Pick of the week | The Daily Star
  • Time to talk about teenage suicide

    The curse of growing up with literature is that you find something to romanticise about even in the saddest human experience.

  • An anatomy of 'jobless growth' in Bangladesh

    According to the official statistics, between 2013 and 2016-17, on average, gross domestic product (GDP) in Bangladesh grew annually by 6.6 percent, and there has been a net increase of 2.8 million new jobs on top of the 60.7 million jobs that existed in the economy in 2013.

  • Surviving in a narrowing space

    It is hardly a new phenomenon to see how governments, especially in South Asia, claiming to be democratic to suit their convenience, become anything but that when it comes to dissenting views. Curbing press freedom, in particular, will always become the target for governments that have succumbed to insecurities of their own creation. Corruption of leaders or their cronies seems to be the topmost reason for state paranoia of the media which is seen as a thorn in the flesh rather than an essential component of democratic maturity.

  • Proposed Digital Security Law: Gives law enforcers greater scope to abuse power

    A Latin proverb says “Experience is the best teacher.” In view of famous British historian James Anthony Froude: “Experience teaches slowly, and at the cost of mistakes.” However, our policy of learning is different. Experience seems to have taught us little. This seems to have been reflected again in offering the police arbitrary powers in the proposed digital security law to take action against alleged offences committed using digital devices.

  • 'We will mourn the dead and struggle for the survivors'

    This Garment Sramik Sanghati slogan is a response to Rana Plaza—a death trap for 1,135 workers, and many more injured and disabled. A tragedy caused by a corporate violation of rules, neglect of responsibility in a global chain that starts in the villages of Bangladesh and reaches the world's capitals.

  • How about reforming the viva system next?

    There aren't many moments in my life as an ordinary writer where my writings on banning the quota system have gone in vain. I had come to my workplace in the morning and finished the piece in three hours.

  • What has changed since the Spectrum disaster?

    The Spectrum factory building collapsed on April 11, 2005. I remember, I was returning to Dhaka from Rajshahi. No one was prepared for a disaster of such a devastating magnitude. The army was called in immediately for the rescue operation. In the meantime, almost 73 people were killed, with a few hundred others injured.

  • The Democracy Index: What it means and what it doesn't

    The recent announcement by a German foundation that Bangladesh is no longer a democracy has caused a stir in national and international media. The Bertelsmann Foundation, which tracks democracy around the globe, published its latest report showing that Bangladesh has slipped in its “democracy Index” measurement and has joined four other countries, Lebanon, Mozambique, Nicaragua and Uganda in the category of “new” autocracies.

  • No country for Beauty

    SOMETHING remarkable happened this week. Babul Mia of Habiganj—who had raped Beauty Akhter (16) earlier in the year—had her raped again and killed for not withdrawing the rape case pending against him, surprising no one.

  • Stephen Hawking

    Farewell to a brilliant mind

    Stephen Hawking died on Pi Day—March 14, which is also Einstein's birthday. He was born on another special day—Galileo's 300th death anniversary. It goes without saying that Hawking had a massive impact on not only gravitational physics, but also the world at large.

  • Celebrating a Braveheart

    A tribute to artist and freedom fighter Ferdousi Priyabhashini on a day we celebrate women could not be more befitting except for the fact that it should have been a tribute to a living legend not a eulogy for a hero who is no more. She passed away on March 6. When one looks at the life of this incredibly brave and beautiful woman one cannot help but feel that we as a nation have failed miserably to pay our dues to this freedom fighter.

  • THE RAWAT OFFENSIVE

    The Chief of Army Staff of India, General Bipin Rawat, has not minced his words. He was unambiguous and forthright. At a seminar jointly organised by the Centre for Joint Warfare Studies and the Ministry of Defence, recently held in Delhi, the army chief shared his thoughts on Northeast India. What was meant to be a talk of a professional soldier on 'Bridging Gaps and Securing Borders' of the region turned out to

  • Syed Manzoorul Islam

    'Make question paper leaks redundant'

    "Our examinations hardly test the students' creativity; these are geared more toward testing their memory. Take the MCQ system. It's a quick and snappy way to judge the proficiency of students in a particular topic," says Syed Manzoorul Islam.

