Afsan Chowdhury

10th Srabon, Shohagpur massacre: Why we must remember

July 25, 2015
10th Srabon, Shohagpur massacre: Why we must remember

When I first visited Shohagpur 15 years ago, few knew its name. I stayed the night in a windowless room in Sherpur. I felt I had a date with history. It had become known due to the efforts of Farida Akhter of UBINIG who had organised the first congregation of women freedom fighters. She had told me that the 15 volumes of documents we had worked on for almost 8 years had neglected the role of women. Read more »

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Zeenat Khan

Is all happiness lost to Shukhi?

July 24, 2015
Is all happiness lost to Shukhi?

How many Shukhis have to endure violence, severe torture and sometimes death when demands for more dowries not being met in Bangladesh? How many monstrous husbands and in-laws will abuse and kill innocent young women because their poor parents cannot pay the dowry amount to the husbands or to their families? This is happening all too often across Bangladesh — from Jessore to Dhaka’s outskirts to mention a few cases.

It is well documented that since the independence of Bangladesh, the dowry problem has become more acute. Despite the passing of laws dowry related violence has increased. There are many factors that are conducive to dowry linked violence. Read more »

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Syed Badrul Ahsan

The glory and the agony

July 22, 2015
The glory and the agony

Sometime at the end of July 1975, Tajuddin Ahmad came by ominous news. Elements in the army were busy conspiring to remove the government of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Worse, they planned to assassinate the Father of the Nation. Tajuddin, at that point outside government, having resigned in October of the previous year, rushed to Bangabandhu’s home at 32 Dhanmondi. He walked part of the way, then took a rickshaw. When he reached Bangabandhu’s residence, he found the President (which Bangabandhu was at the time) planning to go to bed. Surprised to see Tajuddin, he asked him if anything was wrong. Tajuddin told him. Bangabandhu, as was his wont, laughed it off and asked his estranged colleague not to worry. A deeply depressed Tajuddin Ahmad went back home. It was late in the night. Read more »

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Rupak Bhattacharjee

Mojaheed to walk the gallows for the killing of intellectuals in ‘71

July 21, 2015
Mojaheed to walk the gallows for the killing of intellectuals in ‘71

The ongoing war crimes trials have occupied considerable space of Bangladesh’s political discourse for obvious reasons. Unlike other South Asian nations, Bangladesh was born through a bloody Liberation War fought over a period of nine months. In 1971, South Asia witnessed the worst human suffering and state-sponsored violence in the post-colonial era. Read more »

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Zeenat Khan

Russia in a turbulent time

July 20, 2015
Russia in a turbulent time

The Egyptian born debonair actor Omar Sharif’s passing on July 10th marks the end of an era. After hearing the sad news, I immediately sent a text to my best friend Maryam (a diehard fan of Omar Sharif). She instantaneously texted me back. Her message read: ‘I really thank God for giving us novels like Dr. Zhivago that makes this life’s journey bearable, if not meaningful.’ No one else could play Yuri the way Omar Sharif did. For a lot of us, Omar Sharif and Dr. Zhivago have become synonymous. Read more »

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Saeed Naqvi

Greece’s Tsipras and Tripura’s Manik Sarkar

July 19, 2015
Greece’s Tsipras and Tripura’s Manik Sarkar

Upon my return from a driving trip around Europe, the front page anchor of the Indian Express caught my eye. It showed Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a warm handshake with the Communist Chief Minister of Tripura, Manik Sarkar, at the inauguration of an Internet Gateway in Agartala.

Even more striking was the treatment the newspaper gave to the headline which encapsulated raw facts: Tripura has an astounding record in the incidence of crime, civilians killed, security personnel killed, kidnappings, encounters, rebels killed. The figure on every count is ZERO. Read more »

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Afsan Chowdhury

Eid and the moon are both part of the festival

July 17, 2015
Eid and the moon are both part of the festival

Eid and the moon are both part of the festival. In a way one births the other. And like all births and deliveries, there can be occasional complications. Did it happen this time?

I remember an Eid in 1962 when we went to bed thinking there would be another Iftar the next day to find that it was Eid in the morning. Our mother woke us up saying, “Eid is here. Get ready for prayers. Put on your new dresses …”

She had to quickly prepare the dishes, send us off to the mosque with dad, and return to cooking the feast. A great happiness was to watch mother in a new sari and we would feel happy, though we never realised how much hard work she had to put in to make our Eid happy. We just had fun. Read more »

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Subir Bhaumik

Cricket wins are great, but …

July 16, 2015
Cricket wins are great, but …

Mashrafe Mortaza’s Tigers in red-and-green have given Bangladesh much to celebrate this summer of 2015. Back-to-back ODI series wins against Pakistan, India, and South Africa are like a dream script of sporting success that will make any new cricket-playing nation proud. Reaching the World Cup quarterfinals before that, also proved the Tigers are not exactly foxes abroad — they fight like Tigers wherever they play, and go down fighting if not securing a win. After 2015, no cricketing nation will take Bangladesh lightly. Read more »

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Kayes Ahmed

No tears for thousands of other Rajans

July 15, 2015
No tears for thousands of other Rajans

#OPINION: Syed Ashraf falls, as Tajuddin Ahmad fell
“One of the few decent men in politics today leaves government under a cloud that ought not to be there.” https://shar.es/1sHdWz

Social media is in a state of froth about the beating to death of 10 year old Rajan at the hands of callous murderers. The Minister is huffing and puffing and promising swift and certain justice. However, no one is spending a New York minute to ask, how is this possible? How come ordinary people, like the much-maligned suspects, can so casually torture someone to death in broad daylight? What kind of society permits that? There is absolutely no introspection, but just huffing and puffing. Read more »

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