Blogging has revolutionized the life and politics of Bengalis around the globe in general and in Bangladesh in particular. During the last BNP-Jamaat regime when media licenses were handed out to the business elites in power and when militancy started rearing its ugly head, and after 1/11 when the magic phantom of minus 2 formula was being raised on online media, blogging became the only medium of communication amongst global Bangladeshis. When Shaikh Hasina was stopped from coming back to Bangladesh by the military supported 1/11 government, blogs were the ones to revolt against the undemocratic decision.
Since then bloggers have been actively combating information terrorism. This A-team of first-generation blog freedom fighters rejuvenated the spirit of 1971 and demanded war criminals’ trials. Although, the Awami League-led grand alliance is at present trying them but it is the bloggers who are minutely monitoring the proceedings to ensure closure.
Corporate online media are also inspiring young bloggers to develop netizen journalism, because bloggers now have the power to break news. Mainstream TV channels don’t have the kind of outreach which the blog network has. Daily Prothom Alo, bdnews24.com, the editor.net andbanglnews24.com are all flying the kites of citizen journalism with moderated blogs.
Muktomona gave the first invitation to freedom and liberal thoughts in the Bengali blogosphere. Somewhereinblog.net came next, with a bigger platform. Subsequently, the A-team, after facing virtual abuse, created platforms like Sachalayatan, amarblog, nagorikblog and unmochonblog that emerged with the spirit of secular and free thoughts. This very A-team is now fighting a second liberation war against groups of fanatic bloggers who are trying to make our history controversial with their distortion of facts in places like somewherein. The same fanatics have now created sonablog where they continue their support of war criminals and infuse religious intolerance amongst the youth. That’s why muktomona is highly criticized by such Muslim and Hindi bigots whose sole aim is to maintain social & political divisions in order to further their religion trade.
Bangla bloggers also enjoy freedom through venues like facebook: a kind of timeout cigar balcony. By signing Rousseau’s social contract individuals entered the spider net of institutions, giving ivory society the contract to write the history of our world. But blogs and social networking sites are attempts at breaking away from the spider nets; a counter hegemony of Tim Berners-Lee who is the inventor of the World Wide Web. Now, freedom is just clicks away, an emancipated world away from the subjugation of institution. In due time, blogs will become un-moderated. Unless bloggers achieve self censorship and a sense of proportion, corporate and/or voluntary blogs will not allow for un-moderated freedom. The process has, however, started taking baby steps. Gradually, bloggers are reflecting maturity and authenticity in their reports, analysis and socio-cultural discourse. The day when blog journalists will break news and produce exclusive multi-media electronic blogs, we may even not need television anymore.
In Bangladesh everyone wants to flaunt some authority, so has happened in the blogosphere. Somewherein unilaterally decided to hold Bangla Blog Day in the month of December. But as February marks the month of language martyrs with 21st February having earned the glory of being the International Mother Language Day and the prestigious Dhaka Ekushe Book Fair also takes place in this same month, voluntary bloggers have quite logically chosen the 1st of February as their Bangla Blog Day. Amarblog has taken the lead to rejoin the Bangla speaking netizens around the world by offering un-moderated freedom. Luckily enough, amarblog has succeeded in maintaining a secular, artistic and tolerant atmosphere where any Bengali can speak out and speak up. So, join amarblog: let’s write and let’s fly an un-moderated kite.