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The Many Faces of the State

Living in Peace and Conflict in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh

Nasir Uddin and Eva Gerharz

“Peace is perhaps implied by the peace accord, but there is not much peace in our lives. Who will bring peace to us? The state? In our lives we seldom find the Bangladeshi state to be sympathetic. Instead, we experience it in the form of military

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Jeroen Warner

The article sketches the history of the Flood Action Plan 20 (FAP-20), an experiment with polder compartmentalization, seeking to integrate flood management, drainage, and irrigation, and make it more democratic in response to the destructive 1987 and 1988 floods in Bangladesh. As a transferred technology the project took too little cognizance of local physical, social, institutional, and economic context and practices to be able to work successfully. The project did bring previously unavailable amenities to the region that served as a shelter area in the floods of 1998.

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Cooperative Antagonism in Development Research

A Perspective From Bangladesh

Manzurul Mannan

Development research in Bangladesh creates friction in projects among various stakeholders—donors, NGOs, managers, researchers or the poor beneficiaries. Research is an element of power relations among the contending actors. The mutually reinforcing relations of power between different actors determine the quality and outcomes of research. All the contending actors' aims may be to serve the poor by promoting development in order to alleviate poverty, but cooperation between them becomes a source of antagonism that can seriously hamper the promotion of local knowledge issues, which become lost in the ensuing differences of opinion and aims.

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Shreya Ghosh

If nations are “imagined communities”, as many theorists like to define them, then they need an ideology to create a cohesive imagination. In modern times, the project of writing “history” has been an important instrument in the service of this ideological purpose of justifying and reproducing the modern nation-state as the predestined and legitimate container of collective consciousness. School textbooks, at least in South Asia, have long been among the most exploited media for the presentation of the history of the national collective. This essay is a study of school textbooks in Bangladesh. It looks at narrative representations of selected episodes from the past, both pre- and postindependence, in order to reflect on how they construct “history”. Through this work I endeavor to relate textual images to issues of community relations and identity by identifying and sharing the ways in which the audience for nationalist discourse is created, nurtured, and secured through symbolic means.

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Paul Robert Gilbert

Introduction: Postcritical anthropology and private sector development In 2015, the Bangladesh Board of Investment’s Roadshow UK was hosted in Canary Wharf, a private estate in the former Docklands that emerged as London’s second financial

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Art on the Move

Rickshaw Painters in Bangladesh

Gopa Samanta

Art in the form of decorating rickshaws, a very popular mode of mobility in Bangladesh, especially in Dhaka city, was developed in the 1950s to make the rickshaw more popular so that it could compete with the horse-drawn “tomtom.” Syed Ahmed Hossain, a rickshaw artist more commonly known in Dhaka as Ahmed, was a small boy then, living in a small house located on a narrow by-lane of old Dhaka city. He used to draw things on his school copy book with a small eroded pencil. Ahmed never had any formal training in painting because his father could not afford that. By the time Ahmed grew up, however, there was a growing demand for people who could decorate rickshaws and Ahmed found that job suitable to earn a livelihood for his family.

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Constellations of Mobility and the Politics of Environment

Preliminary Considerations of the Shipbreaking Industry in Bangladesh

Deborah Breen

Although shipbreaking—the taking apart of a ship—signals the end of the useful maritime life of a vessel, the process is also the beginning of the recycling and reuse of the ship's constituent parts and materials. The process, while economically and materially useful, is also fraught with hazard, to both the environment and the laborers who undertake the breaking down of the ship. This essay examines that process in Bangladesh, one of the most significant sites for global shipbreaking. Mobility is a central theme of this examination, as the concept connects numerous aspects of the study: the shipping industry, the impact of shipbreaking on the environment; international maritime policy; and local and international responses to the industry. The essay explores the interactions that arise out of the shipbreaking industry's mobility and material and the subsequent impact on the environment and people of southern Bangladesh.

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The sanctioning state

Official permissiveness and prohibition in India

Ajay Gandhi

In a monograph on the India-Bangladeshi borderland, Delwar Hussain (2013) examines the traffic of labor and commodities across state lines. Recent decades have seen the formidable retrenchment of this border, with personnel, wire, and weapons

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Conceptualizing Compassion in Communication for Communication

Emotional Experience in Islamic Sermons (Bengali waʿẓ maḥfils)

Max Stille

This article is about communication practice as a driving force to bring about conceptual change. It approaches the emotional experience in a particular strand of Islamic sermons from contemporary Bangladesh 1 by an extended rhetorical analysis

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Malini Sur

In this review article, Sur reads across disciplines to join studies of partitions, borders, and mobility. Sur shows how two important partitions of the twentieth century that historically shaped South Asia's modern cartography continue to exert a shadow on everyday life and state violence at its longest boundary, the India-Bangladesh border.