Condemning the bomb blasts 

 HassanAl Abdullah

Published on February 13, 2007

"Are not you going to Bangladesh this summer?" A BNP--Bangladesh Nationalist Party, supporter asked me, while I was waiting for a friend of mine in Jackson Heights. The BNP supporter was also there, hanging around with some friends. We knew each other, and so after exchanging the greetings he asked me the question.

"No. Not this year. I went there last summer. Probably, I will go there again in the next summer." I replied.

"O no, no. You should go there now and see how peaceful the country is! The present government made it a heaven. You will enjoy it now." He insisted.

"I see! After such an advertisement from you, I believe I should go there. But, for some internal problems I cannot keep your request." I politely supported my position.

"It's not an advertisement, it is real. The country is a heaven now. You people always talk against the country. But I was born in there. Bangladesh is my mother land." He got excited.

"Don't forget that I was born in there too. And I watch TV regularly, I read Papers. The real situation is very different from what you are suggesting. And I am not talking against the country. I, too, want the country to be peaceful so that I could go there with my family to spend my summer vacations." I explained.

"I read your work, I understand what you wanted to say. The country was much worse in the Awami League period which you can't see." He got so excited that it was almost impossible to continue with him.

"But I am not even mentioning any party. I am interested in the real situation of the country."

"The present government made it a heaven. Try to see it in your own eye and write about that. Try to write as Nazrul did, don't follow the Tagorean way." He suggested. But he understood neither of the poets, I thought.

At this point my friend, for whom I was waiting, arrived. I shook the BNP supporter's hand and departed.

In a few hours later, I got the news of the series of bombing throughout the country. More than 350 hand made bombs were blasted from 10:30 am to 11:30 am on Wednesday. After getting the news from CNN and Reuters I made a several phone calls to my relatives in different parts of the country. I heard the persistent fear in their voices over the phone. No one had any idea what was really going on. A bomb was blasted right in front of the 20-bed clinic of my uncle, Dr. Nasir, in Gopalgonj. He resides in the second floor while the first floor of the same building is used as a clinic. "I am lucky that I got out of home a few minutes earlier than the blast," said his wife. She was sill panicking. I know that not only my relatives, but every citizen of the country is now in a deep shock. They are panicking because they don't know what is coming up next. Bombs have been blasted, people have been killed, and secular poets and writers have been tortured for years. But the culprits are not being brought to justice. The government is always in a state of denial. But, we, the secular people--living in the country or outside, could see that there has been a serious problem going on within this small nation of the World. The Muslim fundamentalists have already captured the whole nation and they are working in favor of the government. Otherwise this type of bombing throughout the whole country is not possible. Probably, the government still have a little time to realize that the country is going to a wrong direction. The government might make it a heaven, that would not be for the general people, but for the fundamentalists. We do not want that. So, on behalf of the international poetry journal, Shabdaguchha, I condemn the bomb blasts.


HassanAl Abdullah is a poet. Author of 9 books including 6 collections of poetry. He is the editor of a bilingual poetry journal, Shabdaguchha. Mr. Abdullah teaches math and computer for the New York City High School. E-mail: [email protected]