমত হতে পারলে দেশটা কত দ্রুত এগিয়ে যেতে
      পারে। পাকিস্তানের ভুত, দেশের পরাজিত শক্তি যদ্দিন নিশ্চিহ্ন না হবে---ততদিন যত কথাই বলা হোক কিছুতে কিছু হবার নয়। এই গ্রুপ আজ একটা সেতু বানাবে অন্য গ্রুপ ক্ষমতাএ এসে সেই সেতু ভেঙ্গে ফেলবে। বড় সমস্যা ইতিহাসের সবচে বড় খল নায়ক কে বানানো হয়েছে নায়ক।--এই সব থেকে বেড়িয়ে আসতে হবে--সঠিক ইতিহাস নতুন প্রজন্মের কাছে তুলে ধরতে হবে---ধর্মীও রাজনীতি পরিপূর্ণ ভাবে নিষিদ্ধ ঘোষণা করতে হবে---এবার সেই সুযোগ চমৎকার ভাবেই ছিল--কিন্তু প্রগতিশীল আওয়ামিলীগ সেই পথে হাঁটেনি কেন? তাদের ভোট কমে যাবার ভয়? ক্ষমতার গদিই যদি হয় রাজনৈতীক দল্গুলোর কেবলমাত্র গন্তব্য তাহলে আর আমরা হৈচৈ করে কি লাভ--ভোট তো আমরাই এদের দেই--মাঝে মাঝে মনে হয় যার যা ইচ্ছে --করুক। চোখ কান বন্ধ করে থাকি!!! সত্যি আর ভাল লাগেনা।

    • Asraful Forhad Chowdhury if i am not wrong i am the junior one hear to comment :: we are not hopeless

    • Mahbub Shawkot Sob dhandabaj............ Boro dui party ache ninda aar galmondo korar protijiogitay....... Ekjon MAHATIR MOHAMMOD er dorkar....... Chalun sobai mile ekjon MAHATIR er sondhan kori............ @ Nazmin Semons & Others.

    • Asraful Forhad Chowdhury ‎@MAHBUB :: you are not right at all ,yes we need a good leader . but "Sob dhandabaj."" not right man

    • Shafiul Islam “...To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice”?.... Salute Seamon for your farsighted article.

    • Mahbub Shawkot Its all right ! Pls give me a GOOD LEADER plz.......... @ Asraful Farhad

    • Shafiul Islam ‎'bodle jao, bodle dao.'

    • Shafiul Islam We can win this war if we dare to dream and fight with our self-greed-system first.

    • নীল কন্ঠ Yes we can but we need to be united first.Thanks Shafiul for your encouraging words. Nothing is impossible. Thanks Seamon for this time worthy article and I believe it will help our younger generation to learn more about our true history.

    • Tozam Hussain notun ek apod jutese suvas chondro bos er vasti. isi er tk khe se nesha nakore matal hoe gese. gonohotta somporke se vul bokse. sochetonmohol obosso tar mithachar bondho korese. hoyto kokhono kono pakisthani militari officer take adorkore thakteo pare.osomvob ki.

Why March 25th should be the 'International Genocide Day'

