Midnight’s Evangelists

"Bangladeshi migrants waiting for a flight home." by stablisation unit/DFID, licensed under CC by 2.0

“Bangladeshi migrants waiting for a flight home.” (photo: stablisation unit/DFID, licensed under CC by 2.0)

Each day, all year round, as Bangladesh goes to sleep – a group of fortunetellers, mystics, and magicians wake up to start casting their spell. You probably have never seen or heard them. Yet they are neither invisible nor quiet. In fact, they actually advertise their messages and locations loud and clear. Continue reading

ভয়ের দিনে ভয়ের ব্যবস্থাপনা

“আলী রিয়াজসহ অনেকে বলে থাকেন ভয় হলো একটা সংস্কৃতি। কার্যত, ভয় হলো সংস্কৃতির অবশ–নিস্তেজ ​অবস্থা। ভয়ের আবহে স্বাভাবিক সংস্কৃতির সক্রিয় থাকা আর সম্ভব হয় না। সাধারণত মানুষ তখন হয়ে পড়ে নিষ্ক্রিয় ও প্রতিরোধহীন। সংস্কৃতির মধ্যেই মানুষ সহাবস্থান ও সহযোগিতার অবকাশ পায়।” Continue reading

The Journey from Shyamapuja to Diwali

Copyright: Manisha Dasgupta

Copyright: Manisha Dasgupta

For India, it took the shape of Hindu right-wing and their counter-imposition of a false construct of Hindu and Indian identity. The irrelevant political force of Hindutva took the centre-stage, asserting its claim on the identity of ‘Indian-ness’ and ‘Hindu-ness’. And like any two compatible hegemony, down the lane, there were a political pact between the two. Once it was realised that the gullible globalised middle-class can be bought and bribed and made to want almost anything with enough packaging and with enough lucre, the only question remained how long it would take.

Continue reading

AOD Interviews Kabir Suman — Kobigan, the lost musical heritage of Bengal and more

Photo: Awrup Sanyal

Photo: Awrup Sanyal

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. 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)

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