Mahfuz Anam


Editor and publisher, The Daily Star

Editor’s note

Many words are written every year in remembrance of the spirit of ’71. For all our essays, reports and opinion pieces on the legacy of the Liberation War, a certain texture of the history is nevertheless lost amidst the grand political narratives being crafted.

3d ago

Column by Mahfuz Anam: Not road accidents, but ‘murder’ by neglect

A death is an accident only when it occurs in spite of all logical, scientific and experience-based steps taken to prevent it.

5d ago

‘We will do whatever is required for the welfare of the people’

So who determines what is ‘required’ to ensure that welfare?

1w ago

Column by Mahfuz Anam: Rewarding thuggery, punishing talent

The worrisome state of once glorious student activism

2w ago

Securing the safety of ordinary students

The real culprit is the BCL's sense of entitlement.

3w ago

President, Presidency and Democracy

A government cannot always be totally moral, but a president has to be.

Abdur Rouf Chowdhury: Entrepreneur par excellence

Rouf bhai was one of the most creative entrepreneurs in the country, having founded many companies in very diverse fields

Column by Mahfuz Anam: Child abuse and our crumbling social norms

There is a bias against the poor that leads to a general acceptance of violence against them.

Column by Mahfuz Anam: Who runs the country?

There is no question as to who runs the country. It is Sheikh Hasina, our prime minister. But who does she run it through?

Mahfuz Anam Writes: In ‘Smart Bangladesh,’ how smart is it to kill our rivers?

As if in vengeance we have been ferociously and relentlessly destroying our rivers in, what can only be termed as, a suicidal streak.

Mahfuz Anam writes: What is the state of Awami League as a political party?

This election year, the question that will inevitably come to the fore is of how successful AL has been in keeping its promises.

Mahfuz Anam writes: From Bangabandhu to Sheikh Hasina

Awami League’s journey from a party leading a struggle to a party long in power.

COLUMN BY MAHFUZ ANAM: A competition of errors

Is our government so weak that a proposed public meeting threatens it?

Big budget, bigger corruption

Lack of accountability and the culture of impunity destroyed governance from within.

Will the government touch the ‘untouchables’?

The default-loan narrative has smeared our otherwise powerful story of graduation from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status.

Column by Mahfuz Anam: The underlying story of a simple photograph

As an editor, I commend the photographer, the caption writer, and the news editor for depicting a sad reality with such subtle deftness.

Column by Mahfuz Anam: UK’s Conservative Party and Our Politics

Recent leadership changes may appear chaotic, but ultimately demonstrate political accountability

Will free media be harassed in the name of data protection?

DSA’s new curbs and OTT draft rules give the opening

Bangladesh Press Council: Is the protector turning into a ‘predator’?

What is of serious concern for us is the secrecy with which the Press Council has dealt with the matter.

Is the Press Council looking out for journalists' interests?

Will the amended Press Council Act further restrain free press?

DS View: Embarrassing the PM to the core

While speaking at an event in Chattogram, last evening (August 18, 2022), our Foreign Minister Abdul Momen, said “I went to India and said Sheikh Hasina’s continuation must be ensured.”

Column by Mahfuz Anam: No govt has ever fallen for being self-critical

If we want to stop being lectured by international bodies, then we as a people, and much more so our government, must listen to our own critical voices.

‘Walkman Syndrome’ afflicts the AL and our government

Nothing but their own voices reaches them

CEC hits the nail on the head, but the wrong nail

“Democracy will die if people don’t vote.” This is a very powerful statement from CEC Kazi Habibul Awal.

Column by Mahfuz Anam: Looking at Bangladesh through the minorities’ eyes

Religious tolerance is the most important value which a modern society must instil within itself, and Bangladesh is no exception.

Tribute by Mahfuz Anam: A fighter for independent journalism

The fact that Latifur Rahman, Shamim Bhai to us all, is no longer among us still feels unreal.

Commentary by Mahfuz Anam: Sheikh Hasina’s ‘finest hour’

Borrowing from the title of the second volume of Winston Churchill’s six-part history of the Second World War, I would like to term the completion of the Padma Bridge as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s “finest hour”.

Column by Mahfuz Anam: New assault on the freedom of the press and expression

There is a new assault on the freedom of the press. This time, sadly, it comes from another section of the mass media itself – the television.

Column by Mahfuz Anam: Reading into the recent speeches of the US ambassador

There was a time when the US government left no stone unturned to oust the government of President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.

Column by Mahfuz Anam: Private Universities - A grand initiative going sour

There is a peculiar trend in Bangladesh. When someone starts something innovative, then hundreds of copycats spoil it.

Column by Mahfuz Anam: Why are there so many laws against free media?

With the numerous laws that already exist to regulate—or better still, suppress—the media, and the diligence with which new ones are being prepared, one would think that of all the areas that need fixing, our government expects the journalists to be “fixed” first. But why?

PM’s remarks: The Daily Star editor explains

Yesterday, Wednesday, 18th May, during her speech marking her homecoming from exile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made a reference to me.

Commentary by Mahfuz Anam: What sort of a mindset is it?

Our foreign minister announced on Tuesday that he sought India’s assistance in lifting the sanctions against Rab.

Commentary by Mahfuz Anam: Can we really have a free and fair election?

Recently, the chief election commissioner (CEC) urged all political parties to participate in the national election so that “democracy can flourish.”

