Echo

LOST IN TRANSLATION  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

The title is actually a name of a book, which is a compilation of the gaffes in the usage of English that we came across every day in Bangladesh. Well I have not read it yet, but reading its review prompted me to write something about the usage of English in Bangladesh. Actually Bangladesh, as a part of Indian subcontinent was ruled by the British for a couple of centuries. The tentative beginnings of English language acquisition in Bengal date from the 1630s, when the first English factories started being set up. Though today English is no longer the official language as it was during the British Raj, it is the most important foreign or second language in Bangladesh. It is taught at most educational institutions as a subject and is a compulsory paper in almost all public examinations.

During the British Raj, English was deemed as the language of the elites. The native govt. employees had to learn English with proper pronunciations to prove their competency. But as English was spread among the common people; first the pronunciations got a scent of the subcontinent. And then some people started to speak a language, which had many local flavors and words in it and they got away with the proper use of grammars. That is known to everybody as 'Railway English'. Now many people, especially in India has developed a totally unique accent of English, which is recognized by others.

The standard of English nationally in Bangladesh is not high and English is still an urban, elite language. In rural areas where the common people are mostly farmers or day laborers, the use of English is very less. And the standard is really poor. But day-by-day it is improving, as literacy rate of Bangladesh is moving up.

Now coming back to the title, in Bangladesh generally Bangla is widely used. The car registration plates carry Bangla numbers and hoardings, signs too. But people try to add an elite flavor in signs, billboards, headlines etc by placing an English translation beside that. That's where it all starts to go wrong. In many places the literal translation keeps the local meaning but totally loses the English one e.g. the TV serial Baba (A sentimental journey), or the film title Shundori (And she was beautiful).

You will find a lot of shops in the country with names like '007 Attitude', 'Crystal & Sports', 'City Foreign Furniture', 'TIT Enterprise', 'virgin I'les', 'Book SHIT' and 'Happy Today Food Court'.

There are funnier news headlines like 'Lara in bed with suspected chicken pox' which will leave the readers with lots of speculations.

There are plenty of these things, which are compiled by Reena Abraham & Laura Bonapace in the Book "Lost in translation". But the price (Tk. 500) is a bit on the higher side and not many people would be able to purchase it. I have seen that in Bangladesh, many good books are priced excessively mainly because there are not many copies published. The lack of readers prompt the publishers resort to a higher price. And higher price keeps away many potential readers. This vicious cycle is actually harming the publishing industry prompting many copycats.

Since long I was planning to buy 'Brick Lane' by Monica Ali but its shelf price (UK edition) is Tk. 800 (GBP 10) was a bit expensive for me. That day I bought it for 160 from a vendor in the street. Can you believe it? It's the same. But looks as a paperback type. I have learnt that some local publishers have resorted to pirating books just to be able to sustain themselves. And if I get the same at cheap rate I won't mind from where it has been coming. But it is unethical. But for the publishers, copyright is their right to copy.

WHY ONION MATTERS  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

Ramadan begins in Bangladesh with onion price still on the higher side (More than Taka 30 a Kg). Onion is needed in larger amounts in cooking many delicious foods during Ramadan. It is also a staple food for Bangladeshis as nearly all meat and fish dishes contain onions.

It is usual in Ramadan time that the demand of Onion soars and the prices too because of the clever hoarders. But this time the rise is significant and almost out of reach of the low income group.

Most onions are imported from India and wholesalers have suddenly increased prices. They blame the rises on shortages caused by recent monsoon floods in Bangladesh and India, as well as higher transportation costs due to increased fuel prices.

The government has waived import duties on the vegetable but there is no significant effect till now. Some also blame the government for failing to control prices and unscrupulous traders who hoard onions to make quick profits.

The Ministry of Commerce has held frequent meetings with wholesalers, retailers and trading agencies but says it can do little to control prices in Bangladesh's free-market economy. But general people would not understand all these and this will remain to be a pressure on the ruling government which has also not been able to control the growing violences and law and order situation of the country.

 

Posted by Rezwan






Thanks to Pedram for the link.

QUOTES OF THE DAY  

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I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.

- Henry David Thoreau

We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.

