Stars, planets, black-holes – West Bengal’s glamorous turn
By Pratik Deb for AlalODulal.org
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”
Liberation through the Gunday lens By Fahima Durrat for AlalODulal.org
Factual errors made in a fictitious storyline may seem like a trivial matter, but they can hide icebergs. The iceberg that showed its tip in the film Gunday seems to have reappeared again in the headlines of Indian newspapers. Bangladesh protests against “distortion” of history, they report. Those inverted commas reveal a deeper source of offence.
“more than three million women have been guaranteed jobs through the RMG sector, thus uplifting their status within the family, the society, and the state. If anyone has demolished the wall of repression, these are the millions of women workers of Bangladesh. If anybody has tasted freedom in whatever sense, it is these women. American Apparel, gain cheap popularity with your tantalizing ad all you want, but do not act as the grand savior…”
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.
আরেকটি সর্বনাশা চুক্তি
আনু মুহাম্মদ for Alal O Dulal
দেশের ভবিষ্যৎকে বিপদাপন্ন করে আরেকটি সর্বনাশা চুক্তি করলো সরকার। যুক্তরাষ্ট্র, ভারত, চীন খুশি, কিন্তু বিপদাপন্ন বাংলাদেশ। গত ১৭ ফেব্রুয়ারি সংশোধিত ‘পিএসসি ২০১২’ অনুযায়ি সরকার ভারতের অয়েল এ্যান্ড ন্যাচারাল গ্যাস কর্পোরেশন (ওএনজিসি বিদেশ) এবং অয়েল ইন্ডিয়ার সাথে বঙ্গোপসাগরের এস এস ৪ ও এসএস ৯ নামে চিহ্নিত ২টি গ্যাসব্লকের চুক্তি সম্পাদন করেছে। Continue reading “আনু মুহাম্মদ: আরেকটি সর্বনাশা চুক্তি”
মায়ানমারে চম্পকনগরের পথে
সুপ্রিয় তালুকদার for alaodulal.org
[ বংশানুক্রমে জানা যায় যে চাকমারা চম্পকনগর নামক স্থান থেকে পার্বত্য চট্টগ্রাম ও তৎসংলগ্ন অঞ্চলে এসেছে। কোন চম্পকনগর থেকে এসেছে তা নিয়ে মতভেদ থাকলেও নৃবিজ্ঞান, বিখ্যাত গবেষকদের মন্তব্য, প্রাপ্ত নির্ভরযোগ্য তথ্য এবং মায়ানমারের ইতিহাস বিশ্লেষণে আমি নিশ্চিত ছিলাম যে চাকমারা মায়ানমারের চম্পকনগর থেকে এসেছে। Continue reading “সুপ্রিয় তালুকদার: মায়ানমারে চম্পকনগরের পথে”
History exists in the abstract. Vague theories are posited, established and refuted, but rarely felt. Over the years mankind has perfected this art-form into an exact science. Regrettably, Bangladesh never got the instruction manual. Continue reading “Ekusher Prothom Kobita”
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”
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”
Justice Habibur Rahman (1928-2014)
by Faruk Wasif, translated by Nadine Murshid for AlalODulal.org
Let people judge Justice Habibur Rahman. They have his writings to judge him by. I can only think of the last time I saw him. It was December 23, 2013 at his residence. When he saw me he cried ‘Ki hain’ (What’s up!), as he paced his roof. That’s how he was. Continue reading “Justice Habibur Rahman (1928-2014)”
“But given recent violent incidents – in Ramu, in Sathiya, in Thakurgaon, in Gaibundah, in Dinajpur, in Rangpur, in Bogra, in Lalmonirhat, in Rajshahi, in Jessore, in Chittagong and in the Chittagong Hill Tracts – the AL government and state law enforcement agencies cannot palm-off responsibilities to the opposition for failing to protect minority citizens (just as they cannot merely shift responsibilities, for the ongoing violence and loss of lives, to opposition activities alone, specially when that is exactly how they reacted during their term in opposition).” Continue reading “Bleeding Badly”
“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?” Continue reading “Taslima Nasreen, ‘Duhsahobas,’ and a TV cancellation”
In 2051, the Hindu population could fall to the level of 1974.
