Remembering Piash Karim – A Student’s Perspective

REMEMBERING PIASH KARIM 

by Sanam Amin for AlalODulal.org

“Can it be that someone so passionate about our history, so dedicated to democracy, justice, and equality, does not deserve to be taken to Shaheed Minar? Can it be that a group of people who collectively do not have an iota of his extensive knowledge of the history of Bangla language, would actively prevent those grieving his loss from coming to pay their respects?”

Piash Karim

Piash Karim 1958-2014

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Piash Karim (1958-2014) : Language, nation, and multiplicity

Piash Karim

Piash Karim

AlalODulal mourns the sudden passing of Professor Piash Karim. We reprint here one of his early essays, from 2005, on the dilemmas of nationalism. -Editorial Board, Alal o Dulal

“But, as any nationalism is not without its pitfalls, a language-based nationalism is not without its inherent problems. Nationalism can be a two-edged sword, as thinkers from Franz Fanon to Serajul Islam Chowdhury have recognised. Nationalism may be a site of opposition to chauvinism, colonialism, or imperialism. But nationalism, let’s not forget, can also become ideological justifications for all these oppressive institutions and practices. One doesn’t have to succumb to a teleological faith in historical progress to ascertain that language-based nationalism is a step forward from its religion-based counterpart. But it is also equally true that like any other form of identity, linguistic identity also includes some at the expense of others.”
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A Period of (Unprecedented) Consequences

A Period of (Unprecedented) Consequences

by Risalat Khan for AlalODulal.org

Social Movements © Awrup Sanyal
Social Movements © Awrup Sanyal
But the world is changing. The seemingly disconnected events and trends are mere manifestations of something deeper – a neocolonial corporatocracy that controls virtually all major world affairs. It profits from the arms supplied to war and the culture of war, claims all of Mother Nature’s resources as property for its own greed, and condemns billions to poverty and starvation as casualties of progress. This social order – a dark evolution of the colonial era evils – is inculcated and protected by a system of unfettered neoliberal capitalism. But despite its meteoric rise to dominion, it is now desperately hiding the tears at its seams.
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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

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