A belated post on Education Policy process

Posted in politics by jrahman on May 27, 2011

I’ve been thinking about the role of education in economic growth and development.  And that led me to realise that I have never actually posted on the way the Awami League government introduced the Education Policy last year.  I like the actual policy.  But more importantly, I think the way the policy was introduced shows that even in Bangladesh, even under this government, things can be done right. 

A belated congratulations to Mr Nurul Islam Nahid and his department.  Here is to wishing they follow through with implementing the policy.


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Islamic secularism

Posted in culture, history, politics, Rights, society by jrahman on January 15, 2011

(This piece was originally posted in Kafila on 11 January.  Thanks Naeem for the poster).

Bangladesh will mark its 40th year of independence in 2011.  The celebrations have already begun, and will continue until next December.  The TV channels are already playing patriotic tunes.  One such tune is Shona shona shona.  The song says the land, mati, of Bangladesh is better than gold, and under this land sleeps many heroes: Rafiq, Shafiq, Barkat, Titu Mir and Isa Khan.

Who are these heroes?  Rafiq, Shafiq and Barkat were killed by the Pakistani authorities during the language uprising of 1952 — a milestone moment in Bangladesh’s nationalism. Titu Mir defied the East India Company and organised a peasant revolt in the 19th century. Isa Khan was a Bengali chieftain who resisted the Mughals in the 16th century.

Notice how all of these heroes are Bengali Muslim men?