• The coal conundrum: Are we really moving away from dirty energy?

    After a decade of ruthlessly pursuing the world’s dirtiest fuel, the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources (MoPEMR) is contemplating closing down 13 of the 18 previously approved coal-based power projects around the country and apparently switching to “cleaner” alternatives.

  • The bloody view from the resort in the hills

    The announcement that a five-star “Marriott Hotel and Amusement Park” is being built in Bandarban no doubt comes as welcome news to Bengali elites and the nouveau riche looking for novel and Instagrammable ways of spending their weekends and disposable incomes in the luscious hills of the CHT.

  • Why are former Tazreen workers still on the streets?

    For the last 45 days, at least 40 (former) workers of Tazreen Fashions Limited have been staging a protest on the sidewalks outside the Press Club, unnoticed, for the most part, by the media.

  • Decrees cannot drown debates

    October 7, 2020 marked the first death anniversary of second-year Buet student, Fahad Abrar, who was tortured to death by members of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) for posting a criticism of an agreement signed between Bangladesh and India on the use of the Mongla port, water sharing and export of energy sources.

  • From remittance-warriors to criminals

    If life were a film with a wholesome ending, traffickers of the 106 Bangladeshis stuck in Vietnam would have been swiftly arrested.

  • Deadly encounters

    In a rare instance in the long and not-so-glorious history of extra-judicial killings in Bangladesh, justice, it appears, is on its way to being served for the murder of Major (retd) Rashed Sinha.

  • Ethical business is not a one-way street

    It really warms my cold, judgmental heart when I hear grandiloquent statements from Bangladeshi RMG factory owners about the importance of ethical business as they plead with big global brands to “do the right thing” and “stand by poor Bangladeshi workers”.

  • Opinion: Corona is only as cruel as capitalism’s weakest link

    That capitalism is cruel should come as no surprise to those who understand either the meaning of cruelty or the logic of capitalism.

  • One more nail in the coffin of free press

    A barrage of fireworks light up the smoggy skies of Dhaka and I feel as if I’m in the opening scenes of a dystopian film.

  • The devil in development

    The word “development” - eliciting as it does grandiloquent notions of progress - has become, at least in Bangladesh, something of a red herring.

  • If our democracy could talk, what would it say?

    When people resist what the government would like to wholesale, impose, or force-feed as “development”, democracy seems quite at ease to quell people's resistances, violate pledges and dismiss the age-old demands of the adivasi communities.

  • Who says we're not free?

    Last week, Freedom House, an independent watchdog organisation that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom...

  • When only men make the news

    On the onset, it seems women are everywhere in the media. You switch on the TV, there is inevitably an attractive woman luring you

  • A lesson on lessons not learnt

    Eleven years ago, on a hot, stuffy day not unlike today, a building had come crashing down on the sweating workers of a sweater factory.

  • What do we celebrate when we celebrate 'special' days?

    We are quite happy, thank you very much, to superficially engage with an issue and then sweep it under the rug as soon as the day is over.

  • You can't pass a donkey as a horse!

    AT the risk of sounding “anti-growth” and “anti-exports” – and heck, of damaging the “image” of the country (because, apparently,

  • Whose city is it, anyway?

    The impassioned descriptions all collide against, but dissolve into each other – the past, present and future, stories of pain, aspiration, fear and anger compete against each other to be heard.

  • A fifteen-year-old wait

    We must confront the uncomfortable truth that beyond paying lip-service to the “ideals of secularism and tolerance” (if that!), we have done precious little to show we care about the Hindu population of this country.

  • Breaking of spirits and bones

    Forty-four years since independence, must we remain a caricature of a dysfunctional, postcolonial state where law enforcers...

  • Do we really remember?

    We have been taught contradictory versions of history that are outright lies at worst and simplistic at best, to the extent that we now either disavow the atrocities of the Liberation War or use “Muktijuddher Chetona” as a pretext for justifying repressive measures and silencing dissent.

  • Is the parliament above question?

    Wouldn't any criticism against the government or any form of dissent then be reason enough to have an NGO's registration cancelled? In addition, going by Sengupta's comments, are we to accept that the TIB – and by corollary, any other NGO – can never make a comment on the parliament?


    We were “assured” after the attack that the in/action of the law enforcers would be “looked into” and “action taken against anyone found negligent of his duties”. However, till now, no administrative or legal action has been taken against any person

  • Not just a hashtag generation

    Kudos, young comrades, for making the impossible possible – for making the government rethink its position at a time when our policymakers often stubbornly stick to their guns, no matter how foolhardy their decisions. Kudos to you for making us believe,

  • Negligence most foul!

    It is a hopeful sign that after three years and relentless pressure from activist groups, a Dhaka court has framed charges against 13 people, including the two owners of Tazreen, Delwar Hossain and Mahmuda Akhtar, for the death of at least 112 workers.

  • The definitive writer's guide to surviving this democracy

    Are you a writer, journalist, blogger or Facebook user? Do you find yourself thinking long and hard about the dwindling state of affairs in the country?


    Purti Munda, the forefather of Mahasweta Devi's adivasi hero, Chotti Munda, had lamented how, wherever he goes, however remote the place, someone appears right away – “Whites-Bangalis-Biharis” – to snatch away his land, and along with it, his peace of mind.


    Imagine a life of never fitting in, of constant ridicules and derisions, of being shunned by your own family, of being denied jobs and a chance at a “comfortable” life, of being harassed and assaulted, often sexually, because of who you are.

  • For the Kalpana Chakma I know and the one I never will

    I never knew Kalpana di – not personally anyway -- the fearless indigenous activist who was snatched away from us by “mysterious” powers-that-be 19 years ago, when she was only 20 years of age.

  • op-ed cartoons

    Consuming Unspeakable Tragedies

    During Rana Plaza, the media interviewed dying workers “LIVE” and went into the collapsed building with heavy recording equipment despite warnings that they might hurt survivors.

  • violence against women

    See no evil, catch no evil

    If police response during the attack was abhorrent, how they reacted to it subsequently was even more disgraceful.