#RichKids in an Unlivable City

In the Dhaka of the 80s, there was a consensus regarding who its richest denizen was. At the rare, lavish weddings, my cousins and I would spot him, with his guards and his clan, and cower at the sight of the wealthiest man in Bangladesh. What it signified, we weren’t totally sure. My cousins could easily name his businesses in real estate, banking and construction. His creamy white Mercedes was instantly recognizable around Dhanmondi streets. In our fantasies, his children’s supposed diet of chocolates and cakes were the source of much envy. Continue reading

Monajatuddin: The Minstrel Journalist

Monajatuddin (photo: Pabna News)

Monajatuddin (source: Pabna News)

by Adnan R. Amin for

The works of Monajatuddin – the Minstrel Journalist – have had more of a shaping role in contemporary Bangladesh than that of many a politicians, development-pundits, editors or litterateurs. Take for example, the Child Marriage Restraint Act 2014, only recently okayed by the cabinet. It was Monajatuddin’s keen, investigative reporting on child marriage that informed and laid the groundwork for necessary social-debates and policy-making. Continue reading

Heroes and Leaders

Ziaur Rahman. Source: Internet.

Ziaur Rahman. Source: Internet.

Heroes and Leaders

by Shafiqur Rahman for

“The art of projecting leaders as heroes is as old as human civilization. For a country beset with rivalry of heroic leadership we have remarkable little discussion of psychological underpinnings behind this atavistic urge.”

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Not a mindless atrocity but an atrocity of ‘war’

Death relieves his pain |

Death relieves his pain |

By Shafiqur Rahman for AlaloDulal

The boy Monir died at last after three days of indescribable pain from burning of 95% of his body. The whole country silently prayed that Monir die sooner than later, prayed so that the merciful god takes Monir in his peaceful embrace and deliver him from the hell on earth called Bangladesh. We have seen the pictures. Monir sitting on the ground with his whole body blackened with third degree burn. Monir’s father carrying the charred but still living body of his beloved son. No words can convey the thoughts and emotions that go through a sentiment human when watching these images. Continue reading