• Friday, August 22, 2014

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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...

Rewards for crime and our politics

THOSE of us who have grown up with the maxim that crime does not pay have to live with a new paradigm that crime does pay and pays handsomely in riches and political power. A time comes when old order and values are washed away by new realities and people who create these realities, and we have to get accustomed to these however repugnant they are. This is not the statement of a cynic, but of any realist who...


Uncanny peace, eerie prospect

IF one were to believe in the forecast of some Awami League leaders then there might not be any existence of the BNP after Eid. One wonders why Eid has been chosen as the datum point, first by the BNP and then by the AL, for some political deluge to submerge us. Well the BNP has threatened to start political agitation including hartal, after a month of Siam and Qiam, after having cleansed both the soul and the body. But...

Easy To Be Rich In N'ganj

Politics, crime go hand in hand

Growing industrialisation and business opportunities came to Narayanganj both as a blessing and a curse. As it changed the lot of many in the port town, it also paved way for the criminalisation of the politics which robbed the city of safety and peace. With the economic activities booming, the politics of Narayanganj, which was once known for the tolerance and peaceful coexistence among the followers of different leaders and political ideologies, turned into an example of corrupt, murderous, anti-people...


Umbrage against activists

DEMOCRACY and personal liberty should never be taken for granted. This is a warning that the imposition of the Emergency gave 39 years ago when the then Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, furtively extinguished the lights of freedom on the night of June 25-26 to save her skin. The Allahabad High Court had disqualified her as an MP for six years for using official machinery during her election campaign. Instead of stepping down, she suspended the constitution, imposed press censorship...

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