- Stevie Wonder

 

Posted by Rezwan

IGNORANCE LEADS TO HATE CRIME

Recently Pedram has posted about the ignorance, lack of genral knowledge and condescention of the general US citizens. Read it here. A must read!

There are many reactions to this post. However I liked this one from Kris:

I think it is great for someone to be brave enough to hold the mirror in front of us to let us see our own shortcomings.

Now there is a cartoon in the newspaper, the Hartford Courant, published from Connecticut state, where the picture of a bearded and turbaned Sikh is referred to as "Osama's no-good cousin, Randy Bin Laden." This has angered the Sikh community, who are generally deemed as a peacful race. Read more here.

The United Sikhs, an advocacy group said:

Such gross misinformation within the media leads only to cause more confusion and negative sentiment towards innocent people.

See the relevancy in Pedrams claims.

 

Posted by Rezwan

ITS ALL ABOUT MONEY

"According to an article in Tuesday�s Financial Times, US sub-contractors in Iraq are importing cheap labor from South Asia rather than hiring Iraqis" - writes Jashua Marshall. They have one alliby "Iraqis are Dangerous". But Josh discovers that "it's all about money".

According to an american expat living in the United Arab Emirates:

UAE: 20% of the pop is local. Of the 80% of the expat pop, fully 75% are subcontinenters. Why? Dirt cheap, much cheaper than the Arabs (imported or otherwise).

Of the international construction firms here, they all use minimum of 80% subcontinenters (i.e. the Halliburton and Bechtel types take all the money).

Bottom line: wages are a function of the price of living in the home countries. The price of living for subcontinenters in the subcontinent is nothing. E.g. I pay my Indian maid USD 300 month of which she supports a family of 10 people in Bombay and still manages to save probably 50% of her salary here in Dubai.


So it is not about security concerns. It is all about money. The US sub-contractors are exploiting these cheap labours and cashing on themselves. The employment and economic development of the Iraqis? That can wait.

Update: Aziz Poonawalla has also a post regarding this. He adds another point:

much of the imported labor is from Pakistan, not India. That means that the same security risk applies as with Iraqis! It is clearly a financial calculation, not a security one.

He also writes about the fact that money is being misspent in Iraq, amounting to an outrage for both Americans (whose money is being wasted) and Iraqis (who are being exploited).

DEADLY SNAKE STOPS WARM UP MATCH BETWEEN ENGLAND & BANGLADESH A  

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I don't know why I missed that in the local newspapers. But Dave Barry spotted it right and commented that cricket is a really tough sport. Read it all on Sky News.

 

Posted by Rezwan

CHINA ON THE WAY TO BECOME WORLD'S FOURTH BIGGEST ECONOMY

I have written in a previous post that Chinese goods are beginning to dominate the consumer goods market in Bangladesh.

Now The Guardian reports:

According to government officials, the amount of economic activity in China soared to RMB7.9 trillion (�570bn) in the first nine months of the year, putting China on course to achieve a growth rate of 8.5% for 2003 - the fastest in more than five years.

If the country can maintain this pace it will overtake Britain and France to become the world's fourth biggest economy well before the end of 2005.


AP reports:

The trade imbalance between US & China - totaling $103 billion last year - has contributed to a steady loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs and a weak U.S. economy.

So I am curios to know where China will go after 5 years.

BENGALI OR BANGLADESHI  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,

Faramin has a very thoughtful post "Why Persian and not Iranian". He asks there why many of his countrymen introduce themselves as "Persians" and not Iranians.

He explains his views in reply to one of the comments (quite rightly so):

What I mean is that for example over 35% of Iranians who are Azeri, are Aryan but not Persian. This is also true with Iranian Kurds. As long as there are devided countries and borders, then they must also have a name, and I believe considering IRAN instead of PERSIA is ONLY more representation of the ethnic people who live there.

These things are really confusing with some people. There was a controversial debate by the top intellectuals and newspapers of Bangladesh on our nationality "Whether we are bengali or Bangladeshi". The bengali race who speaks bangla live in Bangladesh and mostly in West Bengal, India. But in West Bengal, people's nationality is Indian. In Bangladesh there are many races: mostly bengalis, but there are many tribal people, biharis(from Bihar, India) etc. But some intellectuals are fighting for the naming of our nationality - Bengali instead of Bangladeshi. They built up their arguements with the points like we have a very old culture, rich language and heritage; we have been known as Bengalis since many centuries etc. I was
also consumed with the thought that why shouldn't our nationality be Bengali.

