I Am Bangladesh, I Am Palestine


UPDATE on January 6, 2014. — Bangladesh is falling apart. Bengal is falling apart. First Britain, and then USA, with help from their cronies and crooks, have managed to destroy a very prosperous land with a thousand years of glorious history, art, poetry, literature, wealth and religious harmony. Oh God!! I don’t know Palestine well. But I know Bangladesh. I weep for Palestine. I cry out loud for Bangladesh.
A garment sweatshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh just killed over one hundred poor workers. UPDATE: A building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 24, killing at least 1200 workers. Many more are permanently crippled.

Bangladesh Body Bags, Again and Again.

This is a repeat slaughter of Bengali workers — mostly young women aged 12 to 24 or so — at a Wal-Mart, Disney, Gap, H&M, Hanes or Tommy Hilfiger outsourced factory run by these corporations and their international and domestic agents. Even New York Times expressed their disapproval. Even CNN thought it was not pleasant to have so many sweatshop workers killed so often.
I wrote before about Trayvon Martin when they killed the seventeen-year-old, unarmed kid because somebody thought he was a criminal and could therefore be killed. I said Trayvon was my kid. I wrote about Troy Davis when they killed him strapped on an electric chair. They killed Troy because somebody thought he did not deserve justice.
I wrote about Sikhs in America after 9/11. They started killing and hurting Sikh men and women because somebody thought they looked like Osama Bin Laden and therefore deserved hate.
I wrote about Muslims in Brooklyn after Afghanistan and Iraq. They started killing and hurting Muslims because some people thought all Muslims were terrorists and therefore they deserved random arrests, imprisonment and mass deportation.
I wrote about Latino immigrants in Bush, Cheney and Ashcroft’s America. I wrote straight from the Arizona-Nogales border — straight from a van we took to cross through the Sonoran desert when it was 115 degrees Fahrenheit. I wrote from the morgue where they kept unidentified dead bodies of women and children who perished walking across the scorching desert into the U.S.
I wrote about my experience in Israel and Palestine when I had an opportunity to visit the Middle East as a journalism student from a prestigious journalism school here in New York. I saw how Palestinians lived and suffered at the hands of the powerful. I went to see Golan Heights at the Syrian border where the Six-day War back in 1967 permanently displaced Palestinians from their own land and international big brothers made sure they remained destitute forever.
We Keep Mourning.

I wrote about the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation Struggle when some people decided a British-pauperized, partitioned East Bengal and its millions of newly-impoverished people had no right to food, freedom, dignity or even their own language, and they decided to send a Kissinger-crafted CIA war into that land through Pakistan, and killed ten million people, raped half a million women, and evicted ten million more from their homes and lands — to repeat a similarly bloody and catastrophic 1947 history in less than twenty five years.
I went to work on the borders of India and Bangladesh to see the suffering of those refugees first hand. I wrote about them.
I am now writing again to express my feelings about the poor Bangladeshi garment workers who were burnt alive yesterday in a repeat inferno at a Wal-Mart, Disney, Gap, H&M, Hanes or Tommy Hilfiger sweatshop at the outskirts of Dhaka.
Just a few days ago, I wrote about the barbaric killing of innocent Palestinian children in Gaza. A few weeks ago, I wrote about Obama’s drones that killed innocent children in Pakistan, Yemen and Mali.
I don’t know if my writing has any impact at all on the minds of the otherwise intelligent, educated and human rights-minded liberals in America and India — the two countries I know the best — or for that matter, anywhere else in the world. I have every doubt that such killings are now transient news blips that come on the surface, shake up a few minds for thirty seconds or less, shake up their conscience for an even smaller amount of time, and then disappear into oblivion.
They Keep Mourning.

