Something is broken in Bangladesh: Will it heal?

There is something scared about the relationship between a University, its teachers and students. It is built on trust, obligation, mutual affection and much more. Its as if the teacher is the parent, the campus... More

The anti- quota movement: Embarrassment or headache?

The quota movement just isn’t going away as hoped for by the GOB. Almost 3 months after the PM declared in the parliament that the “quota” system would be scrapped, not much has happened... More

Asad Pong Pong Vai and the rise of alternate media 

Some may not know the person who goes live on YouTube and Facebook with the unusual moniker Asad Pong Pong Vai (brother). While many of the formal media /bhadrolok crowd would sneer at him,... More

Bangladesh: Media in times of cross fire

Bangladesh’s media is a study in paradox and contradiction. It’s full of people who want free media but often act in stark contrast to achieving such an objective.  It’s full of owners who are... More

Bangladesh: Crossfire killings, mob justice and social media

This girl obviously poor - only poor girls walk on the street at night- said she and another had been picked up but one was dropped and she was being raped. The crowd reacted... More

Khulna elections: AL won, BNP lost and the EC didn’t win

Municipality polls in the Khulna city polls drew as much interest as any national elections tussle. It was an intense politically combative one with BNP leader Khaleda Zia still held in jail. She is... More

Rohingyas: A fate much worse than the Palestinians?

The slide of the Palestinians into disarray and largescale suffering draws world interest because of its neighbor Israel, its support by the US and the history attached to the Middle East. For a long... More

Extremism in Bangladesh: Prevention is better than cure strategy?

A Bangladeshi tribunal sentenced two people to death for killing Rajshahi University Professor Rezaul Karim Siddiquee in 2016. They are Shariful Islam, a Rajshahi University (RU) student now absconding and Maskawat Hossain Sakib. Four... More

Is China letting India have Bangladesh?

China has collected several trophies for its wall such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Pakistan is its captive friend. It doesn’t mind Bangladesh as India’s major stepping stone in the region. Without any... More

Why is censorship so popular with everyone in Bangladesh?

The recent report by RSF has cited two causes for censorship in Bangladesh but the report is misleading. It says Islamic Extremism and ICT 57 have led to decline of open and free media... More

Bangladesh election 2018: Two parties but no issues?

A national election is being held but there is no major policy issue that is being discussed. No agenda dominates media and politicians discuss personal issues of contesting leaders.  It’s a situation that can... More

Bangladesh election 2018: is there a Sino-Indian stake?

It’s pretty odd to think that Bangladesh elections should be of any interest to China and India given the complete lack of its strategic value. However, Bangladesh maybe becoming a reluctant pawn of sorts in... More

Aspiration versus desperation: Jobs, quota and conflict in Bangladesh

Just as students of Dhaka university were parading and protesting the quota system in government jobs and facing attacks from both police and party activists, a group of masked men entered the residence of... More

Why is AL going after a weak BNP?

To be honest, almost everyone in Bangladesh thinks that almost all rich people are dishonest. Of course, not all are dishonest but they are considered extreme exceptions. Since almost all rich people are also... More

Chinese investment plans face hurdles in Bangladesh

Having faced obstacles – from serious to routine- in three large investment projects, some are wondering if China’s economic plans are facing problems in Bangladesh due to non-economic causes. Speculations are on that the... More

Bangladesh’s politics of bail and jail

So finally, BNP leader and ex-PM Khaleda Zia who had been convicted by a lower court on charges of corruption was granted bail by the High Court for 4 months. But she didn’t walk... More

ARSA card once again …

Myanmar continues to put pressure on Bangladesh by amassing troops on the border areas next to the Rohingya refugee camps. However, the refugee host country appears to have few options left in its bag... More

Indo-China economic proxy war over Dhaka stock market?

What seemed certain last week about China becoming the strategic partner of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) is no longer so as the regulatory body Bangladesh Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has raised serious... More

Bipin Rawat on Bangladesh: Part of a Sino-Pak proxy war against India?

Indian army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat’s accusation on Indian NTV that Pakistan and China were conducting proxy war by facilitating immigrants from Bangladesh to Assam is both serious but also very embarrassing for the... More

International affairs in time of transparency: The Oxfam syndrome

The Oxfam infection has spread far and wide. Its impact is deeper than just one NGO facing problems about covering up sex abuse in Haiti and as we learn Chad as well.  Now reports... More

Khaleda Zia’s jail verdict will seriously impact on 2018 elections

Sentencing BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia to 5 years in jail triggers a fresh confrontational phase in Bangladesh politics, already deluged by hostility. It also makes the election, scheduled for December 2018, considerably uncertain... More


Is Modi making up for India’s shortage of diplomats?

Narendra Modi is India's most travelled Prime Minister. The opposition Congress recently wanted his name on the Guinness Book of World Records for the most travelled Prime Minister, mockingly writing," We are overwhelmed and”extremely happy to suggest the name of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has set the... More

India faces tough choices as the US sanctions Iran

For the Indian policy makers, one of the crucial questions today is of how to walk a balancing act between the US, their prime strategic ally, and Iran, their traditional regional ally and, of course, third biggest supplier of oil.  The question has become even more significant ever since... More

Writing on the Wall

Even a cursory analysis of the three Nawaz Sharif sackings as PM reveals one constant sordid fact, his incurring penchant to listen to a bunch of “unelectable advisors” who constantly feed his already inflated ego about his supposed omni-potency. The 1993 sacking did him wonders, turning an Establishment “puppet... More

Something is broken in Bangladesh: Will it heal?

There is something scared about the relationship between a University, its teachers and students. It is built on trust, obligation, mutual affection and much more. Its as if the teacher is the parent, the campus is the home. A relationship is inherently therefore written into this unwritten contract. It was... More

Myanmar minister’s mission impossible

Myanmar’s new finance minister, Soe Win is determined to revitalize the government’s economic policies and ensure their effective implementation, according to government insiders. Although he has only been in his post for less than two months, there are significant signs that with him at the helm, the government’s commitment... More


India’s social-media ‘lynch mobs’ pose growing threat

Social-media platforms are often criticized for their susceptibility to toxic dialogue and vicious attacks. It is a problem that India knows well. Just ask External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, whose recent vilification by members and supporters of her own ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a case in point. Swaraj... More

The new trade order

Since the start of the year, U.S. President Donald Trump has lashed out at allies and adversaries alike on trade. Often, as with India, the U.S. has pushed for enhanced security cooperation at the same time it declared trade relations a national security threat. The belligerence has left many... More

One day does not an election make

The much-awaited Gazipur city election is over, the “we-knew-it-from-before” polls results are upon us, the “impartiality” of the police and the “neutrality” of the civil administration have once again been demonstrated, the never-too-late-to-follow “certificate” of the Election Commission has been delivered and, of course, our democracy now stands “strengthened”. As... More

The PDP-BJP coalition was an unnatural and opportunistic alliance

The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. Only a few weeks ago I had poured out my... More



Gorkhaland, Mamata and the Chinese factor

Just a few days ago I warned two young student leaders in Darjeeling of West Bengal, against the violent movement which has started there for a separate Gorkhaland. I told them in no way should they support this demand. This has multifarious geo-political risks. If a Gorkhaland state is... More