(Moved to

The Campaign Begins

“We travel to Dhaka, in Bangladesh for a celebration of South East Asian photography thanks to a festival called Chobi Mela, on its fourth edition so far. Their theme this year is ‘boundaries’: ideas, aspects, images that divide peoples and cultures. Perfect backdrop for the violence in the country ahead of forthcoming elections…” They did a hatchet job on Anita’s interviews, but at least the BEEB did give coverage to Chobi Mela IV.

Besides Cristobal (asleep on the rickshaw) and Norman, all the others have gone back.


Richard, Wubin and Cristobal, testing out environmentally friendly modes of transport.


Rupert claims his neighbours need sunglasses to cope with his glistening green punjabi from Dhanmondi Aarong.


The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) motorbike cruised slowly past Drik in the morning. Earlier I’d seen them cruise in Gulshan and Baridhara. It was like a scene from Easy Rider, though the ‘crossfire’ victims might not think so. I’ve never seen them in the troubled areas of Paltan, or Muktangon, or anywhere there are clashes between the public and the police. The RAB seem to have different priorities. For the moment at least, the elite force seems only concerned with protecting the elite.

Meanwhile, a Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) takes a strange and undefined ‘leave’, with veiled threats of “I shall return”, and the fighting gives way to election frenzy.


The Police in a different role


The campaigner, a new kid on the block


Hired supporters, a new form of employment


Employment for all


And the inevitable traffic jams


For those trying to avoid the winter chill, the priorities are somewhat different. A girl cooks dinner at Russel Square. Earlier the burning cars provided the flames.

November 26, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. What percentage of the so called “Janatar Dhol” in these processions and rallys would you say are hired?

    Comment by Salam Dhaka | December 1, 2006 | Reply

  2. Thare are no statistical data on these matters, but it is common knowledge that all major political parties hire ‘supporters’ to beef up numbers. I am told Jamaat pays the best rates.

    Comment by shahidul | December 2, 2006 | Reply

  3. […] Meanwhile the election campaign has started and Shahidul Alam of ShahidulNews has posted some photos of the election campaign in Bangladesh. […]

    Pingback by Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Bangladesh: Politics, More Politics and Bloggers | December 3, 2006 | Reply

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