Ahmed Shamim & Faruk Wasif: Debating “The Hindu Question” through Marx and Bauer

Debating “The Hindu Question” through Karl Marx’s “On The Jewish Question”
Ahmed Shamim debates Faruk Wasif, translated by Irfan Chowdhury for Alal O Dulal
Nipu Sheel wails sitting on the debris of her house that was set ablaze by Jamaat-Shibir men at Banshkhali in Chittagong. The religious fanatics looted and torched houses and temples of the Hindus in the district on Thursday, following the death sentence to Jamaat leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee. Photo: Anurup Kanti Das
Nipu Sheel at Banshkhali. Photo: Anurup Kanti Das

PART 1: Ahmed Shamim “On the Hindu Question” (after Karl Marx)
Islam is encircled in peace. Its three core phonemes are: seen, laam, meem which mean peace. Aslam means to surrender (oneself) to peace – Continue reading “Ahmed Shamim & Faruk Wasif: Debating “The Hindu Question” through Marx and Bauer”

Faruk Wasif: The Sahibs of Begum Para and the turtles that sell the country


“’Second Home’: The Sahibs of Begam Para and the Turtles that Sell the Country”
by Faruk Wasif for Prothom Alo, translated for AlalODulal.org by Nusrat Chowdhury [please do not reproduce w/o permission]

If one asked which animal carries its own home on its back, the answers would be, 1. a turtle; 2. a Chinese farmer; and, 3. a few thousand wealthy Bangladeshis. Continue reading “Faruk Wasif: The Sahibs of Begum Para and the turtles that sell the country”

Faruk Wasif: After burning our own house for ten years, we will arrange the mortuary.

After burning our own house for ten years, we will arrange the mortuary
by Faruk Wasif, Translated by AlalODulal.org

Durmukhs say, Hefazat and Shahbag are government’s right hand left hand. Right hand always hits left hand. But why does the body get pleasure from breaking both hands? Why is the government laughing? Continue reading “Faruk Wasif: After burning our own house for ten years, we will arrange the mortuary.”

Faruk Wasif: Now will you have time? Now will you finally listen?

Now will you have time? Now will you finally listen?

by Faruk Wasif, Translated from Bengali for AlalODulal.org by Tibra Ali

We are not slave-owners, we are a manager country of slavery. Our labour force is slave labour, our farmers are debt slaves and serfs. The big capitals exploit the labour in their own countries while they plunder the labour from countries like ours. Our wealth, natural resources and manpower; Our bodies, language and history, all of it is subservient to small capitals working for big capitals. This international family of big and little brothers is called imperialism.

Continue reading “Faruk Wasif: Now will you have time? Now will you finally listen?”

Faruk Wasif: The Writer in Front of Shahbag

The Writer in Front of Shahbag
By Faruk Wasif. Translated by Tibra Ali for AlalODulal.org.

Hasnat Abdul Hye has proved that deep down he too is a lecherous and misogynist writer Rosu Khan. Through the murder of Rabbi bhai’s teenager son Towki we witnessed the brutal suppression of the innocence of our time. Hasnat Abdul Hye’s short story is then the rape of the innocence of the Shahbag movement. Continue reading “Faruk Wasif: The Writer in Front of Shahbag”

Neo-Bangladeshi Collective

by Faruk Wasif

In the name of non-standardising, a luminous (yet stupid) collective wishes to drag Bengali down to a demotic vernacular. However, to remove inherent, traditionalist inflexibility within the language, all dialects – from Tagore to Abbasuddin, from Calcutta to Sylhet – should be used profusely; so that, the real (or main) parts of the language (and its literature) can include tongues of all Bengalis. Continue reading “Neo-Bangladeshi Collective”

TUBA STRIKE: What a country have we become!

Photo: SouthAsianMedia.net
TUBA STRIKE: What a country have we become!
by Faruk Wasif for Prothom Alo, translated by Irfan Chowdhury for AlalODulal.org
Kidnappers demand ransom after taking innocents hostage. Prisoners are exchanged during wars. But what sort of ransom is being sought for the Tuba Group, where sixteen hundred workers are made captive? If their co-owner, the arrested Delwar Hossain, is not released, the workers will not be paid. Nowhere in the company law is it mentioned that other business-partners will not be able to withdraw money from the accounts in the absence of a partner. The Tuba Group has made this case and Delwar Hossain’s bail has been granted.

Just as it is a crime to use hapless humans as shields in wars, the Tuba group has committed a crime by using hungry and wage-depraved workers. The Labour Minister has legitimised this use. The Shamim Osman(s) rely on the support of the party in power, and garment factory owners rely on the government support. What a dreadful situation.

Continue reading “TUBA STRIKE: What a country have we become!”

Justice Habibur Rahman (1928-2014)

Justice Habibur Rahman (1928-2014)
by Faruk Wasif, translated by Nadine Murshid for AlalODulal.org

Let people judge Justice Habibur Rahman. They have his writings to judge him by. I can only think of the last time I saw him. It was December 23, 2013 at his residence. When he saw me he cried ‘Ki hain’ (What’s up!), as he paced his roof. That’s how he was. Continue reading “Justice Habibur Rahman (1928-2014)”

Our old freedom fighter wanders the streets

“So our old freedom fighter wanders the streets. He will go to the wrong meeting, the wrong gathering, the endless newspaper offices. Suddenly he will fly into a rage at a tea shop and start screaming…The more you travel downwards in our classist society, the more this hate [for war criminals], this obstinate rage. And in the upper echelons, only honey and unity.” Continue reading “Our old freedom fighter wanders the streets”

Where is the Antidote to Communalism?