But I slowly realised that (like Faramin mentioned) what Bengali tribal people's identity would be? Bengali? No Bangladeshi. They are Chakmas, Khasias etc. and they are Bangladeshi. And we are Bengalis and Bangladeshi.

Now Faramin's post also confirms my thoughts. So no more confusion.

ABOUT MEME, MEMETICS & MEME-ING  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

Meme, n. : A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.

Behaviors and ideas copied from person to person by imitation - memes - may have forced human genes to make us what we are today.

Memetics is a scientific theory unifying biology, psychology, and cognitive science. Memetics has uncovered the existence of viruses of the mind. Viruses of the mind have been with us throughout history, but are constantly evolving and changing. They are infectious pieces of our culture that spread rapidly throughout a population, altering people's thoughts and lives in their wake. They include everything from relatively harmless mind viruses, such as miniskirts and slang phrases, to mind viruses that seriously derail people's lives. When these pieces of culture are ones we like, there is no problem. However, viruses of the mind can program us to think and behave in ways that are destructive to our lives.

This is the most surprising and most profound insight from the science of memetics: your thoughts are not always your own original ideas. You catch thoughts;you get infected with them, both directly from other people and indirectly from viruses of the mind. People don't seem to like the idea that they aren't in control of their thoughts. Further compounding the problem, you don't immediately know whether the programming you get from a given mind virus is harmful or beneficial.

Once created, a virus of the mind gains a life independent of its creator and evolves quickly to infect as many people as possible simply by communicating.

(Source)

Now to talk about the recent memes in the blogosphere. I came across one, which is an effort to describe oneself by the letters from A-Z. I was thinking about writing about myself in one post. So I easily caught this virus. The end result is posted below:


A - Act Your Age: 18 (Wish I could turn back the time)
B - Busy-ness! : Blogging and bragging that you're doing something important
C - Chore You Hate: Traffic Jams.
D - Daily Routine: Read sports column in the newspaper.
E - Essential Make-Up Item: Anti-perspirant
F - Fave pastime: Driving (Busy traffic consumes lots of my pastime)
G - Gold or Silver: I hate metals.
H - Homeland: Dhaka, Bangladesh.
I - Instruments You Play: I always fancied playing guitar but never tried learning that.
J - Jinx: At the moment I have none.
K - Kids: None. Intend to have one (or more?) someday but will feel guilty to increase the world population
L - Living Arrangements: At home with wife, Mummy, Daddy & Sister (No pets).
M - Marvels: Being able to make myself eloquent and open. I was very much introvert & shy in childhood.
N - Number of Women I have slept with: One. Since I have a wife..
O - Obsession: Electronic Gazettes.
P - Phobia: Can't recall.
Q - Quote You Like: So many... Keep an eye on my blog for them
R - Religious Affiliation: None.
S - Siblings: 1 sister. 1 brother (deceased)
T - Time You Wake Up: On weekdays, I wake up at 7:30 and actually get up closer to 7:45.
U - Unique Habit: Mimicking child talk (only with my wife)
V - Vegetable You Refuse to Eat: None.
W - Worst Habit: Watching TV
X - X-Rays You've Had: Teeth, chest
Y - Yummy Food You Make: Rice & Omelets (no more choices available).
Z - Zodiac Sign: Taurus.

Inspired by Srah & monochromatic girl .

 

Posted by Rezwan

WEEKLY BEGUM

Nurjahan Begum, literateur, journalist & editor of the the weekly Begum is still carrying on with the legacy of the first weekly magazine solely for women, which she and a dedicated group of persons started way back in 1947. The first issue was published from Calcutta, India. In 1950, after the partition of India, the Begum shifted from Calcutta to Dhaka.

Nurjahan , born in 1925 at Chandpur district was brave enough to overcome all the hurdles of the conservative society to be educated at the Lady Brabon's College in Calcutta. She knows Arabic, Bengali, English, Urdu & Persian.

