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!
by Ahmed Badall for Alal O Dulal
[Translated by the Alal O Dulal Editorial Collective]
A video titled ‘Language Matters’ has been making the rounds in Bangladeshi social-media circles. It explores the utility of Arabic warnings to ward off public urinators. The using of a religious misconception to prevent a social evil is clever. But what if it also reinforces and lends credence to that misconception?
“[Saki’s postion] dislodge[s] current fixed notions of “left versus religion”, “left as irrelevant to modern political and economic formations”, etc in a way that we may be reminded of earlier historical moments when Maulanas could be “RED” and when calls for redistributive justice galvanized movements for democratic rights.” Continue reading
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
“For several decades, the indigenous populations of North East India have claimed that their lands were coming under threat from Bangladeshi migrants, though many of them actually had identification papers from the border districts of Assam.” Continue reading
[I]n the Northeast [of India] IBI no longer has a literal meaning nor is it about citizenship, it is a racist shorthand, a template; a discursive formation under consolidation since the late 1970s which represent Bengali Muslims in the Northeast…”