Worse, these otherwise intelligent, educated, human rights-minded liberals in America and India — the two countries I know the best — or for that matter, anywhere else in the world keep supporting the Democratic Party and its leaders like Obama or Clinton, or the Congress Party and the Gandhi Dynasty in India…or…you put your favorite country and its political system and leaders…and by doing that, they sustain an inhumane, corrupt and cruel, exploitative socioeconomic system that is responsible for all these horrendous acts that are killing and torturing and maiming and starving and displacing and destroying millions of poor men, women and children — all over the world.
I have no hope that bringing up these horrendous acts of violence — political or economic — on the surface would make any long-term change within the status-quo minds of these intelligent, educated and human rights-minded people.
I have learned how not to hope anymore. Not from the elite liberals anways — American or Indian.
I just write about it because I have no other way to cleanse myself of my own sin — of being a part of this system.
She could’ve been my child. Or my sister.

Thank you for at least listening. Now if you want, you can go back and do your Christmas shopping at Wal-Mart, Disney, Gap, H&M, Hanes or Tommy Hilfiger. If you’re in India, find your favorite shopping mall for Diwali shopping. Soon, you’ll find Wal-Mart and Disney too…across the country.
Please do it. I wouldn’t mind at all.
Sincerely Writing (without caring about the outcome),
Brooklyn, New York
The Global Inferno That Kills All of Us. One at a Time.


  1. I read your words. You express yourself so well. I wish this wasn’t happening too. However, since I am like you in that I don’t have the answers to how we stop all the suffering in this world, Even if I did have the answers, who am I that anyone would listen. All I can do is try in a small way to make a difference. I don’t buy from Walmart or any of the stores that you mentioned.

    • Thank you for reading and thinking and acting in solidarity. That is all we can do. And let others know about this global violence on poor people. I wouldn’t waste time on elite liberals.

  2. Educated, intelligent elite either writes/ expresses their sorrow and angst over violence and brutality. They may decide to make the alleged prepetors of violence – economic/ social/ political. But whatever they do does not make a difference. Violence and brutality fills any empty space they find. Expressing pains from violence is as much a violence of the mind as silence over such violence. Only Christ, Buddha and Krishna knew how not to be violent against violence. They had some impact for some time on reducing violence and brutality.

  3. I do not necessarily agree with all of cause, but you know, you got me thinking…a lot…
    I can tell you that your efforts are not wasted. Giving an unpopular perspective, empathy with others, an open mind to ideas, and “food for thought” was the root of innovation, both in commercial as well as social.
    People like you are the catalyst for change. Never stop.

  4. Thank you, Partha. Your words and expression provide an impetus for CHANGE. People need to rise up. Say, “ENOUGH.” Create ways to transform oppression and exploitation into manifestations of love which will lead to sustainable dignity and prosperity for ALL, not just the selected few. People power! The power of an enlightened, loving, and knowledgeable populace can never be defeated. However, if people stay ignorant, passive, apathetic, and selfish, then they WILL win. Let’s choose to be informed, active, courageous, and VICTORIOUS.

    • Dawn, Thanks for your thoughtful and inspiring comments. Question is, who leads and who is allowed to lead? Look around: people who can lead are now allowed by the power to lead: corporations, money and media decide who will be our leaders. Unless people do not understand their game and come out of their trap, there will be no change. Not for us, and not for our children.

  5. Britain and the USA have not destroyed “a very prosperous land with a thousand years of glorious history, art, poetry, literature, wealth and religious harmony”. Prosperity in India only developed after modern commerce was introduced by Britain. History, art, poetry and literature were not destroyed by Britain, but enhanced. It was not until British rule that modern printing presses and means of communication were introduced. And finally religious harmony was created under the Raj! Until then the subcontinent was ruled by Muslim rulers, who imposed their religion on the people. If you are so ignorant of the facts, please do not bother to comment in future.

  6. “Prosperity in India only developed after modern commerce was introduced by Britain.” Even my cat would laugh!! If you don’t have time to read history, at least use your common sense, man! Like, why did Europe colonize in the first place?


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