India rids itself of the Reds influence, but can Mamata deliver?

May 14, 2011
Afsan Chowdhury
India rids itself of the Reds influence, but can Mamata deliver?

The Reds are out and the Green is in, in West Bengal. The Communist Party of India (M) — bastion for nearly 40 years have gone with a whimper. What began with Jyoti Basu, has finally ended with Buddhadeb Bhattachajee who has conceded defeat to Mamata Banerjee of Trinamool Congress — a thorn in...
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Posted in Politics | 15 Comments »

Osama is dead, but is the world safer?

May 2, 2011
Afsan Chowdhury
Osama is dead, but is the world safer?

Thirteen years after declaring war on America, Osama bin Laden is dead at American hands. In an operation run by American forces deep in Pakistan and next to its Military Academy, Osama died resisting. His son and few other relatives also died in the operation. Much of the world will heave a sigh...
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Posted in International | 11 Comments »

Martial law or civil law, share market thieves are above all laws

April 24, 2011
Afsan Chowdhury
Martial law or civil law, share market thieves are above all laws

How long did it take to cast aside the much awaited share market probe report and focus all attention on whether its author Ibrahim Khaled wanted martial law and why? It was a stroke of luck or brilliance on the part of the scammers to turn the tables and let everyone argue about something...
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Posted in Economy | 9 Comments »

Cricket and beyond: are we pro-Pakistani or anti-Indian?

April 15, 2011
Afsan Chowdhury
Cricket and beyond: are we pro-Pakistani or anti-Indian?

Is cheering for a cricket team a good test of the national psyche? Does the team we support indicate where our identity lies? Is that why we support Pakistan when they play, and not India? * * * During the recent World Cup, our cheering for Pakistan has caused many to wonder. After all, it’s the...
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Posted in Politics, Sport | 55 Comments »

Why does AL-BNP resemble Fakhruddin-Moeen combo?

April 4, 2011
Afsan Chowdhury
Why does AL-BNP resemble Fakhruddin-Moeen combo?

Fakhruddin-Moeen (F-M) bashing appears to be a favourite pastime of some who conveniently forget that at least for once the politicians had created such a situation that military intervention was impossible to avoid. BNP handled the caretaker government situation so bad that it ended up with Prof. Iajuddin as the president and the PM,...
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Posted in Politics | 20 Comments »

Is reconciliation with Pakistan a realistic goal?

March 26, 2011
Afsan Chowdhury
Is reconciliation with Pakistan a realistic goal?

I was recently in a conversation with Soraya Khan, the author of the Pakistani novel “Noor” which among other things describes Pakistani atrocities in 1971 in graphic details based on real life conversations with soldiers involved. It makes no excuses for the perpetrators but doesn’t demonise them and makes the conflict between a human...
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Posted in Politics | 7 Comments »

Here’s to the roaring Tigers!

March 12, 2011
Afsan Chowdhury
Here’s to the roaring Tigers!

Bhaira, please jita ja .. Shall I ever live to see such a day as the one we saw today when Bangladesh beat England! When the Tigers began things had been going well and people were expectant but nervous as usual. Everyone noticed that. The BBC live commentator said it all, ‘‘They have seen this...
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Posted in Sport | 9 Comments »

Yunus departs as the Empire strikes back

March 3, 2011
Afsan Chowdhury
Yunus departs as the Empire strikes back

It is over for Prof. Yunus at Grameen. Bangladesh Bank has done the papers and his removal is done too. He has been ousted by the government supported by all those who have been baying for his blood for years. This victory will be considered one against Yunus, Grameen Bank and microcredit to boot.
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Posted in Economy | 51 Comments »

Middle East burns

February 24, 2011
Afsan Chowdhury
Middle East burns

Middle East is in turmoil as repressive regimes finally face public accountability in the form of massive public protests. Some of these corrupt governments are also violently fighting back as in Libya and Bahrain. It is a shock to see that the entire Middle East, heart of the so-called “Muslim Ummah’’ is made up...
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Posted in Economy, International | 7 Comments »

Shakib, Team Bangladesh!

February 17, 2011
Afsan Chowdhury
Shakib, Team Bangladesh!

Let us say what we really want to say — we want Shakib Al Hasan as our prime minister, maybe even as the Chief Justice and not to mention the Chief Collector of Customs too. Let’s face it, we have no record of our PMs delivering much but here is one man who has...
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Posted in Sport | 8 Comments »

Meherjaan controversy: It’s not about the film, but about us and our history

February 6, 2011
Afsan Chowdhury
Meherjaan controversy: It’s not about the film, but about us and our history

The film ‘Meherjaan’ depicting a Bangladeshi woman’s 1971 experiences including a relationship with a Pakistani Baloch soldier has caused great controversy. Reading the reactions, it becomes obvious that it’s not about the film good or bad, but about us and our collective history, sometimes read as facts and sometimes as myths. This post is not...
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Posted in Politics | 23 Comments »

Shiraj Shikder, Mujib, Taher, Zia: Bangladesh’s blood parade truth still unknown

January 23, 2011
Afsan Chowdhury
Shiraj Shikder, Mujib, Taher, Zia: Bangladesh’s blood parade truth still unknown

The intervention of the court to find out what really transpired that led to the hanging of Col. Taher is welcomed. It is significant not just because Taher was a man of history with many followers and admirers but also because his death is still shrouded in mystery.
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Posted in Politics | 15 Comments »

DGFI and US embassy push for a madrasa university: concern about incompetence

January 17, 2011
Afsan Chowdhury
DGFI and US embassy push for a madrasa university: concern about incompetence

News has recently appeared that DGFI or Bangladesh’s military intelligence agency has recommended that a Qaumi University be set up.
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Posted in Development | 8 Comments »

Goodbye, mother

January 1, 2011
Afsan Chowdhury
Goodbye, mother

My mother passed away on November 29, this year. She went strong and in her full senses, proud and even haughty till the very end. Proud that she lived by herself in the rented apartment she shared with her husband who passed away in 2007. I am glad she went at her age, 86...
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Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments »

Grameen Bank: why people are critical and what it tells about us

December 21, 2010
Afsan Chowdhury
Grameen Bank: why people are critical and what it tells about us

The recent furore about Grameen Bank, Yunus and microcredit may not leave us knowing more about the topics but we certainly can know more about ourselves through our reactions. The debate is not restricted to facts and figures but comments and opinions often exposing our prejudices and anxieties.
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Posted in Development, Economy | 14 Comments »

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