Mehndi time for ‘Ma Bangla’ as Hasan spins Dacca muslin to smother England
Bangladesh spins England out of the second test match of the series at their capital Dhaka. Their first victory over the English team in their brief Test Match history. The first test of the series played at Chittagong also had see-sawed a few times before the English won it early on the fifth and final day.
In the second Test which concluded yesterday, England seemed secure at the start of the final session of the fifth day. Both the openers were still at the crease with a 100 runs already on the score-board. Another 173 runs to get for a win, with all 10 wickets intact. A match none would have expected England to lose. Bangladesh needed 10 wickets for victory. England just had to slow down and play for a draw, even if they lost a few wickets while going for victory.
Surprising Turn of Events
But Mehedi Hasan, the off-spinner (nicknamed Miraz) had other ideas. When Mehedi spins, he turns the tide, it seems. The final session of the fifth day of the second test sprung unpleasant surprises for the visitors. The teenage Hasan wove magic once again in the second innings, where he picked six wickets to end with a match-haul of 12 victims. The web of muslin he has woven by the bale at Dacca, would have seemed baleful to the beleagured British batsmen.
Celebration for Mother Bangladesh
As in many South Asian and Arabic cultures, family functions, festivals and celebrations are incomplete without Mehendi or Mehndi. Rather, celebrations begin with the ladies of the family adorning their hands and feet with Mehndi. Hasan and other sons have done Ma Bangla proud, surely. No Mira(z)ge this, Bangladesh must finally feel!
Cool Chilli’s Comments
Speaking of Mehedi’s magic and the figurative Dacca Muslin he wove, one is also struck with sadness. Cool Chilli is reminded of the havoc played by the British on the weaving community of Dacca. The NewsTikka team is not sure whether any of the Bangladeshi cricketers come from the weaving community. Once, Dacca Muslin, the variety of cotton fabric woven by the weavers in Dhaka was globally renowned. It was supposed to be so light and gossamer like (almost ethereal) that a bridal dress could easily pass through a wedding ring. But the plague of Imperialism and the Commerce it sought to protect, decimated Dacca.
The passage below from Wikipedia is startling. “…….Dhaka was one of the largest and most prosperous cities in the Indian subcontinent. It grew into a regional economic centre during the 17th and 18th centuries, serving as a hub for Eurasian traders, including Bengalis, Marwaris, Gujaratis, Armenians, Arabs, Persians, Greeks, Dutchmen, Frenchmen, Englishmen and the Portuguese. The city was a centre of the worldwide muslin industry, with 80,000 skilled weavers. Mughal Bengal generated 50% of the Mughal Empire’s GDP, which at the time constituted 25% of world GDP. Dhaka was the commercial capital of the empire. ”
The British East India Company and the mill-owners from Manchester felt threatened by the quality and global demand of Dacca Muslin. There are accounts of the British physically cutting off the thumbs of the local weavers to halt Dacca muslin production. High Colonial Taxation, Restrictions on Trade (with countries other than England) and forced (cheap) imports of British textiles also contributed. To add insult to injury for the Eastern part of India, the British also Partitioned Bengal into East and West on religious grounds ( Divide and Rule). The Bengal famine and the way the British mismanaged it, only rounded off the misfortune for happless Bengal.
The Poverty of Power
Power suffers from one major defect. It disables our thinking, especially on others’ behalf. Because there is no need to. Whatever we wish gets done. If there are some hiccups on the way due to insufficient planning or the like, we can bulldoze our way and get back on our way. The same mpath, Power had set us on. We hardly think about the larger impact on the eco-system, the peoples we injure or those whose fortunes we may impair. Such is Power and the road it takes to Success.
USA is slowly awakening to the perils of the courses it had taken. Its spins for business or pleasure or in its pursuit for global dominence. The fighters it had nurtured along with Pakistan to combat USSR in Afghanistan have mutated and spread globally. China is now trying to push its way and occupy South China Sea islands and parts of India’s north-east.
Not only politically, Power corrupts socially too. The Upper Classes over a period moulded (maybe unwittingly) the social system in India into a framework which was very exploitative. Those at the bottom of the Social pyramid had a Life which wasn’t much of an existence.
The NewsTikka team feels Power is not an opportunity to exploit. Rather it is about an opportunity to rise above one’s own self-interest. A chance to be inclusive, to think of the various stakeholders who may be impacted by our plans and deeds.
While Britannia may have ruled the waves for a long time and caused much misery, she has also left some beautiful legacies. The Englishmen invented Cricket, this beautiful game of fluctuating fortunes. The sport that is about playing fair, that is about Sportsmanship above all else.
How much better the world would be, politically, socially, if everyone lived and played in their respective fields as the West Indians did, when they ruled Cricket. Taking even the hearts of those they trumped!
Second Test Match. England lose by 108 runs
Weavers’ Thumbs’ Cut by the British