Perspective | The Daily Star
  • Potemkin Road: The tale of the strange bonsai beautification

    All of a sudden Dhaka's Airport Road is looking like a Potemkin Road. With an exhibition of “bonsai” trees, odd garden-like set-ups,

  • My adventures with Bhuban Majhi

    I first heard about Bhuban Majhi from Shafiq bhai, the colourful, ornery owner of Tajmahal Restaurant near Atlanta. I have a soft spot

  • Spare us this beautification, please!

    A few years back, as I was walking past the National Museum in the cool afternoon breeze, I stopped under the shade of a huge tree.

  • Beat tobacco to save lives and reduce poverty

    Globally, more than seven million people die from diseases caused by tobacco use every year, including hundreds of thousands from secondhand smoke exposure.

  • Mashrafe's magic

    Sitting in an Afghani restaurant called Bamiyan Kabob in Toronto, I was chit-chatting with a couple of my teammates at the end of a

  • Greed in the Islamic tradition

    If you search Google Images for “greed,” you will encounter many depictions of rather pompous individuals - typically men - hoarding

  • The Unfinished Task of Teaching History

    Teaching history has always been tricky. I have been examining how history is taught in architecture programmes in Bangladeshi

  • Is Theresa May in for a surprise?

    British Prime Minister Theresa May has faced huge criticism for her deliberate absence from a BBC debate held on May 31 in Cambridge with other leaders

  • My glorious abode

    This isn't a book. It's not even a chapter. It's definitely not a survival guide. I don't know what this will be till I am done writing it. For now, it maybe a refugee's paean to her lost home.

  • The Indian conquest of a US national contest

    The Spelling Bee is a cherished American institution. For those unfamiliar enough to wonder what kind of bee would that be, it's a nationwide spelling contest, where tens of millions of kids from all over the US compete. The cut-off age for contestants is the 8th grade.

  • Why should cricket teams be allowed only one review?

    Bangladesh's stunning victory over New Zealand, coming back from an almost impossible position, was the most magnificent batting performance I have ever seen and the greatest fightback in one day cricket ever.

  • Embracing our Bengali beauty

    As a child, I had an oddly funny nickname - “Buchi”. Somehow my nose, a tiny part of my face, ended up determining my whole

  • Learning from the US's experience

    There are obvious and big differences between the socio-economic and political conditions of Bangladesh and the US and the extent of their Right to Information (RTI) experiences.

  • The cyberbully's playground – open 24/7

    Picture a schoolyard, students standing in a circle around a girl or boy, being mocked for his or her clothes and possibly being shoved

  • Why young people become radicalised in the west

    In a world dominated by self-proclaimed specialists and intellectuals, the potency of judgemental verdicts, private attitudes and predisposed notions tend to outweigh the strength of facts, statistics and empirical knowledge.

  • Social media: A game-changer for Bangladeshi women

    The prime minister is a woman. The main leader of the opposition is a woman. The speaker in the Parliament – the citadel of democracy – is also a woman.

  • Urban spaces can promote empathy

    Dhaka is the most populated city in the country. It is also one of the most populated cities in the world with a density of 23,234 people per square kilometre within a total area of 300 square kilometres.

  • Overfed and underfed: global food extremes

    What to do when millions of people, not able to grow or buy sufficient food, become chronically undernourished? What to do when millions of people put on so much weight that they become obese?

  • Surge in diplomacy, action in mediation

    Our challenges to make peace the overwhelming reality on a global level are immense. However, we should be able to see the opportunities within those challenges.

  • Are we safer now?

    On the anniversary of the audacious terrorist attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery, Bangladeshis may ask two questions: “Are we safer today than we were a year before?” and “Where do we go from here?”

  • The price of complacency

    The authorities' total denial of IS presence will not help. Whatever the reason behind the refusal—political or tactical—it is undermining gravity of the problem. The denial coupled with the complacency may again create ground for re-emergence of extremism.

  • Can Bangladesh repeat its 'development surprise'?

    In the era (2000-2015) of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Bangladesh had achieved outstanding success in both poverty eradication and human development.

  • It's all about Al Jazeera Arabic!

    Everyone hates a free press.” That was the best quote from a legendary journalist whom I admired. He was incarcerated for many years, labelled as a communist or worse, but he never wavered in his belief that a free press is the bedrock of any democracy.

  • Literary camaraderie

    I have associations with Bangladeshi writers and publishers who have published a number of my essays, poems and translations. The Nepal Academy's attempts are good but my experience says they have established more ceremonial than serious contacts so far with academies in the region.

  • A retreat from multilateralism

    The two-day summit of the exclusive but informal club of G20 comprising of the big industrial and developing countries, held between July 7-8, ended with the issuance of a Communiqué, a ritualistic outcome of such events.

  • What's in a pseudonym?

    A few years ago, I collaborated with a friend to write about the double standards young girls face in Bangladesh.

  • Cashing in fake news

    On August 21, 1835, an intriguing teaser appeared on the front page of the New York Sun announcing a series of articles revealing the supposed discovery of life and even civilisation on the moon.

  • Seeing colours in Korail

    The Daily Star recently reported that at least 20 utilities “syndicates” are operating in Korail slum.

  • In memory of a loud, brilliant, hilarious lady

    It was a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman of good breeding must be in search of a life led in humble anonymity.

  • The Gordian Knot of Dhaka city governance

    We have managed to turn a serene, rustic, romantic Dhaka into a dishevelled, messy concrete slum just within a century.