Opinion | The Daily Star
  • The Problem with Straight Intentions

    On June 13, 2019, each of us received frantic messages from our queer community friends in Bangladesh. One of the messages said, “Another fiasco! Please someone… email her and ask her to stop this madness.” The “madness” was referring to a recently minted

  • UNSC should stand in solidarity with survivors of rape in conflict

    The honour bestowed on us by the Norwegian Nobel Committee in late 2018, when we jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize, comes with tremendous responsibility.

  • From a t-shirt to Nusrat: Our right to protest

    Nusrat Jahan Rafi died for protesting against sexual harassment on the same week that social media hyenas were tearing women apart for daring to wear the ga gheshe daraben na t-shirt on public buses.

  • Don't rub against me

    Since my student days, I've been a regular commuter on public buses in Dhaka city. When I was in college, the money that my father sent every month was barely enough to cover my tuition and living costs...

  • Why #MeToo is not happening in Bangladesh

    The #metoo and #metooindia hashtags are felling old oaks in Indian media including the likes of veteran actors such as Nana Patekar and Alok Nath, singer Kailash Kher, filmmaker Sajid Khan, author Chetan Bhagat and even deputy foreign minister and former founder editor of The Telegraph MJ Akbar.

  • Teen protest movement demanding safe roads: Their allies, adversaries, and others

    The last time I heard of a student protest movement with secondary school children was in 2011. Secondary school children had joined university students in Chile to denounce their neoliberal education system that had commodified education, expanding social and income inequality between the rich and the poor.

  • Hostage in our own country?

    “In Maharashtra of India, 33 people were killed in a road accident, but do they talk about it like the way we do? Whenever something happens in Bangladesh, no matter how insignificant it is, everybody makes a fuss,” commented Bangladesh's shipping minister Shajahan Khan, who is also the executive president of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation.

  • Frida in colours of capitalism

    Before she made it to our saris, chunky jewellery, phone cases, and magazine covers, Frida Kahlo was a genius, a socialist, a feminist, and an anti-imperialist nationalist, whose mere presence in history is radical.

  • Will the white man ever stop trying to “save” us?

    A few days ago, I came across a viral video by Mikko Foundation, an organisation run by a brother-sister duo from Seattle with a “burning desire to give back to community.” The video showed the founder, who is white, trying to persuade locals in Gulshan neighbourhood to wear t-shirts designed by the organisation, supposedly as a humanitarian gesture of giving back to a struggling community.

  • Failing our role?

    Doyasona Chakma and Monti Chakma returned just as mysteriously as they disappeared. The two women, both of whom are core elected members of the Hill Women's Federation, were dropped off by their abductors after a month of being held captive.

  • How the quota reform movement was shaped by social media

    The recent quota reform protests took place as much on the streets of Dhaka as it did online, particularly on Facebook. Pitched battles in the middle of the night resulted as people responded to updates in real time. Events at the University of Dhaka (DU) led to uproar spreading to other universities in the city and other major cities of the country, where the youth took up protests in solidarity as well as a shared demand that the quota system, which reserves

  • A law to gag your online freedom

    Less than a month after Bangladesh's cabinet approved the 'Digital Security Act 2018' in late January, Human Rights Watch, a top rights group, published a strong response in its website. Pointing out the vagueness of Section 31 of the draft act, which would criminalise posting of information that “disturbs or is about to disturb the law and order situation,” HRW said, “Almost any criticism of the government may lead to dissatisfaction and the possibility of

  • Organise and Resist Oppression

    Hello dear reader. You may be a feminist, a boy, a woman, or just flipping through. We are no longer in a situation where individuals can win by themselves. People need to be organised, and organise themselves, their peoples. Many communities have been organised decades now for their...

  • The same old story with a new twist

    The other day, a friend of mine wanted to write a Facebook status about how poorly a particular hospital in the capital had treated her

  • Single-shaming in Dhaka

    I say this with conviction: it is an arduous task staying single in Dhaka. If you are a single woman, and self-dependent, you will probably agree with me on how difficult it is to just BE, let alone have any radical aspirations.

  • Those glares...

    He was grinning from ear to ear as I headed towards him, his deep-set eyes beaming with joy. All of a sudden, that look of love vanished. He had spotted the man walking beside me, my “bestie”, laughing deliriously over some awful joke I'd just cracked.

  • Are women not revolutionaries?

    It is true that the task of remembering revolutionary women at the rallies of the October Revolution Centennial falls primarily on the women. But the responsibility is not theirs alone.

  • Xi Jinping bores party into submission, takes over world

    Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, has recently been bandied about by serial exaggerators like The Economist, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy as the most powerful man in the world.

  • Not just a one-hour test

    University of Dhaka (DU) undergraduate admission tests remind us that you only live once; after all, there is no second chance for test-takers.

  • Catalan independence

    Will Catalunya be the first new independent country since South Sudan?

    At the time of writing, October 12, Spain is celebrating the Fiesta Nacional de España—the anniversary of the day on which Christopher Columbus finally found land in a scurvy-addled state after having lied about being able to read maps.

  • “Burmaiya”: A new term to other the adivasi people of CHT

    Having a flat nose and small eyes has always been a problem in Bangladesh, but now there is fresh cause for concern for the adivasi people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. As Myanmar broils with trouble, Buddhists in Bangladesh are being used as scapegoats.

  • Bangladesh Cattle Market

    Cruelty before sacrifice

    Dhola Babu was the most prized possession of cattle farmer Abdus Sabur. At only two-and-a-half years, Dhola Babu, the Friesian bull had gained a staggering 1200 kilograms of muscle.

  • Peoples' master plan for a livable future

    The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports is proposing the “Peoples' Master Plan for Power and Energy (2017-2041)” as an alternative to the government's master plan.

  • Let's talk about sex(uality), not police it

    It's time to talk about sexuality. A few years ago, during the Rubel-Happy scandal, when Rubel was accused of sexually assaulting Happy,

  • Where rapists do not fear to tread

    News stories of two young women accusing the son of a well known jewellery store and one of his friends, of raping them at a hotel in Banani after a birthday party, are doing the rounds, evoking all sorts of reactions among the public.

  • A Year on the Run

    “I might not come back. I'm afraid. You had to flee from one place to another out of fear of being slaughtered by the extremists. If something like that happens again, I don't have the strength or ability to do things like you.”

  • PRIORITY SEATS FOR WOMEN - FONDLE-FREE ZONE

    Being a single working women and a regular commuter in this city, I often have to deal with sarcastic debates on why there should be reserved seats for us.

  • Should Bangladesh do more to support the Palestinian cause?

    The Palestinian struggle for independence bears some resemblance to ours, but Bangladesh's support for their cause dated back to its ...

  • American Muslims Must Stop Apologising

    I had recently been asked to give a talk about “being an American Muslim in the United States.” Although wary of the uses and abuses of the term, I obliged.

  • Why higher minimum wage is also a woman's issue

    International Women's Day is just around the corner. Every year this day brings with it a fresh calculation of the triumphs and losses of the women's movement.

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