April 24, 2017

British by Birth, Shackled by Custom

(Photo by See Wah Cheng, Creative Commons License)

When the notion of arranged marriage is firmly embedded in the psyche of the Asian communities, how can outlooks be revamped? The fear which haunts the South Asian communities is that unless a young girl born in the UK is married to someone from back home, she will eventually leave the cultural confines and become “Westernized.” Read More »

Toxic Poultry Feed Threatens Bangladesh’s Poor

A boy feeds chickens in northern Bangladesh. It is estimated that due to poultry feed being manufactured from tainted leather tannery waste, up to 25 percent of chickens in country contain harmful levels of chromium. )Photo by Kamrul Hasan Khan/IRIN)

Cheap poultry is an important part of the diet in food insecure Bangladesh. It accounts for 75 percent of the national demand for meat. But poultry feed produced from the country’s notoriously filthy tanneries industry scraps may be putting the health of millions throughout the country at risk. Read More »

Is Modi Trouble for Pakistan, Bangladesh?

Narendra Modi is addressing an election rally during the country's landmark reaction. (Photo by Al Jazeera English, Creative Commons License)

The BJP victory in Indian elections has started interesting debates in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Analysts in Bangladesh fear increased tensions with India over possible deportation of undocumented Bangladeshis. In Pakistan the government is being advised to adopt a more circumspect policy towards India under Modi. Read More »

Dams Blamed for South Asia’s Sinking Deltas

Indus delta in Pakistan's Sindh province. (Photo by zerega, Creative Commons License)

One or two people leave their homes in the Sundarbans forests of the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta each day, perhaps never to return.  It’s but a small vignette of a larger tragedy being played out across South Asia’s delta regions where land is fast sinking as the sea waters rise, leaving millions of people vulnerable to disasters like cyclones and floods.   The mouth of the ... Read More »

Bangladesh’s Water Crisis

Fishing on the Teesta River in Bangladesh. (Photo by International Rivers, Creative Commons License)

Want of water in a land of water! Our forefathers, if they had consciousness in their graveyards, would possibly curse this generation for creating a water crisis. It was unthinkable in their time, particularly in a riverine country blessed with robust monsoon.   But the life of any generation is full of challenges of its own. The current state of ... Read More »

Bangladesh Lacks A Credible Alternative?

Bangladesh's opposition leader and former prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia. (Photo by Syed_Zakir_Hossain, Creative Commons License)

I am one of those many who consider the so-called election of January 5 to be an utter farce, and the government legitimated by it to be little more than an autocracy whose absolutist tendencies get stronger by the passing day. Thus believing, however, does not make the said government non-existent. What makes the government even less likely to feel ... Read More »

A View from the India-Bangladesh Border

The Indian Border Fence along the Bangladeshi border along India's Meghalaya district. (Photo by lepetitNicolas, Creative Commons License)

On 18 December 2013, the Indian National Congress party government introduced a bill in parliament to facilitate the realization of the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh. This bill was the latest in a long series of attempts to enable the exchange of 161 enclaves — tiny pieces of Indian territory completely bounded by Bangladesh and vice-versa — by absorbing them into ... Read More »

Race, Bangladesh and ‘Gunday’

Gunday 1

Bangladeshis all over the world are aware of the Gunday fiasco.   The recently released film in India, Gunday is a love triangle story between two men and a woman; however, the film also portrayed-and imagined-the Bangladesh Independence War of 1971 as the result of an India-Pakistan war, and not something Bangladeshis achieved on their own through their own effort and will.   As ... Read More »

Minorities Targeted in Bangladesh Violence

Jashoda Sarkar and her daughther, Jyoti Sarka, Hindus from a Bangladeshi village were attacked in poll violence. (IRIN photo by Mushfique Wadud)

Following attacks on religious minorities – mostly Hindus – activists in Bangladesh are calling for increased protection to forestall further violence in the majority Muslim country. On 5 January, as the country voted in parliamentary elections, armed men attacked Shyamal Kumar Biswas, 35, and other residents in Malopara, a fishing village of 80 families in Jessore district, southwestern Bangladesh. All ... Read More »

Bangladesh’s ‘Ill-Actions’

(Cartoon via New Age, Bangladesh)

  Awami League party of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid has won two-thirds majority in the country’s bloody and divisive elections on January 5. The almost one-party polls, following opposition’s boycott, are being described by much of Bangladeshi media as a farce.   Election-related violence left 22 people dead while 150 polling stations were burned. More than 150 people ... Read More »