“How do we characterize or categorize the people of Shahbag? Who are the people of Shahbag? … What is the class character of this group, what excites or drives this group? Who they were during different periods of our history- how they were represented during different historical milestone of Bangladesh.”
March 7, 2013
February 24, 2013
While describing Shahbag Square movement, frequent references are being made to Tahrir Square, the site of recent anti -autocratic movement in Egypt. However, although there are more similarities, Shahbag has not yet been discussed in reference to the famous Tiananmen Square movement of 1989 in China. The reason of missing Tiananmen reference may be two pronged. One, in ultra-short memory span of the minds of the analysts of Shahbag Square movement, an event of 1989 is not much distinct now. (more…)
February 14, 2013
1983. February 14. Shahbag moar, Dhaka.
Students of Dhaka University gathered for a large scale protest. Their demands were 1. Postpone anti people education policy, 2. Free all jailed students and 3. Restore democracy.
Police opened indiscriminate fire at the protesters. Five students – Zafar, Dipali Saha, Jainal, Mozammel and Ayub – were killed instantly in police firing.
December 5, 2012
December 5 — does it sound any significant? Is it a special day? Ask 10,000 people in the streets of Dhaka — I bet you will hardly find one who will be able to recall any event to make December 5 special in the history of Bangladesh. Bangladesh has a very vibrant TV channel culture– all owned by private businesses. Those TV’s will make a mountain out of a molehill on every single significant and insignificant occasion. Yet they will not speak a line to remind the country of an event that took place on December 5.
September 15, 2012
Awami League political stalwart Tofael Ahmed and center left political icon Rashed Khan Menon declined a recent offer to be ministers for the last year of Awami League Government. Although some media reporting were laced with a strong element of surprise, there in fact should not be any surprise in this decision.
For Tofael and Menon, the decision was very easy. Although they risked alienating the all powerful elected dictator of the country — Sheikh Hasina and they made their re-election process a tad difficult — they earned much more long term dividends with this decision. First,they know very clearly that being a minister does not guarantee or even facilitate re-election if a fair election is allowed to happen under an anti-incumbency wave.
And then, As the current trend goes, i.e. it is very stylish to curse two major political party leaders and demand a 3rd political ( or even non political force) — Tofael and Menon just earned bumper scores in their resume to be considered for a any future 3rd ( political or non political) force front leader job. And in a phenomenon of reciprocity, while Tofael- Menon gain 3rd force credibility, 3rd force also gains traction with more credible 3rd force leadership contenders.
June 6, 2012
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I guess Humayn Ahmed’s upcoming novel “deyal” is going to win the distinction of second most talked about ‘book-in-writing’. ( I give it second place because for hype about a ‘not-yet-written’ novel, the top place all time in the history Bangla literature will unsurpassably remain with Tahmima Anam and her novel ‘A Golden Age’, ever). Dozen of articles and op-eds have already been published in several Bangladeshi outlets ( but nothing compared to New York Times, Guadian, NPR reviews and dozens of TV interviews of Tahmima Anam gave including BBC radio even before her first ever novel was published). Even this obscure blogger tried to write an amateurish piece in BDNews 24.com opinion page. The full piece is reproduced for AlalODulal readers across the fold.
But on the side of the fold let’s share with you one reader’s comment about the piece. The reader commented,
Humayun Ahmed has received so much help, financial assistance, and favors from the current government that he probably feels obligated to pay off some his debt, which is fine except he shouldn’t try to call his novel a piece of literature. He should, if he is honest, put the testimonial at the beginning of his novel that it is his way of paying off his debt to this government.
As the reader rightfully questions the literature value of this upcoming novel and our court and the government remains very concerned about the historical value, this blogger sees the novel as the litmus test for intellectual honesty of author-film maker Humayun Ahmed.
Complete piece is over the fold.