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Maoists attack Nepal Times

Around 50 Maoist party supporters took part in yesterday’s attack on Himal Media, ransacking its offices and injuring CEO Ashutosh Tiwari and Kunda Dixit, the editor of one of its publications, the English-language Nepali Times.

The raid appears to have been prompted by an article in the Nepali Times and in another of the group’s publications, the Nepalese-language fortnightly, Himal Khabapatrika, accusing certain Maoist party activists of “extremist behaviour,” interfering in business interests and threatening the media.

A member of the Himal Media staff said the assailants stormed into the group’s premises, hitting employees and warning that “anything could happen if one of the group’s newspapers published anti-Maoist reports again.”

Dixit said: “These people appeared to be martial arts experts, they had military training. It was an attack not just on Himal Media but on democracy and the media in particular, which the Maoists are doing everything possible to control.”

Maoist activists previously attacked Himal Media distribution depots in the capital on 16 November, vandalising equipment and torching more than 1,000 copies of Himal Khabapatrika in the street outside.

Kunda Dixit is one of the guest speakers at the upcoming opening of Chobi Mela.

Hajis Return to Bangladesh

Undeterred by the shortage of trolleys at Zia International Airport, due to the huge influx of returning Hajis, one Haji makes her own arrangements. 15th December 2008. Dhaka. Bangladesh. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Undeterred by the shortage of trolleys at Zia International Airport, due to the huge influx of pilgrims returning from Hajj, one Haji makes her own arrangements. 15th December 2008. Dhaka. Bangladesh. © Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Hajis at Zia International Airport on their way out. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Hajis at Zia International Airport on their way out. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Photojournalist Kumara passes away
(I just received news from my friend Panduka de Silva that my former student Kumara Dayawansa passed away).
Top Daily Mirror photojournalist Kumara Dayawansa Nannetti died last afternoon after suffering a severe heart attack.

Kumara aged 47 at the time of his death was a versatile photojournalist who specialized in news, sports and fashion photography.

Educated at Pannipitiya Dharmapala Vidyalaya, Kumara followed several photographic courses and joined the Wijeya Newspapers Limited in 1987 and began his media career at The Sunday Times. At The Sunday Times, Kumara specialized in news photography under the guidance of its founder Editor Vijitha Yapa and then News Editor Lalith Allahakoon.

Kumara was the first Sri Lankan photojournalist to receive the Reuter’s Willie Vicoy fellowship which gave him the opportunity to study photojournalism at the University of Missouri in the United States.

Kumara joined the Daily Mirror in 2000 and continued to contribute regularly to the newspaper. His colleagues remember Kumara for his good humor, simple ways, dedication and especially for some of his remarkable photographs that adorned the front pages of The Sunday Times and Daily Mirror.

Kumara leaves behind his wife Veronica and two sons. His mortal remains will lie at No: 163/5, Wattegedara road in Maharagama. Funeral arrangements will be notified later

Source: Panduka de Silva AISLP


Finalist in Aftermath Photography Contest

Saiful Huq Omi (Bangladesh) – “The Disowned and the Denied: the Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh”

Two images from Saiful Huq’s application:

Jossna Ara Begum had everything.  A family and some arable land. One night   the river swallowed everything.  The house, the land, and  all the  belongings. Her husband left home to find work and never came  back. Everyday when she looks at her four starving children, Jossna  wants to commit suicide.

Jossna Ara Begum had everything. A family and some arable land. One night the river swallowed everything. The house, the land, and all the belongings. Her husband left home to find work and never came back. Everyday when she looks at her four starving children, Jossna wants to commit suicide. © Saiful Huq

ÒWe are a family of ten members- my parents and eight of our brothers and sisters. Before the attack, I used to work at the graveyard with my father. My father is a caretaker of a government owned graveyard. Though even before the attack, me and my father didnÕt earn decent enough, we knew at least we wonÕt starve to death. Now, without me as an earning member, sometimes we do not have enough money to eat three times a day" says Rajib.

"We are a family of ten members- my parents and eight of our brothers and sisters. Before the attack, I used to work at the graveyard with my father. My father is a caretaker of a government owned graveyard. Though even before the attack, me and my father didn't earn decent enough, we knew at least we won't starve to death. Now, without me as an earning member, sometimes we do not have enough money to eat three times a day" says Rajib. © Saiful Huq

A historic verdict

New Age Editorial on 6th December 2008

THE verdict that the High Court delivered, in disposal of a public interest litigation writ petition on December 4, declaring illegal and void four provisions of the Emergency Powers Ordinance 2007 and the Emergency Powers Rules 2007, and the concomitant observation that the state of emergency cannot continue for an indefinite period in a people’s republic, in our view, constitute a benchmark in the country’s judicial history. The verdict and the observation also confirm what we at New Age and the politically conscious and democratically oriented sections of society have maintained all along, i.e. the military-controlled interim government has used the state of emergency largely as a convenient excuse to bypass the constitutional safeguards and equip itself with sweeping authority. The High Court, through its verdict and observation, has sent a clear message to the powers that be that enough is enough, and that the executive – elected or unelected, interim or caretaker – has no authority whatsoever to interpret at will the provisions laid out in the constitution of the republic.

