Anwar A. Khan

Anwar A. Khan is an independent political analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh who writes on politics, political and human-centred figures, current and international affairs

Sharodia Durga Puja

5 mins read

Durga puja is an important festival in the Shaktism tradition of Hinduism. As per Hindu scriptures, the festival marks the victory of goddess Durga in her battle against the shape-shifting asura, Mahishasura.

It is an annual Hindu event in South Asia that celebrates the adoration of the Hindu goddess Durga. In Bangladesh, it is celebrated broadly. It submits to all the six days of experiential as Mahalaya, Maha Ashtami, Maha Saptami, Shashthi, Maha Navami and Vijayadashami.

History says that the Durga puja has been famous since medieval times. It has urbanized and customized to the world as time approved. A substantial text exists around Durga in the Bengali language and its untimely shapes. The goddess Durga was not completely included into the Hindu pantheon mainly in Bengal. Early forms of Durga festivals were mostly private adoration in personal houses with the use of musical mechanisms such as the mandira, mridanga and smakhya.

Mantras are an essential part of Durga puja. These are accompanied by the musical beatings of the dhak and flowers. These make the environment of Durga puja. Singing of mantras in Sanskrit is a necessary part of the Durga Puja celebration. Durga Slokas commends Durga as a sign of all celestial forces. Along with the sloka, Durga is ubiquitous as the picture of power, aptitude, calm, wealth, ethics etc.

The whole procedure of the formation of the sculptures from the set of clay to the decoration is a holy process, overused by services and other rituals. The people of the Hindu religion are very pious to celebrate this day with respect.

Durga Puja is a public holiday in Bangladesh. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Bangladesh is a land of holy places and large religious festivals. The festival is a special occasion for Bengali Hindu families to come together from all over the country and celebrate with their relatives and communities.

The five days festival is celebrated with gaiety and grandeur in Bangladesh. Devotees of Goddess Durga offer prayers and seek blessings of the goddess. During the Puja, goddess Lakshmi, Saraswati as well as lord Ganesha and Kartikeya are also worshipped by devotees along with goddess Durga.

Durga calmly understands and counters the evil in order to achieve her solemn goals. Durga, in her various forms, appears as an independent deity in the Epics period of ancient India, that is the centuries around the start of the Common Era. From the medieval period up through present day, the Durga Puja has celebrated the goddess with performing arts and as a social event, while maintaining religious worship.

The festival begins on the first day with Mahalaya, marking Durga’s advent in her battle against evil. Swami Chinmayananda said, “Man, the imperfect, the bound, the sorrowful, has a thousand enemies within. He is riddled with negative thoughts fears, and yearnings. These are selfishness, jealousy, meanness, prejudice and hatred just to mention but a few. The Sadhak must get rid of these lawless villains within. With Mother Durga’s kripa, these destructive masters are to be annihilated. Invoke the Mother Terrible to help us annihilate within ourselves all negative forces; all weaknesses, – all littleness.”

The festival is an old tradition of Hinduism, though it is unclear how and in which century the festival began. Surviving manuscripts from the 14th century provide guidelines for Durga puja, while historical records suggest royalty and wealthy families were sponsoring major Durga Puja public festivities since at least the 16th century. The prominence of Durga Puja increased during the British Raj in its provinces of Bengal and Assam. In the contemporary era, the importance of Durga Puja is as much as a social festival as a religious one wherever it is observed.

This festival is the biggest festival of the Bengali Hindus and is celebrated with great fanfare in Bangladesh.

On each day of this festival, devotees offer flower worship (pushpanjali) and the priest conducts an aroti. At the end of these five days, the idols are immersed in water. As the devotees bid farewell to the Mother Goddess they softly say ‘Aaschebochoraabarhobe’ (We will celebrate your arrival again next year). Like Swami Sivananda, Hindus believe, “Durga (Devi) is synonymous with Shakti or the Divine Power that manifests, sustains and transforms the universe as the one unifying Force of Existence. ‘Shakti is the very possibility of the Absolute’s appearing as many, of God’s causing this universe.

