April 24, 2017

China, India and the Great Dam Rush

Brahmaputra passing through the Indian state of Assam. (Photo by Rita Willaert, Creative Commons License)

The construction of dams on major rivers has serious implications for millions living downstream. Read More »

Wake Up Bangladesh

Bangladesh has not been able to manage her PR right.  (Photo by  Rajiv Ashrafi, Creative Commons License)

Why did Time magazine allege that Bangladesh is the next hotbed for terrorists? As baseless as such assumptions may be, one can’t help but wonder how they are conjured up in the first place. Read More »

Bangladesh’s Democracy Sinks into the Mire

Prime Minister Hasina Wajid's confrontational politics has created more political fissure for Bangladesh than its budding democracy can afford. (Photo via Asia Society, Creative Commons License)

Bangladesh's government is unlikely to treat the unrest as a political crisis and call fresh elections. Given this, both ruling parties must do what they can to avoid further political turmoil in Bangladesh by taking the initiative to pull back from their own dogmatic positions and to restrain violence by embarking on a dialogue to overcome the challenges facing the country because of democratic paralysis and systemic violence. Read More »

Déjà Vu Bangladesh Model

Bangladesh riot police on guard during an opposition protest. (Photo by  Joe Athialy, Creative Commons License)

The current political unrest in Bangladesh is because the Army deviated from its mission statement because of personal greed and ambition. Reputedly a professional soldier, can General IK Bhuyian, COAS Bangladesh Army, stay aloof from the looming anarchy when it becomes a moral obligation to become the “saviors” of the State?  Read More »

Can Bangladesh’s Jumma Minority Speak up?

Women at a market in Bandarban, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh. (Photo by jankie, Creative Commons License)

The mood of Bangladesh’s government indicates an urgency for increased securitization, surveillance, discrimination and suspicion of the country’s Tibeto-Burman speaking Buddhist minority, known as Jummas. Read More »

Breaking Bangladesh’s Dynastic Conundrum

(Image by ViewsWeek)

For the first time in three decades, an opportunity exists in Bangladesh for a new challenger of genuine merit and capacity to step into the ring and stake his or her claim, ending the outsized political presence of Sheikh Hasina Wajid and Khaleda Zia. Read More »

Bangladesh: The Tyranny of the Majority

Bangladesh's government shouldn't act as a bully. (Photo by Rajib Dhar, via Dhaka Tribune)

A disease in democracy has entered Bangladesh’s politics, and unless the root of the disease is addressed, things will remain unstable in the South Asian nation. Read More »

Pakistani and Bangladeshi Perspectives on 1971 War

Bengal's Awami League swept Assembly elections in 1970. But General Yahya and the establishment could never digest that. —Illustration by Tahir Mehdi
Bengal's Awami League swept Assembly elections in 1970. But General Yahya and the establishment could never digest that. (Illustration by Tahir Mehdi, courtesy Dawn, Pakistan)

December 16 is celebrated as victory day in Bangladesh and mourned as Dhaka debacle in Pakistan. The two nations have remained trapped in narratives of their common history. These differing, and largely hostile narratives remain the main hurdle in mending the uneasy relations between the two countries. Here are glimpses from the histories preserved and propagated by the two sides. Read More »

A View from Bangladesh: A Moderate Message

(Photo by Shumona Sharna, Creative Commons License)

From Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to Bangladesh and Indonesia in the east, a network of Arab charities is funding militancy and mayhem to coerce Muslims of diverse traditions to conform to the Salafi and Wahabi traditions. Bangladesh needs to be steered away from becoming a Pakistan or an Afghanistan, says one Bangladeshi analyst. Read More »

Shrinking Rivers Reshape Rituals in Bangladesh

(Photo by Rakib Hasan Sumon, Creative Commons License)

An entire way of life in riverine Bangladesh is changing with communities adapting their lives and religious rituals due to irregular water flow and drying rivers, Read More »