• Are we looking at a hug-less world?

    I have to confess, one of the most frustrating things I have had to face during The Year of Covid-19 is having to restrain myself from hugging people.

  • The MP’s words are an insult to all women

    One would think it to be the rantings of a madman had it not been the words of a parliamentarian—that feminists are to blame for the rape incidents across the country.

  • Has the Noakhali gang rape shaken us enough?

    By now, many people have already watched the video. Others could only stomach the transcript, also shared on social media.

  • Air travel in the time of corona is surreal

    I don’t know why I was expecting that I would not be fazed at embarking on a journey across the Atlantic at a time when just stepping out of my bedroom had the potential to kill me.

  • A distressfully uncertain future created by the latest US foreign student guideline

    Monday July 6 proved to arrive with ominous news for international students studying in the US, some of them still in the US, others back home for the summer as well as those who were scheduled to start university this fall.

  • The universe is shutting us down. Can we restart?

    After washing my hands for the eleventh time today, I am still not completely sure whether I touched something contaminated—the metal tap, the metal doorknob, the metal part of my pen.

  • The Unhappiness Factor

    When we read about a woman being “gang-raped”, then raped again by her “rescuer” (The Daily Star, October 28, 2019), how long do we spend thinking about the unbelievable trauma this woman has gone through?

  • The privilege of being a brown South Asian traveller

    One of the interesting perks of being a brown South Asian, travelling anywhere in the world, is the special attention you get from various official quarters.

  • A DU student’s trauma

    Even before we can catch our breath as we enter a new year, a new decade, rape continues to haunt us, reminding us of its presence...

  • BCL violence again

    You have to hand it to them—rain, hail or storm, Chhatra League manages to hog the headlines. The latest has been an attack on protesting students at JU who were demanding the

  • gunfight

    The tentacles of institutionalised violence reach everywhere

    When we read how indivi-duals accused of a crime—drug peddling, terrorism or murder—get shot during a gun fight between their cohorts and the law enforcers we shrug it off without a bat of an eyelid. We know that these “gunfights”, “shootouts” or “encounters” are euphemisms for extrajudicial killing.

  • Abrar Fahad

    Abrar’s murder has opened Chhatra League’s Pandora’s box

    It is a common belief that only meritorious, above-average students can get into a university like Buet. It’s no joke when amongst thousands of applicants, only a handful are selected.

  • Onions should not make you cry

    When things hit rock bottom humans have a tendency to find ways to laugh at them. It is related to that ambivalence of a bizarre event when you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  • An apology to our children

    “Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago,” – Greta Thunberg, United Nations COP24 Climate Summit, Poland 2019

  • rape in Narayanganj

    The criminality of ‘crime fighters’

    The news story of police officials, including the OC, of a Pabna police station, forcing a gang-rape victim to marry one of the rapists is a perfect example of how perpetrators of a crime as heinous as rape, are allowed to go scot free with the help of

  • 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.