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”

Pinaki Bhattacharya: West Bengal’s attitude to Bengali Muslim

Pinaki Bhattacharya:  West Bengal’s attitude to Bengali Muslim

“When our books are in the hands of Bangladeshi readers, they never ask — What is the religion of the writer? They judge it by whether it’s readable, whether the story is charming, or whether it’s pleasant to read. But when our Hindu readers from West Bengal, reading books by Bangladeshi authors, come across words such as amma, fufa, namaaz, they have a strange reaction. And it’s due to this reaction that books by many Bangladeshi writers don’t reach the readers here. I want to state this very clearly: compared to Bangladeshi readers, the readers from West Bengal are a lot more fundamentalist.” — Samaresh Majumdar.

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রবি: আমাদের অশ্রু এতো শস্তা না

রবি: আমাদের অশ্রু এতো শস্তা না

Irfanur Rahman for Alal O Dulal

রবির বিজ্ঞাপনটা সুন্দর, অত্যন্ত হৃদয়স্পর্শীভাবেই সুন্দর, বিশেষত “একটা মোবাইলের জন্য মরে যাবো না বাবা” বলার পর মোরশেদ সাহেবের মেয়ে যেভাবে তার বাবাকে জড়িয়ে ধরে আমার ধারণা অই জায়গাটায় অনেকের চোখেই পানি এসে গেছে। 

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CULTURE: Rift between two Bengals

By Pratik Deb for AlalODulal

The national anthem of Bangladesh, penned by Tagore, is not exclusively sung on one side of the fence, neither is its use stringently limited for the national occasions of Bangladesh. Unlike the national anthem of most nations, Bangladesh’s national anthem has an everyday appeal in its core that keeps it alive amid the unremarkable occasions, especially in West Bengal where it does not get limited by its officialdom.
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The Journey from Shyamapuja to Diwali

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.

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AJ, Arrival of a Bangladeshi Hero

AJ, Arrival of a Bangladeshi Hero
by Irfan Chowdhury for

Bangladeshis rarely get to cheer their heroes, but when they do they are euphoric. They came out in droves to celebrate the nation’s first ever qualification for the cricket World Cup, and for some memorable wins since then. But wins have been few and far between. There were other celebrities and celebrations – the Nobel Prize for the Grameen Bank and its founder — but they would hardly match the glitz and glamour bestowed by a ‘would be’ Bangladeshi film or a cricket star.    
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A Way of Living Lost In ‘Selfie’ and ‘WhatsApp’

A Way of Living Lost In ‘Selfie’ and ‘WhatApp’

By Garga Chaterjee for Alal O Dulal

Our neighbour of many years, Ananda Santra, died yesterday. Anandda kaku lived in our apartment complex in the Chetla locality of Kolkata (Ward Number 82 of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation). Continue reading “A Way of Living Lost In ‘Selfie’ and ‘WhatsApp’”

Reingkhyong Lake: The Forgotten Frontier of Bangladesh

By Devasish Roy-Wangza for AlalOdulal

About thirty-five of us – including six women and about ten local men porters – took a seven-day trek from Farua village within Farua Union (“For-ua” in Tanchangya), Bileisori sub-district of Rangamati hill district to Bethuni Para, Ruma sub-district, Bandarban hill district, all within the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in southeastern Bangladesh, from 22 to 28 December, 2011.The team included former Farua Union Parishad (UP) member, Jacob Tripura,

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Dr. Perween Hasan: David Nalin, “friend from overseas” or smuggler of antiquities?

David Nalin: friend or smuggler of antiquities?Guest Post by Dr. Perween Hasan

I was surprised and angered to read a report in the daily Prothom Alo (March 30, 2013) entitled ‘ This country is destined to march forward: an interview with David Nalin, a friend from overseas’. Continue reading “Dr. Perween Hasan: David Nalin, “friend from overseas” or smuggler of antiquities?”

Why is Ananta Rickshawala?

Why is father a servant? Why is Ananta a rickshawallah? An epic kechal about class status
বাবা কেন চাকর, অনন্ত কেন রিকশাওয়ালা ? আমাদের ক্লাস স্ট্যাটাস নিয়ে একটি বিষদ ক্যাচাল
by Zia Hassan

For almost two years I was thinking of writing about our class distribution. But I could not find time to write it. But recently when even a proper “bourgeois” like Ananta Jalil got slanged as “rickshawalla class” I thought the time had come to write the piece.

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Bangla Academy Debate

The Hay Festival controversy picks up speed as protesters demand “Prime Minister’s intervention to refrain Bangla Academy from being the host of the Hay Festival on the academy premises, resignation of Bangla Academy director general Shamuzzaman Khan and bringing charges of anti-state activities.”

The following chronology is compiled from various blog and facebook posts.

1. Somewherein blog by Tokon Thakur on who are the corporate sponsors of Hay, why this English matbori, anointment of elites. He singles out “Kaziputro” (son of Kazi, a reference to author K. Anis Ahmed) and “Anamkonya” (daughter of Anam, a reference to Tahmima Anam). Kazi & Kazi Tea and Daily Star are two of the sponsors of Hay. K. Anis released Goodnight Mr Kissinger, right before Hay, and Tahmima Anam released The Good Muslim earlier this year.

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Hindi Serial

….:::::একটি হিন্দি সিরিয়ালের কাল্পনিক দৃশ্যের চিত্রনাট্য::::::…….

ছেলে:: আমি তোমাকে ভালবাসি
[১০টা অবস্থান থেকে এই দৃশ্যটা দেখানো হবে।]

[মেয়ের টাশকি খাওয়া মুখ দেখাবে ১২টা অবস্থান থেকে]

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CULTURE: Still Bengali

Exactly ten years ago today*, upon arriving at a friend’s place, instead of ‘Shubho Nobo Borsho’ (Bangla new year greeting), I was greeted with a barrage of ‘Have you heard the news?  Call home now.  Hope family’s okay…’

Militant jihadis struck the new year’s dawn cultural events in Ramna, the major park at the heart of Dhaka, killing over half a dozen people.   Continue reading “CULTURE: Still Bengali”