BANGLADEŠ – BANGLADESH – গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ

Ulica u Panamu-Street in Panam

Ulica u Panamu-Street in Panam

Tvrdjava Lalbagh u centru Dake-Lalbagh Fort in the centre of Dhaka

Tvrdjava Lalbagh u centru Dake-Lalbagh Fort in the centre of Dhaka

Rikše su glavni prevoz na ulicama Dake-Rickshaws are the main transport on

Rikše su glavni prevoz na ulicama Dake-Rickshaws are the main transport on

U trgovaČkoj četvrti Dake-In the merchants' area of Dhaka

U trgovaČkoj četvrti Dake-In the merchants’ area of Dhaka

Narodni muzej-nekada palata porodice Navab-National Museum-once the palace

Narodni muzej-nekada palata porodice Navab-National Museum-once the palace

Džamija u Daki-A mosque in Dhaka

Džamija u Daki-A mosque in Dhaka

Bivša prestonica Panam-Former capital Panam

Bivša prestonica Panam-Former capital Panam

Bivsa prestonica Panam-Former capital Panam

Bivsa prestonica Panam-Former capital Panam

Ostaci palate u bivsoj prestonici Panamu-Palace remnants in the former capital Panam

Ostaci palate u bivsoj prestonici Panamu-Palace remnants in the former capital Panam

Tvrdjava Lalbagh u centru Dake-Lalbagh Fort in the centre of Dhaka

Tvrdjava Lalbagh u centru Dake-Lalbagh Fort in the centre of Dhaka

Sletanje u ovu zemlju i njen glavni grad Daku čini se kao silazak u prostranu močvaru. Monsuni i poplave ovde su normalna pojava koja za sobom ostavlja ogromne bare, oko kojih se odvija život, ritualno ili svakodnevno kupanje, gajenje pirinča. Te poplave pogoduju pirinču koji je ovom siromašnom narodu najvažnija, ako ne i jedina hrana.
Bangladeš je muslimanska zemlja ženske vladavine. Naime, već trideset godina, posle smrti oca nacije, Mudžibura Rahmana, na mestu premijera uglavnom se nalaze žene, a trenutno, drugi put, njegova ćerka Hasina. To je, izgleda, u ovoj i okolnim zemljama povoljna i normalna pojava; Indira Gandi, Benazir Buto, na primer, samo što su premijerke Bangladeša pošteđene sudbine onih iz susednih zemalja, Indije i Pakistana, koje su stradale u atentatima. Muški ekstremisti u ovim krajevima kao da ne podnose previše ženskog liberalizma. Bangladeš se nazivao Istočni Pakistan dok nije izvojevao nezavisnost od svoje zapadne matice sedamdesetih godina prošlog veka, naravno uz neizbežni sukob, u kome mu je pomogla Indija.
Nepodnošljive automobilske sirene u glavnom gradu samo pojačavaju utisak opšteg haosa koji ovde naizgled vlada. Ulicu je skoro nemoguće preći, a hiljade raznobojnih rikši “na ljudski pogon“, i isto toliko oslikanih kamiona i poluraspadnutih autobusa, jure u suludom stampedu prašnjavim ulicama obavijenim ljubičastim smogom. Tu se, ipak, provuče i miris jasmina u indijskim četvrtima ili se promole kupole Ružičaste palate i Zvezdane džamije u centru grada. Zadržalo se tu još malo onog starog kolonijalnog duha, posebno u plesnivim palatama lokalnih vladara i britanskih guvernera, koje čeznu za restauracijom. Bivša prestonica Panam iz XIII veka nalazi se približno na trideset kilometara od grada, i sastoji se od jedne velike, zapuštene ružičaste palate koja je pretvorena u muzej, na jezeru prekrivenom lotosima i jedne ulice sa manjim napuštenim palatama, koje kao da potiču iz starog Rima. Ipak, neizbežno jato rikši, krava pored puta, žena koje peru sarije i polugole dece u okolnim barama, uz mujezinovu pesmu sa minareta, vraćaju nas u sasvim drugačiji ambijent.
Vrelina i vlaga su jedine stalne pojave, a izgleda i siromaštvo. Ljudi su veoma prijatni i pored nepovoljnih uslova u kojima žive i ne baš tako srećne prošlosti. Možda će ovoj novoj, a ipak tako staroj naciji Istočnog Bengala, budućnost doneti neke lepše trenutke. Oni se, nažalost, još uvek samo naziru u umornom oku ostarelog bengalskog tigra.

Septembar 2009.
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Landing into this country and its capital city Dhaka, seems like descending into a huge swamp. Monsoons and ensuing floods are commonplace, leaving large swathes of water, which are the centre of many daily activities – such as ritual or common bathing and rice cultivation. The floods are actually good for rice cultivation, and in this country, rice is the most important, sometime the only foodstuff available.
Bangladesh is a Muslim country ruled by women. Namely, for thirty years after the death of the father of the nation, Mujibur Rahman, it was mostly women who have held the position of Prime Minister, and, now for the second time running, his daughter Hasina was in the office. Here and in the neighbouring countries this has been quite common and positive as well. Take Indira Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto. However, the female Prime Ministers of Bangladesh have escaped the fate of their Indian and Pakistani counterparts who were assassinated. It seems that male extremists in these parts could not tolerate too much of this female liberalism. Bangladesh used to be called East Pakistan until it won its independence from its western wing, in the 1970s, through an unavoidable liberation war, supported by India.
Unbearable car horns only add to the impression of chaos, which seems to rein in this city. It is next to impossible to cross the street and a multitude of colourful human powered rickshaws, as many painted trucks and decrepit buses, all rush through the dusty streets in a crazy stampede, fighting for their way in a cloud of purple smog. Yet, an unexpected scent of jasmine wafts from the Indian quarters and the outlines of the domes of the Pink Palace and the Star Mosque can only just be made out. A tiny bit of the colonial spirit is still hovering around, especially in the local dignitaries’ and British governors’ mouldy palaces which beg to be restored. The old capital from the 18th century, Panam, is situated around 30 kilometres away from Dhaka. On the side of a lake filled with lotus flowers sits a large, abandoned pink palace which has been turned into a museum; in a side street there is a row of smaller palaces, reminiscent of ancient Rome. However, the unavoidable throng of rickshaws, cows on the roadside, women hand washing their saris in the puddles and many half naked children bouncing around, coupled with muezzin’s call from the minaret, quickly take us back to the here and now.
Heat and humidity are the only certainties, and so is poverty. Despite the unfavourable living conditions and not so happy past, these people are really nice. Maybe the future will bring better times to this new, and yet so old nation from East Bengal.
Sadly, the glimpse of these better times can only be traced in the tired eyes of the old Bengal tiger.

September 2009

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