One thing that every Bangladeshi possibly knows is that the Hindu population as a percentage of the total is shrinking monotonically. This is the legacy of the partition of India in 1947 and then the failure of the state apparatus to safeguard the rights of the religious minorities. Continue reading “The Statistical Future of Bangladeshi Hindus”
[Tears] by Irfanur Rahman, translated by Khujeci Tomai for AlalODulal.org Dedicated to Falguni Sutradhar Friend, I won’t beg forgiveness That right, too, we have lost The election has been victorious, victorious, victorious Movement has happened Blockade has happened Bengal has … Continue reading Tears: a poem for “malauner baccha”
1971: Neither the Beginning nor the End of the Liberation War
by Anu Muhammad
Translated by Emon Sarwar for AlalODulal.org
1971 was neither the beginning of the war of liberation for the people of Bangladesh nor was it the end of it. 1971, the War of Independence, is a very important episode in the struggle for the liberation of the people of Bangladesh, or for that matter, the people of this region. Continue reading “1971, Neither the Beginning nor the End”
Timothy Khyang: What about my right to celebrate Christmas?
Translated by Trimita Chakma for AlalODual.org
Three years ago from today in 2010, the 47th batch of MBA was sitting for the final exams at UITS’s (University of Information Technology and Sciences) campus in Chittagong. Out of the 45 students two of us were Christians, Alex Leo Kraolie and I. The exam schedule was published one week before the exams and I noticed that there was an exam on 25th December, on Christmas Day. Continue reading “Timothy Khyang: What about my right to celebrate Christmas?”
Bangladesh, the country and its economy, is full of contradictions. To list a couple, while it is one of the world’s fastest growing nations, it has pockets of extreme poverty and malnutrition in urban and rural areas. Another paradox: for the last two decades it has been ruled by two political parties, the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by two head-strong leaders, who never can seem to agree on anything, but ran the gauntlet and survived many potentially dangerous threats, including religious fundamentalism, military takeovers, and internal revolt, to its fledgling democracy. Continue reading “The state of the Bangladesh economy”
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”
by Ikhtisad for AlaloDulal.org
Nazrul died today, newspaper says,
Spelt his name wrong, common mistake:
Unimportant, not an op-ed or commentary,
What does it matter anyway?
Father is well and mother survives,
My abode keeps me warm –
Veritable ivory tower, for far away
It is from the damned land. Continue reading “Thine Kingdom Is Mine”
Election promises, the role of research in economic growth, and the involvement of accomplished Bangladeshis in diaspora Md Saif Islam, Professor, UC Davis, for AlalODulal.org (1) Although the horrific uncertainty over the elections has seemingly overwhelmed the country’s political environment, … Continue reading Role of research, and the involvement of diaspora
“Historically, the so called ‘tribal’, non-Bengali ethnic groups – i.e. those who wish to be known as indigenous peoples (IPs) – of Bangladesh have been at the forefront of various struggles against feudal and colonial forms of subjugation, oppression and exploitation. However, the emergence of the post-colonial nation-states – first Pakistan, and then Bangladesh – did not necessarily lead to the emancipation of the IPs.”Continue reading “The Quest for Indigenous Identity in Bangladesh, 1993-2013”
“So our old freedom fighter wanders the streets. He will go to the wrong meeting, the wrong gathering, the endless newspaper offices. Suddenly he will fly into a rage at a tea shop and start screaming…The more you travel downwards in our classist society, the more this hate [for war criminals], this obstinate rage. And in the upper echelons, only honey and unity.” Continue reading “Our old freedom fighter wanders the streets”
“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.”
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,
“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”
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”
“Another significant criticism of the project has been the possibility of illegal immigrants being issued aadhaar cards. This criticism is aimed primarily at immigrants from Bangladesh. who have been living and working in many parts of India.” Continue reading “Aadhar: Today India, tomorrow Bangladesh?”
Where is the Antidote to Communalism?
by Faruk Wasif, translated by Prof Farida Khan for AlalODulal
As a Muslim nation, the state of Bangladesh can never grant freedom to Hindus. Neither can it give full citizenship rights to Muslims. The latter can marry four times in the country but they cannot receive what we could call autonomy of citizenship. In this nation, Hindus will be subject to Hindu Inheritance laws but they will be shunned from the benefits of Secular Law. This type of nation does not recognize a citizen of Bangladesh; it only recognizes Hindus and Muslims. Continue reading “Where is the Antidote to Communalism?”
