Why I feel suffocated by Dhanmondi

Dhanmondi these days is a cacophony of people, traffic, events, vendors, schools, hospitals, restaurants, and construction sites.

If only irony could pay bills…

There are two kinds of numbers that I find difficult to digest these days. The more I try to swallow the one, the more unpalatable the other becomes. 

When sentiments reign over reason

Some of us may breathe a sigh of relief that Hriday Mondal, imprisoned for 19 days and denied bail twice, for trying to explain the difference between science and religion to his students, has been granted bail.

An ordinary person’s guide to dangerous online regulations

Two dangerous policy drafts regulating our online presence have been prepared right in front of our noses, and except for a few usual suspects crying wolf, there has been little public outrage over it.

International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists / When the state wants to make criminals out of journalists

Anyone who has seen the video of Chattogram-based journalist Golam Sarwar—taken shortly after he was found unconscious on the banks of a canal following a disappearance of three days—is unlikely to forget the helplessness and fear coursing through his bruised being, as he kept on uttering the words, “Please, brother, I won’t write anymore.”

This is not how Hindu devotees wanted to bid farewell to Durga

The scenes are at once familiar and unfamiliar.

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...