Apsari Chakma: Life in the School Room

The author. Source: Thotkata.net

The author. Source: Thotkata.net

When I was very little my mother used to tell me all kinds of bedtime fairytale stories. I used to think that the fairy princesses from these stories were supremely happy and content. You could say, my life now is the exact opposite of their lives.

Life in the School Room

by Apsari Chakma, translated by Tibra Ali for AlalODulal.org Continue reading

Who is Somo Odhikar?

CHTC member Ilira Dewan bleeding after Shomo Odhikar thugs shot at the CHTC car. Barrister Sara Hossain is to her left. Source: Sara Hossain

CHTC member Ilira Dewan bleeding after Shomo Odhikar thugs threw rocks at the CHTC car. Barrister Sara Hossain is to her left.

Yesterday’s attack on the motorcade of Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission injured Commission member Dr Iftekharuzzaman, also executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), Rangamati sadar police station Officer-in-Charge Monu Sohel Imtiaz, Research Officer of the CHT Commission Ilira Dewan and car driver Nur Hossain. Also in the car were activists Advocate Sultana Kamal and Barrister Sara Hossain, and CHT Commission coordinator Hana Shams Ahmed. The incident has brought the ultra-nationalist, anti-adivasi racist activists of Shomo Odhikar Andolon into national headlines. Continue reading

Touching The Untouchables 


photo courtesy @dalitbangladesh.wordpress.com


The politics involving various minority groups have become a veritable concern. Well-meaning views, dialogues, and inceptions of new laws are very important. Yet, unless and until the complacent ‘majority’ makes a conscious effort, even causes an outcry to promote and protect their ‘minority’ siblings’ rights, real change is very hard to imagine. For their society to be ‘vaguely equal’, the ‘majority’ has to come out defending the rights of ‘minority’ protesting, condemning, and help in prosecuting the perpetrators of all forms of discrimination. The country’s proposed Anti-Discrimination law, hopefully would provide impetus for such collective actions.

Continue reading

Open Letter to Narendra Modi

By Nadine Murshid for AlalODulal.org

Narendra Mod. Photo: Forbes

Narendra Modi. Photo: Forbes


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

Is this the Bangladesh we wanted? Analyzing the Hindu Population Gap (2001-2011)

Members of the Hindu community returning to Obhoynagar, Jessore. Many of their homes were gutted and looted by Jamaat-Shibir activists right after the national polls. Photo source: Dhaka Tribune.

Members of the Hindu community returning to Obhoynagar, Jessore. Photo source: Dhaka Tribune.

Is this the Bangladesh we wanted?

Analyzing the Hindu Population Gap (2001-2011)

by Garga Chatterjee and Naeem Mohaiemen for AlalODulal.org

In October 2012, Prothom Alo published a frightening report that stated, in plain words, that over the last decade (which spans a BNP, an AL, and a Military “CTG” government), the Hindu population of Bangladesh has dropped dramatically and continuously. Continue reading

Left Behind By the Nation: ‘Stranded Pakistanis’ in Bangladesh

AlalODulal Editorial Board 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” (inaccurately called “Biharis,” but more accurately “Urdu speakers”) after 1971 is 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 multiple nation projects.

Continue reading

আদিবাসী শিশু পড়বে নিজ ভাষাতেই

একুশের সংবাদ: আদিবাসী শিশু পড়বে নিজ ভাষাতেই
by Biplob Rahaman for AlalODulal.org


কিছুদিন আগে বিশিষ্ট আদিবাসী গবেষক, চাকমা রাজা দেবাশীষ রায়ের সঙ্গে আলাপ-চারিতা হচ্ছিল আদিবাসী শিশুর মাতৃভাষায় লেখাপড়ার বিষয়ে। Continue reading