নাজনীন সীমন
নিউ ইয়র্ক
c২০১১ মার্চ ২৬

Friday, 11 March 2011

The song of the gutter

Mizan Rahman

  That was the only tree in the whole neighborhood that had green leaves.
  Sharifa’s very own, personal tree. She had brought the sapling from her parents’ home and planted it with her own hands. It has now grown into a mature tree, just as the little babies become adults one day. Its light green leaves have added a bit of color to the area. Its long branches are shooting upward as if to meet the sky. Little buds are trying to burst out as if to herald the fulfillment of an impossible dream. Sharifa’s cherished hashnahena (cestrum nocturnum) has blossomed into her youthful grandeur, something that most slum-dwelling children never live to see in their life.
   Yet, right beside the lovely tree  there is a dark, ugly stream---a filthy, fetid drain that serves no other purpose than to provide the neighborhood children a suitable substitute for a toilet. Heaps of waste from rotten rice to fish guts and scales to jackfruit discards to rags soiled with babies’ feces, to umpteen other household garbage keep clogging the alley every day, barely a few yards from the tree. All sorts of street animals like the stray dogs and cats and rats and, of course, the whole armies of hungry crows come rummaging the waste looking for crumbs of edible food. Sometimes they run into stiff competition with some desperately poor neighborhood kids. Occasionally a lonely, infirm and destitute old lady will sift through the same heap looking for a bit of ash thrown away by someone in the vain hope of recycling it for her own use. Few of her neighbors have built a primitive ‘toilet’ on top of a small body of mucky mash----it has no motion other than occasional blobs of bubble popping up from time to time. Sounds like sighs of anguish from the wet body of a dark primordial beast. It is there, right beside that abominable repository of human misery, stands in great pomp and pride, in disdain and defiance, Sharifa’s beloved hashnahena.
   During the day there is no end to her chores. Early in the morning, right after her morning prayer, she bundles up her two little children and heads for the construction site where she makes a minimal living by crushing bricks. At the end of the day she collects her precious few takas from her employer and buys a few ounces of rice, a few drops of cooking oil, some spices and salt. Back home she rushes to put the “stove” on ----a contrivance made out of bits of broken bricks, in a “kitchen” that has no roof, no walls. So there is no cooking when rain comes. What she calls her home, sweet home, is nothing but a wobbly shanty standing precariously over a thin sheet of wood that she picked from the construction site. Her walls, if they can be called walls, are no more than a few pieces of corrugated tin collected from the debris of a burnt-out building.
   She is all alone with her two little children.
  Yes, she did have a husband, even as late as last year. He used to make a half decent living by pushing rich people’s furniture and other heavy stuff on his wooden cart---- a thelagari. If that was lucky, yes, she was lucky, even happy at some fleeting moments.  He was a good, honest, and caring man. But that was too good for the good Lord to tolerate for too long. Last year, by the end of a hot summer day the poor man came home, and out of the blue started coughing blood, pure red blood. In the wee hours of the morning the man was gone. Since that day Sharifa’s life has been a continuous run of nightmares and a long, deep and silent sigh of anguish. But for her two kids her life wouldn’t have been worth living anymore. The older child is a 5-yr old boy, called Sobhan. The large two eyes of this rickety child of hers seem to be always crying out of hunger. Will she ever be able to send him to school, wonders Sharifa. The little girl just turned 3. Cries too much, wretched girl, doesn’t want to let her go out of sight even for a moment.  She is always fretting for nothing. Always picking on her brother, always complaining. And, she seems to be always sick with something. Her nose is always running----seems unable or even unwilling to get out of what appears to be a permanent bout of cold.
    Sharifa has a flaw, an unusual flaw for a poor slum girl who lost her husband barely a year ago, and who is struggling to make both ends meet with two little orphans. She is too fastidious about cleanliness. Sounds so strange, doesn’t it? She may not have a real roof over her head, or any real walls to allow any privacy, yet she is very particular about keeping everything as clean and tidy as possible. She gets very cross with her children if they throw pieces of dirt or crumbs of food on the floor, or spit or cough. Every week she treats her earthen floor with a coating of a mixture of fresh soil and cow manure. Every week she washes the family’s clothes with a bar of soap. She combs her children’s hair every day after rubbing a few drops of mustard oil on their skull. She doesn’t forget to pay some attention to her own looks either. She will tie up her hair in a neat bun, a khnopa, sometimes even sporting a bunch of  flowers pinned in it. These strange habits of hers do not help her getting any kudos from the women in the neighborhood. On the contrary----they feel intensely jealous, which they express by making obscene remarks. And the men? Well, that shouldn’t be too hard to imagine. A young widow trying to look pretty, that has only one meaning to the sex-starved slum boys----available. It’s not that Sharifa is too naïve to understand this, but she doesn’t really care. For her this is part of her staple—this decent way of living---- this is as important as her daily meals.
   Yes, she badly needs that Hena tree in her yard. That keeps her feel alive.
   As there is but one ‘toilet’ in the whole area, they had to agree on some kind of schedule for its use----males in the morning, females at night. The line-ups at each session are quite a sight to see. And what a grand toilet it is! Just a pair of wooden planks that can get quite tricky to balance your feet on, especially at nights, when there are no lights to help the poor women find the planks under their feet. The stench is unbearable. The human waste piles up all season long, until the torrential rain comes with a bit of relief, washing away the filth to deposit it in someone else’s backyard. As soon as the rain stops back comes the heap of feces and the hellish stench.
   Sometimes Sharifa gets a bit absent-minded on her way back home. She stands for a while beside her beloved tree. Takes in the fragrance for as long as she can hold her breath. Keeps her eyes closed as if in a trance. An inexplicable surge of joy wells up in her mind----as if she can hear the melodious tune of a beautiful song from a far away land of dreams. This seems to ease the pain of yet another hard day of backbreaking work at the construction site. When the wind blows from the south where the people are lined up for the toilet, the smell is overpoweringly odious. Then suddenly the wind turns left on the north where the tree is beaming with its glorious abundance of flowers. And lo and behold, the fragrance takes over the land, the world bursts out in all its joyful magnificence. And all of a sudden, the toilet is gone, the stench is gone, the filth is gone. All that remains is the human spirit reigning over the heavens----there is a festival of joy everywhere.
  That is the way the prodigal wind of the hapless slum keeps swinging between two competing extremes. On one side the perennial wasteland of filth and dirt with all its stench and muck. And on the other stands in her majestic beauty and glory Sharifa’s victorious Hashnahena.
   Poor girl has no idea that her beloved tree has provided such a powerful symbolism of the state of her whole country.

 Mizan Rahman, মীজান রহমান  
 Ottawa, March 16, ‘11

(Translated from the author’s Bengali story “Nordomar Gan” published some ten years before)