One need not be a jurist to understand that the emergency provisions in question are antithetical to democratic principles and jurisprudence. In a democratic dispensation, the executive branch of the state, i.e. the government, is only the implementer of laws enacted by the legislative, i.e. the national parliament while the judiciary is entrusted with the authority to make sure the laws enacted by the parliament and executed by the government are consistent with, and do not encroach upon the freedom guaranteed by, the constitution. Section 5 of the emergency ordinance and 11 (3) of the emergency rules are clearly violative of the constitutional scheme of the republic; certainly, it cannot be up to the executive to decide whether or not its order can be challenged in the court of law or whether or not the appellate court can stay the verdict of a lower court or hear the bail petition of an accused. On the other hand, emergency rules 19 (Gha) and (Uma) confiscate the rights of the accused, the rights to be treated as innocent until proven guilty, the rights to seek bail for offences that are bailable under the ordinary law of the land and the rights to challenge move the appellate court against verdicts delivered by a lower court.

Emergency Rule 18 (Ka), which empowered the Anti-Corruption Commission to transfer any corruption case from any court to special judge’s court, also sought to establish the executive’s primacy over the legal system in general and the higher judiciary in particular. The High Court, by stripping the commission of the power entrusted upon it by the rule, has rightly put its foot down and drawn the line for the government.

To recapitulate, the High Court’s verdict and observation sends the clearest message ever to the interim government, that it has outlived its stay and overshot its mandate. We would rather that the incumbents did not appeal against the verdict. Instead, they should apologise unconditionally for its constitutional misdemeanour and pay up for the damage its unconstitutional errands have caused to the people.


Ara’s World

Sunara Begum

Ama Sunar Begum

Ama A Moment Frozen in Time.. © Sunar Begum

Thursday 4 December 2008

Shoreditch Gallery, 5 Hoxton Market, Shoreditch
London N1 6HG
Phone +44(0) 20 7619 0960

Nearest Tube
Old Street & Liverpool Street
Buses: 35, 47, 48, 55, 67, 135, 149, 242, 243

Chand Aftara in association with Shoreditch Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of photography,
film and installation by the emerging artist Sunara Begum in her debut Solo exhibition entitled Ara’s World.
Begum’s powerful imagery evokes deep-rooted feelings of reflection, contemplation and stillness. In her three short films, accompanying photography and installations she continues to develop themes of
striking imagery that transcends the confines of form.

*Special performance by Shahanara Begum & Tunde Jegede

Cartoon Against Corruption

Exhibition arranged by Transparency International

at Drik Gallery (map)

Mehedi Haque

© Mehedi Haque

Khaled Hasan runner up at Labour Day Photo Contest

Khaled Hasan of Pathshala runner up at Labour Day Photo Contest

Khaled Hasan of Pathshala runner up at Labour Day Photo Contest

The first ever LabourStart Labour Photo of the Year contest. Judging took place by popular vote.

The first ever LabourStart Labour Photo of the Year contest. Judging took place by popular vote.

Asia Pacific Premiere

Every Good Marriage Begins With Tears

UK 2006 / 62min.
Director Simon Chambers

Two Bangladeshi girls born and raised in London agree to allow their parents to choose their husbands for them.

The elder, Sahanara, quick-witted, coarse-mannered and the rebel of the family, banished from the family in her teens for being “too Western”, has to swap her pink hot pants for a sari as she goes off to the airport to meet her new Bangladeshi husband.

The younger, Hushnara is more submissive, devout and accepting of her father’s match with stoic dutifulness.

Simon Chambers is an old friend of the family and the family is welcoming of his decision to film the family. The film is intimate, surprisingly frank and revealing of British Muslim life not normally seen. The family regularly address him directly or ask his opinion during a domestic dispute, which he then gives in the voice-over.

Simon starts filming just before Sahanara’s bridegroom arrives in Great Britain. At that point, everything still seems all right. But when Simon drops by a few months later, the household is in an upheaval. Sahanara has left her husband; found a job and a new boyfriend while Hushnara has doubts about her pending nuptials. Eventually, Chambers accompanies the family to Bangladesh for Hushnara’s wedding, and to look for Sahanara, who has disappeared completely.

Feeling more like an independent dramatic feature film than a documentary, it is beguiling and captivating. It is a timely antidote to the current media preoccupation with Islamic religious fundamentalism, terrorism or “how badly they treat their women”.

Part 1:

part 2:

source: Robin Khundkar


Photographer profile

1 October 2008

Third eye

Munem Wasif aims to raise consciousness around the world with his striking images of his Bangladeshi homeland. Diane Smyth meets him

© Munem Wasif/Agence VU

Munem Wasif is doing well.