God creates this world through Srishti-Shakti (creative power), preserves through Sthiti-Shakti (preservative power), and destroys through Samhara-Shakti (destructive power). Shakti and Shakta are one; the power and the one who possesses the power cannot be separated; God and Shakti are like fire and heat of fire.”

Even when skies turn to gray, we wishthat the Goddess will bless Hindus way; to give them strength to overcome it all; and achieve all their desires and goals.Let the divine blessings of the Goddess overflow in their life. Durga Puja is an auspicious Hindu festival celebrated across Bangladesh, India and bordering countries. People celebrate this day with great enthusiasm and zeal.

This wonderful spiritual festival, held annually in Bangladesh and elsewhere among the Hindu community in the world. The tenth day, also known as Dashami marks the Visarjan (immersion in water) of the idol with grand celebrations and processions.

Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad and MahanagarSarbajanin Puja Committee have said, “We are respectful to all religions. We are giving the directives to maintain the sanctity of other religions.”

A week prior to the festival, the city gears up and can be seen wearing a look of eagerness and excitement as it prepares itself to welcome the Goddess home.A week before Navratri begins; the idols of Goddess Durga are being painted and made ready except for the eyes. On the occasion of Mahalaya, the Goddess is invited on earth with rituals and so on this day, the eyes are drawn on the idols in an auspicious ritual called ChokkuDaan. It is believed the Goddess descends to earth at the time of drawing the eyes on the idols.

On the sixth day of Navaratri i.e.,the first day of Durga Puja; the beautifully decorated idols are brought home or into magnificently decorated public pandals. The idol is then decorated with flowers, clothes, jewellery, red vermillion and various sweets are kept in front of the Goddess. The idol of the Goddess is accompanied by the idol of Lord Ganesh. Goddess Durga is considered to be Lord Shiva’s wife Parvati’s avatar and thus mother of Lord Ganesh.

The festival of Durga Puja is coloured with devotional zeal, mythological legends, detailed rituals, extravagant pandals and magnificent tableaus of the divine Mother Goddess and her children. The ten-day festivities of Durga Puja provide one and all with a chance to spread festive cheer and wish their loved one’s peace as well as prosperity. The nine different forms of the Goddess of Power, Durga or Shakti, as per the Hindu religion are worshipped during this time.

The last six days of the festival, namely, Mahalaya, Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, MahaNabami and Bijoya Dashami are celebrated with great pomp and show. The Durga Puja revelry is not limited to elaborate rituals, but extends to various cultural, music and dance performances given by armature as well as professional artists during this time.

On the final day of Vijayadashmi, the devotees bid teary-eyed farewell to the Goddess and her children as it is believed that they leave for their heavenly abode. Their idols are submerged in the water amidst the resonating sound of drums to symbolise their departure.

May this Durga Puja light up for Hindus in Bangladesh and elsewhere throughout the world!We wish that Goddess Durga empowers them with unmatched happiness, great success and good luck. To conclude, we wish to enunciate a few words of a famed poem: “Nil akashermegherbhela,Padma phulerpapri mela,Dhakertaalekasherkhela,Anandekatuksharadbela. Shubho Durga Puja.” A very Happy Durga Puja to all our brothers and sisters of Hindu community in Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, and across the world!

-The End –

Cloak-and-dagger activities in Bangladesh from front enemy lines

4 mins read

We, the people in Bangladesh, are staggeringly keen to see the forthcoming national election be comprehensive in the country. This is absolutely our own country’s matter. But we have been observing some foreign blackguard diplomats jumping hither and thither – to media – to Election Secretariat, to NGOs like international apple-polishers of besmirched super-powers for yielding gibberish – grinding with the gums; chew without teeth and with great difficulty about dictating how to be conducted our national polls saying out loud for the purpose of his recording at their own volition or fixed or established especially by order or command of their countries leech parasites.

Their smiles are not feigned. Rather, these are all squint – cross-eyed; have strabismus smiles and may signify many ugly things behind the screen door – morally reprehensible and so, they deserve reprimand – berate, call on the carpet – censure severely or angrily by us!

Hasite tomar mukta jhorena, tumi naki kobita houna khokono (Your face does not fall with a literal smile; so, you are not a poem even).”