Dawn of a new Baishakh

Pahela Baishakh is back, so is the promise of a new year that it never fails to bring. After a two-year gap forced by the pandemic precautions, we are once again set to celebrate this very Bengali festival with all the fervour and gaiety it demands.

Column by Mahfuz Anam: Pakistan, Sri Lanka and lessons for Bangladesh

Two important members of our South Asian community stand as examples of how not to run a country.

Ukraine-Russia war will affect food security

While the world was already passing through various challenges including Covid-19 pandemic, climate change that affected food production and supply chains, Ukraine war has further complicated the global situation in the food sector.

Editor's Note

Today marks 51 years of Bangladesh as an independent nation. Fifty-one years ago, in the face of a brutal massacre by the Pakistani junta, the Bangladesh Revolution was sparked.

Commentary by Mahfuz Anam: Arrogance and a disaster

Russia felt insecure, or should we say President Putin, and so Ukraine had to be invaded, population from major parts of the country had to leave their homes, millions had to become refugees, thousands had to die -- including Russian soldiers, many foreigners and  a Bangladeshi sailor -- a nation needed to be terrorised and the world thrown into turmoil.

Column by Mahfuz Anam: Search Committee’s Final Hour

As announced, the Search Committee for the Election Commission will submit its recommendations to the president today, February 24, 2022.

Search Committee’s final hour: History will judge whether it was their finest

Tomorrow (February 24, 2022), the Search Committee will submit its recommendations to the President. Regrettably it will be done as before – in secrecy. We will never know (unless the President decides otherwise and sets a new precedent, and we hope he does) the ten names they recommended and only learn about the five the President will choose in consultation with the Prime Minister.

From prisoner of war to cultural icon

In 1970, a young Rabindra Sangeet singer caused a sensation, when his rendition of “Jani Jani Go” made its way to number one rank on the country’s best-selling chart. This feat shattered the general assumption that Rabindra Sangeet was not “commercially viable”. Only a year later, he was imprisoned and tortured by the Pakistani Army, formally accused of “inciting the people with nationalistic and revolutionary songs”.

Editor's Note

Seventy years ago, on this day, an act of bravery and defiance against the oppressive state machinery of Pakistan paved the way for what later cemented the Bengali identity before the world.

Times change, so must we

In the last two years, we were forced to accept a new way of living. The world as we knew it will possibly never be the same, but as “change is the only constant in life,” we have learned to adapt to this new reality.

Editor's Note

We are proud to present to you the fourth instalment of our five-part special supplement series. In this segment, we have focused on the issue of governance, and indeed good governance in particular, which is inherently tied to developing a prosperous and sustainable nation.

Column by Mahfuz Anam: The Search Committee’s task is as moral as it is legal

At the very outset, the government said there was not enough time to make a law for the formation of an Election Commission (EC), which is mandated by the Constitution of Bangladesh since its adoption in 1972.

Editor’s Note

Over the past year, we came up with new ways to experience life in a physically distant and virtually close-knit world.

Editor’s Note

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) ushers in a new era which will be driven largely by the convergence of the digital transformation and innovation in the field of chemistry, physics and bio-technology.

February 13, 2022
February 13, 2022

Editor’s note

Like the previous years, we are celebrating our 31st Anniversary with yet another colourful, well-illustrated 200 - page special supplement in five segments.

February 11, 2022
February 11, 2022

Column by Mahfuz Anam: Do we take our international partners for fools?

Since the US sanction on Rab and few of its present and former officials, there have been several comments from our ministers on the topic.

February 4, 2022
February 4, 2022

Column by Mahfuz Anam: Govt needs to review its practice of appointing VCs

Of the 48 current vice-chancellors (VC) in the public universities across Bangladesh, 39 are former office-bearers of some pro-government teachers’ bodies.

January 21, 2022
January 21, 2022

Column by Mahfuz Anam: We needed a law for EC formation, we’re getting one for Search Committee

What waited for nearly 50 years is now being implemented with super speed.

January 7, 2022
January 7, 2022

Column by Mahfuz Anam: What are our president’s powers?

The question in the title of this column was triggered by a press comment following our president’s dialogue with National Awami Party (NAP) leaders, published on December 27, 2021.

December 24, 2021
December 24, 2021

Column by Mahfuz Anam: A convenience that is killing us

Using plastic is very convenient. But now it is posing a threat to our healthy living.

December 17, 2021
December 17, 2021

Column by Mahfuz Anam: Golden Jubilee Celebration - Media’s role and the diplomatic challenges in 1971

The mood of the moment is overwhelmingly celebratory. And why not? Not only are we observing 50 years of our independence, but we are doing so with a new sense of pride, accomplishment and, most importantly, confidence—confidence that we can face all the challenges that come our way.

December 16, 2021
December 16, 2021

Celebrating golden jubilee of victory

50 years ago, on this day, Bangladesh was born out of a bloody war. In the face of a brutal massacre by the Pakistani military, the freedom-loving people of this land, with their unwavering resolve and monumental sacrifices,

December 14, 2021
December 14, 2021

Remembering our martyred intellectuals

Over the last 49 years, we have observed the Martyred Intellectuals Day annually, realising more and more the significance of the damage that the enemy caused to our nation. What sort of an enemy who, on the verge of defeat, c

December 3, 2021
December 3, 2021

Column by Mahfuz Anam: Our killer roads - Students have once again raised a vital issue

Just as we are making news as a role model of development, we are also attracting global attention as perhaps the only country in the world where school students need to demonstrate on the streets for days on end to demand road safety measures.