Interviews | The Daily Star
  • Prolonged school closures to have repercussions on child protection

    The Covid-19 pandemic has undone a lot of progress towards ending child labour, globally. What can Bangladesh do to recover some of that progress?

  • ‘Institutional reforms are central to effective budget implementation’

    Does the proposed budget make adequate provisions for the new poor that have been created by the Covid-19 pandemic, and do you think the expanded social protection measures will reach them?

  • ‘We still have a lot more to do for equality’

    To be honest, I was not that conscious from a young age of the inequalities that exist in our society, or even of the unequal treatment that women receive within their families.

  • ‘Mass uprising was a dress rehearsal for our brightest achievements’

    January 24 is observed as the Mass Uprising Day. On this day in 1969, young school student Matiur Rahman and a rickshaw puller were shot down by police on the streets of Dhaka, giving further momentum to the movement to remove the Ayub Khan regime from power.

  • Corruption tracking

    ‘Corruption has spread over the whole society’

    Dr Iftekharuzzaman is Executive Director, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB). In this interview with Badiuzzaman Bay of The Daily Star, he talks about distinctive features of corruption in Bangladesh, the role of the ACC, the government’s anti-corruption drive, and ways to curb systemic corruption.

  • ‘People should judge our ability not disability’

    Monsur Ahmed Chowdhury, Founder Trustee, Impact Foundation Bangladesh, and Member, Executive Board, Disability Council International, talks to The Daily Star’s Naznin Tithi about how to ensure an inclusive environment and society for persons with disabilities.

  • Is there no one to speak up for Palestine?

    On the occasion of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Bangladesh, Yousuf S Ramadan, talks to Eresh Omar Jamal of The Daily Star about some recent major developments concerning the longstanding occupation of Palestine by Israel and the forces that are contributing to the denial of Palestinians’ human rights.

  • In his words: The last conversation with Aly Zaker

    I have written my life story from the time that I can remember till early 1971. It was published by Ittadi Prokashoni. The one I am writing is the second part where I talk about my philosophy of life; so much happened after independence—theatre, love, marriage, children.

  • Can medicine change the present scenario of Covid-19 in Bangladesh?

    Since the beginning of the pandemic in Bangladesh, Prof Dr Mohammed Tarek Alam, Head of Medicine at Bangladesh Medical College, started to explore the treatment of coronavirus with a team of 19 doctors and researchers.

  • What Bangladesh did right and India could not

    Ahsan H Mansur is Executive Director of the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh. In an exclusive interview with Eresh Omar Jamal of The Daily Star, Dr Mansur talks about the recent revelation by the IMF that Bangladesh is set to surpass India in terms of per capita GDP, and other factors relating to Bangladesh’s growth.

  • Creative solutions to poverty

    Shameran Abed, Senior Director of the Brac Microfinance and Ultra-Poor Graduation programmes, talks to Naznin Tithi of The Daily Star about Bangladesh’s progress in reducing extreme poverty and the challenges ahead, how Brac’s Ultra-Poor Graduation (UPG) programme has fundamentally changed how we look at the ultra-poor, the importance of innovation, women as agents of change, and what the Covid-19 crisis has taught us.

  • Will Trump’s USD 400m debt be a threat to US national security?

    A report by The New York Times that US President Donald Trump did not pay federal income taxes has raised the question about how much impact it will have on the upcoming US election. Ali Riaz, distinguished professor of politics and government at Illinois State University in the United States and a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, talked to Golam Mortoza of The Daily Star on the issue. The interview was taken before the presidential debate held on September 30.

  • The importance of WikiLeaks worldwide

    First of all, Julian Assange’s US extradition case is a direct attack on the First Amendment by the US government. This is the first time the (US) Espionage Act is being used to prosecute a publisher.

  • Democracy in decline?

    Dr Ali Riaz is a distinguished professor of political science at Illinois State University (USA) and a Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council. In this interview with Eresh Omar Jamal of The Daily Star, professor Riaz talks about the old and new challenges to democracy and whether democracy globally is on the retreat.

  • ‘Commercialisation of education will only increase inequality in society’

    Mujahidul Islam Selim, president of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), talks to Naznin Tithi of The Daily Star about the spirit of the 1962 education movement, the current state of our education system, and how commercialising it helps create further inequality in society.

