Showing posts from 2006

Beautiful Mansion - a Poem

Beautiful Mansion By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel) December 31, 2006 O' Beautiful Mansion glistened, moistened under the elongated rainbow afar waves of sea floating seagulls, running beach goers and tottering babies, whistling children romantic men and women in camouflaged melodrama under meaningful umbrella noosed in the ground like a convicted hangman O' Beautiful Mansion windows made of sparkling glass came from a third world nation where only a few could afford sturdy homes, only the rulers live in mansion like thee the rest dwell in slums, huts made of straws or muds children born, children dies no register, no fanfare statistics O' Beautiful Mansion colorful rainbow over neatly trimmed trees spluttering water drenching budding grass one or two gardeners can be seen planting seeds, mowing overgrown bushes here and there scattering weeds, undesirables plucked and cut in swift precision Tis the season of fresh air Tis the season of new beginning O' Beautiful Mansion away

Clothes Aren't the Issue

Let's be frank. I am very much aware of the ongoing "malign" and "propaganda" against Islam and Muslims around the world. Muslims are justifiably hurt from various attacks on their religion. Prophets caricatured cartoon was a big issue only a few months ago, along with the Pope's comment on "violence" and Islam and its "history". And now in various European nations there are broiling controversies regarding hijab wearing women, whether they have rights or not covering their face. To me and to many others this is a human rights issue. But having said that we cannot ignore a few other issues that must be addressed. Asra Nomani's article "Clothes arent the Issue" published at the Washington Post portrays the disconnect between the 21st century reality and antiquated interpratation of "sacred verses". Clothes Aren't the Issue By Asra Q. Nomani Sunday, October 22, 2006; B01 MORGANTOWN, W.Va. When dealing with a &quo

Sorry, but we can't just pick and choose what to tolerate

We are slipping. And sleeping while the hard-fought personal freedom for all is slowly degrading into brazen selectivity in the guise of protecting (yeh, right!) "freedom". The mania and paranoia that have swept most of the Western world for the past few years are still rising, one step at a time, in calculative orchestration, seemingly. Where these fear and political exploitation could lead this world to be anyone's guess, however, that guess may genuinely frighten many. Regards, Sohel Sorry, but we can't just pick and choose what to tolerate The furore over the right to wear the veil has exposed the double standards of the liberal anti-Islam agenda David Edgar Wednesday October 11, 2006 The Guardian Well, who would have thought a bit of black cloth could have provoked such anger and such anguish. The anger is part of a growing and alarming trend. The general consensus among the

Are We Really So Fearful?

Are We Really So Fearful? Yes, we are so fearful that our protesting words and sentences get curtailed and truncated before leaving our twisted tongue. Yes, we are so traumatized that seeing the brutish bullies and simple butcheries do not raise our humbled selves from cozy cushions to marching on the streets. Torture under duress is useless. But torture used as deterrence for the rightful dissenting voice has proved to be useful to the torturers, fear and warmongers. From steep mountains of Uzbekistan to frigid Russian Siberia, from Chinese one-party thugs to highly lauded "democracy" of the so-called West, Middle-East's enraging inferno, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Burmese and Sri Lankan unchecked "rapid forces", everywhere you can see, torture is used in open or in disguise. Ariel Dorfman writes, "it is not only the victim and the perpetrator who are corrupted, not only the "intelligence" that is contaminated, but also everyone who looked a

The View From Guantánamo

Innocent man like Mr. Qassim is kept prisoner in cages of Guantanamo. Years after years. Mr. Qasim is from Uighur in China where he and his kinsmen are oppressed brutally by the Chinese government apparatus. Economically suppressed Uighur's citizens travel far, working menial and labor intensive jobs so that their family can survive. Here is an excerpt from Mr. Qassim's New York Time's Op-Ed: "Amnesty International reports that East Turkistan is the only province in China where people may face the death penalty for political offenses. Chinese leaders brag about the number of Uighur political prisoners shot in the head. I was punished for speaking against China’s unjust policies, and I left because of the threat to my life. My search for work and refuge took me from Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan." Once upon a time America was the place that dissenters like Mr. Qasim look forward to gain moral support in their endless struggles against unjust domination and

Bush’s Useful Idiots

There is no doubt that Mr. Tony Judt is a prolific writer. Two long but moving articles he wrote for London Review of Books and The New York Review of Books this week. Both of these are must read in my humble opinion. I may write more on these two articles in the coming days if and when I have any spare time. Till then, happy reading! Regards, Sohel Bush’s Useful Idiots Tony Judt on the Strange Death of Liberal America Why have American liberals acquiesced in President Bush’s catastrophic foreign policy? Why have they so little to say about Iraq, about Lebanon, or about reports of a planned attack on Iran? Why has the administration’s sustained attack on civil liberties and international law aroused so little opposition or anger from those who used to care most about these things? Why, in short, has the liberal intelligentsia of the United States in recent years kept its head safely below the parapet? It wasn’t always so. On 26 October 1988, the New York Tim

Music, Melodies and the Savior

Music, Melodies and the Savior By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel) August 15, 2006 Classical music has its dazzling charm. Piercing violin, up and down cello, and in only background the reflective organ mash the music in its virtuoso synthesis. A world of music, where new tunes defy the traditional vigor, frothing like dewy soap bubbles, harmonious beauty in soothing sound. You can hear distant tabla chatting with playful sitar while harmonica keeps tango with shifting piano and strumming guitar. So many talented music composers contributed in the vastness of musical library around the world, generations after generations. All different kinds, different appeals to different people from varied background. Poor or rich, literati or illiterate, music can seep into everyone’s welcoming veins if given a chance, transfusing agonies into sweet melancholy. In its elemental form music have no boundaries, no immigration laws could bound its soaring trebles, and no artificial barriers could sti