Aged just 28 he’s already staged an exhibition at Visa Pour l’Image (having won the City of Perpignan Young Reporter’s Award), reached the final of the prestigious Prix Pictet (alongside world-famous photographers such as Edward Burtynsky) and joined the prestigious Vu agency (in April last year). But what makes his achievements all the more impressive is that Wasif from Bangladesh, a Third World country far from photojournalism’s Western epicentre.

‘It’s the first time I’ve been to Visa Pour l’Image and I’m the first Bangladeshi photographer to exhibit here,’ he tells BJP. ‘The world is so orientated towards Western media and Western news, because of the wealth and power of those countries. Western people go to other parts of the world and shoot and tell their own stories. But it’s very important to give some space to photographers documenting their own countries because they know the place, and the struggle, better. It’s more indigenous, and more authentic.

‘Things are getting blocked because they’re always seen from one perspective. How much coverage have you seen of Iraq and Afghanistan, always by a Western photographer? How many stories emerge taken from within those societies? It’s not about photography, it’s about not looking at people as other peoples. It’s about sharing your own story, like a grandmother telling a story to her granddaughter. It’s more personal, more intimate, and for me it’s more true.’

Wasif showed images from three projects at Visa – the effects of climate change in rural Bangladesh, the oppressed Rohingya Muslims of Bangladesh and Burma, and traditional life and customs in Puran (‘old’) Dhaka.

Global persectiveAs he points out, though, his striking, elegant images of his homeland aren’t just relevant to Bangladeshis. His photographs of environmental disaster in the country’s coastal regions, for example, are directly related to Western carbon emissions and rising sea levels. A planned project on Bangladesh’s ruling class, meanwhile, is intended to chip away at Westerners’ Third World stereotypes.

‘Climate change is one of the most critical issues in Bangladesh now,’ says Wasif. ‘If the sea level rises, 50% of the country will be under water. The people living in these regions are really very simple. They don’t have air conditioning, they’ve never driven a car. They constitute, virtually 0% of carbon emissions and global warming. But they’re in the front line of climate change. So

although I’m shooting in Bangladesh, the story has a global perspective.

‘I also want to document the rich in my country,’ he adds. ‘You always see the same pictures from the Third World; either it’s something exotic, or it’s war, poverty and famine. But there is a big community in Bangladesh that is really rich and really Western – the ruling class.

‘I’m very interested in what Martin Parr has done. He’s taken his camera to places where no one else has gone. I read an interview where he said that to Philip Jones Griffiths the front line is Vietnam, but to him it’s a supermarket in London. It depends how you focus on your people.’

Slow storiesIn fact, Wasif adds, photography is also helping him understand Bangladeshi society, both because he works on long, slow projects and because of the wide range of people he’s shooting. The camera is, he says, ‘an excuse to meet people’, from the richest businessmen to those suffering the most extreme hardship. ‘It’s a tool to live your life more critically, more politically,’ he says. ‘It can help you have a wider view and judge what’s going on better. Photography is a beautiful thing.’

He also takes a wider view on global inequality, and believes he has a deeper understanding of the world’s economy because he comes from one of its poorest nations. ‘I’m proud to be Bangladeshi because it makes you more conscious,’ he says. ‘Every time I go abroad with my Bangladeshi passport I have to face certain things. If you have a British passport you don’t have to think about anything, you can travel anywhere you want.’

‘There’s a big statement from Nelson Mandela: “If you really want to know a country you have to know what’s going on with the people in its prisons, the most downtrodden”. As a Bangladeshi I have to face a few things but I take it positively, because then I realise what’s really happening in the world.’

Given this background, his prime aim is raising awareness about social issues in Bangladesh both at home and in the wider world community. He says he doesn’t care whether he achieves personal success or not and, in fact, is wary of acclaim and the loss of focus it can engender.

‘I shoot in black-and-white; half the Western market is out. I do slow stories, I don’t go to the hotspots; another half of the Western market is gone,’ he says. ‘But I won’t be sad if my work isn’t published in the big magazines. Photography isn’t about pictures in magazines. I want to connect people with the struggle, to do my best to raise awareness. If I can make something in my country for my people I will be more than happy.

‘I’m happy (to be achieving success) but also a bit afraid because these situations are very tricky,’ he adds. ‘You can get loose from your route. When people get accomplished they also get onto the route of success, and that can be a trap. If you get these things (prizes and awards) you can start to want them again and again, and so you start to produce the same story again and again.

‘For me it’s crucial to calm down and just take photographs. The most beautiful things in photography are the moment when you take the picture, and the moment you see beautiful work. I want to spend my whole life doing these two things. The other stuff is good, but you shouldn’t take it too seriously.’

Wider viewNevertheless, he’s keen to use both the internet and his increasing fame to raise awareness of Bangladeshi issues in the wider world community. He describes the internet as ‘a revolution’ for non-Western photographers, because it makes it possible for them to work with powerful titles such as the New York Times and Time, where their images will gain influence. But the real struggle, he adds, is extending the power centres of the photographic community beyond the West.

