Revisiting the values

community elders meeting
community elders meeting

Any project by a political party or government “to create awareness and public education” will very likely be met with skepticism and be quickly associated with political  propaganda. Its exactly the same thing that happened with the recent efforts to start a project just like that. If they were to do it right, they should have anticipated this and avoided the labeling. But the problems are there and nobody doubts it. We have harassment of foreigners, robbery, mugging of foreign teachers, doctors, students threatening and intimidating teachers, gang wars and all the vices one can think of in incredibly small communities. Blaming it all on lack of employment is the easy excuse not to think seriously about the issue. So yes there is an issue or rather an abundance of issues and better we acknowledge the facts now do something about it.

A big one time one year project to ‘reeducate’ will not work in this case because we seems to have the fundamentals wrong in this case. Over the years, we have unthinkingly created monster sized issues: of ignorance of social skills, respect for persons and races, blotted out the definition of corruption and failed to install the values based stories in the young.  Examples.

  • We still do not have the equivalent for phrases like thank you or the expectation for that in the normal discourse. So if you give me a sweet you will very likely get a smile from me and that’s it. 🙂 Nor is it particularly beneficial to waste precious time thanking and ‘welcoming’ the thanks, it looks artificial but that’s where we are.
  • For years now, we have been ridiculing fellow human beings from neighboring countries in our dramas, and films (which are in essence part of our literature) with characters like “Pindey” who is the perpetual fool (Bangladeshi), not good for anything but ridicule. Maybe a story might have a use of such character to satisfy our ego or whatever, but overdoing this has created a sense of superiority and there are fellow humans suffering exactly because of this. Everyday there are hundreds of Bangladeshi waiters and servers who are subjected to verbal abuse in tea shops and café’s which is the validation of the above observation.
  • Corruption is so endemic in our society that it’s hardly recognizable now. From simple things like getting preferential treatment in hospitals and banks because of relatives who work inside to big things which involve thousands or millions of rufiyaa, we are flushed with it, if nothing else.

So verily seems we have to start somewhere with something. We have to change our attitudue to ourselves and foreigners alike. We have to start a values based system in education and upgrade the books where the stories are missing. Instead of “Foolhudhiguhandi” stories we shall go for stories that actually show kindness and good manners to young ones.

The usual fraudsters stole the Mayday rally.

labour of love
for the real workers it was a labour of love…

The Mayday rally was hijacked by the usual gang; politicians. Politicians from both sides claimed they did and this and that workers and they plan yet to do more of these and those in the future. But it was all baloney.  They were just unkind in not giving the workers cause their backing and considerable voice. What they did was to steal the workers cause and do the usual politicking.

ports workers and TEAM
ports workers and TEAM

Here are the facts about last Mayday rally:

  • The number of the participants could not be over 100. The low turnout could be still about people not ‘getting’ the deal about workers. Most seem to have the idea that Mayday and workers rights is all about resort workers or civil workers. It is about every worker, but that message doesn’t seem to have been delivered.
  • There were 3 main groups of workers represented in the rally. They are the usual redshirts of TEAM, the predominantly girl powered civil service, and the diehard port workers union.
  • There were no agendas or abundance of them depending on the way one takes it. The list of grievances shouted over the sound system include among other things, longer working hours for parliamentarians, calls to ratify or implement various provisions of workers rights bills, empowering local workers etc. In short, there was no logic, it was all free speech.
fake rally
the fraudsters who stole the workers cause

Compared to the small but ‘real’ workers who participated in the Mayday rally, the fake rally conducted by the politician’s was well attended and well organized. They had their drummers, cheerleading girls, beautiful yellow headbands and yellow t-shirts written with the usual demands like ‘stop police brutality’ etc.

pity the civil workers
pity the civil workers

If we are going to do this right the next time, its important to hardtalk the issue of hijacking the workers cause with the politcians. Just because honourable EASA is an MDP parliamentarian,  should not mean we shall let the politican’s use our name to promote their agenda. Also activism works. We the workers have to be more active to promote our views on all platforms, to promote our views. Its easy to call, demand, ask to ratify or implement this or that but without compelling momentum by voting public,  politician’s do not budge. They are thicker than that! 🙂

Long live the workers.