A morning in shutdown Bangladesh
( January 9, 2013,Dhaka, Sri Lanka Guardian) I woke up 6 in the morning and got fresh and start towards Ramana Park the oldest green Park in the Dhaka the capital of Bangladesh. Every day thousands of people walk in the morning regarding their health fitness. I am one of them. Today 6 January, sun rises in the rule of the universe. Weather wasn’t bad but in Raman Park, a few people came to the park. There was no car in any gate today; normally all the gate sides would full of car in the morning. Today I saw some police van and some Auto Rikshaw were passing through the VIP road of the west side of the park. But others day at that time, a huge number of cars and buses pass on this VIP road. Another avenue is east side of the park. Every day in the morning a huge number of buses, mini buses and cars pass on the avenue in the morning; but today only a few buses and mini buses were passing on the road.
After finishing my walking I start towards press club. Press club is in Topkhana road. This road is situated in the heart of the city; it is very near of the commercial area of the capital.
Commercial area, Motijhill is very near to press club besides that secretariat of the government is by the side of the press club. So huge numbers of the government officers were coming but they were coming to the office by human pulling rikshaw but usually they come by bus or car. Similarly, huge numbers of officers and executive were going towards Motijhill by human pulling rikshaw for joining their office.
I started to walk towards my house; it is less then half kilometer from press club. On the way I talked many people. Some were small vendors of the footpath. They were not happy about shutdown because they couldn’t open their makeshift shop. They were searching the way how they can open their shop. One of the vendors tells me, “We hope, we can open our shop in afternoon because everything will be normal then.” He was then taking his breakfast to sit on the road. I came through a narrow road. In this road, I saw, all the grocery shop were opening and preparing to start their business. To come in the Kakrail round, it is one of the busy round squires of the Dhaka; it is also near by the main office of main opposition party of Bangladesh. I saw that six or seven people were chanting in favor of shutdown but they were in the police barricade.
However, I came back my house, but I had not seen any big procession. But I have seen many shutdowns in my life, because to call a countrywide shutdown, is a common phenomenon in Bangladesh. I have been waching it since 1978. I have seen more than one thousand countrywide shutdown in my life. Once it was a great weapon of the political parties. Then people supported it. I have seen in the day of shutdown, thousands of people would come in to the road and they would show their protest against government. But now scenario has been changed. Now people don’t like it but political parties call the strike.
Today this shutdown is called by the 18party aliens, the opposition of Bangladesh- on protest of the price hike of the oil. It also mentions that last Thursday government has declared the new fuel price rate and new rate has increased the price of oil. But government has said that, they had only made an adjustment with the international market but still they are giving subsidy in oil sector.