The clapper-claw’s playacts are like a short knife with a pointed blade used for piercing or stabbing the party in power from behind. They are convoluted in a deep-seated confederacy to fall down the government by any means. This is their principal field of moving or acting rapidly and energetically in Bangladesh. They don’t have any other jobs here.

An example: in the historical present, look furtively at a short and sharp-tongued outline or synopsis of the U.S. presidential election:

Everyone is in knows that voter fraud used to be rampant in America. In the aftermath of the 2020 election, President Donald Trump unleashed a barrage of litigation to review results in battleground states and claimed that the election was tainted by “tremendous corruption and fraud.”

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, powerful networks known as political machines typically controlled local votes, through cronyism, bribes, and an ability to get out the vote—consolidating political, social, and financial power in the hands of a few.

In the words of U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith, who in 2011 conducted a sweeping survey of the history of voter suppression in the South, common tactics included “theft of ballot boxes; removal of polls to unknown places; burning ballots before elections; illegal arrests on election day; importation of voters who did not live in the precinct; calling off names wrongly; fabricating reasons to refuse to hold elections in precincts populated with blacks; the voting of dead or fictitious persons; ensuring that poll watchers and ballot counters became drunk while votes were counted; and organizing ‘disorderly demonstrations’ to intimidate voters.”

The allegations of fraud are basically tearing down an election institution in the U.S.

After the 2016 presidential election marred by allegations of foreign meddling, the midterm contest looms amid concerns about voter suppression in Georgia and other states as well as unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud by undocumented aliens.

Vote buying occurs when a political party or candidate seeks to buy the vote of a voter in an upcoming election. Vote buying can take various forms such as a monetary exchange, as well as an exchange for necessary goods or services. This practice is often used to incentivise or persuade voters to turn out for elections and vote in a particular way in the U.S. Although this practice is illegal in many countries such as the United States, Argentina, Mexico, Kenya, Brazil and Nigeria, it prevalence remains worldwide.

In some parts of the United States in the mid-and late 19th century, members of competing parties would vie, sometimes openly and other times with much greater secrecy, to buy and sell votes. Voters would be compensated with cash or the covering of one’s house/tax payment. To keep the practice of vote-buying secret, parties would open fully staffed vote-buying shops. Parties would also hire runners, who would go out into the public and find floating voters and bargain with them to vote for their side.

In America, voters may be given money or other rewards for voting in a particular way, or not voting. In some jurisdictions, the offer or giving of other rewards is referred to as “electoral treating.” Electoral treatment remains legal in some jurisdictions, such as in the Seneca Nation of Indians.

In the U.S., vote buying can take the form of “turnout buying”, where a broker pays to provide transport to polling locations or incentivizes members of particular demographics (with strong support for their party) to vote. While the broker has not changed the political preferences of the bought-out votes, they have nonetheless expended capital to submit (relatively) certain votes for their party to the ballot box.

The rascally outlander diplomatists don’t have any job other than dictating our country with an ulterior motive on how to conduct our national polls. They do have an undercover strong connection with their local mango-twigs to scathe the current government – conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods in Bangladesh.

Matt Robinson examines the problems that stem from the media’s over-reliance on polls in America in his 2002 book, Mobocracy: How the Media’s Obsession with Polling Twists the News Alters Elections and Undermines Democracy. Despite some significant problems with question-wording, sampling error, and response bias, news organizations treat survey results as the Gospel. That, in turn, means pundits, the media, and voters create political narratives to justify the results. As Robinson observes, they commit the logical fallacy of reasoning from effect to cause.

2020 presidential polls in the U.S. suffered the worst performance in decades, media reports say.

The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) task force examined 2,858 polls, including 529 national presidential race polls and 1,572 state-level presidential polls. They found that the surveys overstated the margin between President Biden and former president Donald Trump by 3.9 points in the national popular vote and 4.3 percentage points in state polls.

Polls understated the support for Trump in nearly every state and by an average of 3.3 percentage points overall. Polls in Senate and gubernatorial races suffered from the same problem.

The accuracy of issue polling could be harmed by the same problems that affected election polling because support for Trump vs. Biden is highly correlated with party affiliation and opinions on many issues.

