Spotlight | The Daily Star
  • 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.

  • WHERE WERE ALL THE MISSING POLLING AGENTS?

    After a whole day of observing the elections, the one common observation made by journalists at The Daily Star and media elsewhere was this—there were no Jatiya Oikko Front polling agents in sight, and barely any of the leftist parties as well.

  • To the polls and beyond

    This is the year when Bangladeshi millennials are eligible to go to polls. Star Weekend talked to young voters, many of whom will be voting for the first time, to understand what they think about the electoral process. The young voters also shared their hopes and aspirations regarding the upcoming polls, what issues they truly care about, and whether they will go to vote at all.

  • Free and Fair Coverage

    During the Dhaka City Mayoral elections of 2015, Samakal's senior reporter, Amitosh Paul, was assigned to cover the polling booth at the Uttara Girls High School Centre. Inside, he noticed a group of men—belonging to the ruling party—misguiding a section of the voters.

  • No Woman's Land

    Hamida Begum's* husband had beat her yet again. But this time was different. He had also uttered talaq three times, essentially divorcing her according to the Islamic customs of the Rohingya community.

  • Dear university, are you listening?

    On November 20, an undergraduate student of BRAC University (BRACU) lost his life in the university's residential campus, referred to by students as TARC, in Savar—according to official accounts, he succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital after jumping from the fifth floor of his dormitory.

  • The Burden of Proof

    While most women who have undergone sexual abuse hide behind anonymity for fear of social reprisal, dance student Priyanka Rani Devnath emailed all the news organisations and called a press conference to talk about the violence she had undergone.

  • Flammable Existence

    For 20-year-old housewife Ripa, it was a usual weekend morning. Her one-year-old daughter Ayesha had woken her up at around 7 am and was repeatedly pointing to the window, wanting to go outside.

  • Chased by death

    On October 27, the Jatiya Sangsad passed the Narcotics Control Bill 2018 to replace the 30-year-old law from 1990. The new law has introduced the death sentence for people found to be in possession of over 200 grams of yaba, or 25 grams of heroin.

  • Inked in blood

    For Manik Chandra Saha, work always came first. It's not as though he never spent any time with his family, but there were few things that got the veteran journalist more excited than the possibility of a scoop. Unfortunately, that pursuit paved the way for his death.

  • Illusion of Inclusion

    Many are quick to state that the number of women in the parliament is actually higher because 50 reserved seats are kept for women for the sake of representation. However, experts argue that the 'reserved seats' are merely a token representation. Why is it that more women don't contest elections, and why aren't reserved seats equal to actual representation?

  • No place at the table

    The news of losing his waiter gig struck 35-year-old Nesar Ali like a bolt. Nesar, who had never taken a day off in his four years at the restaurant, took seven days' leave from his owner for his sister's wedding back in the village.

  • From the shores of hell & back

    “They thought I was dead,” Abdul tells Star Weekend. “I was stuck in a jail in Libya for over four months and I never had the chance to contact my family. They thought I had fallen from the boat [on the way to Italy from Libya] into the dangerous sea and disappeared forever,” he says.

  • Not even the bare minimum

    Renu Begum* can remember little of the life she had before she moved to Dhaka and joined a garments factory at the age of 12. Her father, a fisherman, had moved to Dhaka with his family in the early 90s. But there was not much an unskilled fisherman from the village could do in a city teeming with unemployed labourers who, like him, had migrated to the capital, dreaming of untold opportunities.

  • Startups - A success story?

    According to a Global Innovation Index report published in July 2018, Bangladesh is ranked 116th out of 126 nations, the lowest score in Asia—below India ranked 57th and Pakistan ranked 109th.

  • Murder in the camps

    More than 700,000 Rohingyas, who fled the genocidal military operations of Myanmar a year ago, are still living under constant threat of attack. Sheltered in 30 refugee camps in different parts of Cox's Bazar district, they are not vulnerable to Myanmar army's raid anymore. This time, they are being threatened by their own people.

  • Tea gardens brewing discontent

    The contract made between tea workers and tea garden owners expired last year. They spent the last two years fighting for their minimum wage to be increased from Tk 85 per day to Tk 230. This would have brought their monthly cash wages from Tk 2,550 to TK 6,900, which is approximately equivalent to the minimum wages of the ready-made garments sector.

  • How Assam’s citizenship test disowns its own people

    Sitting inside her hut in Alipur char in lower Assam, India, 37-year-old Delowara Begum tries to explain where she is from. “I have always lived here,” she says in a dialect of Bangla. “Sometimes there, a few kilometres away, when the river floods and my hut sinks. But never too far from here.”

  • The road expansion project that will demolish Bihari homes

    On the morning of July 26, 2018 the “bihari” camps in Mirpur sectors 10 and 11 were gripped by panic as they waited with bated breath for a bulldozer to drive up their alleyways and tear down their homes.

  • How I escaped my Chinese husband

    Manisha Chakma met Pinky for the first time at a tea stall located right outside her college. Like Manisha, Pinky too had left her hometown and arrived in Dhaka in search of a good job and decent life. After a brief chat, numbers were exchanged and over the next few days, Pinky, in Manisha's words, would go on to become a 'hi-hello' friend.

  • Beating suspects not crimes

    Mother, seek mercy for me from the Prime Minister. Tell her that I am a regular student and that I am not involved with any political party.

  • When arrests warrant questions

    “Where is your warrant?” is the first question that people ask when the police knocks on the door. That is the question being asked by a daughter in a video that recently went viral on Facebook, when the police came to apprehend her father. The police did not heed her plea and pushed right past in.

  • The new weapon of war in digital Bangladesh

    “The presence of the photos of these two whores, Umme Habiba Benojir and Shamima Binte Rahman, on my newsfeed has made my blood boil with anger. I wish I could go back to the 80s when I was a part of the Chhatra League. Dear current generation, please do your duty. Please finish the job within one to two days. Don't compel half-centurions like us to come to the ground.”

  • Inside the HEV Epidemic

    An unchecked outbreak of Hepatitis E puts millions at risk in Chittagong. More than 2.5 million people in Chittagong are exposed to an HEV outbreak—and no one's doing anything to stop it.

  • An undying spirit

    10 years ago, the Bangladesh women's cricket team embarked upon their first ever Asia Cup journey. The Women in Green were all set to play the opening match of the four-team tournament, taking place in Sri Lanka, against India.

  • Cinema, Consciousness, and Censorship

    Cinema is transformative—it inspires, evokes, and agitates beyond its entertainment value. For this reason, cinema becomes vulnerable at the hands of regimes wishing to control ideas being consumed by the public.

  • Diary of a young radical

    Since the emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in mid-2014, the brutal ideology of the militant outfit has ensnared hundreds of young Bangladeshis, like it has brainwashed youth from across the globe.

  • Unchecked - The Rise and Rise of Nilkhet's Corrupt Academics

    “Apa, please come in,” a young man gesturing to his small print and copy shop in Nilkhet's Bakushah market. “What do you need—term paper, project report, master's thesis, internship report, research monograph? Just name it,” he asks swiftly.

  • Bringing life into a refugee camp

    Giving birth was nothing new to 32-year-old Somuda, a mother of six. The only extraordinary circumstance was that she now lived in a small shack on a hilltop of Balukhali which merges with the Kutupalong settlements to make the largest refugee camp in the world.

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