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).
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.
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.
A Place to Call Home
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.
By Nadine Murshid for AlalODulal.org
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:
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.
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.
Bengal Textiles in Britain
By Muhammad Ahmedullah for AlalODulal.org
The English East India Company first visited Bengal in the early 1660s to purchase textiles. At that time Bengal was already a famed manufacturing centre of the finest cotton textiles in the world.
AlalODulal condemns in the strongest terms the violence that left at least 11 Urdu Speaking people (“Biharis”) dead. Anthropologist Dina Siddiqi’s research on the conditions of “stranded Pakistanis” (alternately and inaccurately called “Biharis,” but more accurately “Urdu speakers”) after 1971 is sadly newly relevant. 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
আরেকটি সর্বনাশা চুক্তি
আনু মুহাম্মদ for Alal O Dulal
দেশের ভবিষ্যৎকে বিপদাপন্ন করে আরেকটি সর্বনাশা চুক্তি করলো সরকার। যুক্তরাষ্ট্র, ভারত, চীন খুশি, কিন্তু বিপদাপন্ন বাংলাদেশ। গত ১৭ ফেব্রুয়ারি সংশোধিত ‘পিএসসি ২০১২’ অনুযায়ি সরকার ভারতের অয়েল এ্যান্ড ন্যাচারাল গ্যাস কর্পোরেশন (ওএনজিসি বিদেশ) এবং অয়েল ইন্ডিয়ার সাথে বঙ্গোপসাগরের এস এস ৪ ও এসএস ৯ নামে চিহ্নিত ২টি গ্যাসব্লকের চুক্তি সম্পাদন করেছে।