In the Light of What We Know: A Novel that Defines Our Times

by Lamia Karim for alalodulal.org

 

light_of_what

A mathematician by training, Zia Haider Rahman’s debut novel is a literary masterpiece. It is a deeply unsettling novel where the protagonist’s ‘descent of hope’ reveals our loss of a shared humanity. The novel is a magisterial sweep of the landscape of the 21st century that is characterized by war, migration, and rootlessness. Continue Reading

TUBA STRIKE: What a country have we become!

Photo: SouthAsianMedia.net

TUBA STRIKE: What a country have we become!
by Faruk Wasif for Prothom Alo, translated by Irfan Chowdhury for AlalODulal.org
Kidnappers demand ransom after taking innocents hostage. Prisoners are exchanged during wars. But what sort of ransom is being sought for the Tuba Group, where sixteen hundred workers are made captive? If their co-owner, the arrested Delwar Hossain, is not released, the workers will not be paid. Nowhere in the company law is it mentioned that other business-partners will not be able to withdraw money from the accounts in the absence of a partner. The Tuba Group has made this case and Delwar Hossain’s bail has been granted.

Just as it is a crime to use hapless humans as shields in wars, the Tuba group has committed a crime by using hungry and wage-depraved workers. The Labour Minister has legitimised this use. The Shamim Osman(s) rely on the support of the party in power, and garment factory owners rely on the government support. What a dreadful situation.

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History Wars: Kamal Hossain Interview (Part 1)

At Nicosia airport, Cyprus,  January 9, 1972, en route from London to Dhaka after release.  (left to right): Air Commodore David B Craig, UK Royal Air Force, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, PM elect of Bangladesh, Dr Kamal Hossain, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs,  Golam Mowla, Managing Director of Great Eastern Insurance Company Limited.

At Nicosia airport, Cyprus, January 9, 1972, en route from London to Dhaka after release. (left to right): Air Commodore David B Craig, UK Royal Air Force, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, PM elect of Bangladesh, Dr Kamal Hossain, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Golam Mowla, Managing Director of Great Eastern Insurance Company Limited.

Our history is never still, and there are always processes of rewriting Bangladesh’s history, erasing crucial figures. The best response to such history wars is to let the record speak, when possible. In an Alal O Dulal exclusive, we are translating a 37 page interview of Kamal Hossain (from Shaptahik magazine, 2014).Continue Reading

AOD Interviews Kabir Suman — Kobigan, the lost musical heritage of Bengal and more

Photo: Awrup Sanyal

Photo: Awrup Sanyal

Kabir Suman, a songwriter, a singer, a musician, a journalist, an author, an activist, and an ex-parliamentarian (Lok Sabha, Parliament of India, 2009-2014), probably needs little introduction. About a quarter century back when Suman burst into the musical firmament of Bengal it was a never-before-seen phenomenon in the contemporary cultural world of Bengal — he had an instant cult following. In this exclusive interview with AlalODulal Suman talks about music, religion, and Bengal. Continue Reading

The Killings at Bangladesh’s ‘Bihari Camp’ – Murder Mystery or Murder with Impunity?


The Killings at Bangladesh’s Bihari Camp – Murder Mystery or Murder with Impunity?

By Nadine Shaanta Murshid

There are multiple stories. We are either to believe one of them or cast aside the whole incident as an accident. The stories are important to note, however, given that each story has a different set of perpetrators and actors, as well as a different motive behind the killings. What remains unchanged in all these stories is this: 10 Urdu-speaking non-Bengali Bangladeshi citizens who live in ‘Kalshi’ were killed, 8 of the deceased are from the same family.Continue Reading

A Place to Call Home

A Place to Call Home

by Hana Shams Ahmed

A young girl writes a poem where she asks a simple question — one which no one can answer. She asks, “Who am I?” Her forefathers were born in India, they immigrated to Pakistan, she was born in Bangladesh. India has given up on them a long time back, Bangladesh will not accept them as the children of the land and Pakistan will not take them back. She says that she has many names ‘Bihari’, ‘Maura’, ‘Muhajir’, ‘Non-Bangalee’, ‘Marwari’, ‘Urdu-speaker’, ‘Refugee’, and ‘Stranded Pakistani’. But she only wants one: human. This is the state of being of the 1.6 lakh camp-based Urdu-speaking community in Bangladesh.Continue Reading

Open Letter to Narendra Modi

By Nadine Murshid for AlalODulal.org

Narendra Mod. Photo: Forbes

Narendra Modi. Photo: Forbes

OPEN LETTER TO NARENDRA MODI

Dear Mr. Modi,

It has come to our attention that you are about to head the next government in India. Many congratulations. It has also come to our attention that you have been saying un-neighborly things about us, Bangladesh and Bangladeshis. We are deeply hurt by your comments, but we are open to forgiveness. We are not the forgiving type, really, but we do make exceptions. And we will for you if you carefully consider the following:Continue Reading

The Trial of David B.

David Bergman. Source: The Daily Star.

David Bergman. Source: The Daily Star.

The Trial of David B.
by Tibra Ali

“Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.”—Franz Kafka, “The Trial”

I was reminded of Kafka’s novel when I heard that the charge of contempt of court has been brought against the Bangladesh based British journalist David Bergman. 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 AlalODulal.org

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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