Although the circulation of the weekly Begum has dropped to about 12 thousand, it is still revered as a popular women's weekly in the country which paved the way of many women writers & columnists of Bangladesh.

 

Posted by Rezwan

BLOGGING COURSE

New York University is conducting a digital journalism course during fall'03 semester. The course teacher is journalist Christopher Allbritton. He is keeping a blog digital.journalism specially dedicated to his students.

Did you ever wonder that somebody would come over your shoulder and say this:

If, by Thursday, any of your sites don�t have comments enabled, you will receive a failing grade on this assignment.

Those who are using Moveable Type can check this blog. His tips on tone and comparisons with the popular blogs can be useful to every blogger.

(via Jeff Jarvis)

ROVING REPORTER IN DHAKA  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,

Andrew Miller, the assistant editor of Wisden Cricinfo is accompanying England throughout their cricket tour 2003-2004 in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He has already written a couple of interesting reports:

* A green and muddy land

* Dhaka's answer to Disneyland

Although he did not get it right sometimes, he could look into quite at depth of the culture & economics of Bangladesh & Bangladeshis. Worth reading.

 

Posted by Rezwan

BLOG NOTES


NEUROCOMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

Zack Lynch of Brainwaves blog is an evolutionary biologist, enterprise software marketer, and economic geographer, who has worked over the past decade to understand how technology and society coevolve. He asserts:

Mental health is the ultimate competitive weapon". Mental health underpins the development of intellectual capital and competitive advantage. It anchors the capacity of employees, managers and executives to think, use ideas, be creative and be productive. By enabling a higher level of productivity, neurotechnology represents the next form of competitive advantage beyond information technology.

Just as workers today leverage information technologies for competitive purposes, workers in the neurotechnology wave (2010-2060) will turn to neuroceuticals to enhance their competitive performance.


Scary eh?


KOREA RULES CYBERSPACE

Korean Blog weblog @ oranckay writes that Korea owns 108 of the worlds top 500 internet sites, according to inews24.com quoting Alexa.


CARNIVAL OF THE CAPITALISTS


Another attempt to compile the best of the blog posts like Blogmela & Carnival of the Vanities. Scheduled for publication every monday during Oct 13 2003 - Mar 8 2004 at different hosts' locations. The posts include posts on business, management, marketing, accounting, finance, economics, sales, capitalism. Unlike Blogmela, where Indian posts only are considered, everyone is invited in the Carnival of Vanities.


�THE POOR IN MODERN WESTERN SOCIETY� -- LARGELY A MYTH

Bussorah of Wicked Thoughts blog thinks "Nobody needs to be poor in modern Western society and very few are." He cites examples:

91 percent of those in the lowest 10 percent of households -- all of whom are officially poor -- own color TVs; 74 percent own microwave ovens; 55 percent own VCRs; 47 percent own clothes dryers; 42 percent own stereos; 23 percent own dishwashers; 21 percent own computers; and 19 percent own garbage disposals. When I grew up in the 1950s, only the wealthy owned color TVs, clothes dryers, stereos, dishwashers and disposals. These were all considered luxuries. We got by with black and white TVs, hanging our wet clothes on a line to dry, washing dishes by hand and throwing our potato peels in a pail instead of down the drain" (Source)

QUOTES OF THE DAY  

Posted by Rezwan in


It is easy -- terribly easy -- to shake a man's faith in himself. To take advantage of that to break a man's spirit is devil's work.

- George Bernard Shaw

Do not attempt to do a thing unless you are sure of yourself; but do not relinquish it simply because someone else is not sure of you.

- Stewart E. White

IF.....  

Posted by Rezwan in

- Rudyiard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on"

 

Posted by Rezwan

England Cricket Team's Tour in Bangladesh 2003-04

England Team received a warm welcome in Bangladesh when they arrived at Dhaka on 8th October. Continuous rain for a couple of days in last week made Dhaka's Bangabandhu Stadium, the venue for England's tour opener and the practice ground – remain under flooded tarpaulins. England Team was given the option of indoor training at the national sports institute (BKSP) - a 75 minute bus ride from the Hotel and they obliged. England Team members felt that the facilities was barely adequate but surprisingly they remained calm and they had no complains. The local journalists thought that everyone of the team was very courteous to their host understanding and expecting not much. But they also thought some mismangements could have been avoided if BCB looked into it seriously.