Where is the Antidote to Communalism?

by Faruk Wasif, translated by Prof Farida Khan for AlalODulal

As a Muslim nation, the state of Bangladesh can never grant freedom to Hindus. Neither can it give full citizenship rights to Muslims. The latter can marry four times in the country but they cannot receive what we could call autonomy of citizenship. In this nation, Hindus will be subject to Hindu Inheritance laws but they will be shunned from the benefits of Secular Law. This type of nation does not recognize a citizen of Bangladesh; it only recognizes Hindus and Muslims. Continue reading “Where is the Antidote to Communalism?”

Seema Amin: The art of dehumanization

The art of dehumanization
by Seema Amin

‘A door marked enemy and no one home.’ Tom Engelhardt.
‘If you repeat a lie enough times, it becomes the truth.’ Electra, my love (1974 Hungarian film).

It will not be too overcast to say the 21st century (Anno Domini, whose 12 years and some hundred days have passed) has thus far been the century of the “enemy-industrial complex”. Continue reading “Seema Amin: The art of dehumanization”

Running barefoot through the city of Barbie liberty and sexy grenades

Running barefoot through the city of Barbie liberty and sexy grenades
by Faruk Wasif, translated from Bengali by Nayma Qayum for AlalODulal.org

In the morning I saw four teenagers on the pavement across the street from Mohammadpur Central College. They wore the usual jobba-tupi, but no footwear. Those, they had lost in Motijheel, and could not buy another pair. Continue reading “Running barefoot through the city of Barbie liberty and sexy grenades”

Savar: Tragedy and sin, common man steps in, but death toll spirals upward, “Ar koto lash dekhbo ey shadhin Bangla’e?”

Doctors Cafe: I saw a Medical student shouting for a trolley while carrying a wounded woman in his lap. We are not butchers, listen o countrymen. Today the way the Enam Medical College students were working tirelessly to save people is beyond comparison. Salute to you all! You proved today that Doctors are not butchers or dacoits.
Continue reading “Savar: Tragedy and sin, common man steps in, but death toll spirals upward, “Ar koto lash dekhbo ey shadhin Bangla’e?””

If you come to kill, I will say, I too am Hindu

If you come to kill, I will say, I too am Hindu, I too am Minority, the land that is burning is my country
by Faruk Wasif, translated from Bengali by AlalODulal.org

When the Tamil massacres were happening, we came to shahbag with slogans “we are all Tamil.” When the Rohingya massacres happened, we protested that too. We protested killings in Iraq, we said we were Kashmiri when youth were being killed in Kashmir. Bu what about today?
Continue reading “If you come to kill, I will say, I too am Hindu”

Shahbagh: The forest of symbols

[Crossposted from Kafila.org]

There is a particular way of lensing mass movements, when we are observing from within immediate tactics. In a fast moving situation, with opponents and allies squared off, the first thing to shrink is the space for internal critique. Professor Azfar Hussain uses the term “critical solidarity” for his approach to Shahbagh. A critique that seeks to help the movement, but also a critique some are not ready to hear yet. Continue reading “Shahbagh: The forest of symbols”

Shahbagh: Islam vs. Liberation War fyasad: Where do we stand, where do we want to go.

We must keep the Shahbag movement outside of the fyasad of belief-vs.-atheism. We have to keep it free of political parties. We have to convert the war cry of revenge into the awakening cry of resistance. We have to keep the door open for all people to join us. In front is a long and difficult path. Shaking the country for ten days is possible, but to change the country takes years. Our voices are now liberated with the promise of trying war criminals and a relief from a religiously fascist society. This cannot be ignored. The resounding “no” to traditional political parties and their practitioners cannot become “yes” ever again. It’s time to change the rules of the game.

Continue reading “Shahbagh: Islam vs. Liberation War fyasad: Where do we stand, where do we want to go.”

Reclaiming Ekattur: fashi, Bangali

Another blogger, who has spent the greater part of the week at Shahbagh, who is gratified at the ‘abject rejection of the BNP-Jamaat and JP [Jatiya Party] narrative of 1971’ stirringly writes, and I quote:
‘I will never agree on the death penalty for anyone…If it is handed down for a convicted war criminal, I’ll continue to work so that it is commuted to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or Presidential clemency. Confiscate their property and compensate their victims, and let their children find their way out of the public humiliation and shame brought upon by the exposure of truth. Let us be better than them. I will continue to be there in Shahbagh even if I’m the last man standing, and I share this belief with millions of my brothers and sisters across our land’. (greaterboka, ‘A Week in Shahbagh’,  Alal o Dulal, February 14, 2013). Continue reading “Reclaiming Ekattur: fashi, Bangali”

Placing the Voices of Shahbag in Modern Narratives of Transnational Youth Protest – Part 2

 

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 “Placing the Voices of Shahbag in Modern Narratives of Transnational Youth Protest – Part 2”

Placing the Voices of Shahbag in Modern Narratives of Transnational Youth Protest – Part 1

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 “Placing the Voices of Shahbag in Modern Narratives of Transnational Youth Protest – Part 1”