Afsan Chowdhury

The minority report

November 21, 2010
The minority report

Seven years after 11 members of a Hindu family were murdered in Chittagong; the family still awaits a trial. In a country where the legal system is disabled and politics influences the verdicts, few can have confidence in the system to deliver. If you are a Hindu, the chances of getting redress are almost nil. We may not want to face it but we have effectively produced an anti-minority state, not just through omissions but commissions as well. Read more »

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Syeed Ahamed

Lie u ten ant

November 20, 2010
Lie u ten ant

On 13 November 2010, the opposition leader Khaleda Zia accused the government of ‘forcefully and disgracefully evicting her’ from her cantonment residence. Ironically the same day, some Awami League leaders thanked her for ‘upholding the rule of law’ by vacating the house ‘willingly’.

In the press briefing, the lamenting opposition leader said, “I feel harassed, humiliated and ashamed of the way I was thrown out of my home”. Read more »

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Ramya Sarma

The great divide

November 19, 2010
The great divide

Once upon a very long time ago God created man and, of course, woman. One school of thought maintains that woman — let’s call her Eve, since that would be more convenient and comprehensible — was formed from a bone from the ribcage of the man — Adam, again for more convenience. A Greek myth says that Pandora, the first woman, was a gift given to men by Zeus to punish them for having received fire, stolen from Prometheus. Zeus — oh, wise man! — commanded the creation of the first woman, a ‘beautiful evil’, destined to give birth to descendants who would torment the race of men. Read more »

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Afsan Chowdhury

How was Churchill different from Hitler?

November 16, 2010
How was Churchill different from Hitler?

“Churchill’s Secret War”, by Madhusree Mukherjee, a physics scholar and author is an expose which shows how Churchill in particular and the British war cabinet in general took decisions that led to deliberate starving to death of many millions in India particularly Bengal. It was all done in the name of serving freedom and fighting Nazism. It was done in the best interest of the British people. Read more »

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Frank Domenico Cipriani

The character of a nation

November 15, 2010
The character of a nation

As I grow more fascinated with Bangladesh, I want to learn as much as I can about the character of you all, my dear readers. I recently discovered that the sport of hadudu is the national sport of Bangladesh. I watched it played online, and I tried it with my children here at home. Who knows? If the sport doesn’t kill me, it might just cure my asthma. Read more »

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Hasan Reza

Foregrounding Rupganj: the civil-military relationship

November 12, 2010
Foregrounding Rupganj: the civil-military relationship

Events in Rupganj where the public and some members of the armed forces clashed are very troubling and unfortunate. What triggered this series of violent events is still murky. The media reported that the escalated tension resulted in a full-scale confrontation when the so-called “housing project for army officers” forced people to sell their land at prices lower than the market value. When the frustrated land owners protested they were allegedly subdued by local high-ups and the law enforcing authorities. Loss of life also occurred in the process. Read more »

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MK Aaref

All roads lead to Dhaka!

November 11, 2010
All roads lead to Dhaka!

Once all roads led to Rome in that mighty empire of the same name. Now that empire has shrunk, and the roads have devolved in other destinations. Even in those mighty days of the empire, only the highly ambitious made the trek to that mighty city. Consisting of provinces with its own regional bureaucracy, the common citizens did not have to traverse those long roads to Rome, nor did the royal fortunes of the ruling Caesars affect the commoners. Life, compared to what has evolved today, was simple. Read more »

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Farooque Chowdhury

A piglet went to market

November 14, 2010
A piglet went to market

A piglet’s journey to market in October, 2010 helped expose the other face of microfinance that promised to make poverty archaic.

A bdnews24.com/Reuters news report, datelined Vladivostok, Oct. 15, said: The seven-month old piglet’s journey to holy market was to pay off a woman’s micro debt of $432 to a bank in Russia, part of former Soviet Union. The ignorant piglet was seized by powerful officers from the unfortunate woman as she failed to pay off her debt within 10 days. Read more »

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Frank Domenico Cipriani

Of prawns and profits: why our president won’t be visiting you guys…

November 8, 2010
Of prawns and profits: why our president won’t be visiting you guys…

I will be writing regularly, speaking to you from halfway around the world, here in New Jersey. I had hoped to discover your culture virtually and then reflect my observations back to you from a middle-class American point of view. But our President Obama is visiting your next door neighbours on the heels of a historic political defeat, and I feel obliged to explain why he chose not to visit Bangladesh. Read more »

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