Our domestic workers are sourced from my dad’s village home - Bhanga. Lately, unlike the middle classes in town, they have had a lot to complain about concerning the new dispensation in Bangladesh. The way things have impinged on them is not welcome one bit. Here are the stories:

1. Rahima’s husband’s roadside cafe (or hotel as it is referred to) has just been pulled down as part of a clean up operation of unregulated shacks. Apart from her own income as my domestic her household (ie her hubbie and two kids) now have no source of income.

2. Televisions have been destroyed when owners have not produced licenses. Not impounded. Simply destroyed.

3. Kids have been picked up if found wandering around in a group or possessing mobiles. A few questions are asked as to why they are not engaged in worthwhile activity ( presumably work), and if “satisfactory” answers are not produced their mobiles are smashed. B recounts that some are made to wade out to the river until the water reaches their neck and made to stand there in the cold water and swear that they will not repeat their “offence.”

4. B’s mates are disappointed about the restrictions on cinema in Faridpur. It seems cinema hall operators and producers of, shall we say…salacious films have not been pushing the boundaries since last week. Despite the regulations that came in in 2004 and last year, so-called “obscene” films still get around the censor. However in this emergency the hall operators are not showing these films in case they get picked up and thrown in jail. And the producers are not keen on producing same given the market conditions.

And we bloggers and internet nuts are now included in the emergency guidelines for the media, and need to avoid making provocative statements, protests etc in the “electronic media including internet.”

In case of violation of the restrictions, the offerenders will face a maximum of five years or a minimum of two years rigorous imprisonment along with fines.

Ooooh i like the sound of “rigorous imprisonment.” I wonder if its anything like that in the picture above? Original from the DS.