Kabir Suman on the origin of Taliban

Ronald Reagan with Mujaheedin leaders in 1985. Source:

Ronald Reagan with Mujaheedin leaders in 1985.

By Kabir Suman for AlalODulal.org

In the 80s Kabir Suman was working as a journalist for the Voice of America, under the Reagan administration. This is an inside view from those times as he retraces the genesis of the rise of Taliban. This was written in the wake of the senseless heinous act of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in Peshawar where they killed innocent school children in an army school. Continue reading

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Sundarbans in Grave Danger and Our Government’s inaction

By Kallol Mustafa from Joymoni, Sundarbans
Translated by Tibra Ali for AlalODulal.org

Since the oil spill disaster started in the Sundarbans on the night of the 9th of December many ebbs and flows of the tide have come and gone. The thick and poisonous spilled oil reaches wherever the water reaches during the high tide, via the Shela river (where the disaster originated), Pasur and Baleshwari rivers, and the innumerable canals. Continue reading

Sundarbans’s Fight for Survival

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

Anu Muhammad for Prothom Alo
Translated by Irfan Chowdhury for Alal O Dulal

Whenever we appeal to stop the destructive Rampal project and ORION coal based power plant, to safeguard our great Sundarbans, natural habitat of thousands of lives, whenever we ask to cancel Fulbari open pit project which damages a vast agricultural land and a large civilization, Continue reading

A Man of Peace

Tanvir Haider Chaudhury (age 3) with his father Prof. Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury. Source: Tanvir family album, with permission.

Tanvir Haider Chaudhury (age 3) with his father Prof. Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury. Source: Tanvir family album, with permission.

A Man of Peace

by Tanvir Haidar Chaudhury

‘He’s a great humanitarian, he’s a great philanthropist
He knows just where to touch you, honey, and how you like to be kissed
He’ll put both his arms around you
You can feel the tender touch of the beast
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace’ Continue reading

Freedom and Memory

David Bergman. Source: The Independent, U.K.

David Bergman. Source: The Independent, U.K.

Freedom and Memory

by Tibra Ali and Zahur Ahmed for AlalODulal.org

We Bangladeshis are not known for holding back our emotions — we tend to use emotional arguments as a recourse in situations where we are unable to win by rational arguments. We were reminded of this recently when the verdict of ‘guilty’ of contempt of court was awarded to David Bergman. 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.

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.

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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Known Unknowns of the Class War

zia-haider-rahman-books

Courtesy Naeem Mohaiemen

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 interrupted by a diagram. You sense, therefore, the arrival of a crucial digression. Continue reading