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Bangladesh

It has now become apparent that the hard right religious groups are not the only danger to free speech in Bangladesh. The main challenge is now coming from the members of the mainstream political establishment who are sworn to defend it, yet seek to restrict it in practice.

The main challenge is now coming from the members of the mainstream political establishment who are sworn to defend it, yet seek to restrict it in practice.

 
The land which I have never left for a single day since my birth is gradually turning into unknown territory. I feel myself a stranger here. When I walk through the streets, some men look at me with strange gazes, despite my traditional attire. Many other girls and women also have, seemingly, landed from some foreign land or other.
 

On 7 November 1975, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was commandeered by elements determined to undermine the fundamental guiding principles on which the War of Liberation had been waged four years earlier.

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was in Dhaka on a state visit on 14-15 October, gave Bangladesh a gift of a cornucopia of investment proposals amounting to US$24.5 billion. This offer could not have come at a more opportune moment. The nation aspires to a higher growth rate in order to move into the league of high middle income countries in a short time and transform itself into a developed country by 2041.

 

Certainly the ruling Awami League would not want to go to the next general election with such a huge liability across its shoulders? Surely these men – and men like MP Badi of Cox’s Bazar – are not the individuals who can carry forward the torch of democratic accountability? And of course the Prime Minister knows all that, doesn’t she?

 

There is a tendency in the current Indian establishment and a section of the Indian media to, sometimes, underestimate its smaller neighbours, being obsessed with the acrimony with Pakistan and China. Both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have significant strategic importance, and the same can also be said about Nepal. Also there seems to be a quality crisis in the Modi cabinet, and inept people like Manohar Parrikar have been bestowed with portfolios of high importance like defense.

 
He shaped a dream for his people. He perished in upholding the dream. In death, he rose high, and higher, to light a thousand stars in our sky. Through our silences, in our moments of sad, quiet reflections, within the broad parameters of our tempestuous history, we remember Dhirendranath Dutta.
 
In supporting her demand, I would say that the war babies are our pride as well as an integral part of our Liberation War. Further, this country became independent through the sufferings of their mothers. Hence, we should never make them feel ostracized. We should rather call each of them a Victory Baby.  
 

The Awami League held its national council and announced a series of new names to bring in young leadership, but despite demands to bring in grand-children of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the party mantle, it did not happen.

 
There are the superficial similarities — both are law enforcement bodies, and both can be seen patrolling our streets in uniform carrying government-issue weapons, busting crime, and posing for the press with the illegal weapons, drugs, or gold that they have seized.  
 


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