Unlike several tours in the 1990s when England were roundly condemned for shutting out the realities of life in poorer countries, this time the PR machine is in full swing, with visits to a hospital and an orphanage on the agenda.

Yesterday England could start their warm up match (3 dayer) after five hours of mopping-up of the field. The result at the close of play:

England 106 for 1 (Trescothick 49*, Vaughan 36) v Bangladesh Board President's XII

The match has been rearranged as a 12-a-side affair to allow maximum practice for all concerned. The game would be stripped of its first-class status.

 

Posted by Rezwan

QUOTES OF THE DAY


The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don't agree with.

- ELeanor Holmes Norton

The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions.

- Adlai E. Stevenson

 

Posted by Rezwan

IRENE KHAN'S WAR AGAINST DISCRIMINATION AND VIOLENCE

Amnesty International secretary-general Irene Khan has told the BBC how her drive to widen the interests of the organization stems from her childhood in Bangladesh. Ms Khan, a Bangladeshi, who took over as head of Amnesty in August 2001, has expanded Amnesty's brief to include rights of women and refugees, in addition to the core campaigns against torture and wrongful imprisonment.

There is an ever increasing discrimination and violence against women, religious minorities and racial minorities in the world. According to Ms. Khan:

"We should act against that violence in the same way we should act against torture and prisons."

"Also there is a greater realization that human rights is not only about being free from arbitrary detention and having a right to a fair trial - it's also about having access to basic services, food, water, health, education."

"I myself, coming from a developing country and being a woman, am delighted that we are shifting in this direction,"

I think she is the right person to do the job and sincerely hope that she/AI achieves the goal.

MOST CORRUPTED NATION-A DISCLAIMER  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,

The Berlin-based Transparency International has named Bangladesh as the most corrupted nation in their recent Global Corruption Index, a survey of 133 nations. It has earned only 1.3 out of a 10 point index where the least corrupted nation Finland has scored 9.7. The new index lists countries in terms of the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians.

Asia as a whole fared badly in the report on corruption, with many nations in the region being counted amongst the worst in the world for graft among public officials and politicians.

Transparency International said the survey did not include all the nations in the world for want of data.

Its of no doubt that corruption exists in Bangladesh but mostly among public officials and politicians. There are a majority of people of this country who are farmers. Many are businessmen, private service holders and students and or housewives. The public officials and politicians are only of a small portion comparing to these. And I do not believe that corruption level has become that much worse; even below Nigeria (Many people including me have received the Nigerian scam emails). And I have doubts on the methodology of the survey which can be found here. The perception index stuff is really faulty. And I know that Bangladesh, a country still lacking in terms of digital divide, do not have proper records of its people. The govt. Administration is in the process of computerization. So a survey, random questionnaires can get you a trend but not a definite figure or a position.

Some points proving Bangladesh's corruption culture:

* Greed on the part of the power elite of all categories - bureaucrats, politicians, business people and others.

* Low wages of the govt. Employees which does not cover the inflation. Wages of multinational, NGOs and other private concerns are as much as 2-10 times higher than govt. wages. The govt. employees give the rational that they will not make up to the living standard if they don't take bribe.

* The Anti-Corruption Bureau the govt. initiative do not file a single corruption case against any politician or minister of the governing party. Corruption charges were brought against politicians only when they were out of power. So political acrimony and being biased has destabilized the check system.

The Bangladesh government has refuted the TIB report saying it had failed to unearth evidence of government corruption on the ground. It said the report did not reflect the government's strong political initiative to contain corruption. They are blaming the opposition party has influenced and using it to establish that ruling party is failing and to better their position.

There is a lot to be discussed on this issue; but most corrupted nation? I doubt that there is a subliminal reason behind this declaration. The TI - Bangladesh office includes trustees who are controversial figures in Bangladesh. AFP named TI as "Sleaze Watchdog".

