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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The Glorious and Bloody History of Tamil Language Movement


©Awrup Sanyal

The Glorious and Bloody History of Tamil Language Movement

By Shafiqur Rahman for AlaloDulal

There is a widespread misinformation in our country that we, Bengalis, are the only nation to shed blood for establishment of language rights. Anyone with familiarity with history and rise of nationalism in the last three centuries would know that language rights have been forefront in many struggles of national self-determination in Europe and Asia. Continue reading

Anu Muhammad: What India wants in Bangladesh

Anu Muhammad. © Shahidul Alam.

Anu Muhammad. © Shahidul Alam.

ভারত বাংলাদেশে কী চায়?
আনু মুহাম্মদ 

এরকম ধারণা সমাজে এখন বেশ জোরদার যে, ভারত বাংলাদেশের বর্তমান সরকারকে ক্ষমতায় টিকিয়ে রাখতে সকল সমর্থন প্রদান করেছে, তারা তাদের গোয়েন্দা সংস্থাসহ সবধরনের প্রতিষ্ঠানকে এই কাজে আগের চাইতে অনেক বিস্তৃতভাবে নিয়োজিত করেছে। Continue reading

Bleeding Badly

Members of the Hindu community returning to Obhoynagar, Jessore. Many of their homes were gutted and looted by Jamaat-Shibir activists right after the national polls. Photo source: Dhaka Tribune.

Members of the Hindu community returning to Obhoynagar, Jessore. Photo source: Dhaka Tribune.

“But given recent violent incidents – in Ramu, in Sathiya, in Thakurgaon, in Gaibundah, in Dinajpur, in Rangpur, in Bogra, in Lalmonirhat, in Rajshahi, in Jessore, in Chittagong and in the Chittagong Hill Tracts – the AL government and state law enforcement agencies cannot palm-off responsibilities to the opposition for failing to protect minority citizens (just as they cannot merely shift responsibilities, for the ongoing violence and loss of lives, to opposition activities alone, specially when that is exactly how they reacted during their term in opposition).”
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Taslima Nasreen, ‘Duhsahobas,’ and a TV cancellation

© Awrup Sanyal

“Taslima’s misery somehow leads us to the crossroad where an imminent change of path is indispensable. The consolidation of secular liberal voices in the subcontinent who would vociferate not against the chauvinism of religious majority of a nation but against all the extreme elements of any religion across the border and battle for the absolute separation of ‘church and state’ is the demand of the hour. Are we up for it?”
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West Bengal : a post-Poriborton analysis

by Pratik Deb for

My first political procession was in the wake of arrival of George W. Bush in India. It was the beginning of March, 2006 and thus Iraq war was on its third year. I cannot exactly recall the stated purpose of his visit, but like all over the world the students of Kolkata did not hesitate to demonstrate their dissent against ‘western imperialism’. Communist Party of India (Marxist) led left front was still in the helms of affair in West Bengal Continue reading