January 16, 2006


Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) was set up with a mission to facilitate affordable telecommunication services in Bangladesh. In recent times intense competition among the cellular phone providers has catalyzed the increase in teledensity of Bangladesh. The tariffs are also coming down and in a bid to manage unutilized network in off-peak hours, many providers have been offering bonus like free call within own network the whole night. This has certainly created a craze among the youths with low purchasing power as they are happy to avail the opportunity.

But the recent role of BTRC in banning the free night calls on the charge of 'vulgarity' has dented a blow to the policy of 'protection of the users interests' as boasted by the government Telecom act 2001. More surprising is that apparently the move was instigated by complaints of some parents who claimed that:
the free late-night calls made children indulge in long chats with friends or romantic partners, which was hampering their studies and changing their lifestyle.
I thought the responsibility of policing the kids is mainly of the parents. They could have just put an embargo on using cellphones. How would they like to restrict 'romancing' on the other periods of the day?

Razib is outraged by the authorities actions. He says:
It seems once again the authorities in Bangladesh got worried over the 'morals of the young'! Few days ago it was djuice, an offshoot from Grameen phone, was held under fire for demoralising the young by advertising their mobile deals in a rather casual language - their offence seems to be that they used the popular words or phrases young guys and girls use in Dhaka and in the rest of Bangladesh. Their advertisements were banned for the sake of saving the young of the country. When the young generation (even the small kids) are all dipped in vulgar Indian culture all day and night , it hardly makes sense how few innocent funny ads can destroy the morals of young.

If moral policing seeks a morally strong society, then I ask the government to close all the disgustingly vulgar Indian channels first then close fast food restaurants and other public places, check on Internet chatting and web surfing.

Do we need a police society like Saudi Arabia and the West? I hope the government can feel the pulse of the Bangladeshi young society; if not then the law makers must be too old for the young generation. I hope we all grow young and not old. Bless the morals of the young!
I couldn't have said it better.

In fact the authorities move will only benefit the mobile phone providers, and less likely to save youths' morals.


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