Piash Karim. Source: internet.
“জাতিগত অসাম্য, শোষণ, নিপীড়ন রয়েছে বলেই জাতীয়তাবাদের প্রাসঙ্গিকতা, এই বাস্তাবতাটি বিস্মৃত হওয়ার অবকাশ নেই আমাদের। আমরা যদি ভবিষ্যতের সাম্যের পৃথিবীকে কল্পনা করতে পারি, জাতীয়তাবাদের ঐতিহাসিক কার্যকারিতা ফুরিয়ে যাওয়ার সম্ভাবনাকেও আমাদের কল্পনা করতে হবে। যে জাতীয়তাবাদ নিজেকে অতিত্রম করার, নিজেকে ভেঙেচুরে আন্তর্জাতিক মানবতায় একীভূত করার নিরন্তন চর্চাকে নিজের মধ্যে ধারণ করতে পারে না, আজকের গণতান্ত্রিক আন্দোলনের কাছে তার কোনো মূল্য নেই।”
REMEMBERING PIASH KARIM
by Sanam Amin for AlalODulal.org
“Can it be that someone so passionate about our history, so dedicated to democracy, justice, and equality, does not deserve to be taken to Shaheed Minar? Can it be that a group of people who collectively do not have an iota of his extensive knowledge of the history of Bangla language, would actively prevent those grieving his loss from coming to pay their respects?”
Piash Karim 1958-2014
AlalODulal mourns the sudden passing of Professor Piash Karim. We reprint here one of his early essays, from 2005, on the dilemmas of nationalism. -Editorial Board, Alal o Dulal
“But, as any nationalism is not without its pitfalls, a language-based nationalism is not without its inherent problems. Nationalism can be a two-edged sword, as thinkers from Franz Fanon to Serajul Islam Chowdhury have recognised. Nationalism may be a site of opposition to chauvinism, colonialism, or imperialism. But nationalism, let’s not forget, can also become ideological justifications for all these oppressive institutions and practices. One doesn’t have to succumb to a teleological faith in historical progress to ascertain that language-based nationalism is a step forward from its religion-based counterpart. But it is also equally true that like any other form of identity, linguistic identity also includes some at the expense of others.”
Standing Up For Sitting Down
by Pratik Deb for AlalODulal.org
© Awrup Sanyal
Salman M has made it to the headlines recently as the 25 year old student from Kerala is facing life imprisonment following his refusal to stand up during the national anthem in a theatre. His arrest and subsequent denial of bail garnered a lot of controversy as he was charged with sedition for, reportedly, ‘sitting and disrespecting’ the national anthem. Beyond the bizarre and disturbing decision by the lower courts, this is a story that is being interpreted by many as an ominous omen of politicisation of the surge of nationalistic fervour throughout the country. Only time will tell us if it is but a discrete story of some over-zealous lower court officials or an indication of an emerging trend, but suffice it to say that the issue deserves more than a sensational headline, it warrants a national conversation.
Did You Hear The Loud Laughter This September?
by Awrup Sanyal for Alal o Dulal
Copyright: Ronny Sen
September is quite the month.
A month that is a bridge between seasons.
A month when trees shed, air turns, colours fuse and meld, clouds coalesce and disintegrate, showing and unshowing, laying bare for us the essence of things, or things that are essential that we sometimes take for granted. Like the look of a bare tree without its leafy ornamentation. Let’s call that the Nature’s idea of a joke: stripping itself down to what it is when it has not covered itself in sartorial elegance.
Part 3: Bangladesh’s ‘Civil Society': The Arguments; and
Part 4: ‘Political’ and ’Civil’ Societies Are Not Competitors
By Debapriya Bhattacharya
(as read in a speech in the Faculty of History, University of Dhaka); translated from Prothomalo for AlalOdulal by Irfan Chowdhury
By Nadine Shaanta Murshid for AlalODulal.org