The coronavirus pandemic is still raging in New York, the former epicenter of the United States. But seeing the protest processions across the city, there is no way to say that even a few days ago, these city dwellers were … Continue reading New York Election: Record Number of Bangladeshi Candidates
Nupur on a Broken Leg By Nasrin Khandoker (Translated for Alal O Dulal by Tibra Ali) In between the adults’ mirth there was a song from my girlhood that used to cause me great bafflement. It went something like this: … Continue reading Nasrin Khandoker: Nupur on a Broken Leg
“[Saki’s postion] dislodge[s] current fixed notions of “left versus religion”, “left as irrelevant to modern political and economic formations”, etc in a way that we may be reminded of earlier historical moments when Maulanas could be “RED” and when calls for redistributive justice galvanized movements for democratic rights.” Continue reading “Zonayed Saki: What could a leftist leader offer Bangladesh today?”
Left-leaning, progressive, middle class intellectuals and political activists have long bemoaned the lack of political alternative and the unwillingness of the leftist and bhaddarlok activists to enter the cauldron of electoral politics.
Continue reading “Zonayed Saki’s Candidacy”
Return of the Opinion Makers
by Zahur Ahmed for Alal O Dulal
Another year marks more doldrums, further loss of lives, sensational news cycles, the return of the opinion makers and powerful foreigners. Continue reading “Return of the Opinion Makers”
The soul of Democracy are elections – and if those aren’t fair, then democracy suffers. The democracy in our country is in the sick bed! Even if elections are sound, Democracy has been suffering from the very beginning.
Continue reading “You Recognize Petrol-Bombs, But You Don’t Recognize People”
Jihad showed that, this country takes 23 hours to rescue a 4 year old child. That it takes six hours for this country to turn on a [rescue] camera. That the fire service gets to the disaster site an hour and a half late. That the State Minister of this country misleads the people of the country, and meddles in the rescue operation of the fire service.
ছোট্ট জিয়াদ গোটা বাংলাদেশের কাছে অনেকগুলো প্রশ্ন রেখে গেল!
by Reza Ghatok রেজা ঘটক for AlalODulal.org Continue reading “Little Jihad left a few questions for Bangladesh!”
By Kabir Suman for AlalODulal.org
In the 80s Kabir Suman was working as a journalist for the Voice of America, under the Reagan administration. This is an inside view from those times as he retraces the genesis of the rise of Taliban. This was written in the wake of the senseless heinous act of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in Peshawar where they killed innocent school children in an army school. Continue reading “Kabir Suman on the origin of Taliban”
By Saba Homaira Ahmad
“Saba makes a great point: there is something to be said about elitism in ‘civil society.’ It is worth asking why the sense of disenfranchisement among students exists in the first place” – Navine Murshid, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Colgate University
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.
Dear Mothers and Fathers,
Do you know what your child’s up to?
Continue reading “Dear Parents, Sick Society, and Violent State”
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’”
Vijay and Bijoy: Pyaasa, Thirsty for Change
by Faheem Haider for AlalODulal.org
You can imagine a latter-day poet, Vijay, crooning melancholy, thirsty, about the state of India, much as you’ll find a poet, Bijoy, singing to crowds, large and small, about the state of Bangladesh. Continue reading “Vijay Sings for Narendra Modi”
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”
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”
by Zia Hassan, translated by AlalODulal.org
Those who want to float a party for the common people, who dream of rescuing Bangladesh from the two predators, must not only take away the name of Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party. They must also learn from their 20 year-old activism. Continue reading “Perils of Bollywood-Dhallywood copying Amadmi to Am Janata Party of Bangladesh”
In 2013 Bangladesh experienced violence on a regular basis. We were forced to witness horrific deaths that perhaps normalized the atrocities that we witnessed. In the middle of the chaos that often follows violence and disasters, we also witnessed citizens unite for a cause, without any support from political parties; we witnessed volunteerism that emerged after the Rana Plaza collapse. Continue reading “Volunteerism after Rana Plaza”
The bomb hurler and why he is burning Bangladesh
by Nadine Shaanta Murshid for AlalODulal.org
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. If you look too deeply into the abyss, the abyss will look into you. -Nietzsche
2013, the year of corpses
– Professor Anu Muhammad, translated by Khujeci Tomai
2013 has ended, but instability has not ended.