  • The Digital Insecurity Act?

    The government has churned out yet another freedom-curtailing law for the parliament to legislate.

  • Why Dhaka is not a walkable city, yet!

    I have been walking around Dhaka, kind of randomly, for the past few months. It was not for health reasons. I was mostly interested in doing a personal assessment of the capital city's walkability.

  • Muzharul Islam: An activist architect

    Today, December 25, is architect Muzharul Islam's (1923-2012) 94th birth anniversary. Not only was he Bangladesh's pioneering modernist architect, he was also an activist designer who viewed architecture as an effective medium for social transformation.

  • 'Whoever touches Jerusalem will be walking into fire'

    US President Donald Trump has recently recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital, drawing sharp international criticism and threatening Yousef Ramadan, Head of Mission at the Embassy of the State of Palestine in Bangladesh, talks to Badiuzzaman Bay of The Daily Star about the unilateral US decision, its implications, and what Bangladesh can learn from the Palestinian experience to deal with the Rohingya crisis.

  • Brilliantly rejecting the notion of inferiority

    Rokeya (English spelling used by her: Roquiah) was born circa 1880 (alternately 1878) to a declining aristocratic land-owning family in the village of Pyrabund, Rangpur in present-day Bangladesh.

  • BCL School Committee: Leave the kids alone

    Just when we thought we've seen enough of Bangladesh Chhatra League, an organisation that has been the subject of one shocking headline after another over the last eight years, the student wing of the ruling Awami League has found a way to send us into collective shock again.

  • The Disappeared

    The statistics, the names, the stories continue to pile up, an almost “normalisation” of the crimes taking place—anyone, doing anything, might disappear. Until one day, until this time, it is one of our own.

  • Why the Accord will be here until 2021

    In the wake of the Rana Plaza building collapse—the deadliest disaster in the history of the global garment industry, in which 1,134 workers were killed—three initiatives were launched with the purpose of averting further industry...

  • Lord Balfour's Burden

    This year, our nation marks one hundred years of the Balfour Declaration. Lord Arthur Balfour was a British foreign secretary who decided to change the identity and fate of Palestine, a land that he did not own, by promising it to the Zionist movement, and dramatically altering the history of the Palestinian people.

  • two-storey building

    "Khamarbari"— destruction of a heritage site

    Imagine yourself in the year 1905. Governor General Lord Curzon has just implemented the Partition of Bengal. Curzon Hall and the Supreme Court were yet to be built.

  • Children

    Langadu, after the flames

    But, as happens in the world, we forgot Langadu. The Rangamati landslides, the flash floods, the influx of Rohingya refugees followed one after another, and in trying to cope and deal with each, the limelight shifted from the previous crises. So, six months later, it is pertinent to ask, how is the Chakma community in Langadu carrying on?

  • No city for women

    It is oftentimes a lie that we tell ourselves to either ignore or mask the hideous inequalities and injustices that make Dhaka one of the most dangerous cities for girls and women to live in.

  • Sinha Saga: More questions than answers

    The statement by the Bangladesh Supreme Court, issued a day after Chief Justice SK Sinha left Dhaka for Australia on “leave”, raises questions one can hardly avoid.

  • Failing our girls

    It is often said that if you want to know the truth about the world, ask a child. Perhaps, it's an unconditioned mind that lets a child see things for what they really are.

  • The Rakhine — Avatars of Tony Blair?

    Two parties are widely blamed for the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas: the Myanmar army and Aung San Suu Kyi. They stand amid the embers and ashes of torched Rohingya homes, objects of a furious global condemnation.

  • Sagor and Rajon: Murder as public spectacle

    I still remember the sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach when the news of the brutal killing of 13-year-old Rajon broke on social media two years ago. Is this real? How could they do this to a child? Why did the onlookers simply stand there?

  • For those who wonder what prompted the Rohingya exodus…

    Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi's speech last Tuesday had the potential to change the scenario of the ongoing Rohingya crisis and end the misery of the more than 400,000 refugees in Bangladesh.

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