Colonisation of Bengali Language and Tagore – Open vs Rigid discourse
by Ahmed Shamim
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.
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).
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
by Lamia Karim for alalodulal.org
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.
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.
The Smell of Siege and the fragrance of freedom
‘Like fish in a barrel, with nowhere to go’
Galloway, on Gaza
by Seema Amin for AlalODulal.org
It must be that nothing is inviolate in a violated world.