Archive for the 'South Asia' Category

Denying Genocide and Rape at the LSE

Friday, November 30th, 2007

On Tuesday 4 December, the Indian-American historian Dr Sarmila Bose (Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford) will be delivering a talk, hosted by the Pakistan Society, at the London School of Economics. Today I signed a joint letter to the LSE to voice, in the strongest terms possible, disgust that the […]

No Ray of Sunshine

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

It is never difficult to distinguish between a Khilafist with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.
That’s my reworking of P.G. Wodehouse’s memorable line. Of course, he wasn’t referring to Hizbut Tahrir, but the sentiment remains the same.

Photo: Amirul Rajiv
Yesterday thousands of “activists” from Hizbut Tahrir in Bangladesh marched the streets of Dhaka to protest […]

Burma: Religious Support for Democracy

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Myanmar (Burma) has been under the kosh of a brutally repressive military junta since 1962 but the tide might finally be turning.
The last 4 days have seen protest by tens of thousands of monks marching to Yangon; and their lines are growing.

Burmese religionists leading the popular uprising against an anti-democratic, totalitarian, military dictatorship!
The irony is […]

The New Age is Yellow

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Following the wake of the ‘Muhammad cat’ cartoon controversy, a number of depresing events have transpired:
No lawyer has dared come forward to defend the cartoonist Arifur Rahman from the charge of sedition and blasphemy.
No newspaper or journal has defended Prothom Alo’s freedom to publish the cartoon. Instead opportunistic journos with personal axes to grind have […]

Muhammad cat: Clerical Hypocrisy

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

A controversy which spontaeously combusted in Bangladesh on Wednesday, following the publication of a cartoon deemed “offensive to Muslims” has blown over into a national crisis, involving freedom of speech and a power struggle between clerical political forces harboured within the existing Caretaker Government.
It started off with an innocuous cartoon published in Alpin, a magazine […]

A Tale of Two Secularisms

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

From the Boston Review, Nicholas Schmidle on the “Islamist challenge to secular Bangladesh”:
Islamist parties have multiplied over the past decade and public support for them has grown. Yet Bangladeshi society remains overwhelmingly secular, even militantly secular. And while the Islamists have grabbed headlines, the secularists are holding their own in an intense power struggle. Bangladesh […]

Payback? I should Koko

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

After months languishing under house arrest (where she has been busy polishing her jewelery), Bangladeshi authorities under the Caretaker Government (CTG) have finally arrested former PM, Begum Khaleda Zia. This, in spite of the notion that Khaleda is regarded as the ’surrogate mother figure’ by the Bangladesh military, who are currently calling the shots.
This brings […]

Meltdown in Bangladesh

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Tonight I wept tears of despair for Bangladesh.
After months of self-imposed hiatus from the dubious pleasures of blogging, the recent events in Dhaka forces me to post here. Not so much to make a point about anything in particular than to stave off the sense of despair thrust upon me by the sight of Bangladesh […]

God’s Wheeze

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

Bonbibi highlights Zadie Smith’s sidelong view of Bangladesh:
People who live on solid ground, underneath safe skies, know nothing of this; they are like the English POWs in Dresden who continued to pour tea and dress for dinner, even as the alarms went off, even as the city became a towering ball of fire. Born of […]

BNWLA Hostel Appeal

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Andrew Morris and Julietta Schoenmann are education consultants who have been working in Bangladesh since 1998. Earlier this year they took up a formidable personal fundraising cause. They want to raise £330,000 in support of the Bangaldesh National Women’s Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA).
This money will go towards the building of a new hostel for women and […]

Under the golmal, the serious golmal