The more things change, the more they stay the same </cliche>. Back in 2007, one of my first blog posts was about about riots, curfews, and media blackouts. A lot has changed since then. The big one being that, instead of a military government running Bangladesh, there is now a duly elected government calling the shots. But, here I am, still talking about violence, curfews, and media blackouts 😛
Troops Gathering in Dhaka
If you’ve been watching the news or following me on Twitter you know that recently there was an outbreak of violence involving the Bangladesh border security forces and the government. Although information was sporadic at first (as journalists were initially banned from the area), it appears that this was started due to pay-related grievances by the border security forces.
A lot of friends contacted me worrying if I was alright. Unlike the riots of 2007, I definitely felt a lot safer. I was in a completely different part of the city than where the violence was happening. There was no risk of a stray bullet coming through my window or anything like that. Heck, I was so far away from where it was all happening, I couldn’t even hear the sound of gunfire.
Troops & Guns
But, like 2007, there was a lot of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Especially with initial reports being so sketchy, everyone I knew (family and friends) were worried about what was going on. More importantly, we were all worried that it would spread. Because, especially in Bangladesh, nothing ever stays contained. Afterall, the big nationwide riots of 2007 were were sparked by relatively small scuffle on the campus of Dhaka University.
For me, as someone who isn’t really an expert in the politics of Bangladesh, I really feel optimistic about the future of this country. That may not be the lesson that many people will gather from a situation that killed approximately 50 over 60 people and put tanks on the street. But that’s kind of the point – although the situation was very bad, it could have been a lot worse. Here’s what I think Bangladesh should be proud of:
Read about it after the jump.
Continue reading ‘Violence in Dhaka: My Reaction’