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Hankering for rural contact? Pahela Baishakh isn’t the answer

It’s been quite some time since we’ve had a Pahela Baishakh in the middle of Ramadan. The convergence of the two occasions, not necessarily a clash of ideologies, begs appreciation of life in its many nuances and complexities.

Dhaka, for all intents and purposes, is dead

In Dhaka, we don’t live anymore, we merely survive.

Ferry disasters: Let’s not sugarcoat institutional murders

It’s like a scene from a Stephen King movie: a small passenger vessel being “devoured” by a cargo ship about 20 times its size.

May 28, 2021
May 28, 2021

The story of the middle class you’re never told

What is the picture that flashes through your mind when someone talks of social classes? A reader of The Guardian newspaper once made an interesting albeit highly generalised observation.

March 24, 2021
March 24, 2021

When faith is a weapon, don’t be surprised by who wields it

A dramatic turn of events since the March 17 attack on Hindu villagers in Sunamganj’s Shalla Upazila has been reshaping the narrative on the culpability of potential actors and, by extension, the politics of communal violence in Bangladesh.

January 14, 2021
January 14, 2021

What’s Eating Quader Mirza?

How well do you follow the headlines of your newspapers? If one were to run a quiz to see how well the readers of The Daily Star stack up against each other, the question that is most likely to be at the top of the list would be about the name that appeared most in the headlines of our central pages over the last week.

November 27, 2020
November 27, 2020

The road to development is ‘always’ under construction

What is the first image that comes to your mind when you think of the word “development”? I see an image of a signboard, and it’s about the Metro Rail (MRT Line-6) being constructed in Mirpur, connecting different parts of the metropolis.

November 18, 2020
November 18, 2020

Kindness can heal what blind faith cannot

I remember there was a time when, owing to my youthful naiveté, I would think that living is more than surviving.

November 12, 2020
November 12, 2020

First transgender madrasa: Let it be the spark for a social revolution

On Friday, November 6, the first madrasa for transgender Muslims in Bangladesh was opened in Dhaka through a private initiative.

November 5, 2020
November 5, 2020

Sarwar’s abduction: A chilling message for journalists

Late in the evening on November 1, 2020, journalist Golam Sarwar, who went missing on October 29, was found unconscious near a canal at Sitakunda, Chattogram.

November 3, 2020
November 3, 2020

The political pendulum is rigged to swing back

In an article in August 2018, I argued that emerging political leaders, because of the unique socioeconomic reality in which they grew up, might be more likely to accept change and less likely to default to norms and practices pursued by their boomer predecessors.

October 20, 2020
October 20, 2020

A Long March to Brutalities

It could have been just another episode in the regular show of police and ruling party men merrily clamping down on the “disturbers of public peace” who love to play with people’s emotions with their pesky ideas and noisy chants of human rights abuses.

October 18, 2020
October 18, 2020

Death penalty minus political will to stop rape is just good optics

From harsh legal penalties to severe moral reprimands, from street protests and sit-ins to virtual seminars and teach-ins, from increasing mobilisation and visibilisation of pro-choice activists to critical interventions by state and non-state actors—nothing, and no one, seems to be able to deter the rapists or protect women and children.