#RichKids in an Unlivable City

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

Bravo my Santhal, Orao and Munda brothers and sisters!

Copyright @ Badall Ahmed
Santhal Protest; Copyright @ Badall Ahmed

Bravo my Santhal, Orao, and Munda brothers and sisters!

by Ahmed Badall for Alal O Dulal 

[Translated by the Alal O Dulal Editorial Collective]

For ages now the ‘civilized’ Bengali gentry have been grabbing lands from the Santhals of Dinajpur. Hundreds and hundreds of Adivasis today are landless and evicted from their homesteads. Continue reading

Midnight’s Evangelists

"Bangladeshi migrants waiting for a flight home." by stablisation unit/DFID, licensed under CC by 2.0

“Bangladeshi migrants waiting for a flight home.” (photo: stablisation unit/DFID, licensed under CC by 2.0)

Each day, all year round, as Bangladesh goes to sleep – a group of fortunetellers, mystics, and magicians wake up to start casting their spell. You probably have never seen or heard them. Yet they are neither invisible nor quiet. In fact, they actually advertise their messages and locations loud and clear. Continue reading