• The frenzy of an angry, misguided mob

    The recent tragic deaths of seven people at the hands of angry mobs on suspicion of being child abductors, in different parts of the country, are jolting reminders of the dangerous consequences of spreading rumours. Apparently, the latest series of mob killings were sparked off by a preposterous tale being circulated regarding human heads being collected for the building of Padma Bridge.

  • The thrillseekers among us

    Adventurous is not the first word that pops into one’s mind when thinking of us Bangladeshis. Hospitable? Yes. Warm? Yes. Resilient? Definitely yes. And laidback? Yes. But “adventurous”?

  • Protecting our most precious

    The first thing that probably comes to a parent’s mind when their child is brutally taken from them is, “why couldn’t I protect her/him?” That is most likely what the parents of seven-year-old Samia, a nursery school student from Wari, were thinking when they

  • Why couldn’t we protect Nurse Tania and other Nirbhayas?

    Every time we read the word “rape” and “gang rape”, we cringe with horror. Yet these two words keep coming up too often in our daily dose of nightmarish news.

  • The audacity to do what is right

    As the country become a state of thieves?” Such a strong remark by a High Court judge was in reference to the strange reality of many policemen leading hard lives while others lived in expensive houses.

  • How did zebra crossings become death traps?

    There could be nothing more symbolic of the utter absurdity of the state of our roads than a zebra crossing stained by the blood of a university student, a road safety campaigner who was crushed by a speeding bus racing with another speeding bus.

  • Ducsu dreams dashed: Another symptom of the disease

    What do you call those who just refuse to see the writing on the wall? Delusional fools or compulsive optimists? Perhaps we are a bit of both.

  • Eviction drives

    Losing the only roof over their heads

    The image is all too familiar, so much so that it is almost forgettable: A woman wailing amongst debris that once was what she called her home.

  • Because she exercised her constitutional right

    The gang-rape of a 35-year-old woman, a mother of four young children, because she insisted on exercising her right to vote for whoever she wanted to, has been the most devastating story for us ordinary citizens and especially for women of this country. It is hard to find words to describe the disillusionment and anguish I know I share with most of my fellow citizens that such horrendous violence should be inflicted as a twisted form of political revenge. While all the rapists have been arrested, even the man who “ordered” the 10 to 12 men to rape that woman “to teach her a lesson” for challenging him, what we cannot escape is the realisation of how far the culture of impunity of political elites and their cohorts has gone.

  • The love-hate relationship with social media

    Ever since it started existing, governments have had a love-hate relationship with social media. Predictably, the romance starts to sour when social media contains criticism of the

  • Men should be worried

    Men all over the world are getting worried. Or at least they should be. What started out as a movement in the US against sexual harassment of powerful men at top positions in Hollywood...

  • Curb your curiosity for your own sake

    Many indivi-duals who come to this country for the first time are enamoured by the overabundance of genuine hospitality that they receive from the local people.

  • We don't need no moral policing

    Children should not speak unless spoken to. The old adage has come back to haunt us again. Or perhaps it never went away at all—at least not in our cultural context.

  • How are we doing — as human beings?

    It is one of the biggest paradoxes of present time — the contradiction of having the most remarkable advancements in technology with the most regressive developments in human civilisation.

  • When we falter they rise

    The damning indictment had been announced a long time before we were ready to hear it. Now, we can no longer look away from that awful, cringe-worthy truth. We, the grownups, the apparent decision makers of their fate, have failed our children.

  • Surviving in a narrowing space

    It is hardly a new phenomenon to see how governments, especially in South Asia, claiming to be democratic to suit their convenience, become anything but that when it comes to dissenting views. Curbing press freedom, in particular, will always become the target for governments that have succumbed to insecurities of their own creation. Corruption of leaders or their cronies seems to be the topmost reason for state paranoia of the media which is seen as a thorn in the flesh rather than an essential component of democratic maturity.

  • Celebrating a Braveheart

    A tribute to artist and freedom fighter Ferdousi Priyabhashini on a day we celebrate women could not be more befitting except for the fact that it should have been a tribute to a living legend not a eulogy for a hero who is no more. She passed away on March 6. When one looks at the life of this incredibly brave and beautiful woman one cannot help but feel that we as a nation have failed miserably to pay our dues to this freedom fighter.

  • Asma Jahangir

    The tragedy of losing a champion

    The tragedy of Asma Jahangir's sudden passing away at only 66 years of age, on February 11, is that she has left the world at a time when it needed her most.

  • Ivy's Poison

    The pictures on the front page of practically every major newspaper on Wednesday, January 17, conjure an ugly image of Bangladesh's political scene.

  • Facebook for escapists or escapees?

    It makes one wonder why married couples must declare their unquestionable adoration for each other on Facebook. Do they not see each other every single day of their lives?

  • Waiting for a miracle

    Waiting for a miracle

    The best thing about the building I come to work to six days a week is that it has reasonably clean (as in dry), separate toilets for women in each floor. It is a luxury that few women in this city can claim. I say “luxury” for what is a basic necessity because in Dhaka city (forget the rest of Bangladesh) having access to a reasonably useable toilet for women is a rarity. Sometimes it is a miracle.

  • For the love of the camera!

    Cameras have always had a strange effect on people. While there is a group of people who are called camera shy, who will shun any attempts of anyone trying to photograph them, who will grimace uncomfortably when the camera...

  • Say no to the right to wrong passage

    I don't know about you but when I read about traffic law enforcers stopping VIP cars going on the wrong side of the road and giving them tickets, for some reason I feel like jumping with joy. Forgive me for being gleeful at another individual's inconvenience.

  • Can we make the world colour-blind?

    Yet there it is—an inescapable, undesirable truth. And it goes far beyond the silly jibes of how you didn't get your mother's buttery complexion or the delicate hints by the parlour assistant that a “fair polish” is in order to “brighten” your dark, dull skin.

  • Lessons from Aduri's ordeal

    Tuesday's verdict by a special court in Dhaka, which sentenced Nawrin Jahan Nodi to life imprisonment for torturing an 11-year-old domestic help, Aduri, and dumping her into a dustbin assuming she was dead, should give us immense satisfaction.

  • The spectre of Rip Van Winkle

    This is a city where even the most important people fall victim of the Rip Van Winkle syndrome. They lie in the blissful sleep of negligence and apathy while their city's vitality, strength and resilience are washed away in the dirty waters.

  • When in doubt bring Ershad out

    You have to hand it to the former general/president. Nobody can really match the age-defying, flamboyant showstopper like Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad.

  • The paradox of institutional silence

    The paradox of silence is that it only accentuates the sound of things you may not want to hear. The silence I am talking about here is the institutional refusal to acknowledge, let alone address an unsavoury truth.

  • Who cares what happened with Apu and Shakib?

    Just when you thought you knew what the most significant news of the day was – West Bengal Chief Minister's rejection of the Teesta...

  • No such place as home

    For the majority of communities in this country, the idea of a woman inheriting more than a man is ludicrous, even equally is rarely accepted. But there have been instances where through legal channels brothers and sisters have shared their parents' wealth equally without any kind of acrimony.