‘I’m represented by Vu around the world and I’m very grateful to them,’ he says. ‘They believe in what I do, which is a rare thing these days. But whoever else I work with, at home I have Drik (the Bangladeshi photo agency). We’re trying to build our own community – it’s very important.

‘We can’t come to this kind of festival (Visa) every year, it’s bloody expensive for us. But rather than complain, it’s better to build your own thing in your own country and invite people to come to that. We have a really great festival now, Chobi Mela. For me that’s more credible and more positive.’

OnlineMunem Wasif is represented by Vu.


Chobi Mela V, the International Festival of Photography organised by Drik Photo Agency, will take place from 29 January – 20 February 2009.


Another recent publication by Wasif:

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————– Gallerie, The PEN All-India Centre, and Jnanapravaha


A Tribute to Mahmoud Darwish

In response to the Berlin International Literature Festival’s appeal

for a worldwide reading of Mahmoud Darwish‘s poetry on October 5, 2008

Gallerie-PEN India-Jnanapravaha come together to commemorate the life and work

of the world-renowned Palestinian poet with an evening of readings.


Welcome by Rashmi Poddar.

A brief introduction to the poet’s literary and political background by Bina Sarkar Ellias.

Readings of Mahmoud Darwish‘s poems by

Gieve Patel, Sampurna Chattarji, Prabodh Parikh, Yuki Ellias,

Anand Thakore, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Bina Sarkar Ellias.

Date: October 5th, 2008

Time: 6 pm

Venue: Jnanapravaha, Queens Mansion, 3rd Floor, G. Talwatkar Marg (Prescott Road), Fort, Mumbai.


If coming from V.T., Queens Mansion is on A. K. Nayak Marg i.e. the lane behind Khadi Gramodyog.

If coming from Churchgate then Jnanapravaha is above “Yantra” (a lifestyle store) on Prescott Road, which is the lane directly opposite J. B. Petit School. Queens Mansion is adjacent to Cathedral Middle School.



Dear Friends,

In solidarity with STUDENTS AGAINST SEXUAL REPPRESSION of Jahangirnagar University (JU), a protest will be held today at 3.00 pm at TSC Road Island of Dhaka University.

Prof. Sirajul Islam Choudhury, Anu Muhammad, Selina Hossen. Justice Golam Rabbani, Akmol Hossen, Giti Ara Nasrin, Kaberi Gayen and ex and contemporary students of JU will join the meeting.
Please do come.

Faruk Wasif


I have no way of verifying the authenticity of the following initiative. I have been sent this letter and am making the information available. Please check things yourself to ensure that your work will be used properly. Shahidul

Environmental Images

Environmental Images is an online platform for displaying environmentally focused photography by local photographers documenting their local issues.

We are searching for local photographers engaged in documentary work centered around environmental issues. Photo-essays may relate to social issues tied to environmental degradation or may focus on positive initiatives such as preservation, conservation, community responses to environmental degradation, as well as the impacts of unregulated globalization.

Environmental Images is a non-profit with the goal of highlighting exceptional environmental photography by local photographers. The copyright of all participating photographers will be protected and although we aim to enhance your sales, we do not take any percentage. All organizations and image buyers interested in your work will be directed to you, the photographer. If you are a photographer with a body of work about environmental issues, please send us low-resolution images, accompanying text including locations and a short biography about yourself. If you are chosen for the project you will be given an online gallery space and profile page. We will then promote your work to environmental non-profits and image buyers throughout the world.

Please ask any local photographers documenting these issues to email submissions to:

Thank you for your support.



Tom Dooley

posted on 12th September 2008



Curfew still in force in Kashmir

Many parts of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir are still under curfew as authorities try to halt huge protests by both Muslim separatists and Hindus.

BBC report by Damian Grammaticas

Indian police are still holding separatist leaders who were arrested on Sunday and Monday after they defied the curfew and attempted to lead protests.

Five people have been shot dead while trying to protest in the past two days. The restive Himalayan state is seeing some of the biggest protests against Indian rule in at least 20 years. In the Kashmiri city of Srinagar, the streets are deserted. Armoured cars are on patrol and there are road blocks on all key routes in the city.

Three senior political leaders of pro-separatist parties are under arrest to prevent them leading street protests. Meanwhile, a curfew is also in force in some of the Hindu majority areas around the city of Jammu as Hindus have also been staging their own demonstrations in recent months.

In the past two weeks, at least 27 people have been shot dead and 500 injured, as security forces try to restore order in the Muslim majority area.

Photographs by Imran Ali

Women try to find food for their families as home stocks run out after the third day of curfew. Srinagar. Kashmir. India. 26th August 2008. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Patients in City Hospital in Srinagar, who were injured by police firing on the 25th August 2008 at Hajan. Srinagar. Kashmir. India. 26th August 2008. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

posted on 26th August 2008


Will Army Intervene To “Stabilize” Country Under “Mentally Unstable” President?

