Tag Archives: Bangladeshi secularism

Still Bangali: Reflections on a New Year: Jyoti Rahman

Guest post by JYOTI RAHMAN

Exactly ten years ago yesterday, upon arriving at a friend’s place, instead of ‘Shubho Nobo Borsho’ (Bangla new year greeting), I was greeted with: ‘Have you heard the news? Call home now. Hope family’s okay!’ Militant jihadis struck the new year’s dawn cultural events in Ramna, the major park at the heart of Dhaka, killing over half a dozen people. Since these events are attended by most of my family in Dhaka, and by most of my friends, we were worried. Frantic phone calls and MSN chats (or did we still do ICQ then, I forget) ensued. Fortunately, the families were safe. But this wouldn’t be the last time such phone calls were made.

Over the following years, militants bombed cinema halls, killed progressive politicians, carried out suicide attacks against judges, and tried to enforce shariah rule in rural northern parts of the country. Things got so bad that when a friend called to tell me about Muhammad Yunus winning the Nobel Peace Prize, upon hearing, ‘Have you heard about Yunus?’, my first reaction was ‘Oh no, another assassination’. Continue reading Still Bangali: Reflections on a New Year: Jyoti Rahman