CROSS TALK | The Daily Star
  • Iron grip of persecution, hunger and discrimination

    Experts tell us that it should take another 150 to 170 years to close the gender pay gap around the world. Bad news for the mothers,

  • How can India win if Bangladesh does not?

    Which between the two countries has gained more from Bangladesh prime minister's visit to India this month? The question appears no less intriguing than the long-standing debate over which came first between chicken and egg.

  • Who's going to save politics from money?

    Bees make honey, but it's easier said than done. They have to fly 55,000 miles and visit roughly 2 million flowers to produce a pound of honey.

  • Cowards strung together in a daisy chain

    Shame is thus the flipside of honour, and one can't exist without the other. Shameless people can't be honourable, and honourable people can't be shameless.

  • Terrorism was never in the DNA

    The skein of yarn spun out of the Palestinian struggle, and then got twisted in the relentless Western maneuvering in the Middle East to defend Israel.

  • Great ideals are ghost lights at night

    An increase in elevation lowers air pressure, which makes breathing difficult for a climber. The underwater world becomes increasingly blue and eventually black as a diver goes deeper.

  • Presidential humour and the irony of education

    The President of the Republic went public with his academic records, while addressing the 50th convocation of Dhaka University on March 4.

  • Lies make us blind in full sight

    If an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, what does a lie for a lie do to us?

  • When the bubble is convinced it's real

    An average person measures three and a half times the length of his or her own forearm in height.

  • Will the World Bank eat humble pie?

    It was once a familiar refrain amongst the restaurant-goers in Dhaka that even if one didn'teat or drink anything in a restaurant, one could still end up paying twelve annas for breaking a drinking glass. That saying embodied concerns over the costliness of eating out and its incidental hazards, but eventually acquired a deeper meaning of life. It implies a Kafkaesque helplessness when one has to pay for something without partaking in any of its pleasures.

  • Has the mountain brought forth a mouse?

    The appointment of the new Chief Election Commissioner was an elaborate undertaking that had a curious resemblance to the

  • History is asking for an address change

    In my student days I worked as a bartender in a nightclub in downtown Washington, D.C.,where my colleague was a bespectacled nerdy-looking Vietnam veteran.

  • A moving martyrdom on a trail track

    An assistant technician of Bangladesh Railway did last Friday what nobody does these days. Not since those fateful days of 1971 and some of the political movements in this country when our martyrs laid down their lives for their countrymen. Dying for others has long

  • Tonu murder trial and the fate of hurricanes

    The Observer Effect in science has it that the act of observing will influence the phenomenon being observed. If we're looking for an answer ten months after the brutal killing of a young girl named Sohagi Jahan Tonu, this effect comes closest to explaining what has happened since then.

  • Light things float and heavy things sink

    After Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu came to power in 1965, he called himself "The Genius of the Carpathians". He had even

  • When ignorance is the pillar of knowledge

    The recent textbook fiasco has been a textbook case of how a dot becomes a circle. First we ignored the quality of teachers. Then we

  • To live and die in surrogate democracies

    Russian leaders Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, in their spare time, used to make fun of Western sympathisers who blindly supported them.

  • New Year revelry and our declining chivalry

    As we stand on the cusp of another new year, many of us are preparing for the revelry of a boisterous night. Private clubs and posh

  • Aleppo burning today, whose city is next?

    Aleppo is now more than a historic city; it's the boiling point of mankind where human lives are changing into vapour. In this nether region, the forces of evil have come together.

  • The joy of victory and many defeats

    Industry standards dictate that a flaw in the mirror is acceptable if you can't see it from a distance of ten feet. What's that significant distance for our history? How far back should we stand so that we don't see those flaws, which have divided this nation? At what distance could we tell if the distortions we see in the mirror are nothing but deformities of our own? How many more years should it take before we know which to blame between history and our very own histrionics?

  • Why child marriage is good for neither

    There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact,” writes Arthur Conan Doyle in The Boscombe Valley Mystery.

  • Fidel Castro: The revolutionary outlived his revolution

    A tyrant to some and a liberator to others, Fidel Castro of Cuba died on November 25, a decade shy of a century.

  • Two sides of the reversible popular choice

    Thirty years after his death in Hawaii, ousted Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos got a hero's burial in Manila last Friday.

  • Let's not blame it on bigotry alone

    If premeditated murders aren't accidental deaths, and if planned meetings aren't chance encounters, then the attacks on the minorities in Gobindaganj, Nasirnagar and Ramu aren't hate crimes.

  • Donald Trump's victory is a dent in democracy

    As much as the world has been shocked by the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America, an aftershock of that earthquake is beginning to set in as we ask ourselves what happened to the hordes of pollsters, analysts and pundits who had predicted otherwise.

  • Two mayors, Don Quixote and the windmills

    One of the insipid ironies of Dhaka City is that double mayors haven't solved a single problem.

  • A hypothesis test for the future of democracy

    In eleven days from today, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is going to be elected the 45th president of the United States. But, for the first time in the American history, a cloud of uncertainty is hanging over the election night since Donald Trump said he would accept the election results only if he won.

  • Isolation of Pakistan will not isolate terror

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has labelled Pakistan as a “mother ship of terrorism” at a summit of the BRIC nations held in the

  • Humanity's abandoned house

    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked a seminal question in the parliament on October 6, a question that sublimated the anxiety bubbling inside every sensible heart in this country.

  • Development without democracy isn't a happy solution

    Persistent indigestion may point to the cancer of esophagus, throat or stomach. This prognosis is a sufficient hint for the wise to understand why development without democracy isn't good for a nation.