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 1958-2014
Standing Up For Sitting Down
by Pratik Deb for AlalODulal.org
© Awrup Sanyal
Salman M has made it to the headlines recently as the 25 year old student from Kerala is facing life imprisonment following his refusal to stand up during the national anthem in a theatre. His arrest and subsequent denial of bail garnered a lot of controversy as he was charged with sedition for, reportedly, ‘sitting and disrespecting’ the national anthem. Beyond the bizarre and disturbing decision by the lower courts, this is a story that is being interpreted by many as an ominous omen of politicisation of the surge of nationalistic fervour throughout the country. Only time will tell us if it is but a discrete story of some over-zealous lower court officials or an indication of an emerging trend, but suffice it to say that the issue deserves more than a sensational headline, it warrants a national conversation.
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
Photo Credit @ Mumit M/ Dhaka Tribune
Narcissism of Small Differences: Some Comments on the T20 Debate and on Nationalism in the Era of Neoliberal Globalization
by Humayun Kabir for Alal O Dulal
The ICC T20 World Cup Theme Song and the Opening Ceremony have generated sizable controversy over the past weeks. Continue Reading
Photograph: Kazi Sudipto/ Demotix/Corbis. Source: The Guardian, U.K.
If trolling through history reveals involvement of youth in political or socioeconomic upheavals, in case of Bangladesh their raison d’etre has been simple and straightforward: to bring about (political) change. Continue Reading
The Glorious and Bloody History of Tamil Language Movement
By Shafiqur Rahman for AlaloDulal
There is a widespread misinformation in our country that we, Bengalis, are the only nation to shed blood for establishment of language rights. Anyone with familiarity with history and rise of nationalism in the last three centuries would know that language rights have been forefront in many struggles of national self-determination in Europe and Asia. Continue Reading