Financial Times, UK
August 25 2008 23:31

Doubts cast on Zardari’s mental health
By Michael Peel in London and Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad

Asif Ali Zardari, the leading contender for the presidency of nuclear-armed Pakistan, was suffering from severe psychiatric problems as recently as last year, according to court documents filed by his doctors.

The widower of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was diagnosed with a range of serious illnesses including dementia, major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder in a series of medical reports spanning more than two years.

Mr Zardari, the co-chair of the Pakistan People’s party, and its candidate to succeed president Pervez Musharraf, who stepped down last week, spent 11 of the past 20 years in Pakistani prisons fighting corruption allegations, during which he claims to have been tortured.

While Mr Zardari was not available to comment, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan’s high commissioner to London, speaking on his behalf, said he was now fit and well.

News of his medical records came as Nawaz Sharif, head of the junior partner in the government, pulled his party out of the coalition, partly because of differences over Mr Zardari’s presidential candidacy.

In court documents seen by the Financial Times, Philip Saltiel, a New York City-based psychiatrist, said in a March 2007 diagnosis that Mr Zardari’s imprisonment had left him suffering from “emotional instability” and memory and concentration problems. “I do not foresee any improvement in these issues for at least a year,” Mr Saltiel wrote.

Stephen Reich, a New York state-based psychologist, said Mr Zardari was unable to remember the birthdays of his wife and children, was persistently apprehensive and had thought about suicide.

Mr Zardari used the medical diagnoses to argue successfully for the postponement of a now-defunct English High Court case in which Pakistan’s government was suing him over alleged corruption, court records show.

The case – brought to seize some of his UK assets – was dropped in March, at about the same time that corruption charges in Pakistan were dismissed. However, the court papers raise questions about Mr Zardari’s ability to help guide one of the world’s most strategically important countries following the resignation last week of Mr Musharraf, under whose rule the corruption cases against the PPP leader and his late wife, Benazir Bhutto, were pursued.

Mr Zardari and Ms Bhutto, who was murdered in December while leading the PPP in elections that gave it the most seats in Pakistan’s parliament, were also the target of corruption investigations in Switzerla nd and Spain. The Geneva prosecutor said on Monday that money laundering charges against Mr Zardari were being dropped.

Mr Hasan, a long-standing political ally and friend of the Zardari/Bhutto family, told the Financial Times on Monday that Mr Zardari had subsequent medical examinations and his doctors had “declared him medically fit to run for political office and free of any symptoms”.

“You have got to understand that while he was in prison on charges that were never proven, there were attempts to kill him,” Mr Hasan said. “At that time, he was surrounded by fear all the time. Any human being living in such a condition will of course suffer from the effects of continuous fear. But that is all history.

“In fact, many people were very impressed to see Mr Zardari go through the trauma of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, but still hold himself together, hold his family, especially his children, close to him at this very difficult time.”

posted by Robin Khundkar on 26th August 2008


Educational Achievements of Pakistani Presidents

Current President of Pakistan
Mohammedmian Soomro

Mr. Mohammedmian Soomro was born on August19, 1950 and earned a B.Sc. degree with distinction from the Forman Christian College, Lahore. He obtained Master’s in Physics from the Punjab University, Lahore, followed by another Master’s in Operations Management from the Northrop University, USA.

Northrop University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Northrop University was founded in 1942 by Jack Northrop of Northrop Aviation. Originally named the Northrop Aeronautical Institute, the school opened for classes in June of 1946 to 412 students committed to and/or already employed by Northrop Aviation. The school was founded by Jack Northrop for the purpose of training aeronautical engineers and mechanics.

Due to financial difficulties the school became independent from the Northrop Aircraft corporation in 1953 and the name of the school changed to The Northrop Institute of Technology. Unfortunately, the fate of the university did not fare much better and again closed its doors in 1970.

In 1971, the University again opened its doors and as Northrop University. Administered by previous alumni and faculty, the University offered bachelors and masters degree programs in aeronautical sciences, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, computer science and design engineering project management. In 1975 the school received a large donation from its original founder to build the American Hall of Aviation. The museum enjoyed great notoriety from its housing of the David D. Hatfield collection of aviation history; by far the largest collection of aviation history to ever be displayed at any one location.

In August of 1993, Northrop University closed its doors to the public. Mismanaged funds, decreased attendance and donations crippled the university in to bankruptcy. The universities door remain closed today though the campus still exists in Inglewood, California.

Future President

Scotland on Sunday

Zardari ready to take reins in Pakistan

Published Date: 16 March 2008

By Jane Perlez

in Islamabad

In the early 1970s, Zardari went to London. There, Zardari said in the interview, he attended the London School of Business Studies and received a degree. His official biography says he attended a commercial college called Pedinton School. But a search of tertiary educational institutions in London showed no such school, and associates said he did not finish his studies.

Zardari said: “I do have a degree. That is not an issue. I attended the London School of Business Studies much before I was married. I think it’s a B Ed degree. I haven’t really looked at it.”

