Well – yet another blog enters the foray. So why we need a blog? Powerful social media tools like facebook is there – so is twitter and instagram. Facebook has done amazing things in Bangladesh – millions and millions of people – from all ages and all walks of life are using facebook to connect socially and politically and promote the ideology they believe in. And most social and political commentators have moved away from online public weblogs also known as blogs to facebook and resorted to express their opinion in the form of status updates. However despite all the amazing things facebook has done to online activism in Bangladesh – it may also have pushed online activism into small self congratulatory clusters of echo chambers. Some facebook activists of Bangladesh have become so intolerant to opposing views/ opinions – they have started purging persons with non-identical views from their list of friends/ followers. In addition, when an activist writes a status, this status remains visible only for a certain number of hours. Then these expressed opinions becomes untraceable.
In this backdrop, one cannot overemphasize the role of blogs as records/ testaments of the passing time. It is very important that online activists/ blogger remain accountable to history. A reader should be able search/ dig out what one specific blogger had to say about an event that took place 3 months or 10 years ago.
Yes facebook can help in opinion making – but in some cases facebook preaches to the choir. In this decade of online activism, bloggers or netizens in Bangladesh should use the blogs as pressure groups.Act as opinion makers and pressure groups to influence decisions / policies of mainstream political parties. We need Bangladesh version of Daily Kos, Huffington Post or Drudge Report. It is important Bangladesh has online institutes which will influence policy making the way Daily Kos influences major policy decision of the democratic party leadership or event the president. Shahbag movement might have been touted as a success story of online activism – but Shahbag also is a lesson learnt for us – let online activists remain online and let the street forces evolve in its own natural evolution for a cause. Shahbag also showed the exaggerated feeling of power that comes from remaining in an echo chamber. Let each street force and online force complement each other.
In the above back drop – we launch this new group blog site Nuraldeen.com The site is named after Nuraldeen. Nuraldeen was a peasant in northern part of east Bengal. While protesting the injustices committed by agents of British interest in east Bengal, Nuraldeen became one of our first nationalistic leaders. The life of Nuraldeen has been immortalized in bengali folk songs, scripts and he was brought back to our present day urban readers through Syed Haq’s blockbuster drama “নুরলদীনের সারা জীবন/ The life of Nuraldeen”.
Named after nuraldeen, this blog definitely will have a nationalistic pull. While there will be authors representing both center right and center left interpretations of Bangladeshi nationalism, this blog will strive to steer the helm in a centrist direction. While some veteran bloggers, well known online commentators will be blogging for Nuraldeen.com, the readers will see a significant number of new authors too.
As the political landscape of Bangladesh is warming up for either an unforeseen confrontation or a very interesting election – Nuraldeen.com will serve, simultaneously, as an alternative media, retrievable chronicle of national and political events, live commentary of unfolding of political dramas. In a nutshell, Nuraldeen.com will give the readers something that the mainstream or embedded online media will not be able to give – it will be the place to vent, learn and get hopeful about the future.
Welcome readers. Please check Nuraldeen.com daily.
Contributions are welcome from all. Our only requirement is civil language.
[A professionally design format for the blog is being prepared and will be launched within days]