Maulana Bhashani remains a much demonised figure amongst a certain section of North East India for leading the movement for immigration of Bengali land hungry peasant into colonial Assam. So who was Maulana Bhashani? A rustic pir? A vulgar peasant leader? Scourge of Colonial India and Post colonial Pakistan & Bangladesh state? Communist? Islamist? Today, socialism and Islam are often viewed as incompatible. Does the career of Maulana Bhashani, “the Red Maulana” of Bangladesh, offer a corrective to this view?
On the night of 31st December, 2017 the first draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was released in Assam. This has set off a mini-storm in the political scene of Assam, Bangladesh and West Bengal. What is the NRC, why is it being updated and what politics is being played behind the curtain?
The village of Dawki in Meghalaya is one of the many border crossing between India and Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi village of Tamabil lies on the other side of the border. It was my first ever visit to an Indian border town.
RAIOT has reproduced this revelatory report from The Daily Star of Bangladesh so that the people of Meghalaya are warned about the devastation that full scale Uranium mining can create in Meghalaya
I did not go to Wagah to get high on nationalism which was evident the day I reached the check point. And I do not need to paint the national flag on my face or chant vande mataram only because I am at Wagah. In these times of ultra nationalism and faulty patriotism, Wagah and such model should not become the reason which forces me to declare my loyalty to the country. Not now not ever.
Nabina Das’s personal/political memoir of a South Asian Communist
After the anti-Hindu communal attacks in Bangladesh’s Brahmonbaria in end October, social media was abuzz with it as its “breaking” news. This news competed with Bangladesh’s victory against England in a cricket match. News of such things alerts a section of West Bengal’s populace more than anywhere else beyond the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. On my Facebook page there was a discussion about the minority situation – with participants from both Bengals, both Hindus and Muslims on both sides. It was in no way representative and that’s not the story here. I just wanted to share one of the most beautiful conversations I have had in Facebook where I was confronted with such a richness of understanding and compassion, weaving in stories of the Hindu in Bangladesh to something much wider, pointing to forms of inner demons in all of us.
“As kids we would go in a big group every night and watch jatra,” quips my maternal uncle. Then he launches into telling me about how jatras or Bengali folk theatre used to be the main attraction in Raas melas.
Everybody believed in the glory of the King and his gospel of sending poverty to museum with the help of microcredit.
The specter of Partition continues to loom large in the politics of the subcontinent. How one imagines the Partition and how it came about is…
I grew up in Shillong in the 1970s.
My sister went to Loreto, me to Pine Mount, and in that insular world of ours all that mattered was the grades we got in school and the prizes I won for the (mostly Bengali) songs I sang at Ananda Sammelan.
Then we left.
Then we chose to leave.
Then we had to leave.
SIGNAL CLEAR : Cattle Times at the India-Bangladesh Border
After learning that the broker Jokhim had arranged a “signal clear” for the transport of six bulls across the India-Bangladesh border, the cattle transporter Alibaba had no time to speak to anyone. Indian border commanders who had accepted Jokhim’s bribes had verbally granted a signal, which Jokhim relayed to Alibaba by rushing to his house. A signal clear comprises a precious two-to-three-hour window of opportunity during which Indian cattle workers such as Alibaba can cross the border to Bangladesh with their animals.“Signal clear,” Alibaba said to me, tying his cotton gamosa (towel) around his head as protection against the heat and the rain.