 

Posted by Rezwan

Give Arnold a chance

Aziz Poonawalla of unmedia: principled pragmatism criticizes Arnold-bashing here and he does it with style.

Quote of the day  

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For the people to win, conventional politics must lose.

- Arnold Schwarznegger, the California governor elect

THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY  

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* If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all. - Noam Chomsky

* Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it. Martyrdom is the test. - Samuel Johnson

 

Posted by Rezwan

INDIAN RIVER PLANS - THREAT FOR BANGLADESH

In December 2002, Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee announced he was making water a top priority. By linking India's largest rivers in a countrywide grid he will get water from the north to the states of the south and east that were hit by severe droughts in 2002.

The plan will redraw the hydrological map of India, taking flood waters from 14 Himalayan tributaries of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers in northern India and Nepal and transferring them south via a series of canals and pumping stations, across the Vindhya mountains to replenish 17 southern rivers, including the Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery. Up to 1500 cubic metres of water a second will be pumped south.

In all, the scheme will mean building around 300 reservoirs and digging more than 1000 kilometres of canals. According to retired military engineer, Sudhir Vombatkere, who is now with the Mysore Consumer Action Forum, the project will flood an estimated 8000 square kilometres of land. This could leave three million people homeless.

This will bring disaster to the rivers in Bangladesh most of which comes down through India and meets the Bay of Bengal. Bangladeshi government scientists estimated that even a 10 per cent to 20 per cent reduction in the water flow to the country could dry out great areas for much of the year. More than 80 per cent of Bangladesh's 20 million small farmers grow rice and depend on water that has flowed through India. This could trigger a long-term disaster on the subcontinent and trigger bloodshed in the region. Although the Indian and Bangladeshi governments have a water sharing agreement for the Ganges, there are none for the other 53 rivers that cross the border. Bangladeshi water engineers say that Indian barrages, canals, reservoirs and irrigation schemes are slowly strangling the country and are stopping its development.

India is also all set to build a hydroelectric power plant, a massive barrage inclusive, upstream of a major river system of Bangladesh that could inflict on its downstream neighbours economic, ecological and human catastrophes.



After completion of the project, Bangladesh would get less water in three rivers � Meghna, Surma and Kushiara and consequently one fourth area of our country from Sylhet to Barisal will turn into deserts.

Bangladesh and India have been at loggerheads over water sharing since 1974, when India completed the Farakka Barrage, diverting crucial dry-season flows into Indian irrigation canals.

The recent JRC (Joint river Committee) meeting between the two countries ended with no resoultion on the above issues.

Now the situation will be really worse if the projects start commissioning.

THE INVASION OF CHINESE CONSUMER GOODS  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

I have noticed that Chinese goods are slowly taking over the dominance among all other imported consumer goods in Bangladesh. I don't know what's the extent of this invasion in other countries, but its a big impact in our country. Let me cite you some examples:

A couple of years ago our consumer electronics market was wholly dominated by the Japanese brands with their goods assembled from plants in Thailand & in Malaysia. One 21" color TV did cost appx. Tk. 27,000 ($450). Then came the Chinese TV. They started with selling one 21" color TV at Tk. 12,000 ($200) in 2001-2002 which is within reach of many middle class consumers. They are also giving a 5 years warranty. The quality of the TV is above average and given the low price & warranty is an easy pick for everybody. And you can find a large variety of Chinese consumer goods. Now the consumer electronics goods in the country is wholly dominated by the Chinese brands and you can find goods at very cheap rate you would not imagine. The other players have downgraded their price to avg. Tk. 21,000 ($350) and still cannot compete.

The children toys market is dominated by the Chinese goods. I remember, when I was a kid, a remote controlled toy car was a dream for me which was so expensive that my father had to wait a couple of years to purchase it after he promised me. Now these cars are well within the reach of middle class.

There are invasions of Chinese goods in other areas also - the shoes market, automobiles, Bicycles (Kids Bicycles produced in India costs $25 C&F but from China you can get at $14 C&F) and what not.

This is making a big impact on the local producers. They are finding it tough to get by. There are many anti-dumping laws and other measures prevalent in the world to prevent this invasion. But my question is if a middle class consumer gets a $450 TV at $200 would he support prevention of Chinese goods which was otherwise not been possible?

