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

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 investing millions in... 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 swiftly and predictably... 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 fighting to get... 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 time, Palestine was... 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 others were sentenced... 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 place of comfort,... 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 status in Bangladesh.... 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 be best described... 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 a regional ‘great... 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 the Vice Chancellor... More


Saudi investment in CPEC will deepen Pak ties with Riyadh and...

Pakistan has officially invited Saudi Arabia to not only invest in the geo-economically celebrated China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) but also be a strategic partner, deepening considerable strategic convergence on economic as well as geo-political issues. The immediate reason for Saudi Arabia’s billion-dollar investment in CPEC is, as Pakistan’s own finance minister said, his country’s poor economic condition and the fast-depleting foreign exchange reserves, hampering its ability to continue and complete... More

India’s juvenile volte face

It was the “political survival instinct” of the rapidly weakening BJP which made the Indian government suddenly call off the foreign ministers-level talks with Pakistan which were to be held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York next week. India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart S M Qureshi were to meet and thrash out a range of issues bedeviling bilateral ties. The reasons for not... 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 result has been an overlap of ideas, projects and ultimately regional strategies that fail to produce a concept which everyone can buy into. South Asian media as it exists today is a... More

No more PSLs abroad

“The pulsating cheering crowd in the National Stadium Karachi for the PSL Final, and subsequently for the three international T20s, underscored the return of peace to a city (and country) torn by internal strife. Bereft of any sports spectacle and living in cold fear for life and limb of their (and their families) because of open-ended threats from terrorists, political, religious and the criminal kind, the people of Karachi... More

Myanmar moves closer to China with increased bilateral trade and investment...

Myanmar and China are consolidating their bilateral trade and investment relationship. In fact, Beijing is fast becoming Myanmar’s strongest and most important ally, but this strengthened relationship has made many in the government nervous. Even the State Counselor, Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s civilian leader, is worried about the impression this increased dependence on China is having. She wants to allay the fears of both the United States and... 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