Cynicism By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel) August 11, 2006 You may call it whatever you like. You may just ignore it at your own peril or convenience. But the fact of the matter is that we are in the middle of a rupturing cynicism. Day by day our patience are thinning out, our tolerance level toward opposing views and culture are reaching threshold point, and sooner or later there will be commotion beyond our worst imaginable dream that can forewarn. You may agree or not, there are clever methods in action, from groups of vehemence, who wants to create sharp and deep wedges between different ethnic groups and cultures. Palpable but quite not tangible essence of being caught up in a growing whirlwind that will surely suck in all the frivolity of life. These are depressing words. These are depressing times. A world where brute might and violence rule over peaceful means cannot be impressively positive. A world where a mother has to prove that the milk of her baby will not blow u

Tariq Ali: Toward A New Radical Politics

Dear Readers, Mother Jones's interview with Tariq Ali, a prominent progressive writer, is a must read. Mr. Ali has that unique sense and sensibilities for our apparently maddening world of drunken stupor, he slices through all the calculated diversion, political fiasco, and aggrandized media bent to their knees kissing the lowest portion of neocon's shoe-soles. Mr. Ali is not afraid to say what comes to his mind, about the opportunistic “liberals”, “seculars” in the Muslim world who are finding themselves propping up imperial agendas, by whim or force, and in many of these nations, Muslim conservatives are filling up the vacuums of showing resistance. Here is a very interesting comment Mr. Ali made in this interview, “in many parts of the Islamic world, secular forces, where they exist, tend now to be so unsure of themselves, so lacking in self-confidence, that in many cases—not in all—they line themselves up fairly squarely behind the imperial project and that then creat

A Review of "A New Hub for Terrorism?"

Dear Readers, I haven’t read any of Mr. Selig S. Harrison’s writings before, at least not that I remember at this moment. His credentials seem quite impressive. He is a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Centers for Scholars, written five books on South Asia, and was the chief of The Washington Post’s South Asia bureau. His recent article on Bangladesh that the Post published today delineates a very grim image. He was antagonistic in describing Bangladesh as “A New Hub for Terrorism”, though there was a questioning mark at the end of his article’s title, but the claim that he made using some well-known facts and some ostensibly “inside knowledge”, did not have any irrefutable substantiation to back up. Like many other parts of our world, there are radical elements in Bangladesh too, especially the ones with religious zealotry ingrained and some others who use religious fervor for their political gains, but Bangladesh is still a moderate nation, where the poetic libe

Bouquets of Flowers

Bouquets of Flowers By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel) July 30, 2006 There was a time when words just poured through the black nib of my pen. Frenzied typing in the middle of a night, essays after essays, poems after poems, as if I was intoxicated. Minutes went by. Hours vanished like a heartbeat. Words still flowed through my thumbs, pinky and middle fingers. Now only the middle finger rises up. Instead of beauty of poetry, I see mud and more mud in our decorated world living room. Uttering “F” word is crass and classless. But there is a time, a moment when the unbearable feeling of helplessness becomes too loud to muffle anymore. They look like bouquets of flowers. Wrapped up in shiny silvery wrap. Dozens of red roses for a beloved. Not one, but many of these “bouquets of flowers” were lying on the cold floor in Qana. The youngest was 10 months old. The oldest 95 years. If these were indeed flowers, they surely could have been the ignored ones that could be easily mangled and

Global Warming's Real Inconvenient Truth

Mr. Samuelson's following article is informative and to the point. Global Warming is an engineering problem to be solved. However, for engineers finding solution to this increasingly disastrous problem requires social and political backing from the societies, not from any individual nation, but a cohesive and uniform approach taken by the world nations could propel engineers finding the right solution. Otherwise, all the talks are quite fruitless. Regards, Sohel Global Warming's Real Inconvenient Truth By Robert J. Samuelson "Global warming may or may not be the great environmental crisis of the next century, but -- regardless of whether it is or isn't -- we won't do much about it. We will (I am sure) argue ferociously over it and may even, as a nation, make some fairly solemn-sounding commitments to avoid it. But the more dramatic and meaningful these commitments seem, the less likely they are to be observed. Little will be done. . . . Global warming promises to b

No Tolls on The Internet

Since U.S. servers, cable and other telecommunication companies still dominate the Internet world by one means or another, the future of Internet hinges on this coming historic vote in U.S. Congress. The "coin-operated think tanks" and "high priced lobbyists" are employed by goliath companies for the intention of shattering net neutrality so that their already inflated coffers can get huge boost from Internet toll ways preserved for the privileged. The stake is high. On one side the net neutrality gives hope to the new innovators, regular folks with no behemoth corporate blessings to have equal access to network regardless of their views, opinions or wallet weight, on the other side the network owners "itching to become content gatekeepers", "extorting protection money from every web sites", from puny bloggers to any aspiring writers, independent film producers, small business owners, hobbyists and freethinkers. The choices are clear. Read th

The Freshman - A Talib at Yale

He "could have ended up in Guantánamo Bay. Instead" he "ended up at Yale." This is the fascinating real life story of Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, the very famous face of Taliban, the "roving ambassador" of Afghanistan in the time of one-eyed Mullah Omar. A Talib at Yale. Like all the other of his classmates, he is learning critical reasoning, arguments, political science, philosophy, etc. Here is a memorable sentence from this article attached below: "He had been raised in a faith, buoyed at every turn by the certainty of a higher order, a purposeful universe, and now here in this shrine of critical thinking he was learning to doubt, not to believe." Doesn't it show that changing circumstances, devoid of visible destructive wars, bombs and violence, can present a man, even with a clear Taliban background new hope in life? A peaceful environment where mind can soar, heart can flutter with every new steps toward broadening one's hori