  • We must address the issue of plastic waste to avoid another pandemic

    Personal protective equipment (PPE) which comprise of gloves, masks, cover-all, etc. are all essential items in our fight against the coronavirus. However, they may also become contaminated after use and their disposal is a matter of grave concern. Dr Mubarak Ahmad Khan’s latest innovation, now at the conceptual stage—a biodegradable, non-toxic material to make PPE (cover-all) which can easily be discarded without causing any harm to the environment—is a game-changer.

  • ‘Revolutionary change needed in existing systems’

    Prof Serajul Islam Choudhury, a leading public intellectual and academic of the country, talks to Emran Mahfuz of The Daily Star about the government’s handling of the impacts of Covid-19, inequalities and injustices in society, future threats and the need for reforms. The following is a translated excerpt.

  • ‘We need to use water to our advantage and learn to live with it’

    Marina Tabassum, a seasoned architect who won the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture and the Jameel Prize for designing the Bait Ur Rouf Mosque in Dhaka, talks to The Daily Star’s Naznin Tithi about the future of housing in flood-prone and coastal regions as well as the importance of local knowledge for a sustainable solution to housing.

  • ‘We have to strongly assert our rights now’

    In this instalment of The Daily Star’s interview series that aims to give readers an idea of what changes to expect in a post-Covid-19 world, Dr Shahdeen Malik, advocate at the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, talks to Eresh Omar Jamal about the right to freedom of speech and expression and the limiting of human rights by governments.

  • ‘Centuries of scientific, technological and economic progress maybe lost in the next few decades’

    This week, in The Daily Star’s new interview series that aims to give readers an idea of what changes to expect in a post-Covid 19 world, Dr Quamrul Haider talks to Badiuzzaman Bay.

  • ‘Not a single person should be left undetected’

    Prof. Muzaherul Huq, former adviser, South-East Asia region, World Health Organization (WHO), and founder, Public Health Foundation of Bangladesh, talks to Naznin Tithi of The Daily Star about the way forward in our fight to contain the spread of Covid-19.

  • The pandemic has changed the national economic priorities dramatically

    Dr Zahid Hussain served as a Lead Economist in the Macro, Trade and Investment Global Practice of the World Bank. Since joining the World Bank in 1995, he has worked on several of the organisation’s flagship reports on Bangladesh. Prior to that, he was a member of academia, with 14 years of teaching experience in a number of universities in Bangladesh and abroad.

  • Opinion: How are we doing in the fight against Covid-19?

    Researcher and scientist Dr Bijon Kumar Sil is a renowned name in the field of microbiology. In 2003, he invented the SARS coronavirus detection kit in Singapore.

  • “Food relief should be distributed at the doorsteps”

    The health crisis created by coronavirus has turned into an economic crisis now. It is not clear to me why the “stay at home” order has been called “holiday”.

  • Persecution of Assange is an assault on people’s right to know the truth

    In an interview last month, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer said: “I speak fluent Swedish and was thus able to read all of the original documents [of the alleged rape case in Sweden involving Assange]. I could hardly believe my eyes:

  • ‘Freedom of assembly is my right. Society needs to give it to me.’

    The first female National Professor and Ekushey Padak awardee Dr Sufia Ahmed has had a long, illustrious career in academia and beyond.

  • ‘I feel for my country and my people and then my family’

    You see, there is a most interesting story on this point. That evening, my house was surrounded by commandos and they wanted to kill me if I came out of the house, giving the names of my own people and saying that Mujib Rahman has been killed by the extremists of Bangladesh.

  • There has never been a better time to be bold and imaginative

    You co-authored a book some years ago called “Going Digital: Realising the Dreams of a Digital Bangladesh for All”. What is its central thesis?

  • Compensation for road crash victims is a means to accountability

    Catherine Masud is an American-born filmmaker and road safety activist. Until her late husband-director Tareque Masud’s death in a road crash in 2011, they worked together to produce numerous award-winning documentaries and features.

  • Saving our Rivers: “There are several laws which remain largely unenforced”

    It is most unfortunate that the situation of the Buriganga could not be improved much even after taking so many steps and projects.