Interviews | The Daily Star
  • Democracy in decline?

    Dr Ali Riaz is a distinguished professor of political science at Illinois State University (USA) and a Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council. In this interview with Eresh Omar Jamal of The Daily Star, professor Riaz talks about the old and new challenges to democracy and whether democracy globally is on the retreat.

  • ‘Commercialisation of education will only increase inequality in society’

    Mujahidul Islam Selim, president of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), talks to Naznin Tithi of The Daily Star about the spirit of the 1962 education movement, the current state of our education system, and how commercialising it helps create further inequality in society.

  • We must address the issue of plastic waste to avoid another pandemic

    Personal protective equipment (PPE) which comprise of gloves, masks, cover-all, etc. are all essential items in our fight against the coronavirus. However, they may also become contaminated after use and their disposal is a matter of grave concern. Dr Mubarak Ahmad Khan’s latest innovation, now at the conceptual stage—a biodegradable, non-toxic material to make PPE (cover-all) which can easily be discarded without causing any harm to the environment—is a game-changer.

  • ‘Revolutionary change needed in existing systems’

    Prof Serajul Islam Choudhury, a leading public intellectual and academic of the country, talks to Emran Mahfuz of The Daily Star about the government’s handling of the impacts of Covid-19, inequalities and injustices in society, future threats and the need for reforms. The following is a translated excerpt.

  • ‘We need to use water to our advantage and learn to live with it’

    Marina Tabassum, a seasoned architect who won the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture and the Jameel Prize for designing the Bait Ur Rouf Mosque in Dhaka, talks to The Daily Star’s Naznin Tithi about the future of housing in flood-prone and coastal regions as well as the importance of local knowledge for a sustainable solution to housing.

  • ‘We have to strongly assert our rights now’

    In this instalment of The Daily Star’s interview series that aims to give readers an idea of what changes to expect in a post-Covid-19 world, Dr Shahdeen Malik, advocate at the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, talks to Eresh Omar Jamal about the right to freedom of speech and expression and the limiting of human rights by governments.

  • ‘Centuries of scientific, technological and economic progress maybe lost in the next few decades’

    This week, in The Daily Star’s new interview series that aims to give readers an idea of what changes to expect in a post-Covid 19 world, Dr Quamrul Haider talks to Badiuzzaman Bay.

  • ‘Not a single person should be left undetected’

    Prof. Muzaherul Huq, former adviser, South-East Asia region, World Health Organization (WHO), and founder, Public Health Foundation of Bangladesh, talks to Naznin Tithi of The Daily Star about the way forward in our fight to contain the spread of Covid-19.

  • The pandemic has changed the national economic priorities dramatically

    Dr Zahid Hussain served as a Lead Economist in the Macro, Trade and Investment Global Practice of the World Bank. Since joining the World Bank in 1995, he has worked on several of the organisation’s flagship reports on Bangladesh. Prior to that, he was a member of academia, with 14 years of teaching experience in a number of universities in Bangladesh and abroad.

  • Opinion: How are we doing in the fight against Covid-19?

    Researcher and scientist Dr Bijon Kumar Sil is a renowned name in the field of microbiology. In 2003, he invented the SARS coronavirus detection kit in Singapore.

  • “Food relief should be distributed at the doorsteps”

    The health crisis created by coronavirus has turned into an economic crisis now. It is not clear to me why the “stay at home” order has been called “holiday”.

  • Persecution of Assange is an assault on people’s right to know the truth

    In an interview last month, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer said: “I speak fluent Swedish and was thus able to read all of the original documents [of the alleged rape case in Sweden involving Assange]. I could hardly believe my eyes:

  • ‘Freedom of assembly is my right. Society needs to give it to me.’

    The first female National Professor and Ekushey Padak awardee Dr Sufia Ahmed has had a long, illustrious career in academia and beyond.

  • ‘I feel for my country and my people and then my family’

    You see, there is a most interesting story on this point. That evening, my house was surrounded by commandos and they wanted to kill me if I came out of the house, giving the names of my own people and saying that Mujib Rahman has been killed by the extremists of Bangladesh.

