A few weeks back, the celebrity heiress Paris Hilton went in and out of jail and the media lapped up her every move. We learnt about her diet, beauty regimen, ‘mysterious’ illness and even her remorse. Paris herself made the best of this opportunity and promised to pen a jail diary, to be sold to the highest bidder. Bangla blogger Konfusius followed the entire event with keen interest and wondered why Bangladeshi celebrity politicians fail to inspire such media frenzy, even as many of them head for incarceration. Does the Bangladeshi media then lack a sense of humor? He asks.
While Paris was busy penning her diaries, two famous literary personalities were creating a buzz in the Bangla blogosphere, creating a debate around the right of freedom of expression.
Novelist Salman Rushdie was honored with a knighthood, sparking protests in parts of the Muslim world. The sparks touched the Bangla world as well. Blogger Apbak found these protests by religious fanatics shameful. He felt that by undertaking such protests and launching fatwas at the slightest pretext, the Muslim community was getting more and more alienated and the inherent goodness of Islam was being forced to take a backseat.
Bangladeshi Author in exile, the fiery Taslima Nasrin's article “Tumi bhalo theko priyo desh” (Keep well, my dear country) started a conversation among bloggers, debating whether or not the ban on her should be lifted. Tariq, for one, felt that she should be allowed to return to Bangladesh, her homeland.
And talking of freedom of expression, it seems that the Bangla blogosphere needs more space to express itself. Breaking away from Somewherein, a group of Bangladeshi bloggers have launched a new blogging platform Sachalayatan . According to Arup, the space would be more like an online magazine, with contributors being given their own blog spaces. Currently however, the platform does not allow comments by all readers and is being strictly moderated. Will wait and watch to see how conversations develop in this newly created space.
Hard to believe how far news of Paris Hilton travels…
I am not sure, why people should be under the impression that the bloggers writing in Sachalayatan “broke away” from Somewherein. People don’t necessarily break away from blogspot when they open a blog in wordpress, do they? It’s simply like expanding one’s horizon.
Sachalayatan being strictly moderated is another expression which might mislead readers. It is true that the site is not open for all, bloggers are presently being invited by the members, and so on. Being “strictly moderated” might imply that the posts are being under scrutiny and undergoing approval or rejection. Nothing of that sort is happening in Sachalayatan. Members are free to express themselves.
Thank you for your precious attention. Sachalayatan is also waiting to develop conversation which would steer thoughts and encourage debates.
The phrase ‘breaking away’ has been used since that is the impression one gets from the various conversations raging on the 2 platforms currently. More specifically it refers to Arup’s words where he says, (and I translate)”at the time more or less everyone was disgusted with what was happening on Somewherein” as a way of explaining the birth of Sachalayatan.
The words strictly moderated is with respect to the posts being closed for comments. Also it is not an open space as yet, unlike Somewherein. Possibly that is being done to control quality and there is nothing wrong in that I suppose.
Nevertheless, I am indeed glad that the Bangla blog world is seeing more activity and more spaces are opening up for communication and sharing. Looking forward to amplifying those conversations for the global voices readers in the coming days
Dear Aparna Ray,
Thnx for ur observation about new online writers blog ‘sachalayatan’ . But as an active member of ‘sachalayatan’, I ‘ve a little objection regarding ur comment.
By any menas ‘sachalayatan’ is not a broken part of ‘Somewherein’. Its an totally independed platform as its structure and nature. Yes some of the maker of sachalayatan have been blogging in ‘somewhere’, as most of them do blogging in their own ‘blogspot’ pages. But that does not make sense that its a broken part of that.
I personally feel using the word “Breaking away from Somewherein” sounds accusatory that shows insensitivity to the readers and writers of Socholaiton. I’ve started writing for Socholaiton that doesn’t mean that I’ve abandoned Somewherein.
Socholaiton should be credited by all Bangla loving bloggers as it opened new windows of expression for all conscious minds. I hope all the like minded bloggers will appreciate new avenues to share their ideas that promote the spirit of pro-71 liberation war as well deny avenues to preach unnecessary religious fundamentalism and hatred. Thank you.
I agree with the comment posted by Shallow-waters Pirate. It’s true that currently Sachalayatan is not open for all but the bloggers writing in Sachalayatan definitely didn’t break away from Somewherein. The bloggers writing in Sachalayatan don’t feel this way. Just like any other media there will be many more Bangla blog site to fulfill the needs of Bangla blogers and most importantly the readers.
I am afraid Arup’s post is being misinterpreted. You perhaps have read about the design phases. What I understood from his assertion is, the “disgust” only triggered a leap in design pace. From your comments, I am encouraged to be convinced that both the platforms are frequented by you. Perhaps you have missed some posts of the bloggers presently blogging in Sachalayatan about the situation and perspective. It has been lucidly explained that no one “broke away”, rather concentrated on blogging in Sachalayatan. I hope you would appreciate the difference.
Anyway Aparna, I would stop arguing here, and thank you again for being a part of Sachalayatan’s lecteurs. We have started with limited resources, but we do want to keep a steady pace in expansion to develop conversation.
Paris Hilton, being a 26 years old lady has shaked the media and attracted the view of many people around the world. Paris Hilton she became a ‘burning issue’ until a couple of weeks back. this was or that way, I personally came to know lots of thing about her since she has been gone through the whole proceedings.
About Salman, he is not banned by the western community. more precisely some extremist muslim countries have put value on his head. and thankfully the Knighthood is not offered by these countries. as only the british royal family has the full right to award this knighthood, no other community has nothing to do with it. any kind of procession or protest is just waste of time and their energy.
Taslima Nasrin should return and she must be secured by the government that no harms occurs to her. Bangladesh is not a Mollah dominated country. so why should mollahs give fotoa Taslima to be killed? if she would have done anything against bangladesh, she would be punished. no other party or parties has the right to decide Taslima’s destiny.
Socholayoton is not a counter part, duplicate or anything that damage the impression of Somewherein. Socholayoton is a community of online writers. the writers who seems and felt to be same-minded. a bunch of college friends, who met after a long time on the courtesy of somewhere in. this bunch of friends has got some well-wisher olders to gear them up expressing and exploding their creativities. Implementing through to exchange views in order to do something real good for the motherland, Socholayoton has got its current face.
Now, Socholayoton is getting enriched by various type of views from various corners. because of its user friendly writing environement some writers are not that regular in somewhere in, but most of the members in Socholayoton including founders are still writing regularly in Somewherein. if this is the fact, then “broke away from somewhere in”- this phrase is making a differnt point other than the real aims of Socholayoton.
I, personally think I should have the freedom to write anywhere, anytime I want with being accused that I am breaking-away from one platform.
ooopppsss, I forgot to convey thanks to you.
I, really thankful to you and would expect you on Socholayoton as a conscious lecteur. :-)