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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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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Comparison of India and Bangladesh

Comparison of Political Culture of India and Bangladesh- A Common Man’s Fantasy!
 By Aminul Sarwar for Alal O Dulal

While we discuss Bangladesh politics- India comes up automatically. Regional hegemony, friendship and bitterness, mutual interest, influence over Bangladesh’s internal politics- hosts of many other issues make India an important and inseparable factor in Bangladesh. Continue reading “Comparison of India and Bangladesh”

Red Salute to Gobinda Halder

একাত্তরে স্বাধীন বাংলা বেতার কেন্দ্রে গীতিকার গোবিন্দ হালদারের লেখা সেই অবিস্মরণীয় গানগুলো হলো- ‘মোরা একটি ফুলকে বাঁচাব বলে…’, ‘এক সাগর রক্তের বিনিময়ে…’, ‘পূর্ব দিগন্তে সুর্য উঠেছে রক্ত লাল রক্ত লাল রক্ত লাল…’, ‘লেফট রাইট লেফট রাইট…’, ‘হুঁশিয়ার হুঁশিয়ার…’, ‘পদ্মা মেঘনা যমুনা তোমার আমার ঠিকানা…’, ‘চল বীর সৈনিক…’, ‘হুঁশিয়ার, হুঁশিয়ার বাংলার মাটি…’।
Continue reading “Red Salute to Gobinda Halder”

Korpan Shah and the Medical Malady

By Pratik Deb for

The brutal death of Korpan Shah has raised enough hue and cry amid the media and public, partly because of its viciousness, and mostly because of its alleged perpetrators. Following an alleged theft of cell phone from the hostel of N.R.S. Medical College, Kolkata, the psychologically challenged Mr. Shah was lynched to death, allegedly by the students of premier institution. Continue reading “Korpan Shah and the Medical Malady”

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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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’”

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”

Stars, planets, black-holes – West Bengal’s glamorous turn

Stars, planets, black-holes – West Bengal’s glamorous turn
By Pratik Deb for

The recent announcement of candidates for the upcoming parliamentary election by Trinamul Congress supremo and the current chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee created unprecedented uproar and commotion in the state as she chose a large number of candidates belonging outside of the political arena. Continue reading “Stars, planets, black-holes – West Bengal’s glamorous turn”

The Glorious and Bloody History of Tamil Language Movement

The Glorious and Bloody History of Tamil Language Movement

By Shafiqur Rahman for AlaloDulal

There is a widespread misinformation in our country that we, Bengalis, are the only nation to shed blood for establishment of language rights. Anyone with familiarity with history and rise of nationalism in the last three centuries would know that language rights have been forefront in many struggles of national self-determination in Europe and Asia. Continue reading “The Glorious and Bloody History of Tamil Language Movement”

Anu Muhammad: What India wants in Bangladesh

ভারত বাংলাদেশে কী চায়?
আনু মুহাম্মদ 

এরকম ধারণা সমাজে এখন বেশ জোরদার যে, ভারত বাংলাদেশের বর্তমান সরকারকে ক্ষমতায় টিকিয়ে রাখতে সকল সমর্থন প্রদান করেছে, তারা তাদের গোয়েন্দা সংস্থাসহ সবধরনের প্রতিষ্ঠানকে এই কাজে আগের চাইতে অনেক বিস্তৃতভাবে নিয়োজিত করেছে। Continue reading “Anu Muhammad: What India wants in Bangladesh”

Taslima Nasreen, ‘Duhsahobas,’ and a TV cancellation

“Taslima’s misery somehow leads us to the crossroad where an imminent change of path is indispensable. The consolidation of secular liberal voices in the subcontinent who would vociferate not against the chauvinism of religious majority of a nation but against all the extreme elements of any religion across the border and battle for the absolute separation of ‘church and state’ is the demand of the hour. Are we up for it?”
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West Bengal : a post-Poriborton analysis

by Pratik Deb for

My first political procession was in the wake of arrival of George W. Bush in India. It was the beginning of March, 2006 and thus Iraq war was on its third year. I cannot exactly recall the stated purpose of his visit, but like all over the world the students of Kolkata did not hesitate to demonstrate their dissent against ‘western imperialism’. Communist Party of India (Marxist) led left front was still in the helms of affair in West Bengal Continue reading “West Bengal : a post-Poriborton analysis”

Burning Sensation and the Case of ‘Classical Music Festival’

Burning Sensation and the Case of ‘Classical Music Festival’
by Seuty Sabur for Alal O Dulal

I have never been a fan of ‘Prothom Alo’ but I do admire their power to master the wind and change their palates accordingly. Oh! How beautifully they manage to stir  up the sentiments of both agony and ecstasy simultaneously. Continue reading “Burning Sensation and the Case of ‘Classical Music Festival’”

Anu Muhammad: Their money-choked eyes refuse to see

 Their money-choked eyes and brains refuse to see
by Anu Muhammad, Translated by Nusrat Chowdhury for

The Sundarbans are alive. It is home to a diverse wildlife. Some are seen; others exist out of our sight. It is like a grand life itself that includes the big and the small, the mobile and the sedentary.  Those dedicated to saving this grand life are also, no doubt, very alive. Continue reading “Anu Muhammad: Their money-choked eyes refuse to see”

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?”

Kallol Mustafa: Dissenting voices within the Bangladesh Government on Rampal

Kallol Mustafa: Dissenting voices within GoB on Rampal

Editor’s Note: This is a translation of a Facebook post published by Kallol Mustafa on the 23rd of June, 2013. The text of the original note, which is in Bengali, follows the translation.

