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

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.

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Post-election scene on a Kolkata street. @Awrup Sanyal

This election has also been about illegal Bangladeshi immigrants for Modi and BJP, who have promised a pushback after May 16, the day the results were to be declared. Till date, of course, we haven’t seen any movements on this front. Will he follow-up on this promise?

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Reign of Terror: Danger Called ‘Political Plunder-O-Cracy’

Selina sees Nazrul's dead body after recovery from Shitalhya. © Dhaka Tribune

Selina sees Nazrul’s dead body after recovery from Shitalhya. © Dhaka Tribune

According to the legend above, the righteous King Zulkarnine had been confining Gog and Magog within the walls. The true democracy is to have those security walls. If there is no democratic politics, free mass media, and if the society loses the courage and freedom, then the barriers to defend humanity also collapse. Authoritarian Gog and looter Magog could make the country a sanctuary for slaughter. Thus, the structural ‘Plunder-O-Cracy’ is established. Is that not what is currently happening in Bangladesh?
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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