A few dos and don’ts in the movement against sexual assault

By Nadine Shaanta Murshid 

UNPRECEDENTED levels of outrage and activism surround the Pahela Baishakh sexual assault; we have finally reached critical mass: people are out on the streets and those who are not, are on social media fighting many a battle with individuals who still resort to victim blaming and slut shaming. These are oft-used tactics to further subjugate women and take agency away from people who fight for the rights of women subject to sexual assault and rape. That the synchronised bomb-attack style sexual assault on multiple women have enraged so many people comes as a surprise in a nation where topics of sex and sexual assault have remained taboo, despite extremely high rates of sexual violence against women. This is a welcome change. So while we are at it, here are a few things we should add on to the list:

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

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

The Killings at Bangladesh’s ‘Bihari Camp’ – Murder Mystery or Murder with Impunity?

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 “The Killings at Bangladesh’s ‘Bihari Camp’ – Murder Mystery or Murder with Impunity?”

image: Telegraph India

Open Letter to Narendra Modi

By Nadine Murshid for AlalODulal.org


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 “Open Letter to Narendra Modi”

Where have all the negotiating tables gone?

By Nadine S Murshid and Awrup Sanyal for AlalODulal.org

 “Economic growth cannot sensibly be treated as an end in itself. Development has to be more concerned with enhancing lives we lead and the freedoms we enjoy,” posits Amartya Sen in his book Development as Freedom (1999). Yet, Bangladesh has grown – developed at a decent rate of 6.7% over the last year – without enhancing the lives of workers, without the freedoms that Sen would like workers to enjoy, as exemplified, perhaps, by the recurrent protests by garment factory workers in Dhaka, protests that have a history of turning violent.

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Let’s talk about Rape (in Bangladesh)

Let’s talk about Rape (in Bangladesh)

By Nadine S. Murshid for AlalODulal.org

There is something fundamentally wrong with men (and women) who rape. It is a maladaptation of sex, a manifestation of psychopathology, a sign of being a sociopath or a psychopath, a tool to garner control, and an outward expression of deep internal anger and resentment.  In the context of Bangladesh (as elsewhere), it is also a response to sexual repression, lack of education about sex and appropriate sexual behaviors, and patriarchal values that give men (or those with power) the right to dominate and control women and their bodies (or, whichever party is deemed to be powerless).

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Nadine Murshid: Beauty, Contest and Context

“[The beauty] industry affects us all… It affects us in the workplace. It affects us as students, workers, mothers, and daughters. And that is why we expect a certain degree of responsibility from that industry, because they are well positioned to make a positive difference with the influence they wield; as they have the ‘power of capital’ to create “false needs”; as Marcuse said, “totalitarianism can be imposed without terror.”
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Will we continue to be silent?

Will we continue to be silent?

by Nadine S. Murshid

One girl asked him [the factory manager], “Mr. Bonstein, why is there no water in the buckets? In case of a fire, there would be nothing with which to fight it,” He became enraged at our group of price committee members, and with inhuman anger replied: “If you’ll burn, there’ll be something to put   out the fire.” (Stein, 1977) Continue reading “Will we continue to be silent?”