In Bangladesh, a poor politician is of no use to anyone

In Dhaka’s swirling political speculations and gossip, the latest is about who among the electoral candidates is wealthy and who is not. On paper, many have declared their wealth and almost none have been found credibility among... More

Bangladesh elections: A problem of plenty?

The electoral environment in Bangladesh is becoming exciting and slightly less predictable by the day. There is intense activity, at least among the supporters of a large number of party candidates, if not the public. After years... More

Bangladesh politics beyond 2018

Suddenly no one is completely sure about the outcome of the 2018 Bangladesh general elections. It was a certainty once when only political parties were involved but with voters in, it’s a bit ‘interesting”. Speculation is now... More

Is conflict driving Bangladesh’s politics and society?

Hate, insults, endless allegations and occasional physical confrontations have become the staple of Bangladesh’s political culture. No one is spared, and no one wants to be excluded. Instead of debate there is abuse. And then comes the... More

Bangladesh: A certain election in an uncertain season

Politics in Bangladesh is fluid in a way that would completely befuddle a non-citizen. However, the average Bangladeshi is a resilient human who has suffered so much political and other related turmoil that anxieties that usually beset... More

Parties over people

With elections to Bangladesh’s JatiyaSangsad (National Assembly) now declared to be held on December 23, the political scene in the country will enter a new phase. The announcement was sudden but not really unexpected given the way... More

Maldives elections and China-India ties

afsan Neither China nor India are in any ideological conflict over any issues. Both are dedicated trading nations, and both have gained from globalisation. China has done better with its infrastructure, skilled labour and management. It’s a... More

Bangladeshi politics and media: Strange bedfellows?

Bangladesh is well known for a flourishing media, rights violations of journalists and political activism rather than excellence. Media workers imagine themselves more as human rights and political activists than professionals. Many see themselves as frontline workers... More

Bangladesh’s grenade attack case: Politics of past or future?

The October 10 special tribunal verdict on the August 2004 grenade attack case that killed 24 and injured many including Bangladesh’s current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina didn’t carry too many surprises since it was a foregone conclusion... More

Indo-Bangla relations and the “termite” problem

fsan Indian’s ruling party BJP leader Amit Shah has called ‘illegal Bangladeshis’ as “termites” which will be cleaned out from the woodwork of Assam in particular. Its not just the unseemly language coming from a major political... More

South Asian media: Inventing a region?

South Asia is a popular buzz word which is rarely defined properly. This lack of clarity suits many as people have no idea what it actually means and how one is supposed to respond to it. The... More

Has digital media changed politics in Bangladesh?

Political nostalgia in Bangladesh centres around public and street agitations. It begins with the language movement of 1952 which defined the basic parameters of national aspiration. The next station of political memory is the 1962 student’s movement against... More

Does international pressure matter anymore?

There was once a time when international pressure on domestic issues of the less developed countries mattered. People would look at the West as the great savior particularly in countries where human rights was at bay. During... More

Bangladesh: A social media driven state?

It’s not easy to have a calm conversation in Bangladesh. Everyone is rushing to make a comment, observe and abuse. Or make a counter to all that. Anything that requires critical thought is discarded and the instant... More

Is the Myanmar military looking a bit inept?

“While everything else is in flux, the position of the Tatmadaw in national affairs appears more stable than ever. Snug in its constitutional bunker, it can reap the fruits of improved foreign relations, a cooperative civilian government,... More

Bus killings: Children’s protest works where adults fail

School and college students of Dhaka embarked on protests that almost shut down traffic in Dhaka after two of their own were killed by public buses that ran them over. The matter became grave after Shipping Minister... More

Genocide in Myanmar says the UN but does it matter?

Almost to the year after the 4th edition of Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas began, the UN has published a report calling the army’s action against the Rohingyas as genocidal. This report has gone further than any... 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.... 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 in terms of... More

Bangladesh Bank: The missing gold or the missing trust

A bizarre case of gold snatch is alleged to have occurred right inside the vault of Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of the country. The source of the reports was the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate or... 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, he has followers... More


Trump’s melodrama vis-à-vis Pakistan meets ground realities

The Trump administration's renewed push to seek Pakistan's help in bringing the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table comes as a striking contrast to what the US president had only very recently said in one of his interviews about Pakistan not doing anything in Afghanistan to help the US win the war, or even get out of it. Coming from a president who is famous for his unpredictable habit of... More

Imran Khan needs better advisers

One of the central problems of Imran Khan’s government is the quality and commitment of his range of advisers, not only for day-to-day politics but for short and long-term decision-making processes. The PM has been more than once given the perception of taking off-the-cuff decisions through speeches and interviews. Even good advisers do not matter until there is a due process for diligence and analysis to not only sort... More

In Bangladesh, a poor politician is of no use to anyone

In Dhaka’s swirling political speculations and gossip, the latest is about who among the electoral candidates is wealthy and who is not. On paper, many have declared their wealth and almost none have been found credibility among the public. They know that to survive in politics you need to make and spend a lot of money which, going by wealth levels, would be impossible. Politics is not just about power... More

Hunt with the hound, swim with the crocodile

On the sidelines of the G20 conference in Argentina, there were two very important summits. One involved US President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This was the first trilateral that brought Modi and Trump together. “The relationships between our three countries is extremely good, extremely strong. I think, with India, maybe stronger than ever. And with Japan, I think, stronger than ever,” Trump said, as... More

India’s dead-end Afghan policy

While India has been investing in Afghanistan for several years, the changing dynamics of the Afghan war indicate that this economic, political and diplomatic investment may not yield the desired results after all. First and foremost, India’s Afghan-policy has been driven by the imperative of having a strong presence on Pakistan’s western border, which India has been able to pursue—and aims to continue—with the help of Kabul. But the... More



The fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), held in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31, was “not fruitful” because of the inherent “weakness” of the regional inter-state institution,... More


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