New chapter on plurilingualism and religious texts by 19th century Muslim Bengali communities (ask me if you need a copy)

Rabbi, S. “The Sociolinguistics of South Asian Cosmopolitan Literature: The Dubhasa (Mixed Language Modes) of the Puthi Tradition in Muslim Bengal.” In J. Lee (Ed.) The Sociolinguistics of Global Asias (pp. 156-170). New York: Routledge. Abstract: Scholars of language have long been interested in the widespread plurilingualism of South Asian communication. These linguistic practices provide … Continue reading New chapter on plurilingualism and religious texts by 19th century Muslim Bengali communities (ask me if you need a copy)

Co-written piece on Cosmopolitanism and Plurilingual Education with Dr. Suresh Canagarajah

The Routledge Handbook of Plurilingual Language Education is out now. It includes a co-written chapter by me and Dr. Suresh Canagarajah "Cosmopolitanism and Plurilingual Traditions: Learning from South Asian and Southern African Practices of Intercultural Communication". It seems to be available to read on Google books for now, which is cool. In the chapter we … Continue reading Co-written piece on Cosmopolitanism and Plurilingual Education with Dr. Suresh Canagarajah

The Language of Puthis: Dubhashi and the Bengali Muslims

Muslims in the region of Bengal, like other Muslims in the Northwest of India, viewed that different languages in the space social space was natural and by God's design. This was the way it always was after all, and pointed to Qur'anic ayats, such as the one above , to argue that the wise person had to know and communicate in many languages. It also means sometimes people would mix different languages as they saw fit for their pupose in single utterances. This view can be seen in the way the puthi genres made use of dubhashi (a language made up of Bangla, Hindustani, Farsi, and Arabic). Their writers and performances only thought about ways to best communicate Islamic ideas and views, not whether what the language they used was proper or not.

বন্দে মাতরম VS জনগণমন

লিখেছেনঃ উত্তম কুমার রবীন্দ্রনাথ না বঙ্কিমচন্দ্র? জনগণমন আর বন্দে মাতরমের ভীষণ যুদ্ধ! রবীন্দ্রনাথের বিরুদ্ধে গুরুতর অভিযোগ, রবীন্দ্রনাথ ব্রিটিশদের পক্ষে লিখছেন, জাতীয়তাবাদের বিরুদ্ধে লিখছেন, এমনকি স্বয়ং ভারতের জাতীয় সঙ্গীত লিখা হয়েছে বৃটিশ সম্রাট পঞ্চম জর্জের উদ্দেশ্যে উৎসর্গ করে! আর সবচেয়ে বড় অভিযোগ তিনি এই জনগণমন গানটি রচনা করেছেন শক্তিশালী “বন্দে মাতরম” কে কাউন্টার করে। অভিযোগের সবটুকু … Continue reading বন্দে মাতরম VS জনগণমন

আড্ডা :Adda (Gossip) — Ekla Bolo Re

Nothing as essential to Bengaliness or Bangladeshiness as Adda, which this post provides an easy definition for. Addabaaj had a pejoritive ring to it when I people use it, but that is envy. Adda at its best, as the great Syed Mujtuba Ali espoused, is liberation. Adda -the Popular Bengali Gossip or a fine … Continue reading আড্ডা :Adda (Gossip) — Ekla Bolo Re

Talking of Rhet-Com in Bangladesh

Speaking about Aristotle might be necessary because of the overwhelming impact he has had on so many academic fields, I will give you that. But I find it hard to rationalize speaking about Cicero or St. Augustine to a Bangladeshi audience. And if such ancient figures are bad enough - they at least have the comparative benefit of being on the written record as opposed to contemporaries in other parts of the word - talking about 20th century figures of rhetorical education as Kenneth Burke s simply inexcusable because they operate in a Western liberal, democratic principle that are not organic to the societies of the Global South. Furthermore, there are extant rhetorical figures and examples readily available for 20th century postcolonial contexts.

City Eyes

I wanted to tell him that I read those words in a novel for class. In it the speaker - in one of many equivocating asides - expounded on how living in a city in India makes everyone develop a type of cataracts. Beggars, in all their motley shapes and forms, are so natural to our cities that they have become invisible. The are the unsubstantial beings, cloaked like poltergeists or djinns, that our minds filter out as we navigate the city.

ProPublica piece on Climate Refugees

Our modeling and the consensus of academics point to the same bottom line: If societies respond aggressively to climate change and migration and increase their resilience to it, food production will be shored up, poverty reduced and international migration slowed — factors that could help the world remain more stable and more peaceful. If leaders take fewer actions against climate change, or more punitive ones against migrants, food insecurity will deepen, as will poverty. Populations will surge, and cross-border movement will be restricted, leading to greater suffering. Whatever actions governments take next — and when they do it — makes a difference.