Apsari Chakma: Life in the School Room

The author. Source: Thotkata.net

The author. Source: Thotkata.net

When I was very little my mother used to tell me all kinds of bedtime fairytale stories. I used to think that the fairy princesses from these stories were supremely happy and content. You could say, my life now is the exact opposite of their lives.

Life in the School Room

by Apsari Chakma, translated by Tibra Ali for AlalODulal.orgContinue Reading

A Period of (Unprecedented) Consequences

A Period of (Unprecedented) Consequences

by Risalat Khan for AlalODulal.org

Social Movements © Awrup Sanyal
Social Movements © Awrup Sanyal
But the world is changing. The seemingly disconnected events and trends are mere manifestations of something deeper – a neocolonial corporatocracy that controls virtually all major world affairs. It profits from the arms supplied to war and the culture of war, claims all of Mother Nature’s resources as property for its own greed, and condemns billions to poverty and starvation as casualties of progress. This social order – a dark evolution of the colonial era evils – is inculcated and protected by a system of unfettered neoliberal capitalism. But despite its meteoric rise to dominion, it is now desperately hiding the tears at its seams.
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TUBA STRIKE: What a country have we become!

Photo: SouthAsianMedia.net

TUBA STRIKE: What a country have we become!
by Faruk Wasif for Prothom Alo, translated by Irfan Chowdhury for AlalODulal.org
Kidnappers demand ransom after taking innocents hostage. Prisoners are exchanged during wars. But what sort of ransom is being sought for the Tuba Group, where sixteen hundred workers are made captive? If their co-owner, the arrested Delwar Hossain, is not released, the workers will not be paid. Nowhere in the company law is it mentioned that other business-partners will not be able to withdraw money from the accounts in the absence of a partner. The Tuba Group has made this case and Delwar Hossain’s bail has been granted.

Just as it is a crime to use hapless humans as shields in wars, the Tuba group has committed a crime by using hungry and wage-depraved workers. The Labour Minister has legitimised this use. The Shamim Osman(s) rely on the support of the party in power, and garment factory owners rely on the government support. What a dreadful situation.

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History Wars: Kamal Hossain Interview (Part 1)

At Nicosia airport, Cyprus,  January 9, 1972, en route from London to Dhaka after release.  (left to right): Air Commodore David B Craig, UK Royal Air Force, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, PM elect of Bangladesh, Dr Kamal Hossain, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs,  Golam Mowla, Managing Director of Great Eastern Insurance Company Limited.

At Nicosia airport, Cyprus, January 9, 1972, en route from London to Dhaka after release. (left to right): Air Commodore David B Craig, UK Royal Air Force, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, PM elect of Bangladesh, Dr Kamal Hossain, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Golam Mowla, Managing Director of Great Eastern Insurance Company Limited.

Our history is never still, and there are always processes of rewriting Bangladesh’s history, erasing crucial figures. The best response to such history wars is to let the record speak, when possible. In an Alal O Dulal exclusive, we are translating a 37 page interview of Kamal Hossain (from Shaptahik magazine, 2014).Continue Reading

Left Behind By the Nation: ‘Stranded Pakistanis’ in Bangladesh

AlalODulal condemns in the strongest terms the violence that left at least 11 Urdu Speaking people (“Biharis”) dead. Anthropologist Dina Siddiqi’s research on the conditions of “stranded Pakistanis” (alternately and inaccurately called “Biharis,” but more accurately “Urdu speakers”) after 1971 is sadly newly relevant. In the current discourse around the 1971 war, the fate of the Urdu speakers at war’s end is elided. It is one of the zones of silence because it does not fit with the Bangladeshi discourse around the war. Nor does it fit Pakistan’s convenient discourse, especially after a 2008 high court decision granted them Bangladeshi citizenship. We at AlalODulal feel it is crucial to highlight those left behind in mulitple nation projects.
– Editors, AlaloDulal.org

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In the Light of What We Know: A Novel that Defines Our Times

by Lamia Karim for alalodulal.org

 

light_of_what

A mathematician by training, Zia Haider Rahman’s debut novel is a literary masterpiece. It is a deeply unsettling novel where the protagonist’s ‘descent of hope’ reveals our loss of a shared humanity. The novel is a magisterial sweep of the landscape of the 21st century that is characterized by war, migration, and rootlessness. Continue Reading

AJ, Arrival of a Bangladeshi Hero

Photo: You Tube.com

Photo: You Tube.com

AJ, Arrival of a Bangladeshi Hero
by Irfan Chowdhury for AlalODulal.org

Bangladeshis rarely get to cheer their heroes, but when they do they are euphoric. They came out in droves to celebrate the nation’s first ever qualification for the cricket World Cup, and for some memorable wins since then. But wins have been few and far between. There were other celebrities and celebrations – the Nobel Prize for the Grameen Bank and its founder — but they would hardly match the glitz and glamour bestowed by a ‘would be’ Bangladeshi film or a cricket star.    
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