Perspective | The Daily Star
  • Why a unified system is necessary in Bangladesh

    University admission procedures vary from country to country, and sometimes from institution to institution in a country. In many countries, prospective university students apply for admission during their last year of higher secondary school or community college.

  • “Shanghaiing” Dhaka

    I am intrigued by the recent remarks made by Zhu Ruo, a leading urban planning expert in China, suggesting that Dhaka follow Shanghai's example in regards to urban transformation and growth.

  • On the road to road safety

    Inclusion of road safety targets in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the middle of the UN decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-20 has reinforced the urgency of initiating reforms or legislation for bringing discipline in the road and transport sector.

  • What not to learn from Dhaka City

    The other day my seven-year-old niece learnt about bribes. Not in school, but while on the way to school. Her dad had parked the car on Mirpur Road so she and her mom could get down and walk their way into the inner Dhanmondi streets.

  • Promoting Brand Bangladesh abroad

    When a country has a population of over 160 million people, it is only natural for pockets of ever-growing expatriate communities to spring up across the world.

  • The future of work is ours to create

    It is our belief that work is the foundation for people and societies to grow. With a decent income, work can pave the way for broader social and economic advancement, strengthening individuals, their families and communities.

  • Society at a crossroads

    What is needed to reduce violence and create a more stable society?

  • Dream, drama, and a decaying city

    I wake up to an unusual silence. Or so it seems as I slowly open my eyes. A gentle breeze comes along through the unlocked windowpane.

  • The many benefits of agro-tourism

    Tourism has become one of the largest and fastest growing economic sectors in the world over the past six decades. Many developing countries—Thailand, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Kenya—have reconstructed their economy through the proper utilisation and management of the tourism industry. Bangladesh has the potential to become a leader in this area, being a land full of natural beauty.

  • BCS and a demographic chaos

    While we must explore how best to utilise our current demographic dividend, we cannot afford to overlook the possibility of a demographic chaos looming large on the horizon should we continue on with our failures.

  • Working out an electoral security model

    I have, in my previous article, highlighted the rationale for having armed forces on the ground during elections because of the highly tense political climate and the virulent atmosphere of confrontational politics, especially when the next general election is likely to be held without the dissolution of Parliament.

  • The poor state of our higher education

    In Bangladesh, universities in general—private or public—lack an environment for free thinking. There are mainly two types of barriers to free speech in classroom: one is an institutional restriction imposed on the academic, and the other imposed by the academic on the student.

  • Where do we stand when it comes to literacy skills?

    Even though Bangladesh has made praiseworthy strides in improving access to basic education, there are many children who are left behind in the development expedition of Bangladesh just because they lack Bangla literacy skills.

  • The light of the stars: A goodbye to Bangladesh

    Here we are three years later, packing, getting ready to leave Bangladesh. When you are the spouse of a diplomat, this is your fate. To come and go.

  • Aung San Suu Kyi

    A failed saint

    To promise peaceful reconciliation and then make it impossible makes violent extremism inevitable. These words come to mind as the Rohingyas flee from Myanmar to save their lives while Suu Kyi, state counsellor and NLD leader, first remains silent and now seems to endorse ethnic cleansing.

  • Inside a sadist's mind

    Raped on a bus, killed and thrown off on the street. Raped on Eid. Raped at a party. Head shaved by family members after rape. We read, we vent, we discuss, we forget, we are reminded again the next day. And worse things keep happening.

  • Our children are in school, but can they read?

    Bangladesh can celebrate the International Literacy Day with pride. Since 2000, we have significantly increased enrolment and now nearly all children of an age to be in an early primary grade are in school.

  • Making Dhaka more liveable

    It is no wonder that Dhaka was ranked 137th with an overall rating of 38.7. The top scoring cities in the global ranking share a few important commonalities that are worth noting: (i) they are generally mid-sized; (ii) located in wealthier countries, and (iii) have a relatively low population density.

  • Putting people at the heart of development

    Later this month, the world will mark the International Day for Universal Access to Information, hitherto known as International Right to Know Day.

  • Why we need to rethink the Organ Transplantation Act

    Kidney failure is one of the most devastating conditions faced by thousands of Bangladeshis leading to painful procedures and early death.

  • 9/11 and the collective memory of Muslims

    Another 9/11 anniversary has just passed almost quietly. In the United States, the day was observed with usual rites and rituals.

  • The limits to history

    Public discussions around Rohingya people currently fleeing violence in Rakhine state, Myanmar, have often involved arguments about history. While critical historical analysis is useful in offering insights into conflicts, History—if treated as a single, knowable past—is not. This is especially true when dealing with ethnicity. Whatever the past was, no amount of historical research can justify the current violence against Rohingya people.

  • Is television ruining the future of our kids?

    Whether or not there is any scientific basis upon which to base an answer to the above question doesn't matter; there is no doubt in my mind that humanity is getting dumber, and the human mind dimmer, all because of the amount of time people spend staring at screens.

  • Rohingya crisis: Guarding against a communal narrative

    The background to the ethno-religious violence against the Rohingyas and the combined effort of all communities in helping the refugees should be an antidote to the hate Myanmar preaches. We must remember that what we are doing to help the Rohingyas and speak up for them stems from a shared humanity, it rises above the communal politics of Myanmar.

  • Suu Kyi's cowardly speech

    Suu Kyi's speech was not only “disappointing” but also cowardly. It towed the typical line of “we have to look at both sides”, completely oblivious to the power dynamics at play: the national army versus a dispossessed population.

  • Golden Hour in the lives of accident victims

    In emergency medicine, “Golden Hour” refers to the immediate one-hour time period following a traumatic injury, during which, chances of preventing death by way of prompt medical treatment are the highest.

  • What hope is there for Rohingya women and children?

    It is a well-documented fact that women and children fare worst in wars and conflicts irrespective of where they take place. The conflict zone in the northern Rakhine state of Myanmar is no exception.

  • Suu Kyi's shocking fall from grace

    Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron strongly condemned the attacks on the Rohingya minority by the Myanmar army, calling it “genocide”.

  • Rohingyas: Where are the Saudis?

    The Saudi response to the current Rohingya crisis, in contrast to previous ones, has been noticeably low-key. During past attempts by Myanmar at ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas, Saudi Arabia would be in the lead in providing relief aid and taking up the cause in international forums.

  • Rohingya crisis and the China factor

    In the ongoing Rohingya crisis, Bangladesh is in a position to play a critical role in the region. Bangladesh has gained worldwide recognition for its receptiveness to the now almost half a million refugees who have poured into the country.