Now we should understand their countries’ agenda for our country and our national poll procedures. Should we confer a trust upon them who have been under the cloak-and-dagger activities behind enemy lines in Bangladesh?

Lord hounds, oil your own machines for your own countries. Mind your own business; don’t pole your noses into the internal affairs of others like us.

We should keep in our mind, “One black sheep spoils the whole flock.” So, we all should raise our voices in unison against intruding into the national affairs of our country by them and their begrime countries in no time to bring about a better and peaceful society for all of us in Bangladesh. And we must not tolerate their hugger-mugger activities from behind the enemy lines on the soil of our country under any setting

Views are personal

Bangladesh: The carnage shook the World

6 mins read

As long as Padma, Meghna, Gouri, Jamuna flows on,
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, your accomplishment will also live on.” – Annada Shankar Ray

No mercy or clemency to the killers of Father of the Bengali Nation – Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

This column is well worth a visit. Because it is not a simple murder only by the anti-Bangladesh malefactors and their ill-chums – the obnoxious nexus of America’s CIA and Pakistan’s ISI. It was a murder of a sky-touching figure like Bangabandhu Mujib and most of his family members. It has changed the entire political landscape of Bangladesh. The core spirit that we attained through our glorious Liberation war of 1971 to establish Bangladesh was tattered for an indefinite time.

The carnage shook the whole world in the wee hours on 15 August 1975.

If the crimes were ever a topic of discussion around, it was only people of all classes expressing their strong resentment (the media was then fully controlled by those arrant killers) with a national loss that seemed intent on forever branding our beloved Dhaka’s Road No. 32 Dhanmondi as a murder moorage.

Our glorious Liberation war of 1971 to found Bangladesh is our plume. Our national flag is our preen. Our national anthem is our prideful-ness. We achieved Bangladesh at the blood-bath of 3 million of our people by the lunatic Pakistani military regime and their local brutish cohorts, majorly the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) sub-humans. To attain Bangladesh, three hundred thousand of our mothers and sisters lost their chastity at the hands of those malefactors. We saw their baleful everlasting annihilation of the freedom-loving people of all classes and of all religions in the country.

These perps forced out ten million of our people from their homes with unspeakable sufferings, made them shelter-less and forced them to take refuge inside India. All these men-made disasters were played out throughout a 9-month war in 1971. We finally gave them a crushing defeat on 16 December 1971 and our beloved Bangladesh came into being as an independent and sovereign state in the world map. We are proud of the secular spirit that we earned through our glorious Liberation War in 1971.

But the bacilli of the defeated forces could not be destroyed after Bangladesh’s Founding Father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s brutal killing intentionally and with premeditation on 15 August in 1975 by Khondokar Mushtaqu Ahmed and his camarilla and because of skullduggeries of depraved military rulers – Gen. Zia, Gen. Ershad and their compadre – Begum Zia for two decades or so. Unfortunately, they have infected, among many other people in the country.

From our side, the war was fought on the philosophies of establishing of Nationalism, Democracy, Socialism, and Secularism in the country. The true spirits and values of our glorious Liberation War of 1971 can best be described by a song sings by famed singer Rathindra Nath Roy, “For the youngsters; for the adults; for the poor; for the riches; for all; for the have-nots; for the beggars-our country is for all people; for all people where there is no difference between punters and blacksmiths; where there is no difference amongst Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians; one mother; and one country, but belong to all (Chotoder boroder, shokoler, ……..ek mata, ek desh shokoler).”

This is what Bangladesh we wanted in 1971 and we established that glorious Bangladesh in 1971.

Idealism got jumped in the alleyway of realpolitik when the governments of military dictators usurped the throne of Bangladesh and ruled the country. In truth today, today’s Bangladesh is not our Bangladesh. It is not a Bangladesh which we achieved in 1971 at a very high price. Depraved military dictators, Zia and Ershad usurped power and ruled the country for 16 years. The spirits and values of our glorious Liberation War were battered according to their whims; the anti-liberation forces on the run for their grave misdeeds in 1971, were arrogantly rehabilitated everywhere in the country to serve their petty political interests.

