The tenth edition of the cricket World Cup opened ten days ago in Dhaka, with the usual glitzy song-dance-laser junk that passes of as “local culture”. Captain after captain of the competing teams arrived in cycle-rickshaws for the benefit of the cameras, taking the “spectacle” around the world.
The logic of the hosts and the organisers of the tournament, the International Cricket Council (ICC), obviously was to showcase a slice of Bangladesh that is a familiar cliche around the world. And doubtless millions of viewers made some “connect” with the sight on their TV screens and in their newspapers.
All except, it seems, K. Javeed Nayeem.
The Mysore-based physician, who writes a weekly column in Star of Mysore, wrote on February 18:
“When I saw a picture of Mahendra Singh Dhoni sitting with a young usher and riding a ‘man-powered’ rickshaw at the inaugural ceremony, I wondered what response it would draw from the world community that has been pressing over the years for the abolition of this form of demeaning transport, which is almost the trademark of life in Bangladesh and which still persists in many parts of our country too.”
World Community? Response?
Well, do a search on a search engine of your choice and you will notice, ten days later, that there has been little or no outcry over the cycle-rickshaws as a prop. Proof that the world has better things to do than worry about some poor cycle-rickshaw wallah earning a few bucks? Proof that cycle-rickshaws are, maybe, OK?
Or proof that there is a limit to such a thing as political correctness in the supposedly wired, connected, globalised world?