One has yet to come across a person who is not sure what his degree was in. He hasn’t even bothered to look at it. With a B Ed the new President could do for school education what Prof Ataur Rahman did for higher education – ruin it further! [this is not part of the Perlez text]

posted by Abdus Salam on 26th August 2008


Protests and repression continue in Kashmir.

More photographs by Imran Ali

Paradise Found: Story on Kashmir By Salma Ali and Shahidul Alam

Posted on 24th August 2008

The roads of Srinagar city wore a deserted look as the curfew was imposed in Kashmir valley. 23rd August 2008. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Bilal Bhat Bureau Chief of Sahara Television being taken to hospital after being beaten by Security Forces. Srinagar. Kashmir. India. 24th August 2008. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Journalists in silent protest against the attack on Bilal Bhat by Security Forces in Srinagar, in which around a dozen journalits were injured. Srinagar. Kashmir. India. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority Worl


City of Perpignan Young Reporter’s Award!

Dear Friends,

I am so thrilled to give you the news that I have selected this year “City of Perpignan Young Reporter’s Award 2008” at VISA POUR L’IMAGE .

There will be an exhibition of mine in “THE COUVENT SAINTE CLAIRE”, link for the map from 30 August to 14 September.

Here is the a link of my work


Munem Wasif

17, boulevard Henri 4

75004 Paris – France

Tel: +33 1 53 01 85 85

Fax: +33 1 53 01 85 80

posted on 23rd August 2008


Hussain excluded from India Art Summit

We are surprised and unhappy at the decision of the organisers of the first India Art Summit to exclude the works of MF Husain from the displays of all the participating galleries from across India. The Art summit and three day fair, which opens at the Trade Fair venue in Delhi on the 22nd, is also supported by the Ministry of Culture.

While the organisers may have made this decision out of a fear of attacks or protests against the work of Husain, by giving in to such threats by extremist political groups, they are playing into the hands of these forces. It is the duty of the state and the police to protect our institutions and citizens against threats of violence and surely the Trade Fair authorities and the Delhi police are capable of confronting any such threat. An earlier exhibit by Husain continued at the India International Centre last December under just such assurances by the Delhi police.

For the artists community, Husain is the reigning father-figure, commanding enormous respect. In fact, Husain has been single-handedly responsible for putting Indian art on the world map and equally responsible for creating the world market boom in Indian art, without which such a summit and fair would not be taking place in Delhi at this moment. It is therefore deeply ironical that his work is being excluded by dictat.

We request the organisers to rethink this decision. In solidarity with Husain, Sahmat will show images of his work on all three days of the summit outside its office at 8 Vithalbhai Patel House, Rafi Marg. We invite all the citizens of Delhi and all artists to come view his work at Sahmat.

Ram Rahman, MK Raina, Madan Gopal Singh, Sohail Hashmi, Parthiv Shah, Vivan Sundaram, Indira Chandrasekhar, Geeta Kapur.

The Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust
Tel 2371 1276, 2335 1424

source: Parthiv Shah
Posted on 23rd August 2008

Side Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

30 August – 18 October 2008

An Autograph ABP exhibition in partnership with Shahidul Alam and Drik Picture Library

Outside the Bangladeshi community, the details may have been forgotten by many people in the UK, but the traumatic events of the country’s war of independence continue to haunt its sense of identity. In an attempt to crush independence forces in what was then East Pakistan, the West Pakistani military regime unleashed a systematic campaign of violence that resulted in the deaths of thousands. The exhibition, drawn from the unique Drik photographic archive, documents this harrowing and bloody conflict, bringing together images taken by local photographers, including Golam Mowla, Aftab Ahmed, Rashid Talukder, Jalaluddin Haider, Mohammed Shafi, Mukaddes Ali, Bal Krishnan, Abdul Hamid Raihan and Naib Uddin Ahmed.

‘They had risked all to hold on to this moment in history. The scarred negatives, hidden from the military, wrapped in old cloth, buried underground, also bore the wounds of war. These photographers were the only soldiers who preserved tangible memories of our war of liberation. A contested memory that politicians fight over, in their battle for supremacy. These faded images, war weary, bloodied in battle, provide the only record of what was witnessed. Nearly four decades later, they speak.’ Shahidul Alam, Drik

Free public talk by Shahidul Alam, co-curator, introduces Bangladesh 1971, 6pm, 2 September.

VENUE – Please contact directly for more details

Side Gallery
9 Side
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 0191 232 2208
Entrance is Free

Bangladeshi Film Season
In conjunction with the exhibition Bangladesh 1971.
11 September
Shopner Desh
Drama made by Bangla Dreams with the Bangladeshi community in South Shields.
(SN Sibley, 2005, UK, 100mins)
18 September
The Promised Land
Documentary exploration of statelessness in Bangladesh’s Urdu speaking community.
(Tanvir Mokammel, 2007, Bangladesh, 90mins)
25 September
Matir Moina / Clay Bird
Acclaimed film set against the unrest leading up to Bangladesh’s War of Independence.
(Tareque Masud, 2002, Bangladesh, 98mins)
VENUE – Please contact directly for more details

1-3 Side
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 0191 232 2208
Image : A street child leading a procession during the mass revolt of 1969, Dhaka. © Rashid Talukder/Drik/Majority World

Review of the premiere in London


More Kashmir Photos by Imran Ali.

