In the Dhaka of the 80s, there was a consensus regarding who its richest denizen was. At the rare, lavish weddings, my cousins and I would spot him, with his guards and his clan, and cower at the sight of the wealthiest man in Bangladesh. What it signified, we weren’t totally sure. My cousins could easily name his businesses in real estate, banking and construction. His creamy white Mercedes was instantly recognizable around Dhanmondi streets. In our fantasies, his children’s supposed diet of chocolates and cakes were the source of much envy. Continue reading
By Fardin Hasin for Alal O Dulal
Recently, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) branch of one of the leading engineering universities in Bangladesh organised a seminar on cyber-physical systems. There was only one speaker — a CSE graduate from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology with excellent academic record, who is also an assistant professor in a research lab in a reputed American university.
Bravo my Santhal, Orao, and Munda brothers and sisters!
by Ahmed Badall for Alal O Dulal
[Translated by the Alal O Dulal Editorial Collective]
Pinaki Bhattacharya: West Bengal’s attitude to Bengali Muslim
“When our books are in the hands of Bangladeshi readers, they never ask — What is the religion of the writer? They judge it by whether it’s readable, whether the story is charming, or whether it’s pleasant to read. But when our Hindu readers from West Bengal, reading books by Bangladeshi authors, come across words such as amma, fufa, namaaz, they have a strange reaction. And it’s due to this reaction that books by many Bangladeshi writers don’t reach the readers here. I want to state this very clearly: compared to Bangladeshi readers, the readers from West Bengal are a lot more fundamentalist.” — Samaresh Majumdar.
A death in Gulshan, and a hysteria in the ether
by Shams Al-Majhi
The problem(s) for a nation with weak state, befuddled civil society, and eviscerated public intellectuals is that anyone and everyone can use your territory for their own project.
Awrup for AlalODulal.org Unbeknownst to many, a new republic was born; it quietly crept up on the citizens of the old republic, while they were applauding and lauding themselves, for bringing to power through their franchise demagogues who promised them a rose garden of development. This new republic is called Banistan. Continue reading
by Adnan R. Amin for AlalODulal.org
A thirteen year old boy has been beaten to death.
Samiul Alam Rajon had studied up to the fourth grade and used to sell vegetables to make a living. His father is a microbus driver by profession. He and unnamed accomplices were suspected of stealing a rickshaw van. The boy was beaten, poked, tortured for nearly half an hour, resulting in his death.
রবি: আমাদের অশ্রু এতো শস্তা না
Irfanur Rahman for Alal O Dulal
By Nadine Shaanta Murshid for AlalODulal.org
“Go back the many years you spent as a chai-wala and think from his perspective. Your past will determine the future. Or not.”
Awrup for AlaloDulal.org
We love a public spectacle. From cricket, to decapitation, to rape. We are the perennial spectators. The public. The police. The administration. We like watching. And then we like looking away.
“[Saki’s postion] dislodge[s] current fixed notions of “left versus religion”, “left as irrelevant to modern political and economic formations”, etc in a way that we may be reminded of earlier historical moments when Maulanas could be “RED” and when calls for redistributive justice galvanized movements for democratic rights.” Continue reading
“A mean and uncivilized act that insults not only the work of the young participants of the photography workshop but all the associations that are active in the neighborhood.” Continue reading
“For several decades, the indigenous populations of North East India have claimed that their lands were coming under threat from Bangladeshi migrants, though many of them actually had identification papers from the border districts of Assam.” Continue reading