This was the year of corpses.
This year will be marked as the year of blood, tears, oppression, fire, uncertainty.
Continue reading “2013: The Year of Corpses”
What is to be thought? (after Lenin’s “What is to be done”)
by Irfanur Rahman, translated by Ilias Kamal Risat for alalodulal.org
There are some terrible misconceptions about the leftists of bangladesh, bred by some famous propaganda. Here are some examples: Continue reading “Left Politics of Bangladesh: What Is To Be Thought?”
by Navine Murshid for AlalODulal.org
“This was the only glimpse that I had to the frenzy that Partition and famine caused in the lives of my closed ones; in Nanu’s paranoia, I saw the fear of starvation, the fear of losing family members, and the fear of the unknown.”
Politics is hard work — are we willing?
by Jyoti Rahman, adapted from earlier version posted at Mukti
Will future historians think of 2013 as a pivotal year for Bangladesh? If they were to do so, it will not be because of anything that happened in the first half of this eventful year. Continue reading “Politics is hard work — are we willing?”
Sadly, it is us, not them
by Srabanti Datta for AlalODulal.org
“If we take a thorough look, we’ll see that across every regime, we the citizens actually instigate, motivate, take part in, and take benefits of all the system malfunctions, regulation maneuvers, corruptions, power-abuses, non-performances, in numerous ways at every level.“
Continue reading “Sadly, it is us, not them”
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’”
A Never Ending Duel On Course To Take More Lives
by Zahur Ahmad for Alal O Dulal
This platform does not provide coverage of breaking news. We are a volunteer-run platform and do not have the resources to verify information in real-time. Thus our focus has been to produce long form analytical pieces. Yet, there emerge situations that demand “breaking news” coverage. The ongoing nationwide protests and blockades which have been reported to have taken many lives, we consider, is one such exceptional instance. Continue reading “A Never Ending Duel On Course To Take More Lives”
“Become Human Again”
By Faruk Wasif for Prothom Alo, Translated by Humayun Kabir for AlalODulal.org
In this damned country life cannot sustain. In this land of death justice also cannot live. Continue reading “Faruk Wasif: “Become Human Again””
16 years ago
1997. Shantu Larma and Sheikh Hasina let go a peace dove into the sky to celebrate the 1997 CHT “Peace” Accord. Continue reading “The “Peace” Accord that led nowhere: 16 years ago, today”
“With every hartal, every police action, I see sticks falling on Majed Ali’s back. Leaders, you have options. The Majed Alis of Bangladesh don’t. They will not stop, so please, you must!” Continue reading “I see sticks falling on Majed Ali’s back”
Introduction to Mahmud Hasan’s The Utopia of Student Movement
by Nazmul Sultan for AlalODulal.org
A poet by vocation, Mahmud Hasan lived in and through politics. That Mahmud Hasan did poetry under the condition of politics is not a historical anomaly. Sharing each other’s orbit, modern Bengali poetry and politics grounded themselves in an intersected domain. Continue reading “Introduction to Mahmud Hasan’s The Utopia of Student Movement”
The curious case of the Surjapuri people
Guest post by Adil Hossain for AlalODulal.org
For the first time I properly encountered the Surjapuri identity was at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) during its Students’ Union (SU) elections. Apart from the dominant regional student lobbies of Azamgarhi, Ghazipuri, Bihari, Kashmiri, Saharanpuri and many others, Surjapuri students were also reckoned as a distinct community who need to be cajoled for votes separately. Continue reading “The curious case of the Surjapuri people”
by irfan chowdhury for Alal O Dulal
In a land where many still live in rural areas, paths through the paddy fields delight our hearts. Children smile and play about on dirt roads oblivious of the hard future they face; low-earning teachers, vendors, traders, farmers, fishermen, labourers and women go quietly about their business to make ends meet – determined to have a better future, if not for themselves, for their children.