Paradise Found: Story on Kashmir By Salma Ali and Shahidul Alam

Posting on 18th August 2008

March to UN Office: Hundreds of thousands of people from all over Kashmir valley assembled at the Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) ground before many groups submited a memorandum at UN oofice at Sonwar in Srinagar. 18th August 2008. Kashmir. India. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Convoy of motorbikes head to Pampore town. Thousands of people streamed through the streets of Kashmir on Saturday on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, to pay homage to senior Hurriyat leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz and 21 others killed in the past few days by Security Forces during Muzzafarabad march. 16th August 2008. Kashmir. India. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Security Forces assault protestors in Srinagar soon after demosntrations in the area. 13th August 2008. Kashmir. India. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Police firing towards protesters during protest demonstration in Srinagar. 13th August 2008. Kashmir. India. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Thousands of people break curfew to participate in funeral procession of separatist leader Shiekh Abdul Aziz who was killed by police firing in Uri the previous day. 12th August 2008. Kashmir. India. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Posting on 6th August 2008

Tyres burnt by protesters on the middle of main roads at Karan Nagar against the killing of a boy in Srinagar. 6th August 2008. Kashmir. India. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Residents of Bemina in Srinagar protesting aginst the Shiv Sena activists who critically injured Lateef Ahmed driver at Lakhanpur. 6th August 2008. Kashmir. India. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Pitched battle despite curfew, between protestors and police, on second consecutive day following the killing of a boy at Maisuma in Srinagar. 6th August 2008. Kashmir. India. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Protesters in action at Nowhatta, despite curfew after the kiling of a boy at Maisuma in Srinagar. 6th August 2008. Kashmir. India. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World


Young boy Asif killed by police in Srinagar. 4th August 2008

Pictures by Imran Ali

Protesters and policemen fighting after the killing of a boy Asif, at Maisuma in Srinagar on Monday. 4th August. Kashmir. India. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Protester attacking policeman after they fired tear gas shells on Asif’s coffin during the funeral at Maisuma in Srinagar. Kashmir. India. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Asif’s relatives wailing over his body. He was killed by police during protests at Maisuma on Monday 4th August 2008. Srinagar. Kashmir. India. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Protesters including Mohammed Yasin Malik and Nayeem Khan, carrying the coffin of Asif who was killed by police during protests at Maisuma on Monday 4th August 2008. Srinagar. Kashmir. India. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Thousands of people including various seperatist leaders during the funeral of young boy Asif who was killed by police during the protests at Maisuma on Monday 4th August 2008. Srinagar. Kashmir. India. © Imran Ali/KT Photo/Majority World

Recent article on Kashmir:


“Majority World”: UCLA’s Amerasia Journal Publishes New Thinking on Post 9-11 Culture and Crisis

Los Angeles-The UCLA Asian American Studies Center announces the thirty-seventh-year Spring 2008 edition of Amerasia Journal, which focuses on post 9-11 identity and culture through the concept of “majority world.” This issue is entitled “Majority World Movements,” a term coined by Bangladeshi photojournalist and scholar Shahidul Alam. In the early 1990s, Alam began to advocate for a new expression, to, in his words, challenge the “West’s rhetoric of democracy.” (During the past forty years, ” the culture of poverty,” and “third world communities” were used domestically, while internationally, countries were categorized as Third World, Developing World, or as Least Developed Countries.)

However, as Alam points out, “the expressions have strong negative connotations that reinforce the stereotypes about poor communities and represent them as icons of poverty.” Thus, the term “majority world” seeks to define “the community in terms of what it has, rather than what it lacks.” The term necessarily includes the cultural, intellectual, and social “wealth” of these communities.

Alam believes that the contemporary photographic image has the “power to validate history” from the majority world perspective, in opposition to manufactured corporate representations. To challenge such media power brokers, in 1994 Alam began to teach photojournalism to working-class children in Dhaka, enabling them to become the producers and disseminators of their own images.

Majority World explores both the concept and its implications with contributions by an international array of scholars, writers, and activists in the following three sections.

Part One-Articles in this section include: “Form and Emptiness: Globalization, Liberalism and Buddhism in the West,” by Dana Takagi, who looks behind the culture of Buddhism in the U.S.-in relation to the popular traffic of both ideas and things-books, statues, malas, incense, prayer flags. In the West, as Takagi argues, Buddhism can also, contribute to the formation of new political movements including “ecopolitics, cultural politics, ethical advocacies, and radical autonomy.”

Constance J. S. Chen, in her study, “‘The Esoteric Buddhist’: William Sturgis Bigelow and the Culture of Dissent,” examines the late nineteenth-century trend of American Orientalism “amidst the dramatic socioeconomic transformations taking place on both sides of the Pacific.”