“Bipul did not get his due respect. His contribution to the music arena and also as a ‘shabda shainik’ in the Liberation War is immense. But the new generation hardly knows him. His songs were not been archived in an organised manner and did not get due coverage in the TV and radio media.” – Indramahon Rajbansh Continue reading “Bipul Bhattacharya (1955-2013): Last Song Of Freedom”
Beyond the Politics of Climate Change
by Farhad Mahmud for AlalODulal.org
Now is probably a watershed moment for the climate change debate. A concise summary of a section of IPCC’s long awaited 5th Assessment Report came out end September of this year, asserting that scientists are 95% convinced humans are the ‘dominant cause’ of global warming since the 1950s. The Report makes that claim despite observing an inexplicable ‘pause’ in warming since 1998, which it conspicuously downplays. This has brought the pitched battle between the climate skeptics and the climate evangelists to a new crescendo. Continue reading “Beyond the Politics of Climate Change”
সহি রামপাল নামা – পার্ট ২ | সালফার কথন, আমাদের কার্বন গিল্ট এবং জলীয় দূষণের অভিযোগ বিশ্লেষণ
সালফার ডাই অক্সায়িড এবং নাইট্রোজেন ডাই অক্সাইড কয়লা প্লান্ট এর সব চেয়ে ভয়ঙ্কর দুইটা একটা দূষণ| এদের মধ্যে সব চেয়ে ভয়ঙ্কর হলো সালফার | কারণ, এর পরিমান টাও বেশি | এবং সালফার এর পরিমান এবং নিয়ন্ত্রণ কয়লা ভিত্তিক থার্মাল প্লান্ট এর অত্যনত গুরুত্বপূর্ণ ডিজাইন এবং অপেরাসনাল কন্সিডারেশান| কয়লার মধ্যে যে সালফার টা থাকে, তা অক্সিজেন এর সাথে বিক্রিয়া করে সালফার ডাই অক্সাইড প্রস্তুত করে যা বায়ু মন্ডলে ছড়িয়ে মানুষ এবং অন্যান্য প্রাণীর ফুসফুসে ঢুকে রক্তে ছড়িয়ে পরে| সালফার ডাই অক্সাইড এর আর একটা ভয়ঙ্কর প্রভাব হলো সালফার বায়ু মন্ডলে মিশে এসিড বৃষ্টিপাত ঘটাতে পারে, যার ফলে একটা এলাকার গাছ পালা এবং পরিবেশ এর ভয়ঙ্কর ক্ষতি সাধন হতে পারে|
Joya was far from comfortable. The metallic desk-chair had gaping holes in its plastic upholstery. The sharp edges of these gaps protruded outwards and mischievously jabbed the unfortunate occupier. She had positioned herself on the brink, which had no tears, but the rusty metal frame pressed against her thigh coldly. The cup of tea that rattled against the matching saucer in her shaking hands had long gone cold. The drying bag of PG Tips poised delicately on the lip of the plate muffled the sound in parts.
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”
Lisa had always envisioned Bengal as a land of unsurpassable warmth and beauty. Now that she was here, she thought of all those moments when her mind had done a scene-by-scene play of how she would feel when her flight touched down in Dhaka. Would her first aerial view be of trees lining the airport road, or water bodies caressing the city’s eastern borders? Would the aircraft make a rough landing during a pre-monsoon boishakhi thunderstorm or smooth sail on a crisp, sunny, winter day? Perhaps she would arrive during the monsoons, so that the rain could rejuvenate the tree-lined streets by her grandparents’ house, to their greenest, in anticipation of her arrival.
ঘটনাটা ঘটেছিল ৩রা আগষ্ট ২০১৩ তে। প্রথম জেনেছিলাম ফেসবুকের মাধ্যমে। কি ঘটেছিল? বিডি নিউজ ২৪ এর মাধ্যমে জানা যায়: গত ৩ অগাস্ট মাটিরাঙ্গা উপজেলার তাইন্দং এর ক্রসিং এলাকায় কামাল নামে এক বাঙালিকে অপহরণরের গুজব ছড়িয়ে পড়ার ঘণ্টা-দুয়কেরে মধ্যে একদল বাঙালি সংঘবদ্ধ হয়ে কয়কেটি গ্রামে হামলা চালায়। ওই হামলায় ৩৫টি বাড়ি ও একটি বৌদ্ধ মন্দির পুড়িয়ে দেয়া হয়। ভাংচুর করা হয় আরো প্রায় তিন শতাধিক বাড়ি, লুটপাট করা হয় মূল্যবান সামগ্রী ও টাকা।
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.