A letter from the secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands was sent to the Department of Environment and Forests of Bangladesh on the 22nd of June 2011. In that letter the Ramsar secretariat wanted to know more about the following three matters from the Ministry of Environment and Forests: Continue reading “Kallol Mustafa: Dissenting voices within the Bangladesh Government on Rampal”

The Sundarbans and our guiltless sleep

The Sundarbans and our guiltless sleep

by Tibra Ali for

In the south-west of Bangladesh stand the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world. The Sundarbans are home to countless unique species and varieties of animal and plant life, the most famous of which is the Royal Bengal Tiger that graces all the official emblems of Bangladesh. The Sundarbans are criss-crossed by rivers and tributaries, and because of their proximity to the Bay of Bengal, this is where the saline water of the Bay mingles with the fresh-water coming down from the Ganges. Continue reading “The Sundarbans and our guiltless sleep”

The Indian Inter-river Linking Project and Bangladesh’s Looming Water Crisis

A.K.M Wahiduzzaman


বাংলাদেশকে বলা হয় নদীমাতৃক দেশ। আক্ষরিক অর্থেই এই দেশটির জন্মদাত্রী মা হচ্ছে নদী। গঙ্গাব্রহ্মপুত্র, মেঘনাসহ প্রায় ৭০০টি নদী-উপনদীর বয়ে আনা পলি লক্ষাধিক বছর ধরে জমে জমে এই দেশটির জন্ম হয়েছে। মাত্র ১,৪৭,৫৭০ বর্গ কিলোমিটার আয়তনের এই দেশে নদীর দৈর্ঘ্য প্রায় ২৪,১৪০ কিলোমিটার। Continue reading “The Indian Inter-river Linking Project and Bangladesh’s Looming Water Crisis”

Mamata and the state of “democracy”

The hurricane that had started from Singur and Nandigram made landfall on May 2011, when the 34-year-old rule of the CPI(M)-led Left Front came to a sordid end. The storm in village, victory in city- indeed, the surrounding of cities with the villages thing has been the stuff of dreams for quasi-romantic set-piece revolutions that some minds used to conjure at some point. A macabre version of that vision has come to haunt Paschimbanga (West Bengal), particularly the megalopolis of Goddess Kali, with a certain vengeance. Continue reading “Mamata and the state of “democracy””

Rampal Electricity Plant and our Environmental Consciousness

Rampal Electricity Plant and our Environmental Consciousness
A.K.M Wahiduzzaman and Mohammed Tawsif Salam  for AlaloDulal

There is a rising energy demand in Bangladesh in proportion with the growth of its population. Given the near exponential growth of demand due to other factors like industrialization, we are now forced to explore non-government sources of energy from being reliant on government run power stations only. Continue reading “Rampal Electricity Plant and our Environmental Consciousness”

A response to Vijay Prashad’s Bengal’s Slide into Fascism

The picture above is from the Ganashakti – the official organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)[CPI(M)]. Before losing power, such news items presented the face of ‘democratic student movement’ in West Bengal. Being in Bengal, one knew what these ‘uncontested wins’ meant and the the sheer violence that was often behind these lack of contestations. Continue reading “A response to Vijay Prashad’s Bengal’s Slide into Fascism”

On the borders of two Bengals

In November 2012, The New York Times ran two paired pieces written from both sides of the Bengal border.

Jyoti Rahman analyzes both articles: “Naeem is a few years older than me, and Mr Ray is likely to be slightly younger. That means, all of us were born decades after partition. Ours is the generation that has not known Pakistan in Bengal. Ours is the generation that has no lived experience of 1971. Both writers describe what the ‘other’ Bengal has meant to them over the years. Obviously I can relate to Naeem’s story, but I don’t share his conclusion. And while I find Ray’s story interesting for its misconception, I do relate to the way his story ends.”
Continue reading “On the borders of two Bengals”

Cricket and the Ugly Indian

Excuse me a minute while I brace myself for the pro/anti-India epithets that might make their way to the comments. Because I am about to set aside the premature jubilations that afflicted the Tigers tonight and the hope that comes with fresh talents like Sohag Gazi and Anamul Haque.

Instead, I will write about England’s tour of India. But only to point out an increasingly disturbing trend in the way Indians are coming across to the rest of the world. Captain India MS Dhoni shall serve as our representative Indian. And with England one wicket away from victory this evening , now is the time.
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1971: Missed Euphoria

Missed Euphoria

UDAYAN CHATTOPADHYAY ponders over what’s ‘missing’ from December 16th celebrations on both sides of the border.
DAILY STAR, December 2012

Every year, 16th December, known in India as Vijay Divas, is commemorated through low key events in a few select major cities across the country. There is rarely any fanfare; in Delhi, there is a brief and solemn ceremony with sparse attendance; protocol dictates the titles of those who must attend or send a replacement in lieu; a minute’s silence is held by the Eternal Flame by India Gate, and the event is generally very lacklustre. Continue reading “1971: Missed Euphoria”

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””

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]

Continue reading “Hindi Serial”

West Bengal and the Indian Presidential elections


So who will be the next President? Elections are scheduled for July 2012; if Congress can get its allies to agree, through a lot of behind-the-scenes deal making, it is likely that the winning candidate will be of its choice. Two candidates seem to be front runners: current Vice President Hamid Ansari, and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. An interesting outcome of this would be that a victory for either would be the first time someone from West Bengal has occupied the highest office in the land.

Continue reading “West Bengal and the Indian Presidential elections”