One of them was made Prime Minister, some ministers and placed others in key positions of the country. The bright constitution of 1972 was ravaged like anything. The immortal slogan “Joy Bangla” was sent into oblivion. The so-called ‘Zindabad’ slogan with the Pakistani spirit soiled with dirt or soot was restored in its glorious place. The name of our glorious Liberation War, the name our country’s Founding Father…. were made naught.

The two-nation theory which was buried by our glorious Liberation War, was brought back to designedly assault our heroic and patriotic war of 1971. The Satanic lust and twists polluted the hearts of two evil military dictators, and also one civilian dictator and their mango-twigs who ruled the country…

A large number of war criminals who were in jails were set free and garlanded to further rape the country with more ferociousness using the name of our holy religion, Islam. Communalism was patronised to push out of the way of secularism which had great beauty and splendor and which was achieved through our national liberation characterised by grandeur.

The valour, patriotism, the supreme sacrifices of our millions of people, our deep love for the country – everything were laid down by these shenanigan politicians. It is as if these morally reprehensible people raped everything and the beautiful country; its bright sun; and its bright moon and what not. The bare truth is that all these evil schemes were not needed to have done under any circumstances. Communalism now-a-days has risen its ugly head more vigorously. The golden days which we have passed through are all really gone!

And this is not what Bangladesh we wanted for in 1971.

Bangladesh has to be made Bangladesh in its original form. Keep moving on the ideals of 1971 war which need to be revived in full spirit.

Fuyumi Soryo has rightfully reminded, “If a castle gets destroyed, you just build a new one. If you wanted me to, I’d build them over and over. Let’s build them together.” Let us build together what precious treasures we have lost in Bangladesh. Moving towards the people’s desire for the restoration of glorious, creative past is a vital work for the state and its people and should be read by all who want to … The lost glory will truly be a remarkable work which is not just for the leaders, but a message for every people of the country.

Changing a little bit of the words of Teddy Roosevelt, we wish to say, “This is a nation — not a polyglot boarding house. There is not room in the country for any 50-50 Bengali, nor can there be but one loyalty — to the Green and Red coloured Flag.” The lost glory of Bangladesh that ideal for which many have fought and died for, has to be restored in full. The departure from the very Bangladesh for our nation has to be restored in full. The remnants of Pakistani ghosts and goblins and the Bangla speaking Pakistanis must be reduced to ashes.

Our principle in this matter should be absolutely simple. We should insist that if everyone lives here does in good faith become a Bengali and assimilates himself to us, he or she shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man or woman because of caste, creed or religion. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact a Bengali and nothing, but a Bengali.

We have room for but one flag, Bangladesh’s flag, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Bangladesh’s, and its nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one soul sic loyalty, and that is loyalty to Bangladesh’s people. But this is predicated upon the man’s and woman’s becoming in very fact a Bengali and nothing but a Bengali.

We do not want to be any other nation or any other persuasion, but with a government that has not given up the very foundations that we were founded upon. The political arms in PM’s Secretariate and Bangabhaban have to thwart any ill-motivated move the very constitution that we have had in 1972. The evil and communal forces that want to bring the world of Bangladesh down have succeeded to do so because of the military rulers who ascended the throne of Bangladesh forcefully. It is as if we do not live in Bangladesh, per-se; we live in another country.

But that not be; we will not recant, change, or move away from the true spirits and values of our 1971 war. The new struggle is to our Bangladesh’s ideals; to what my forebears, forefathers of this nation, and to our own blood who preceded us. The anti-liberation forces have garnered supporters because of their unity. For decades our politicians have been slowly diluting the very foundations of Bangladesh with people. Our one sole is now loyalty and that is loyalty to Bangladesh’s people.

So, we have, but room for one allegiance that is to Bangladesh. The patriot Bengalis are those who form the battle line to protect freedoms so that all of us can live under the true banner of freedom without hate to people of other religions. We want keep to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh which we attained in 1971. This is what Bangladesh in the truest sense of the term.

There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happened yesterdays, the Sun will rise again tomorrow. The struggles we endure today will be the good old days.

Bangabandhu’s high road of grace will get us somewhere a whole lot faster than the freeway of spite. Joy Bangla. Joy Bangabandhu.