রামপাল বিদ্যুত কেন্দ্র স্হাপন নিয়ে পক্ষে বিপক্ষে অনেক আর্গুমেন্ট আসছে | আর্গুমেন্ট গুলো আলাদা আলাদা ভাবে বোঝা যেমন ইম্পর্টান্ট তেমনি এক সাথে হোলিস্টিকলি দেখাটাও জরুরি| কারণ এই ধরনের একটা জটিল ইস্যুতে দেখা যায় যে , আলাদা আলাদা ভাবে আমরা যেই সব উত্তর পাই, এক সাথে দেখতে গেলে অনেক ক্ষেত্রে ভিন্য উত্তর আসে | Continue reading “সহি রামপাল নামা – পর্ব ১”
Jaron and Ashanti walked towards the large wood and glass door at the top of the stairs. Squeezed in by the swell of the crowd from the hall they moved in step. All the while Jaron video-taped the crowd on his smartphone. The music was pumping, the chatter deafening, the party still waltzed on its drunken legs.
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.
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”
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 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””
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”
by Seema Amin for AlalOdulal.org
On September 2nd the Prime Minister visited Ashulia to lay the foundation for the ‘first’ women’s dormitory in the RMG hub. In her speech to the garments workers, she spoke, among other things, about being vigilant of those who conspire against the industry.
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.
Dhaka has been once again deemed by the Economist as the second least livable city in the world. Damascus came in last only because of the civil war that is tearing the city apart. If the civil war were to stop today, Damascus would become imminently more livable than Dhaka tomorrow. Regardless of our opinion of the Economist or its survey, I don’t think any of us would disagree that living conditions of Dhaka are horrid and are in dire need of improvement. In this article I will try to suggest a few ways to improve Dhaka’s livability. However, before doing so let me say a few words in defense of Dhaka and about the dangers of drawing up schemes for improvement. Continue reading “Making Dhaka Livable”
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).
The Step-children of Bangladesh
by Hana Shams Ahmed for AlalODulal.org
Taindong union in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh has recently come under attack by ruthless land-grabbers, the Government-cum-military sponsored settlers in this hilly region of the country. With this attack it has become clear for the nth time that the ‘Peace’ Accord in 1997 signed between the government and the Shanti Bahini (peace force) rebels has failed to bring peace for the Jumma people of the three hill districts. Continue reading “The Step-children of Bangladesh”
Rampal Electricity Plant and our Environmental Consciousness
A.K.M Wahiduzzaman and Mohammed Tawsif Salam for AlaloDulal
Introduction 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”
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”
Acceptance of Lesbian Love: Too Much to Expect? By Syeda Samara Mortada for AlalODulal.org
Seema is a twenty something year old girl who is not sexually attracted to the opposite sex. When she finally understood this “problem” patent in her, she decided to keep it to herself. Since then, Seema has found many like-minded people around her, but whatever happens between them remains behind shut doors. ‘Living in Bangladesh as a lesbian is like living in hell’, says Seema.
When Freedom Emerges through Individuals~ by Rupam Dhrubo
The Self I was born alone, and thus will I die. Am I a Muslim, or a Bengali, or a member of proletariat? These are what others shape me into. But the identity that exists before all these constructs is my own self. The individual me.
Is it Eid today in Matiranga? By Tibra Ali for AlalODulal.org
Is it Eid today? Is it the end of Ramadan?
I remember when I was a child what excitement it was to spot the sliver of new moon at the end of Ramadan that would spell Eid the next day! For a Bangladeshi Muslim child there couldn’t be a more fun day than Eid. Continue reading “Is it Eid today in Matiranga?”
