• Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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The polit(r)ics of silence

LET us start by describing two pertinent issues. First, a politically cognisant teacher frequently asks a question to a new group of students to know how many of them would like to be politically conscious beings. Most often the all pervading silence conveys a big 'NO' to politics. The second issue, couple of days ago we witnessed a tragic launch accident. Even the 'submerged mass coffin', Pinak-6, could not be traced out. Sadly, people became sympathetically silent with no...


Shameful political rhetoric: When will it end?

TO say that one is aghast at the language used by politicians is an understatement particularly when they come from an aspirant to high position in the country's politics. Such remarks are suggestive of a person possessing a puerile substance between the ears. Tirades against one whose role in our politics and the birth of the country is beyond question, and that which has earned him the honorific of Bangabandhu and Father of the Nation, is not only unwarranted...


Politics or performance art?

Politics or performance art?

WITHIN the first 200 feet of the Banani Graveyard, there were at least 50 posters of a “valiant freedom fighter,” “a haji” and the ruling party's local “ex general secretary” of that particular thana, expressing his “deepest respects” to Bangabandhu through his deftly photoshopped smiling mug shot which could have passed off as...

Plot to keep Zia family from politics

BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday said implication of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, her son Tarique Rahman and the cabinet of BNP led four-party alliance government in the August 21 grenade attack case is a conspiracy aimed at keeping the party and its allies away from politics and elections. “We strongly condemned the attack from the very beginning and demanded punishment for the real culprits. But what has the government done? It has changed the investigation...


Of politics and retirement

SOME political commentators are of the considered view that the inability of the major opposition to produce the fire and brimstone to effectively dislodge the government lay in the near geriatric composition of their top leadership. Such a view, though unpalatable, cannot perhaps be summarily brushed aside because our ground reality shows that at different tiers of the political leadership succession becomes possible only after death or disability. In fact, in our politics, nobody retires voluntarily. Dwelling on the apparently...


Relics of the past

IMAGINE renowned poet Rabindra Nath Tagore seeking admission to the Calcutta Club, a preserve of the British, and getting rejected. Faiz Ahmad Faiz, the legendary Urdu poet, receiving a similar treatment at Lahore's Punjab Club in Pakistan and Nazar-ul Islam at the Dhaka Club. In all these cases, the public outrage would have been difficult to assuage. The white rulers saw to it that the leading clubs in a country where they had ruled remained an exclusive place for them...


Living in the Twilight Zone

Living in the Twilight Zone

BANGLADESH lives in the Twilight Zone, which means it's in an unclear or confusing situation. It has a government but the people aren't convinced the governance is in their best interest. It has a democracy in the same manner cosmetic jewelry substitute gold and diamond. It has an economy which is basically an...


India's couch football syndrome

READERS with an unpolluted, refined memory will recall a news story put out by the dregs of western media some months ago saying that the hallowed Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader of the Blessed Earth of North Korea, had issued a democratic order to all patriotic youth to get a haircut in his style. This Kimcut is a sort of roundhead operation in which everything hirsute below eartop level at the minimum is sheared off. The story represented gross under...


Shameem Osman and his dog-whistle politics

SHAMEEM Osman, the rowdy lawmaker from Narayanganj, may not be familiar with the above term but that's exactly what he did on June 26 when he compared journalists with dogs and called their employers thieves. Dog-whistle politics is a type of political messaging that employs coded language, appearing to mean one thing to the general population but has an additional, different or more specific resonance for a targeted subgroup. The term is derived from an analogy to dog whistles,...

I don't think many Bangladeshis go to India, they are doing quite well here

I don't think many Bangladeshis go to India, they are doing quite well here

Khaleda Zia, former Bangladesh PM and Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, met India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj last week in Dhaka. In an exclusive interview at her office Sunday, she spoke of her expectations of the Narendra Modi government, her thoughts on the previous UPA government, and politics in Bangladesh. How was your meeting...

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