The picture above is from the Ganashakti – the official organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)[CPI(M)]. Before losing power, such news items presented the face of ‘democratic student movement’ in West Bengal. Being in Bengal, one knew what these ‘uncontested wins’ meant and the the sheer violence that was often behind these lack of contestations. Continue reading
Shanu Lahiri is no more. A great and rare soul has left Kolkata and the earth.
For any non-Bangladeshis even remotely following politics and events in that country, it is clear that the situation on the ground is getting very bad. But not to worry. When things get too problematic, you know you can always rely on your armchair activist brothers across the border to speak up for you. Heard that before? If not from us your interfering neighbors, from your domestic dalals selling your country’s interests? Well, here’s news about an unusual show of support just a hop and a skip away from Satkhira. Continue reading
If you live within the territorial limits of the Union of India, it is very likely that you were unaware of two important red-letter days in late March. You are not alone. Bhagat Singh was executed on 23 March, 1931 and Shurjo Sen was born on 22 March, 1894. Continue reading
In November 2012, The New York Times ran two paired pieces written from both sides of the Bengal border.
Jyoti Rahman analyzes both articles: “Naeem is a few years older than me, and Mr Ray is likely to be slightly younger. That means, all of us were born decades after partition. Ours is the generation that has not known Pakistan in Bengal. Ours is the generation that has no lived experience of 1971. Both writers describe what the ‘other’ Bengal has meant to them over the years. Obviously I can relate to Naeem’s story, but I don’t share his conclusion. And while I find Ray’s story interesting for its misconception, I do relate to the way his story ends.”
London Review of Books had an extremely interesting article about the original sins of Indian democracy by UC Berkeley Professor Perry Anderson. It especially discussed the treatment of Muslims and other minorities at the hand of the secular Indian state. This got me wondering about how Bangladesh stacks up against India in this regard.