“I feel fortunate to be a member of the Chakma community, a minority group of Bangladesh, but when such attacks occur, I sometimes feel unfortunate to be a Bangladeshi.” Continue reading “Bangladesh is not ours”
The Road to Court 21
by Seema Amin for AlalODulal.org
“O bleating without wool! O Wound!” Lorca Prologue: the incidental messenger
‘Now you say the income of the Adamjis, Dauds and Isphanis have increased by 40 % and the income of the s have decreased by 5 %, then you make an average and you get Per Capita Income and you say Honey and Money and Milk is Flowing in the Economy. What happens to Coliuddin, Soliuddin and Rohiuddin?‘ Continue reading “The Road to Court 21”
Coming to a shimana near you
by Udayan Chattopadhyay for AlalODulal.org
Every night, India and Pakistan engage in a ridiculous border ceremony at Wagah, on the outskirts of Amritsar, where respective national armies engage in a choreographed display of synchronized aggression, cheered on by their compatriots. Continue reading “Coming to a shimana near you”
Very few governments, businesses or politicians have accepted their failures without making excuses or even lame excuses. But no Bangladeshi government has ever accepted its failing; Continue reading “Added anxiety to export”
“[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.” Continue reading “Nadine Murshid: Beauty, Contest and Context”
“Cutting hills, building brick kilns or shrimp hatcheries by destroying agricultural land, and high rises by filling in water bodies, setting up business by filling up rivers, making furniture at the cost of forests and hills as well as the commodification of education and medical services, and the price hike of electricity and gas can all point to an increase in the growth of the GDP.” – Anu Muhammad
This 2009 article revisits the figure of the ‘third world sweatshop worker’, long iconic of the excesses of the global expansion of flexible accumulation in late twentieth-century capitalism. I am interested in how feminist activists concerned with the uneven impact of neo-liberal policies can engage in progressive political interventions without participating in the ‘culture of global moralism’ that continues to surround conventional representations of third world workers. Continue reading “Dina Siddiqi: Do Bangladeshi factory workers need saving? Sisterhood in the post-sweatshop era”
“’Second Home’: The Sahibs of Begam Para and the Turtles that Sell the Country” by Faruk Wasif for Prothom Alo, translated for AlalODulal.org by Nusrat Chowdhury [please do not reproduce w/o permission]
Did “NGOization” deradicalize the women’s movement? by Seuty Sabur for AlalODulal.org [please do not reprint without permission]
I thought of writing this essay on 11thMay itself, after attending the Women’s Grand Rally. But we had to finish cataloging the missing persons’ photos from the Rana Plaza collapse, and tabulate their data for the archives. We, meaning the Chobbishe April (April 24) collective – activist anthropologists, sociologist, journalists and photographers – had to continue to count the bodies. Continue reading “Seuty Sabur: Did “NGOization” deradicalize the women’s movement?”
Savar Tragedy: We Need a Fundamental Shift in Mind-set by Pavel Hoq for AlalODulal.org
The Savar building collapse last month was a catastrophic event, but it was not the first of such tragedies for us and probably won’t be the last either. Before the nation could recover from the Tazreen Fashion fire incident a few months ago in November 2012, the Rana Plaza collapse shook the country again. And by the time this piece was written, there were already more such news in the media including a Sea-Truck sinking with 100 on board on May 5th, leaving 8 dead and a garments factory fire in Mirpur, Dhaka on May 8th that killed 8 more people. Continue reading “Pavel Hoq: We Need a Fundamental Shift in Mind-set”
Bangladeshi garments should not play poverty to outsiders
by Farhad Mahmud
A colleague said: “If we force the issue (double the minimum wage) and it is firmly imposed, there is a danger that costs will increase too rapidly and business will be lost. The strategy is to shame the foreign buyers to reduce their profits (by paying a higher price for the products to support higher wages). Will it work?”
It’s often reported that the recession turned Americans into frugal shoppers. Well, here’s a bargain: spending about ten cents more on a piece of clothing produced in Bangladesh could prevent disasters like the horrific collapse, last month, of the Rana Plaza factory, which killed over a thousand people, the deadliest accident in history of the garment industry. Continue reading “Michael Guerriero: Ten Cents”
Canada’s Tristan Style has now withdrawn the anti-Bangladesh ad and posted an apology on their public Facebook page. Below is the apology they posted and the comments on the public Facebook page. Please add your comments as well.
Tristan: We recently posted a sign in one of our stores and want to apologize for the miscommunication of our message, which was removed the minute we realized the idea behind it may have been misinterpreted by some. The true intent of our message was to promote awareness of the importance of ethical manufacturing practices, something we remain committed to. Our thoughts are with the families suffering for their losses in Bangladesh. Continue reading “Canada’s Tristan Style withdraws anti-Bangladesh ad after protests”
[W]hen you consider that these reforms happened in a country with a shaky government, recovering from tremendous civil strife, and building a garment industry from scratch, their success suggests that change is possible. As Locke succinctly put it, “If Cambodia can do it, why can’t Bangladesh?”Continue reading “James Surowiecki: After Rana Plaza”
Her husband, Shomlal Das quietly preparing for her cremation. They forgot to bring sindhoor. She is a married dead. She must wear sindhoor, someone from the small crowd whispered. They opened the bodybag. Part of her face was smashed, there was barely any hairline. Shomlal sprinkled sindhoor on her face... He pauses and sighs, “the government officer just treat every dead as muslim.” Continue reading “Pramila Das: Even when they mourn, they mourn from the margin”