Boats will sink

Taslima has a beautiful (indignant and compassionate) post about the poverty of Bangladesh’s transportation system and the consequent dangers of travel on major holidays…like Eid. She illustrates with many poignant pictures.

Allah sent Muhammad buraq, the winged horse,  so that Muhammad, the prophet  could travel to heaven. He went to heaven on buraq and met Moses, Jesus, a few more bearded guys  and finally Allah the almighty.

Now look at  the condition of Bangladesh today.  They don’t have enough vehicles to travel. Millions of people are travelling to  home to celebrate Eid, the biggest Muslim religious festival with their family and friends tomorrow. They are desperate to get some space on the public transports. Train roofs and doors are crowded with people.  Boats will sink. Many people would die. Allah should have sent Buraqs the winged horses to take  these poor people home safely and quickly so that they can  celebrate eid that Allah asked them to celebrate.

But that’s not what happened, so instead they sit on the roofs of trains. Nothing at all dangerous about that…


  1. great1american1satan says

    Magic carpets are from Scheherazade, not the Koran, so don’t work as well in an article against religion. Unless you’d rather mock moslems from Asia with Hollywood understanding of Middle Eastern fiction, then… whatever.

  2. great1american1satan says

    Though I imagine Taslima would say something about Asians mocking themselves by following a different Middle Eastern fiction. Nevermind me.

  3. left0ver1under says

    The same sorts of stories happen in other countries like China during Chinese New Year. Excessive numbers of people all try to travel at the same time and end up suffering from it, whether that be by accidents, overcrowding, dehydration, travellers’ rage, muggings, or any number of things. Why would anyone want to spend three days waiting in line for a train – each way – and end up only spending two days at the destination?

    Tradition is a lousy reason to do things, especially when the act is more trouble than it’s worth.

    Taslima Nasreen (#3) – No kidding. Falling off a stationary train can be lethal if one lands badly or on a hard enough surface.

    I have no idea what Bangladesh’s terrain is like having never been there. But given that it’s subjected to monsoons, mountain runoffs and rivers from the Himalayas, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear there are endless numbers of dropoffs beside the various railroad tracks.

    If someone falls off a train, the person might not just be falling to the ground where the rails are. The person could be falling off a bridge into a river, forest or ravine in the middle of nowhere, with no one to rescue them. And when one starts to fall, I can imagine others trying to grab the person’s hand and more end up falling as well.

  4. Al Dente says


    I was in Sri Lanka and watched some massively overloaded trains. They were going quite slowly. Perhaps it’s different in Bangladesh (I’ve never been there).

  5. says

    Reminded me of an article I read last week, though it’s from Indonesia: Take a Train in Jakarta

    Just fucking horrible. Corporate-owned shills rule the “free and fair elections”, all so people can make stuff that costs five times what they make in a month for us to buy, with most of the profit pocketed by the companies whose brands go on them; according to another article I read documenting the story of a Chinese worker at Foxconn who killed herself over a pay dispute amounting to ~$120, which I can’t remember the title of and don’t want to scour FB pages in order to find right now, the employers over there have to abuse their workers because the ‘mothership’ — Apple or Nike or whichever Western multinational — pays shit all for the product in the first place.

    The result of “free trade”, or neoliberalism. Or, more accurately, neo-colonialism.

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