Mukti

সাতকাহন

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

(more…)

Comments Off on সাতকাহন

সাতকাহন

Posted in 1971, classics, comedy, development, gender, institutions, society, West Asia by jrahman on March 9, 2012

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

(more…)

Party like it’s 1969

Posted in politics by jrahman on February 13, 2011

SMS, e-mail, facebook — all forms of modern communication told me as I woke up yesterday that the Mubarak regime had fallen.  This had continued throughout the day.  And rightly so.  As my friend Naeem put it in a facebook conversation:

A 30 year regime’s figurehead has been ousted only through people power. Although there are many roadblocks ahead, including the presence of the army as broker, but still, still… can’t people genuinely feel happy, just for one day, get carried away, just a little bit. How often are there revolutions to celebrate in this tired, broken world?

Yesterday was the day of celebration.  Now for some analysis, which begins with noting that the upheavals sweeping through the Arab world is something that few pundits and experts saw coming — therefore, do take anything anyone (including yours truly) says with a grain of salt.  To paraphrase Dylan, writers and critiques who prophesise with our pens should keep our eyes open for the chance won’t come again.

I have certainly been keeping my eyes open — glued on the Al Jazeera mostly, but also on the pages of the International Herald Tribune and the Financial Times.  And one common refrain I see from the punditry is this: will it be 1989 or 1979 in the banks of the Nile?

Of course, these parallels are simplistic.  No two countries are alike — circumstances differ, as do endowments.  And people who use these parallels know that.  Yet they use these simplistic stories to make sense of a complex world — it’s not easy to write a 800-word op ed, I should know.  So I don’t object to the simplistic parallels.  I do, however, feel that 1989 or 1979 are wrong parallels to.  Rather, over the fold, I argue that if we must indulge in simplistic historical parallels, the period to look to is 1969, the place — erstwhile West Pakistan.

(more…)

Tagged with: , , ,