THE MIDDLE PATH | The Daily Star
  • No merit in quotas

    Anyone who has played “alley cricket” will know that it has its own rules: e.g. two “chiefs” get to select players in tandem, and (s)he who sends the ball over the wall must fetch it. Another such rule is that the owner of the bat will have an automatic place on the team. This last provision is an everyday example of a “quota system” where able performers are replaced by those wielding power over the selection process.

  • We have secret ties with 'many' Arab states

    An Israeli cabinet minister said on Sunday that Israel had covert ties with "many" Arab and Muslim states but was

  • Rohingyas and the cost of kindness

    It is certain that the present Rohingya sensation will soon die down, and be replaced in public memory by something far more banal.

  • Silence Of Friends: Activism in the Modern Era

    Social media has opened floodgates of unexamined causes and unstoppable rebels. With the license to post/share anything and zero accountability, young men and women have taken to protests and activism over anything and everything.

  • Social ripples of rape

    When alleged rapist Shafat Ahmed and accomplice Shadman Sakif were arrested, and the former's father brought under investigation, I had decided not to write about the rape incident that took place in a hotel in Banani.

  • An idea whose time has come

    A great example of citizens failing to arrest political devolution is how a mediocre businessman – with a bad toupée, vocabulary of a fifth grader and freakishly small hands – danced his way to the American presidency.

  • An Unwanted People

    The International Community seems to be unable, if not unwilling, to adequately respond to the recent escalation in Rohingya persecution. Long before this crackdown, apartheid conditions prevailed for the Muslim minority.

  • Demonetisation: A Noteworthy Modification

    India's sudden-death demonetisation resembles a gamble: it will either be a big win or a catastrophic fail. Perhaps it is this realisation that keeps the administration squarely in the PM's corner.

  • The Fog of War

    2005: the War on Terror was in its third year. Hundreds of tonnes of explosives had pummeled Iraq and Afghanistan, and thousands

  • What's in a frame?

    It was always destined to become iconic: an image of blood-red streams flowing through a cityscape. The city was Dhaka and the

  • A Dramatic Fall

    Tania, Tania, Tania!" a ponytailed musician-type claps furiously. He is apologising to his girlfriend. His face looks as though it were

  • Cornered men and toxic masculinity

    Just after we had graduated to secondary school, a new boy joined our class. This new entrant was of pale, white complexion,

  • A marriage of ideals and realities

    In reality, a village father does not care about Bangladesh's commitments at the Girl Summit 2014; he cares about his daughter, and his social standing. Integrally linked to this sense of honour are cultural ideas like virginity or purity.

  • The post-crisis rumour mill

    During an unprecedented attack like the one at Holey Artisan Bakery, crisis management is of utmost priority.

  • People help an injured person after gunmen attacked the Holey Artisan Café.

    A Night of Terror

    So, a night of absolute terror preceded the glorified Night of Power this Ramadan. And it has left Dhaka in a stupor; in a dazed state of disbelief and heartbreak.

  • ViralSlide: Does 'Virality' Matter?

    Take a look at the news-stories that really stirred our civic discourse in 2016: Rampal, central bank heist, teacher's humiliation by lawmaker or Tonu's murder. Think back another year: remember the #RichKids incident where a drunken teen (a former MP's nephew)

  • Bring Back Our Girls

    Sabira has been adequately framed as a 'model' and something of a 'wildcard' - who didn't care much about social norms. Her final video, featuring her in a slightly incoherent, vulnerable state, has been branded by online media sites and uploaded endlessly for public display. Not a single voice suggested that her privacy be respected.

  • A Reasonable Vice

    A former family chauffeur was recently suspended from his beloved 'government job'.

  • Can climate gather steam?

    When a car spontaneously caught fire in Dhaka last week, allegedly from a heated engine, social media comments invoked the ongoing heat-spell.

  • Matrix of Biometrics

    The man was up against a cave wall, holding his freshly ground and moistened haematite pigment in a coconut shell. He had spent the morning painting two Babirusas (pig-deer) with the chewed, bristly end of a twig. It was a hot day in Borneo; the forest breeze did not reach inside the cave. He was about to wipe the sweat off his brow, when the sight of his arm gave him an idea. He placed his hand against the cave wall and blew paint all over it, leaving an unmistakable imprint on the side of the wall. Little did he know that 40,000 years later – his work of art would dethrone European caves as the earliest instance of human creativity. Unknowingly, he had also become one of the first, deliberate users of biometric information.

  • The Laws of Inertia

    In 1988, Ershad's predictably dictator-esque declaration of a state religion led to the formation of the Committee to Resist Despotism

  • The Strongman returns

    It should be no surprise to us that the political 'strongman' has resurged. The very word evokes images of a bare-bodied Vladimir...

  • The land of scared ideas

    Sixty or seventy years back, higher education for the people of Bengal was a rare commodity. Racial and socioeconomic barriers held

  • A Democracy of Crisis

    Psychologists have suggested that humans have a natural preference for negative news, the public experience of which they enjoy via mass media. The reason is not necessarily 'schadenfreude' or secret pleasure derived out of other people's misery.

  • Collateral of War and Peace

    For Bangladesh's global image, January 2016 was not a good month. Allegations of sexual abuse by Bangladeshi peacekeepers

  • Ustad Allauddin Khan

    To burn a mockingbird

    It was a windy August day, 1877 C.E. A young, darkish and mostly unimpressive youth was at Nulo Gopal's door...

  • Bangladesh at Bloggerheads

    Like many Bangladeshis, I started concentrating on and paying closer attention to blogging from 2013. February 2013, to be precise.

  • A narrow spectrum of debate

    Sometimes it seems that Bangladeshis have been debating the same thing over and over again, failing to reach any consensus and only

  • The Grand Theatre of War

    World War I was once thought of as 'the War to End All Wars'. But the hypothesis that “violence can be extinguished with greater violence” has since been thoroughly disproved and should have no place in modern statecraft. Yet it is the bedrock of anti-terrorism.

  • The War on Abstract Notions

    Wars on abstract concepts (e.g. terror, freethinking) are dangerous because they can be aimed at virtually anyone and can be invoked to launch every missile and curtail every freedom.

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