  • There has never been a better time to be bold and imaginative

    You co-authored a book some years ago called “Going Digital: Realising the Dreams of a Digital Bangladesh for All”. What is its central thesis?

  • Compensation for road crash victims is a means to accountability

    Catherine Masud is an American-born filmmaker and road safety activist. Until her late husband-director Tareque Masud’s death in a road crash in 2011, they worked together to produce numerous award-winning documentaries and features.

  • Saving our Rivers: “There are several laws which remain largely unenforced”

    It is most unfortunate that the situation of the Buriganga could not be improved much even after taking so many steps and projects.

  • ‘Chaos in transport sector cannot be solved by enforcing the law alone’

    The new transport law has been watered down quite a bit because of opposition from the transport owners and workers. Even so, the workers called a strike recently demanding amendments to the law. How would you evaluate the new law and the workers’ demands...

  • Gone but not forgotten

    On July 29, 2018, a bus rammed into Dia Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib, both students of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment College, killing them and injuring 12 others while they were standing on the pavement at a bus stop on Airport Road, adding to the stupefying statistics of people dying in road crashes.

  • The spectre of the East India Company

    William Dalrymple, Scottish historian, writer and broadcaster, is the author of numerous award-winning books. In this interview with Eresh Omar Jamal of The Daily Star, Dalrymple talks about his latest book, history of the British East India Company and Bengal, and the dangers of unchecked corporate power in the modern world.

  • Synergy between governments and corporations can make this happen

    Sir Mark Moody-Stuart has served on the boards of major corporations like Shell, Anglo American plc and currently the Saudi Aramco. He is also the chairman of the Foundation for the United Nations Global Compact. After a doctorate in geology in 1966 at Cambridge, he worked for Shell in various capacities. He is also one of the major patrons of Asian University for Women. In an interview with Tasneem Tayeb of The Daily Star, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart talks about how businesses and governments together can embrace sustainability.

  • Democracy in decline: Backlash against globalisation and the rise of new nationalism

    Dr Shashi Tharoor is a former UN under-secretary-general and currently a serving Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha in India.

  • The ‘crazily courageous’ world of a Tagore devotee

    A small, upmarket café housed in what may seem to be a refitted basement is the setting for my interview with Martin Kämpchen, the German author, Tagore translator and journalist.

  • Reducing the cost of migration should be prioritised

    Switzerland has been working in the area of migration in Bangladesh for some 10 years, knowing it is very important for the country’s economy and people. I

  • A heart-to-heart with Asaduzzaman Noor

    Born on October 31, 1946, freedom fighter and former Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor began his journey as an actor with theatre. His memorable roles include Baaker Bhai from Kothao Keo Nei, Nandail’er Yunus from Maatir Pinjirar Majhe Bondi Hoiya and Chhoto Mirza from Ayomoy, among many others. At the moment, he is attending a cultural festival titled ‘A Season of Bangla Drama’ in London organised by London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Recently, Noor shared his thoughts with Elita Karim of The Daily Star.

  • Attack on WikiLeaks is an attack on independent journalism

    Nozomi Hayase, Ph.D, is a US-based liberation psychologist and widely published journalist. She has authored two books—Imaginative Cognition and Wikileaks, the Global Fourth Estate: History Is Happening.

  • Mozammel Haque Chowdhury

    ‘Transport sector has become a big hub for extortion’

    After last year’s countrywide road safety movement, we hoped that there would be some significant changes in our transport sector because of the big promises made by the government. But unfortunately, the government could not keep its promises, and so no substantive changes have been made.

  • Forewarning can minimise the devastation of river erosion

    We have been witnessing increasing incidents of river erosion this year, which has already devoured vast areas of croplands and homesteads of people across the country. Do you think river erosion has been causing more damage this year compared to previous years?

  • ‘The culture of impunity bedevilling public universities must be dealt with firmly’

    What are your thoughts on the UGC probe committee’s recommendation to withdraw the Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University in Gopalganj, following which he resigned on September 30?

  • ‘Universities can be saved only by unadulterated autonomy’

    This year’s World Teachers’ Day celebrates teachers with the theme “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession”. How bright is the future of the profession in a country plagued by a dysfunctional education system, where teachers no longer enjoy the formidable reputation they once did? What went wrong?