Standing Up For Sitting Down

Standing Up For Sitting Down

by Pratik Deb for

© Awrup Sanyal

© 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.

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AOD Interviews Kabir Suman — Kobigan, the lost musical heritage of Bengal and more

Photo: Awrup Sanyal

Photo: Awrup Sanyal

Kabir Suman, a songwriter, a singer, a musician, a journalist, an author, an activist, and an ex-parliamentarian (Lok Sabha, Parliament of India, 2009-2014), probably needs little introduction. About a quarter century back when Suman burst into the musical firmament of Bengal it was a never-before-seen phenomenon in the contemporary cultural world of Bengal — he had an instant cult following. In this exclusive interview with AlalODulal Suman talks about music, religion, and Bengal. Continue Reading

Open Letter to Narendra Modi

By Nadine Murshid for

Narendra Mod. Photo: Forbes

Narendra Modi. Photo: Forbes


Dear Mr. Modi,

It has come to our attention that you are about to head the next government in India. Many congratulations. It has also come to our attention that you have been saying un-neighborly things about us, Bangladesh and Bangladeshis. We are deeply hurt by your comments, but we are open to forgiveness. We are not the forgiving type, really, but we do make exceptions. And we will for you if you carefully consider the following:Continue Reading

Stars, planets, black-holes – West Bengal’s glamorous turn

Mamata and her stars

Mamata and her stars

Stars, planets, black-holes – West Bengal’s glamorous turn
By Pratik Deb for

The recent announcement of candidates for the upcoming parliamentary election by Trinamul Congress supremo and the current chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee created unprecedented uproar and commotion in the state as she chose a large number of candidates belonging outside of the political arena. Continue Reading

Liberation through the Gunday lens

Bangla poster of Hindi film 'Gunday'

Bangla poster of Hindi film ‘Gunday’

Liberation through the Gunday lens
By Fahima Durrat for

Factual errors made in a fictitious storyline may seem like a trivial matter, but they can hide icebergs. The iceberg that showed its tip in the film Gunday seems to have reappeared again in the headlines of Indian newspapers. Bangladesh protests against “distortion” of history, they report. Those inverted commas reveal a deeper source of offence.

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