Soviet troops in the Battle of Stalingrad.
By Shafiqur Rahman for AlalODulal.org
Recently a friend, who is usually the image of equanimity, uncharacteristically expressed shock and disillusionment at the way the social and cultural elite of Dhaka comported themselves in the wake of the Bergmann contempt of court verdict. Continue reading
Tanvir Haider Chaudhury (age 3) with his father Prof. Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury. Source: Tanvir family album, with permission.
A Man of Peace
by Tanvir Haidar Chaudhury
‘He’s a great humanitarian, he’s a great philanthropist
He knows just where to touch you, honey, and how you like to be kissed
He’ll put both his arms around you
You can feel the tender touch of the beast
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace’ Continue reading
David Bergman. Source: The Independent, U.K.
Freedom and Memory
by Tibra Ali and Zahur Ahmed for AlalODulal.org
We Bangladeshis are not known for holding back our emotions — we tend to use emotional arguments as a recourse in situations where we are unable to win by rational arguments. We were reminded of this recently when the verdict of ‘guilty’ of contempt of court was awarded to David Bergman. Continue reading
Munier Chowdhury. Source: Asif Munier.
“One of the reasons that so far GA and JI got all the leniency and privileges is partly due to the divisions in the anti JI, pro war crimes trials and Shahbagh/Projonmo Chottor lobbies.”
[Asif Munier is the son of Munier Chowdhury, a playwright and intellectual killed by Al Badr forces in 1971. He is the Vice President of Projonmo 71, an organization of the children of the martyrs of the liberation war of Bangladesh]
Ghulam Azam, an unerasable scar
Signature of Ghulam Azam on a donation receipt to raise fund for “safeguarding the ideals of Pakistan”
by Zahur Ahmed for AlalODulal.org
Nations have always been polarised. As bad as they have been, though, those polarisations were seldom about a protagonist who tried his heart and soul to prevent the birth of a nation –– his motherland.
by Lamia Karim for alalodulal.org
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
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
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
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