Category Archives: News and Events

They are just too powerful – but are they? (In memory of all those we lost in road accidents)

Mridul Chowdhury

Published in BDnews24 on 17 August 2011.

This piece calls to bring into account the vested interests that defend the status quo in our transport sector.

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Losing the plot with Meherjaan

Asif Saleh.

Published in BDnews24 on 30 January 2010.

This piece calls for a nuanced debate, and not, censorship about the controversial film Meherjaan.

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Bollywood Badshah and Bangladeshi Loyalists: 39 Years of Freedom and Schizophrenia

Shahana Siddiqui.

Published in the Forum on 3 January 2011.

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Pride and (extreme) prejudice

Naeem Mohaiemen.

Published in the Daily Star on 15 December 2010.

This piece dissects the recent controversy affecting Dr Yunus.

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Picking Through the Wreckage

Jyoti Rahman

Published in the Daily Star Forum, April 2009.

This piece surveys the Pilkhana aftermath.

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Chronicle of Tragedy and the Pendulum of Sentiment

Syeed Ahamed

Published in the Daily Star Forum, April 2009.

This piece puts together the definitive Pilkhana time-line based on eye-witness accounts.

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Justice with due process

Asif Saleh and Jalal Alamgir

Published in the Daily Star on 9 Mar 2009.

NEVER did we think that we would be haunted with mass graves in independent Bangladesh. Never did we think that we would have to unearth mutilated, bayonet-torn dead bodies. And yet, today, we are assaulted once again by mass graves and the cold-blooded murder of our army officers, their families, and civilians.

We mourn our loss. We offer prayers in solidarity with the families and their loved ones. And in no uncertain terms, we want the killers responsible to be brought to justice.

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I want to believe

Jyoti Rahman

Published in the Daily Star on 8 Mar 2009.

On that day, no soul shall be wronged; and you shall not be rewarded aught but that which you did. (The Quran, 36: 54).

Surah Yasin is usually recited in Muslim households when someone passes away. The above-quoted ayaat from the surah has been in my mind lately. I want to believe those words, not just in the promised day of reckoning, but here and now, in this People’s Republic of ours.

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Two Choices,Two Worlds

Mridul Chowdhury

Published in the Forum (September 2008 )

American elections have always fascinated me — somewhat analogous to the suspense and the excitement of seeing an Olympic race, with the added benefit of following it for several months and then watching the finale over a bowl of pop-corn or chanachur, depending on whether I am over there or at home.

The fact that I am not an American and cannot vote gives me more reason to take only an “academic” interest in US’s elections, with the implicit notion that it is not going to make too much of a difference as to who wins or loses — they are all beholden to the same interest groups anyway.

This time, however, my personal experience in following the race has been strikingly different — I feel that the stakes for the world may be much higher than any of us may imagine. The results of the US’s elections this year will have far-reaching consequences on peace and stability across the globe, and Bangladesh will inevitably be affected as well. Continue reading

Not the people’s princess

Published in the Daily Star (14 mar 2008)

Death by assassination confers a saintly halo, especially on this subcontinent with a craving for dynasties, heroes, fathers and kings. Consider the hosannas for Benazir Bhutto in, of all places, the Bangla media. And now will that halo transfer to Zardari as the new emperor-king of the family business known as PPP.

The western Benazir fetish is comprehensible because she wore comforting markers (pitch-perfect English, British governess, convent schooling, Harvard/Oxford degree). A “kleptocrat in Hermes scarves,” but she was still “one of us.” But should we on this side of the border know the Bhutto legacy a little better? Continue reading