image: Telegraph India

Open Letter to Narendra Modi

By Nadine Murshid for


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”

Left Behind By the Nation: ‘Stranded Pakistanis’ in Bangladesh

AlalODulal Editorial Board condemns in the strongest terms the violence that left at least 11 Urdu Speaking people (“Biharis”) dead. Anthropologist Dina Siddiqi’s research on the conditions of “stranded Pakistanis” (inaccurately called “Biharis,” but more accurately “Urdu speakers”) after 1971 is newly relevant. In the current discourse around the 1971 war, the fate of the Urdu speakers at war’s end is elided. It is one of the zones of silence because it does not fit with the Bangladeshi discourse around the war. Nor does it fit Pakistan’s convenient discourse, especially after a 2008 high court decision granted them Bangladeshi citizenship. We at AlalODulal feel it is crucial to highlight those left behind in multiple nation projects.

Continue reading “Left Behind By the Nation: ‘Stranded Pakistanis’ in Bangladesh”

Afsan Chowdhury: Do we really care about Felani?

Do we really care about Felani?

By Afsan Chowdhury for

Do you have to be shot by the Indian security forces and lie hanging on the border fence before anyone notices you?

There are millions of such desperately poor girls who live out a terrible life and die but nobody pays any attention. But we notice Felani’s because it’s violent, involves our so-called sovereignty and also India, whom we dislike for many reasons. Continue reading “Afsan Chowdhury: Do we really care about Felani?”

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 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”

Hate Crimes after Boston: Bangladeshi network engineer becomes “fucking Arab”

Abdullah Faruque
Abdullah Faruque

As Faruque, a Bangladeshi-origin network engineer, turned to return to his meal, one of the other men said: “Yeah, he’s a f–king Arab,” leading to a brutal pummeling that dislocated Faruque’s left shoulder and left him semiconscious. Continue reading “Hate Crimes after Boston: Bangladeshi network engineer becomes “fucking Arab””

British Bangladeshi “Power 100”

BRITISH BANGLADESHI POWER 100 list has been released. Problematic concept (“Power”), fuzzy categories, and bizarro inclusions (Gaffar Chowdhury!), but here it is– for blog dissection.


1. Irene Zubaida Khan

Human Rights Activist

Irene is Chancellor of University of Salford and in 2001 she was the first woman, the first Asian, and the first Muslim to guide the world’s largest human rights organization, Amnesty International as its seventh Secretary General. Continue reading “British Bangladeshi “Power 100””

Language Holding Back New York’s Bengali Voters?

BY NINA PORZUCKI ⋅ NOVEMBER 2, 2012 ⋅ Barbershop in Queens, New York (Photo: Nina Porzucki)

Barbershop in Queens, New York (Photo: Nina Porzucki)

Once a month Zain Ahmed treks from the Upper East Side of Manhattan to a windowless basement shop in Jackson Heights, Queens, just to get his haircut. “I take 3 or 4 trains just to get here,” says Ahmed. “That’s dedication, right?”

Continue reading “Language Holding Back New York’s Bengali Voters?”

Nafis: Terrorist Mastermind or Witless Patsy?

Blogger Rumi (a successful medical doctor in US who came here on a student visa in the 1980s): “The outrageous, inexcusable act of The Bangladeshi Student, facilitated and influenced by an FBI undercover agent, has claimed it’s first victim – the student visa system.”
Student visas concern after terror plot
Grand Jury to be convened

Source: bdnews24

Nafis was allegedly planning something for which he will go to jail for life. But, how far would he have actually got without help from the FBI? Below are some discussions in US blogosphere about this topic.

From comments section on ATLANTIC:

Chuñdy: No one is arguing that he shouldn’t face serious jail time. We are questioning whether the FBl and the media should be portraying this 21-year-old doofus as a terrorist mastermind. They caught a gullible wannabe jihadist who couldn’t tell the difference between an inert bomb and a real bomb. Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

Mark Holland A man who can be so easily compelled to mass murder is a real threat. On the other hand, people in the FBI are ordinary and thus more concerned with personal goals than abstractions. This case will make a lot of people at FBI very famous and later, very wealthy. I have zero pity for the kid and few illusions about the “public” sector.
Continue reading “Nafis: Terrorist Mastermind or Witless Patsy?”

