June 02, 2007

Himal South Asian features Bangladesh's current situation

Himal South Asian is Southasia’s first and only regional magazine published and distributed by The Southasia Trust, Lalitpur, Nepal.

According to Himal its May issue was censored by authorities in Bangladesh.
"The issue has been allowed to be distributed only after the pages containing the editorial 'Khaki Politics in Dhaka' and the article 'The Dhaka Regime's Messy Surgery' were removed."
Those who do not know about the screening system of the authorities, prior to distribution, every foreign publication has to get a clearance from the Special Branches of Police by submitting the copy. One of my friends father was importer of international magazines like Times & Sananda(India) and they used to open the L/C for import only after the issue is cleared. In numerous cases disputed contents were censored earlier. So this is nothing new.

Himal's June issue features Bangladesh. It has seven articles under the heading "Under the emergency: seven takes". Blogger Mash being writer of one of the articles wonders whether the current issue will be allowed to be distributed in Bangladesh.

My take on this is that the readership of this magazine is very few in Bangladesh. Even if the magazine is banned, it is available via internet. And banning something creates more publicity and the readership increases. So if the content is really harmful for Bangladesh, the wisest way is to protest, write clarifications negating propaganda. I hope the authorities use discretion in handling the press.


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