 

Posted by Rezwan

POLITICAL ACRIMONY AND DESPAIR OF COMMON PEOPLE

Another black cloud is hovering on the sky of Bangladesh Politics. Bangladesh is hosting the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference to be held during October 4-12, while the main opposition Awami League (AL) is still firm on boycott of the event. The AL decided not to join the conference in protest at what it said was the government's (Ruling Party BNP and coalition)arrogant attitude toward the opposition in preparing for the event of the largest platform of lawmakers. The conference to be joined by 522 delegates from 154 parliaments in 48 countries. The highest number of delegates -- 174 from 34 parliaments -- will come from India. - Reports The Daily Star.

The CPA officials requested the main opposition party AL to join the conference. But they turned down the request. Political acrimony (a hostile relationship between two persons or parties. Hatred, ire, anger, malignity) has paralyzed the democracy in Bangladesh. AL has so far boycotted several Parliament sessions blaming ruling party BNP and its alliances (The rightwing Islamists) non-cooperative attitude and misdeeds.

But my point is that in a democratic system an opposition party's fight would be in the parliament. If they do not want to go there, it will create anarchy and will provoke another army general to make a coup. And in the end common people, the voters will suffer.

Another strange thing is that these elected opposition parties members of parliaments get their remuneration and allowances/privileges from the govt. If they want to really declare a war against the govt. and ruling party by not going to parliament they should prove themselves by declining their remunerations and privileges because they cannot do just anything while taking tax payer's money.

I am so shocked.

 

Posted by Rezwan

BLOG NOTES

1. The wall of Apartheid

Ryan of Beatniksalad blog is vocal against the Israel's wall-building plans for the sake of "security". "the Wall will confiscate 45-55 percent of the West Bank and it conveniently incorporates into Israel 91 percent of all West Bank settlements and 98 percent of all settlers" - says the organization American Muslims for Jerusalem. Ryan argues "It should not be allowed to happen". Read rest here.

2. The four-pillars for emerging Iraqi gov't

Rajan writes about Ahmad Chalabi's (member of the Governing Council of Iraq installed by the Coalition Provisional Authority) proposed four-pillar ruling system of a to-be Iraqi government.

The pillars are:

1. Separation of powers

2. Accountablity and elections

3. Transperancy and press freedom

4. Federalism and protection of minorities

Rajan writes his views on those four points here.

3. Hot downloads

Sassan, the 15 year old computer genius has some more interesting links and news.

Latest pick:

WebZIP 5.0.0.859
WebZIP offers a fast and easy way to download, store and view Web sites offline. It lets you download complete Web sites, or choose settings for depth of retrieval, file-types, page and media locations and URL filters, to fine tune your site captures. Sites are stored on you local hard disk in their native HTML format, with the original file names and directory structure maintained to provide an exact mirror of the Web site.
File Size: 846.88 KB

THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY  

Posted by Rezwan in


If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
- Mother Teresa

Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.
- Henry Ford

You can fool some of the people some of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
- Abraham Lincoln

The people to fear are not those who disagree with you, but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know.
- Napoleon Bonaparte

If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I'd type a little faster.
- Isaac Asimov

 

Posted by Rezwan

BLOG NOTES

1. TOOMAR

Leila Farjami, a poet writes the wonderful Weblog of Daily Illusions . She has some wonderful posts comprising of poetry and current affairs. snippets of which are:

"The latent fear culture which leads to the evident consumership and APATHY:

Kill the innocent: They maybe terrorists

don't be vulnerable,

don't be generous,

don't be sympathetic,

don't be compassionate,

don't give a damn!,

You may upset your narcissism

And believe in

WAR IS PEACE

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH"


2. Ubersportingpundit

The Australian sportsblog has been mentioned in the Sydney Morning Herald’s list of the Top 20 best blogs of the world. Scott, Michael, Brian & Anthony writes thoughtful views and reviews and they are the best at it.

3. Blog Mela #30

Blogmela or Blog fair is an effort of the Indian Bloggers. They have done it for the 30th time so they must be good at it. This time vinod hosts it and the endeavor was to look for the best and brightest in the Indian Blogosphere.