Blowin’ in the Wind | The Daily Star
  • The Greta Effect

    I did myself a favour, as pleaded on Facebook by a colleague, and read Greta Thunberg’s chapbook, “No one is too small to make a difference.”

  • Of Camels and Unicorns

    In the first few minutes of 2020, nearly 30 animals, mostly apes, were burnt to death in Krefeld Zoo in West Germany.

  • ‘The rapist is you’

    A Chilean feminist song about rape culture and victim shaming has recently gone viral. The performative piece, based on the work of Rita Segato by a group called Las Tesis, was first presented on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, 2019.

  • An old story for a new time

    Among the flurry of e-messages (including a surprise “phishing” one), there was one worthy nugget available in my year-ending inbox: a random warning about not writing the year 2020 in short format.

  • Two decades after Y2K

    I was explaining the apocalyptic fear in Blake’s poetry to my students. To offer a contemporary example, I mentioned the Y2K software problem that led to global panic responses, almost creating a doomsday scenario at the turn of the century.

  • Flights of human capital a.k.a brain drain

    Legend has it: the black magician Doctor Faustus sold his soul to devil in exchange of 24 years of earthly knowledge and pleasure.

  • Demise of an Icon

    For Aung San Suu Kyi, December 10 could have been a date to remember. It is the day when she received her Nobel Prize in 1991.

  • To send or not to send

    Crew members in flights to/from Dhaka are known for being notoriously rude, especially in routes that carry our migrant workers. The attendants in these flights bring out their ring-master selves to harness the feral passengers.

  • Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best of all?

    If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to post about it on Facebook, has the tree really fallen? The moment an image is posted on Facebook (or any other social media),

  • Miscarried justice and wrongful convictions

    Why didn’t Hamlet kill Claudius soon after learning about his uncle’s involvement in the murder of his father? In Greek or Roman tragedy that would have been the accepted norm. Even the vengeful God of the Old Testament would have endorsed a similar action.

  • Home of all lost causes

    Matthew Arnold famously called Oxford University a “home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names, and impossible loyalties!”

  • Are we fine with the fine?

    Desperate times require desperate measures. The Road Transport Act 2018 was endorsed by the Cabinet Division on August 6, 2018 on the heels of the nationwide student protest that

  • University Education: One Size Fits All

    There is this image which pops up here and there in many pedagogical conferences or academic sessions: a teacher deciding on a standardised test for a bunch of animals involving a wolf, a seal, a fish, a penguin, an elephant, a monkey and a bird. For a fair selection, the teacher declares that everyone must take the same exam of climbing a tree. Ignoring the possible danger of comparing our students with animals, one doesn’t need to be a genius to see the absurdity of such a testing system.