Fed Reserve Arrest: “I spent all my savings to send him to America”

His family said Thursday that Nafis was incapable of such actions. “My son can’t do it,” his father, Quazi Ahsanullah, said as he wept in his home in the Jatrabari neighborhood in north Dhaka… Ahsanullah said his son convinced him to send him to America to study, arguing that with a U.S. degree he had a better chance at success in Bangladesh. “I spent all my savings to send him to America,” he said. He called on the government to “get my son back home.”

Continue reading “Fed Reserve Arrest: “I spent all my savings to send him to America””

Remittance Crisis: UAE halts Bangladesh visas

AlaloDulal first reported the coming crisis with UAE visas on August 27th. We wished we had been wrong, but today’s report confirms the ban has officially started. Congratulations to AL government for successfully botching this issue, as they destroy everything they touch.

Authorities in the UAE have stopped issuing all kinds of entry permits for Bangladeshi passport holders because of security concerns over identification and fake documents, the gulfnews reports. Continue reading “Remittance Crisis: UAE halts Bangladesh visas”

India-Bangladesh: “Maps Can’t Redraw The Truth”

“While there is a lot of talk in Indian society and polity about illegal immigration, Bangladesh flatly rejects the notion that there are any illegal Bangladeshi citizens living in India. Be that as it may, the two countries will have to find a way to talk about cross-border population movement rationally. If that were to happen, at least for a start an Indo-Bangladesh protocol on labour movement could take some of the pressure off from the circular migrant who now has to find proxy citizenship papers and participate in elections in order to find security.”

Continue reading “India-Bangladesh: “Maps Can’t Redraw The Truth””

REFUGEE: Alaol’s unfortunate Children

[Image: Greg Constantine, Pulitzer Center]
It was 1978 or 1979, Weekly Bichitra made a cover story titled, “ Manush Aite achhe – naaf nodeer baner lahan” (People are coming in like flood on Naaf River). All on a sudden, a group of people living in northwest Burmese Arakan region and who happen to be of Bengali ethnic lineage and Muslim in faith, started leaving their homeland of several dozen to several hundred years and cross the border to enter Bangladesh in utter desperation. They came by boats, sampans, makeshift banana trunk vessels (vela) – some came on foot through impenetrable mountain forest. They all were escaping the atrocities of operation Nagamin of Burmese army.

Burmese government was suspicious of what they believed as collusion between Arakan communist party and secessionist thought of Arakanese Muslims. Starting on April 1978, refugees started pouring into Cox’s Bazaar, Teknaf and Chittagong Hill tract areas and by June, over 200,000 Bengali Muslim descendent inhabitants of Burmese region of Arakan, who call themselves Rohingyas, started living in 13 camps set up along Bangladesh Myanmar border. Of the 210,000 souls, more than half (over 110,000) were children between 1 to 15 years of age and there was absolutely no obstruction from Bangladesh side in letting them in. Large enclosed living quarters were built overnight. Refugees were kept in those fenced out camps, a high level government official ran the program from the ground and a national coordination council led by Cabinet Secretary led the national and global efforts.

The head of the state was personally involved in every minor detail of the planning and execution of the program. And thanks to personal influence of President Ziaur Rahman on Burmese leader Ne Win, very robust stand by Bangladesh foreign office and smart diplomacy by the foreign Minister Professor Shamsul Huq, Burmese government took all the refugees back within less than a year. In July 1978, two months into the refugee problem, an agreement was signed between Bangladesh and Burma. The first batch of 58 refugees was repatriated in August 1978 and the repatriation of last stranded batch (who did not have any document supporting their residence in Burma) was completed by December 1979. Senior Burmese Ministers visited the camps to supervise the repatriation process, which they called ‘the Hintha project’.
Continue reading “REFUGEE: Alaol’s unfortunate Children”

Bahrain: died like dogs in a foreign land

KHONDOKAR: স্বাধীন দেশের নাগরিক !!! আমাদের অনেক অর্জন !! আমরা যারা বিদেশ থাকি, মনে হয় এতিম বাচ্চা আমরা, যাদের পৃথিবীতে কেহ নাই. রাজনীতিবিদদের মত ভন্ড আর কেহ নাই
গরিব দেশের লোক বলে এই শ্রমিকদের কোনো সম্মান নাই

ছেলের জন্য অপেক্ষার পালা আর ফুরোল না মায়ের: নিহত আবু তাহেরের ছবি হাতে মা সাবেদা খাতুন

ছেলের জন্য অপেক্ষার পালা আর ফুরোল না মায়ের: নিহত আবু তাহেরের ছবি হাতে মা সাবেদা খাতুন
Continue reading “Bahrain: died like dogs in a foreign land”