Thursday, March 15, 2007

The crassitude of a savant and cyber gadfly!

A.H. JAFFOR ULLAH

Many of us have grown used to participate in myriad forums since 1997 to exchange views, learn a thing or two in the process, etc. However, lately things have changed. I see quite a few deshi forum-goers who are roaming freely in various forums a la "Religious Ox" (Dhormer ShaR) and in the process they post pejoratively written one paragraph just to malign someone. They are what I call the gadflies of cyber forums.

Instead of discussing or proposing new ideas to improve the living conditions of our hapless people, they like to mock writers or participants whose ideas are too radical or anachronistic by their standard. If you happen to critique their newly found hero or role model, you are more than sure to receive response full of diatribes. Casting aspersion is their forte. This is the sport they like.

A post in Vinnomot forum caught my attention. To make a convivial merriment and to prove his crass mentality a Johnny-come-lately cyber forum-goer made some sententious remarks about me in Vinnomot forum where I seldom visit. The other day I did a Google search using my name to track down one particular write-up of mine and I noticed a hit with Vinnomot’s name mentioned next to my name. That is the reason I visited that forum, which earned a name for being the soft-porno site. The operator of the site may have followed the philosophy of Hugh Hefner or Larry Flint to popularize their forum. It is natural that all the dunces and dimwitted acolytes belonging to Bangladesh and West Bengal who among other things like Ritu “Porno” Ghosh’s semi porno movie would click their mouse at least several times a day to get their vicarious thrill over getting closer to scantily dressed Bollywood stars.

I was surprised to note that suddenly I have become a staunch supporter of Hasina Wajed. The gadfly did not know that I was labelled as "BNP supporter" during 1996 through 2001 for critiquing Hasina Government's policy to name both prodigious and obscure buildings, sports arena and whatnot after Bangabandhu. In 1999 I single-handedly started a debate in Daily Star over Hasina’s decision to buy 10-12 aging MiG fighter bombers.

In 1998 I wrote several articles on Grameen Bank and Prof. Yunus to show my disagreement over GB's steep interest rate. In October 2007 when Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize, I immediately wrote a congratulatory note but at the same time I pointed out the gross inaccuracy in the citation made by the organization from Oslo that offered the prize. Is it a crime to call a spade a spade?

On January 19, 2007 an article written by me was published in Daily Star where I mentioned that the Fakhruddin Administration was firmly backed by the military of Bangladesh. Lately, I am writing articles on the legitimacy of Fakhruddin Administration. Apart from rounding up nearly 98,000 ordinary miscreants and 100 top corrupt politicians, this government is a total failure that could not check the price of everyday commodities. Tens and thousands of indigent have become homeless by Fakhruddin’s indifference to the plights of the poor in Dhaka city. Some respected economists from Dhaka are now saying that the GDP growth may become less than spectacular. These developments do not bode well for Bangladesh. I do not see any erudite comments from the military-backed government to put the blame squarely on Bangladesh society which had condoned bribe-taking for years and years. The government is going after the corrupt politicians leaving aside the corrupt governmental high officials, police, custom officials, port officials. The mayor of Dhaka who was the ring leader of dozens corrupt ward commissioners is also roaming free while the Mayor of Chittagong was put in prison. How come not a single ex-military officer who became politician or businessmen was arrested thus far? These are thoughts in my mind and I have written short articles to speak my mind for which I have already earned enough scorn from Fakhruddin-Yunus-Mainul triumvirate lovers.

And specifically what did I receive from the savant of east coast? The cyber gadfly who often dabbles in such serious subjects as politics and society at large of Bangladesh often mentions about his “beautiful wife” in his usual cyber chitchats while flaunting the name of his hometown. People yearning for attention often resort to these kinds of exercise in futility. If someone has unique and revolutionary ideas, which may transform the Bangladesh society by helping our politicians and government servants to get away from their usual recidivious tendencies, I would ask them to share that with others. But why this proclivity for getting even with a harried writer like me?

Yes, yes, I know all my suggestions would fall into a deaf ear. Having a broader perspective on life coupled with maintaining equanimity may help transform a gadfly into a netiquette savvy netizen no doubt. I may foam to my mouth delineating the virtues associated with being a sapient; however, the stark reality may be very different. My earnest beseeching may not produce any meaningful result and I may very well receive another bitter and abusive denunciation through a post. This is the risk one takes while posting articles in a public forum.

Let me bring a closure to my protest note by quoting the English bard, Shakespeare: “Let them hang themselves in their own straps.” #

The harried scribe pens his article from Katrina devastated metropolis of New Orleans