Known Unknowns of the Class War

zia-haider-rahman-books

Courtesy Naeem Mohaiemen

Known Unknowns of the Class War

A review of Zia Haider Rahman’s In the Light of What We Know

by Naeem Mohaiemen

When you turn to page 186 of In the Light of What We Know, you encounter an illustration. The novel’s two main characters have by this point discussed many things, and readers may have already been craving visual aids. But this is the first time the text is Continue reading

Reflections on “Unprecedented Changes” in the Garments Sector of Bangladesh

Garments workers

The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights’ report Unprecedented Changes.

Reflections on “Unprecedented Changes” in the Garments Sector of Bangladesh

by Farida Khan for AlalODulal.org

The Tazreen fire and Rana Plaza collapse has made many Western consumers shudder at the thought of their complicity with sub-human conditions in the Third World factories where their clothes are sewn. While consumers are often careful to avoid purchasing soccer balls sewn by child labor Continue reading

Unprecedented Changes in the Garments Sector of Bangladesh

frontpage

The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights’ report Unprecedented Changes.

Unprecedented Changes in the Garments Sector of Bangladesh

by Farhad Mahmud for AlalODulal.org

Soon after the Tazreen fire and Rana Plaza collapse, there were two types of reaction from the buyers who were sourcing garments from Bangladesh.  There was one group who felt they need to move away from sourcing from Bangladesh.  Another group felt somewhat responsible  Continue reading

Us and Them

By Saba Homaira Ahmad

Copyright: Syed Zakir Hossain, Dhaka Tribune

Copyright: Syed Zakir Hossain, Dhaka Tribune

“Saba makes a great point: there is something to be said about elitism in ‘civil society.’ It is worth asking why the sense of disenfranchisement among students exists in the first place” – Navine Murshid, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Colgate University 

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The Journey from Shyamapuja to Diwali

Copyright: Manisha Dasgupta

Copyright: Manisha Dasgupta

For India, it took the shape of Hindu right-wing and their counter-imposition of a false construct of Hindu and Indian identity. The irrelevant political force of Hindutva took the centre-stage, asserting its claim on the identity of ‘Indian-ness’ and ‘Hindu-ness’. And like any two compatible hegemony, down the lane, there were a political pact between the two. Once it was realised that the gullible globalised middle-class can be bought and bribed and made to want almost anything with enough packaging and with enough lucre, the only question remained how long it would take.

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Munier Chowdhury’s Son Speaks: Death of Golam Azam – Time to Seriously Reflect and Act

Munier Chowdhury. Source: Asif Munier.

Munier Chowdhury. Source: Asif Munier.

“One of the reasons that so far GA and JI got all the leniency and privileges is partly due to the divisions in the anti JI, pro war crimes trials and Shahbagh/Projonmo Chottor lobbies.”
[Asif Munier is the son of Munier Chowdhury, a playwright and intellectual killed by Al Badr forces in 1971. He is the Vice President of Projonmo 71, an organization of the children of the martyrs of the liberation war of Bangladesh]
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Ghulam Azam vs. Bangladesh: Quotes from Daily Sangram ’71

Ghulam Azam speaking at a Jamaat programme during Liberation War. Source: The Daily Star, Bangladesh.

Ghulam Azam speaking at a Jamaat programme during Liberation War. Source: The Daily Star, Bangladesh.


Ghulam Azam Against Bangladesh: Quotes from Daily Sangram ’71
“In order to resist the criminals I am appealing to supply arms to the people who believe in the ideal and unity of the country [of Pakistan.]” —  Ghulam Azam, Daily Sangram, 29 August 1971.

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Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury’s Son Speaks: The Unrepentant Man

Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury with son.

Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury with son.

What is harder to explain, however, are the actions of us independent Bangladeshis. The fact that we allowed him to return to the country he conspired against. The fact that he was allowed to stay here for 16 years – from 1978 to 1994 – on the passport of a foreign country and practice politics, when he did not even have a valid visa.

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Shahidullah Kaiser’s Son Speaks: Forgive me father, I could not keep this soil sacred!

Shahidullah Kaiser  Copyright: Chaman Khan

Shahidullah Kaiser
Copyright: Chaman Khan

“A country whose soil is soaked in the blood of the martyrs, a country whose soil still bears witness to the history of genocide — the soil of that country will receive the body of the Captain of the Rajakars? How are we to answer to our conscience?”

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

AlalODulal Editorial Board 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” (inaccurately called “Biharis,” but more accurately “Urdu speakers”) after 1971 is 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 multiple nation projects.

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Faruk Wasif: Why Religious Politics avoids people’s issues?

© Rajib Dhar / Dhaka Tribune

© Rajib Dhar / Dhaka Tribune


by Faruk Wasif, translated from Bengali by Tibra Ali for AlalODulal.org.

“I have no issue with religious politics, whatever religion it may be. But why do our current religious parties never do politics with the burning issues of the people? I think of religious politics as just another shop in the market-place of politics. Anyone may shop whatever they like, where is the problem with that? Yet, in these shops of Islamic politics there is no news about the liberation of either women or workers.”

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Nothing’s Sacred Anymore – Ghulam Azam’s Funeral

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Copyright: Awrup Sanyal

“Barring people’s sincere, spontaneous participation –their right to which is unquestionable – the overblown Janaza event serves no real purpose other than being a spectacle. It serves itself. It does not reflect upon the Dead’s soul or their lives – but upon a desperate clutch at straws by an organized political force that is drowning; it sheds light upon a scheming, listless, heartless, mindless rush to maximize – even during mourning periods and at the cost of anyone around – brand equity and relevance in National Politics.”

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Spitting, Smiling (Ghulam Azam’s) Corpse

Defiled by the spit from Ghulam Azam’s Corpse

By Emon Sarwar

Photo: bdnews24.com

Freedom fighters, in this country, have killed the father-of-the-nation, the proclaimer-of-independence and military officers but not a single ‘Razakar’ (traitor). Exhausted by their brother-killing spree while they have ceased to kill, they are now fully indulged in character assassinations of each other. 

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