Spotlight | The Daily Star
  • Jahangirnagar University crisis - mired in a stalemate

    Amidst all the commotion at Jahangirnagar University, this issue of the Star Weekend attempts to discern the trajectory of the disaster by sieving it through a chronological timeline, collated from reports published in The Daily Star and other major national newspapers. We start from the reappointment of the VC and take the reader through all that has happened till date, all that has brought this renowned academic institution to a standstill.This timeline is certainly not exhaustive. What it demands of the reader is discernment, analysis and conscious awareness of the ever-persistent, wider issues that these events represent. Where does it all begin, and where does it end? Why should a public university be in such a place to begin with?

  • East Jurain: Worst place to live in Dhaka?

    Ashraful Islam, a retired government official, built a two-story house in Dhaka’s east Jurain neighbourhood in 1996. He spent his forty years of savings and even exhausted his wife’s fixed deposit to build this dwelling.

  • Stone- Crushers Dying of silicosis, failed by courts

    Burimari union, a border village nestling in a nook of the Indian district of Cooch Behar, is a village of stones and stone-crushing yards.

  • Jamdani: A fabric of then and now

    Along the banks of the Sitalakhya river in Narayanganj, some 20 villages in Sonargaon, Rupganj, and Siddhirganj in particular, women villagers starch yarn in lime and toasted rice to make warp yarn—the vertical, lengthwise weaves that make up a fabric.

  • Youth against fear and injustice

    The public universities, old and new, are in quite a sorry state. It seems that these institutions exist only to offer support for the government’s misrule.

  • A long, hard look at our teachers

    For months, our public universities have been erupting in protests, with students demanding some very basic things: vice-chancellors who are not corrupt, teachers who cannot bribe their way into the university, student political wings who do not extort or oppress (or murder), effective sexual harassment policies, and freedom of expression.


    The latest, but probably not the last, victim of this culture of impunity is Abrar Fahad, a second-year student of the electrical and electronic engineering department of Bangladesh University of Science and Technology (BUET).

  • The story of Teesta

    The story of Teesta begins 23,386 ft above the sea-level at the Pahunri glacier nestled between the Tibet and India border.

  • Jhenaidah: A death a day

    According to the latest data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Bangladesh witnesses six incidents of suicide for every

  • Machines whirring at migratory bird sanctuary

    Around halfway through the Jahangirnagar University campus one would notice age-old rusting signboards with caution warnings like

  • Primary education in Bangladesh: All exams and no learning

    Most of the time, however, one of her parents takes her to school and they carry her schoolbag for her. On the way to school,

  • Miscarriage in the tea gardens

    “We can read it ourselves inside our homes but we can’t organise a reading circle to share the contents of the manual, without


    A tiny red gate jostles for space among shops, apartments, and the flurry of traffic in Block F of Lalmatia in Dhaka. Like the name

  • Is anyone safe at the hands of a mad mob?

    Md Shajib Mian, an 18-year-old youngster, is one of the many destitute youths of Kamlapur railway station who can be seen peddling water bottles, cigarettes, newspapers and sometimes carrying heavy luggage of the passengers on his short, lean body and dirt-covered hair.

  • MY ZOO and other fatalities

    It doesn’t matter how beautiful the cage is. It’s still a prison.—Natasha Ngan, Girls of Paper and Fire

  • The zoo that is not

    Many of the animals at the Bangladesh National Zoo are passing days with immense suffering. With poor medical care, scarce food and congested cages, the captive animals look so miserable and weak that seeing them is not exactly fun for all the visitors. However, the zoo, located in a sprawling 186 acres of land in Dhaka's Mirpur section, is the 4th largest in the world in terms of area. With two picturesque lakes, a museum, two camping sites, huge gardens and orchards, this zoo has the potential to be one of the best in the world.

  • A golden opportunity!

    It was while shopping for jewellery for my wedding last year that I realised just how much of the gold in the glitzy, gilded shops are possibly smuggled.

  • A River Dies in Kurigram

    “Is there a river called Jinjirum that’s a trans-boundary river? Are you sure about its name? Is it the name of the locality or the river? I haven’t even heard about it,” says a high-ranking official of the northern zone of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), when we asked him about different issues faced by this river and the communities dependent on it.


    When the Accord and Alliance signed on different brands from all over the world after the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, they pledged that the factories that these brands will do business with will ensure safe working conditions for the workers.

  • Beyond the pitch

    16-year-old centre back Akhi Khatun's talent caught the attention of scouts when she played in the 2014 edition of the Bangamata Primary School Gold Cup. She was soon enrolled in the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan, or BKSP, and called up for the U-14 team playing at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) women's regional championship in Tajikistan in 2015. The girls won.

  • An epic saga of loss

    Once upon a time, in the winter of 2014, in a land far far away—Sundarbans—a young man in his twenties, seeking adventures...

  • Audacity Of Hope

    During the 1971 Liberation War, Khurshid Jahan, a 21-year-old student of Bagerhat PC College, Khulna, started training as a freedom fighter under the guidance of Lieutenant Zia Uddin.

  • For whom the bell tolled

    Simeen Mahmud was an accomplished researcher working on issues of women's empowerment, women's work and labour force participation, and gender norms in Bangladesh. A statistician and demographer by training, Simeen was educated at the University of Dhaka and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She was also a MacArthur Fellow at the Harvard Centre for Population and Development Studies.

  • Place-ing CHOBI MELA X

    It all starts with contact with light. The process, as we know, requires light to seep into the lens in which the moment captured already exists.

  • The Layoffs

    On January 12, Jubayer walked to his factory with his fellow workers to find his name and face up on the walls of the factory. He has since been unable to enter the factory and terminated from work.

  • Pot of Gold - At the end of the 300 feet road

    On January 28, the High Court ordered 38 housing projects around Purbachal New Town to temporarily stop all land-related activity being conducted. To be more specific, this activity included plugging up water-bodies, filling lowlands with sand, and clearing out vegetation.

  • Rehabs in need of rehabilitation

    On February 6, 2016, 27-year-old Shariful Haque died of pneumonia after being given an ice bath treatment by the doctors of his drug rehabilitation centre in Pabna.

  • The story of a floating people

    14 Bede families have set up their oval-shaped makeshift tents on private land in Natun Torki, a village in Kalkini Upazila of Madaripur district. A branch of the Arialkha river flows on the west of Natun Torki. The area is well-known in Barishal for Torki Bandar, a narrow but flowing river on the west. The Bede huts are just on the outskirts of the crowded Natun Torki market.

  • Post-mortem of a worker's death

    “Look, just look how happy and innocent he was,” says Hashi Begum as she hands me a mobile phone and points to the photo gallery.

  • A Fatal Diagnosis: Cancer treatment in Bangladesh

    It was around 12:30 pm when we reached the office of the director of National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRH). After a half hour wait, the director called us in.