IN OTHER WORDS | The Daily Star
  • Power to the powerless

    The general attitude toward journalists is perhaps summed by what Norman Mailer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer, expressed many years ago, “If a person is not talented enough to be a novelist, not smart enough to be a lawyer, and his hands are too shaky to perform operations, he becomes a journalist.”

  • The slow death of democracies

    Lately, democratic erosion in many countries has been less dramatic and more deceptive. There are no tanks in the streets. A formal or

  • A case for more tea shops

    When we look at someone like Mozart who shows his unusual gift at an early age, we think that it must be genetic. But studies show that genetics is a relatively small piece of the genius puzzle. Geniuses are neither born nor made. They are grown, according to Eric Weiner, author of the bestselling book The Geography of Genius (2016).

  • The power paradox

    The Machiavellian thesis that power is about force, intimidation and violence no longer passes muster. Instead, through social practices that promote the interests of others such as empathy, equality, collaboration, open mindedness and generosity, we acquire power.

  • Taking activism beyond social media

    As the world marks the centenary of the October Revolution, it is apt to study online movements and their offline results. The day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, an estimated 3.5 million people in cities around the US...

  • Diversity is strength

    By making the workplace more diverse, an organisation can encourage employees to watch their own potential biases—fixed ways of thinking that can hinder their ability to see important facts and even lead them to make mistakes in decision-making processes.

  • Omar Khadr, Canada and the rule of law

    Most of us say “I'm sorry” many times a day for a host of trivial affronts—accidentally bumping into someone or sneezing during a business meeting. These apologies are easy and usually readily accepted. Apologies needed to right wrongful words, acts or inactions, on the other hand, are harder to come by. Similarly, when it comes to nations saying the S word, examples are in short supply.

  • The 'Bangladesh paradox'

    Despite the so-called bad governance, how has the economy of Bangladesh been growing at rates higher than those of most South Asian countries?

  • Tourism gone wild

    Despite all these constraints—inadequate and poor quality public transports, extended travel time, high-priced but low quality accommodation, lack of recreational facilities—the number of domestic tourists has gone up significantly over the years.

  • Of black excellence and Serena

    The private tennis clubs in the US remained off limits to minorities well into the second half of the twentieth century. Her distinction thus comes with the ability to imagine herself achieving a new kind of history for all of us.

  • Agriculture on steroids

    At the same time, a large number of farmers are overusing pesticides and chemical fertilisers, creating environmental and health hazards.

  • A lexicon for ugliness

    Every society has its articles of faith. The strength of a society depends on the extent to which its articles of faith match the realities

  • Will women change the world economy?

    About eight years ago when the financial crisis hit Iceland, a tiny island with a population of 320,000, most Icelanders found themselves in serious financial tribulations.

  • A special birthday gift

    A state of numbing grief to the point of being lost is what Anwara Syed Haq seems to be in as I meet her at her residence.

  • Challenges before the new UN chief

    Antonio Guterres became the next Secretary-General of the United Nations on Monday when relations between the US and Russia are probably at their grumpiest since the end of the Cold War, nationalist movements are on the rise around the world and amid what he called a loss of confidence in institutions, including the one he will take over in January.

  • The terror on our roads

    Idon't believe Bangladeshis are genetically bad drivers. The same Bangladeshi driver who drives on our highways as if his wife was giving birth to their first child in the back seat of a car will drive like a saint in any city in the United States.

  • Funny Money

    Funny Money

    All black money is not held in cash. It may be in foreign bank accounts. And all cash is not black money. Many legitimate businesses deal with large amounts of cash. Petrol pumps, restaurants, textile merchants and jewellers often have large cash holdings by the end of the day with many customers paying in cash.

  • TRUMP WINS: America gazed long into an abyss and the abyss is now gazing back into it

    Now that the sickening charade of his campaign is over, it is a good time to ask what exactly he would be like as the President of the United States. Will his presidency be like his campaign?

  • Who needs science?

    How many of us cared about who got the Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry earlier this month and for what? What kind of coverage did it get from the media?

  • A Chinese Whisper

    China likes to mind its own business. It wants to have as little involvement abroad as it can get away with. Instead of acting for the “greater good of humanity” it responds pragmatically when its own interests are at stake.

  • An original sin

    A recent report by a UN-affiliated group refuels the long-standing debate over reparations for African-Americans. The group of

  • Syed Shamsul Haq

    A mother and son reunion

    Syed Shamsul Haq walked taller than many of us. That's because he left no room in his heart for anything but the old verities of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any work of art is ephemeral and doomed.

  • Voices from a small town

    Voices from a small town

    The building that houses the Jessore Shahittyo Parishad is not much to look at. From its appearance, it's difficult to get a measure of the impact it made in its heyday.

  • people of Taragonj

    The power of imagination

    When the day is long and the night is yours alone, when you have decided you have had enough, hang on. Inspiration will come from the most unexpected sources, like two public servants, one civil, the other military. They both radiate an inner light, a generosity of spirit, a depth of character which I have not achieved. That's something to work on before I say enough.

  • Corruption

    Corruption: Nature of the disease

    Countries that have managed to keep corruption, embezzlement and fraud under control have done so by adopting a three-pronged approach: the lawyer's approach, the economist's approach and the businessman's approach. It is the first - tougher new laws and tougher enforcement of existing laws - that is usually the topic of discussion in the media and other circles.

  • Children in war

    Children in war

    War remains the decisive human failure of which children are the worst victims. That was my first reaction when I saw the photo of

  • University without a campus

    University without a campus

    Since July 1, private universities of the country have been in the spotlight and mostly for wrong reasons. In the cacophony of arguments for and against them, an important fact seems to have been lost. A lot of them do not have a campus.


    The turbulence following the July 8 killing of Burhan Wani by Indian security forces is a blow to peace in the long-troubled region claimed by both India and Pakistan, where an insurgency movement peaked in the 1990s, then dwindled, but never completely melted away. Can deep loss, once it finds utterance, be silenced through the barrel of a gun?

  • Making character palatable again

    It is baffling that physical courage is so common in the world and moral courage so rare. It is hard to find people whose manner is infused with kindness, humility and integrity, in other words, character. The issue is relevant because it is timeless.

  • Thought Control

    “Patriotism” and “national unity” trumped truth. The line between propaganda and journalism was forgotten.