Chinese American writer Maxine Hong Kingston works with American War veterans through her writing workshops that combine her writing expertise, Buddhist theory and practice, and notions of sangha or community from various wars, according to Shan Te-hsing who interviewed Kingston. Kingston states: “A veteran can be a peace activist, a woman, a deserter, a combat soldier, a non-combatant, et cetera.”

Nancy Abelmann and Shanshan Lan, in this section, examine an Asian American campus church predominately made up of Korean and Taiwanese Americans; Brandy Lien-Worrall, our book review editor based in Vancouver, Canada, contributes a Zen poem.

Part Two of this special issue focuses on South Asia, with featured commentary on the culture and countries involved in the political assassination of Benazir Bhutto, who had returned to Pakistan in the Fall of 2007. These include writings by Roshni Rustomji, Vinay Lal, and Amitava Kumar.

Part Three features new research. Jane Mee Wong examines Pingshe-the Equality Society and the writings of Ray Jones, or Liu Zhongshi, a Chinese American worker and main organizer of the U.S. branch of the China-based anarchist group. Wong utilizes the Chinese American archives developed by Him Mark Lai at U.C. Berkeley. See also William Gow’s excerpt of the memoir of his grandfather’s sister, Auntie Kay, from her life growing up in China Alley in Oxnard, California in the years before the 1965 Immigration Act. Will, a social historian and a graduate of the M.A. program in Asian American Studies at UCLA, also provides an additional research note on how to do Asian American genealogical research utilizing family records, family trees, timelines, and new technologies.


  1. qujdqs hi nice site man thx

    Comment by bob | March 4, 2008 | Reply

  2. Indeed, Bangladesh needs writers who will have the linguistic ability to ascend to the global platform. I have read a few of her (Tahmina)articles in New York Times and found them well conceived having a distinct style of her own. Good luck to her and other aspiring writers from Bangladesh.

    Ziaur Rahman

    Comment by Ziaur Rahman | March 7, 2008 | Reply

  3. Kudos to Pathshala’s Tanvir Ahmed and Munem Wasif for their
    visual representations of human tragi-comedy. That photography is a universal language with its own script and style, its compassionate solidarity with and commitment to explore and expound the human condition in its vast complexity, and turn it into an immortal epic of the commons – they have proved so ably and so reverentially.
    Wish them greater distinctions in the days ahead.

    Comment by I.K.Shukla | March 7, 2008 | Reply

  4. Congratulations.
    Many of these photos are so heart-rending that it makes joy seem inappropriate, but congratulations on artful but accurate depictions that the world needs to see. Thank you.

    Comment by Becky D | March 31, 2008 | Reply

  5. I didn’t know where to make this query…but…do you accept articles for consideration ?

    Comment by najmun noor | April 2, 2008 | Reply

  6. thank you for sending. I was please to read about Bangladesh war of independence show. is it possible to get an illustrated checklist

    Anne Tucker
    Curator of Photography
    Museum of fine ARts, Houston

    Comment by Anne Tucker | April 30, 2008 | Reply

  7. Thanks ,
    Ali hossain

    Comment by A.K.M. Ali hossain | May 1, 2008 | Reply

  8. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! on your anniversary

    Keep up the splendid job you are doing…. it’s priceless…


    Comment by pedro meyer | September 6, 2008 | Reply

  9. […] News article by Rahnuma Ahmed: The ’soul-less’ war on […]

    Pingback by Free of State » Blog Archive » EVISCERATION OF THE HUMAN SOUL | September 7, 2008 | Reply

  10. Assalamu Alaikum, h r u all? im really impressed on this web. thanks to Shahidul Alom.

    Comment by M.Abdullah Al-Mannan | September 7, 2008 | Reply

  11. Assalamu Alaikum, how r u all? I think we have to be more care to our mother lind Bangladesh. mail me on:

    Comment by M.Abdullah Al-Mannan, Dhaka | September 7, 2008 | Reply

  12. Nice Pics Collection Many of these photos are so heart-rending

    Comment by Ebooks Store | November 12, 2008 | Reply

  13. what is the world coming to?

    Comment by jacksonville attorney personal injury | October 17, 2009 | Reply

  14. we always keep track of our family tree because it is exciting to know the family tree ::,

    Comment by Glass Shelving | December 1, 2010 | Reply

  15. Some great photojournalism. What a way to live.

    Comment by Carl Hahn | December 12, 2010 | Reply

  16. by uploading photographers about present movement in Kashmir and to cover stories about human rights violation thereof is a such great thing that words fail me to express my feelings. Really after all we are humans and we can understand the situation properly. A misconception is created by the Indian government about the people of kashmir and about the Kashmir. From the perusal of your stories covered by you, the whole worlds can understand what is the matter and the Photographers which is itself natural language of the situation can easily understand a san person what really the situation in Kashmir is.

    Comment by mir imtiyaz | December 25, 2011 | Reply

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