December is the cruellest month

December 16, 2012
Afsan Chowdhury
December is the cruellest month

December has become our cruellest month as we lurch towards an absurd collective destiny. What the managers of Bangladesh have created is both tragic and pathetic as the role of political parties seems to be as much about holding elections as it is about sheltering criminals.
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Posted in 1971, Law and Justice | 13 Comments »

Jamaat-e-Islami: Old crimes, new war

December 5, 2012
Afsan Chowdhury
Jamaat-e-Islami: Old crimes, new war

Jamaat-e-Islami’s hartal call has offended many, some of them are offended just because it’s Jamaat-e-Islami. This is understandable as this is the party that stood against Bangladesh at birth and played a role against its coming into being.
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Posted in Politics, War Crimes Trial | 26 Comments »

Nishchintapur fire: When the state and the people choose to be impotent

November 26, 2012
Afsan Chowdhury
Nishchintapur fire: When the state and the people choose to be impotent

One is never sure how many workers die or is killed in industrial accidents like the one that has happened in Nishchintapur, Savar.
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Posted in RMG, Uncategorized | 23 Comments »

Wasfia and two other women

November 13, 2012
Afsan Chowdhury
Wasfia and two other women

As Wasfia Nazreen formally declared her intent to climb all the seven mountains of the world, we all cheered. To many she represents that precious gift called hope.
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Posted in Women's Rights | 15 Comments »

Why Ramu Muslims and Rakhine Buddhists are the same

November 6, 2012
Afsan Chowdhury
Why Ramu Muslims and Rakhine Buddhists are the same

The attack on Ramu has shamed us and many have protested interrogating the nature of the state that we have produced. Bangladesh is, simply put, not a minority friendly country at any level.
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Posted in Communal Discord | 8 Comments »

Malala shooting: Does the BBC share the blame too?

October 17, 2012
Afsan Chowdhury
Malala shooting: Does the BBC share the blame too?

Malala, a 14-year-old Pakistani girl, an activist who was writing a blog on her life and education in frontier Pakistan was shot in her head by the Taliban.
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Posted in Religious Extremism, Women's Rights | 18 Comments »

Ramu: When shame is not enough

October 1, 2012
Afsan Chowdhury
Ramu: When shame is not enough

The Ramu attack is a good reminder that Bangladesh doesn’t have the minimum commitment to protect the minorities. It was something far more than shameful as several hundred mullahs
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Posted in Communal Discord, Religious Extremism | 35 Comments »

7 lessons learnt from the Padma bridge affair

September 23, 2012
Afsan Chowdhury
7 lessons learnt from the Padma bridge affair

Now that the Padma bridge has returned, one also hopes that the lessons will be learnt as well. We were not sure what led to the World Bank rethink but it did and we are all happy.
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Posted in Corruption, Democracy | 25 Comments »

Entries don’t matter; exits do as the cabinet goes heftier

September 19, 2012
Afsan Chowdhury
Entries don’t matter; exits do as the cabinet goes heftier

Salvaging measures are on by the Awami League but the actions aren’t finding too many convinced buyers. Reshuffling the cabinet as a substitute for governance reforms has rarely if ever worked.
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Posted in Politics | 13 Comments »

The year of the thieves, the moment of despair

September 11, 2012
Afsan Chowdhury
The year of the thieves, the moment of despair

My friend the journalist/Editor, who is very well known for his many exploits, probably had it right when he said that, “corruption doesn’t matter in Bangladesh. As long as things can be done, it will be acceptable.
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Posted in Corruption | 24 Comments »

Why this hulla gulla about Yunus again?

August 30, 2012
Afsan Chowdhury
Why this <em>hulla gulla</em> about Yunus again?

The Yunus affair is back on the table once more with venom. Given that Yunus is no longer the MD of Grameen Bank this seems like a touch of overdoing unless there are other matters involved.
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Posted in Grameen Bank | 18 Comments »

Tareque and Mishuk: A year after

August 13, 2012
Afsan Chowdhury
Tareque and Mishuk: A year after

On this day a year ago, two of our dearest friends were killed in a road accident which also left three others badly injured. The grief that gripped us and the mourning that followed were sad descriptions of both our helplessness and agony.
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Posted in Road Safety | 22 Comments »

In Srabon I remember the Shohagpur massacre of 1971

July 30, 2012
Afsan Chowdhury
In Srabon I remember the Shohagpur massacre of 1971

It was 10th of Srabon 1971. “I came out and saw the army. They wanted to go inside. I put my hands up like this and said there was no one inside. They flung me away into the yard and dragged my husband and son outside. They shot them both right there, there.”
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Posted in 1971 | 13 Comments »

Humayun Ahmed: When the author and the reader became one

July 23, 2012
Afsan Chowdhury
Humayun Ahmed: When the author and the reader became one

Humayun Ahmed’s body belonged to the writer but the soul belonged to us. The man who for nearly four decades had painted with words the middle-class sensibilities of an entire people has passed away.
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Posted in Literature | 55 Comments »

The autobiography of an unknown Bangladeshi

July 15, 2012
Afsan Chowdhury
The autobiography of an unknown Bangladeshi

This is an amazing book because although it is the tale of the most successful Bengali politician of all times, it is one of the simplest stories told. The lack of pretension and straightforwardness of the narrative is humbling.
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Posted in History, Literature, Politics | 8 Comments »

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