‘Is Bangladesh turning fundamentalist?’ – and other questions I no longer wish to answer

By Tahmima Anam

Bangladesh is not the story of a secular country that has turned to radicalism: it is the story of a country that has, against all odds, survived, even flourished

I am a novelist. I look around at the world and I make up stories about people, families, lovers and friends. More often than not, the stories take place in Bangladesh, where I was born. When I close my eyes and think of home, it’s the peaty smell of the monsoon, the harsh light of the equatorial sun, the clashing sounds of the capital city, Dhaka, that come to mind.

But, more often than not, people do not ask me about the peaty smell of the monsoon. The questions are about other things, the bigger things, such as religion, politics, the unaccounted bodies of the dead, the history that makes the present. I do not resent these questions – I understand why people ask them; after all, the headlines tell a particular story, and sometimes, we look for an interlocutor – someone to bridge the gap between here and there.

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Read more here:: The Guardian – Global Development