Is it only survival? Is it politics without science?
Re-conceptualizing the resistances against the Phulbari Coal Mine Project in Bangladesh with the mediation of archaeological practice
Death and Justice: What Might Have Been
By Shafiqur Rahman for AlaloDulal
There was an eerie predictability about the verdict and also about the aftermath. Even the domestic and international reactions could also be foreseen given all that have transpired in the last year. At home fires burned, people died and the two nations screamed past each other. At abroad, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other rights groups criticized the process. News and opinion centers like the Economist, New York Times duly noted the controversies about the trial and the reactions in Bangladesh and pontificated few lines. Continue reading “Death and Justice: What Might Have Been”
The so called modern, progressive, couch potato, urban middle class/generation has again disappointed.
To avenge injustice done to Felani, out of rage when they should have taken personal responsibility to stop using all Indian products and call for a collective on field activism to go shop to shop to encourage them to stop selling all Indian products or carry out any other on field real impact activism – they rather choose to participate in a facebook like hunting exercise to name Indian high commission road as Felani road and are contented with their meek effort. Continue reading “Felani and ‘Progressive’ Youth”
India sneezes, will we catch the cold?
By Jyoti Rahman for AlaloDulal.org
Just a year or so ago, the Indian economy was expected to be growing at a 8-9% pace, and people were talking about double digit growth into the 2020s. Within a year, growth has slowed to 4.4%, without there being any major shock —no financial crisis, no balance of payments crisis, no major natural disaster, nor any particular political tension. India just slowed, sharply. It’s now expected to grow only at around 4-5% a year, at least in the near term. Reflecting the slowdown, and the changed perception of India, the Indian rupee has taken a beating in recent weeks.
The Matbar and the Bus
by Prashanta Tripura for AlalODulal.org
রাঙামাটি থেকে ঢাকা ফিরছিলাম গত রাতে, বিআরটিসির বাসে। যাত্রা শুরুর পর এক পর্যায়ে আমার আশেপাশের সহযাত্রীদের মধ্যে দেশোদ্ধারমূলক একটা উন্মুক্ত আলোচনা চলল কিছুক্ষণ, যাতে আমিও অংশ নিয়েছিলাম কিছুটা। Continue reading “Prashanta Tripura: The Matbar and the Bus”
If there is one figure from Indian Sub-continental history who is uniformly hated by Hindu nationalists, Hindu fundamentalists, Muslim nationalists and Muslim fundamentalists alike, that would be Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay, famous British historian and politician of 19th century. Macaulay embodies in person all the insecurities the various Indian cultures and traditions harbors vis-à-vis the western civilization. Continue reading “In Praise of Lord Macaulay – 1”
– ‘Oh Bhai, kichhu paichhen?’ [Have you found anything, brother?]
– Hya, paichhi to. Iter dewal, ghar, matir khola, pathor ar pathorer bhanga tukra’ [Yes, we have. Brick-built walls, rooms, pottery, stone and stone pieces.]
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”
Where Do We Go From Here?
Part 1- The Belgian Incident
by Shafiqur Rahman
A few days ago Afsan Chowdhury, one of our best commentators on Bangladesh history and politics, posted a question on his Facebook wall, “So who thinks national governance will improve through the next election?” (April 9). This is a very important question to ask even in the middle of the apocalyptic battle that is now raging in the national arena. Continue reading “Where Do We Go From Here? (Part 1- The Belgian Incident)”
by Shafiqur Rahman C. Wright Mills, an American academic and sociologist, famously said that, “Every revolution has its counterrevolution – that is a sign the revolution is for real”. It is now nearly two months since few young men and … Continue reading Shahbagh- Revolution and Counter-revolution