Left Behind By the Nation: ‘Stranded Pakistanis’ in Bangladesh

AlalODulal presents BRAC University based anthropologist Dina Siddiqi’s research essay on the conditions of “stranded Pakistanis” (alternately and inaccurately called “Biharis,” but more accurately “Urdu speakers”) after 1971. 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

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My father would have been 87

Tanvir Haider Chaudhury (age 3) with his father Prof. Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury. Source: Tanvir family album, with permission.

Tanvir Haider Chaudhury (age 3) with his father Prof. Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury. Source: Tanvir family album, with permission.

My father would have been 87
by Tanvir Haider Chaudhury

It was my father’s birthday yesterday. Professor Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury would have been 87. He never got to approach that age because he was tortured and murdered at 45, the same age as I am now, by the Al-Badr militia. In 1971. Continue reading

Two wings and a prayer

Source: google.

Ask for a piece on Pakistan and Bangladesh during December and you’re likely to get something about the 1971 wars — note the plural, because the eastern part of the subcontinent simultaneously experienced an inter-ethnic civil war and ethno-communal cleansing, genocide, inter-state conventional war and a war of national liberation, all climaxing in the crisp Bengali winter of 1971.  Naeem Mohaiemen’s seven part series is an example, covering many aspects of that fateful year.  Let me skip 1971 in this post.  Instead, I’ll begin by marking the other December anniversary, one that will have a particular relevance for Pakistan and Bangladesh in 2013.  And I’ll note the parallels between the post-1971 developments in the two wings of former United Pakistan.

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