Spotlight | The Daily Star
  • The man with 100 forest cases... and why he claims he is innocent

    Hssan Ali appeared at Tangail Forest Court on January 4, 2018 to take bail in a 'forest case' (no. 405) that was filed in 1998 for felling of trees. He had been charged in absentia on December 27, 2017. The court issued a warrant of arrest. On January 4, he secured a bail to stay out of jail.

  • All Talk and No Action?

    Five years ago, over 1,100 garment workers lost their lives and hundreds became permanently disabled. The collapse of Rana Plaza, the deadliest disaster in the global garment industry, shook the world, revealing that low-price Bangladeshi garments came at a tremendous cost—workers' lives. At the time, many promises were made by all relevant stakeholders to ensure the rights and safety of the garment workers in Bangladesh and reform the RMG sector.

  • A Changing Noboborsho

    Those were the lean years, for Minu and her big family full of brothers and sisters. Post-war Bangladesh was still finding its way in the global political scene. Far, far away from the big city, Minu was growing up in a tiny village nestled by the vast Kalenga forest. It was 1978.

  • A deafening culture of silence

    Last month, Star Weekend conducted an online survey to explore incidents of sexual harassment, misconduct and violence on university campuses and found that 70 percent of students from public and private universities who took part in the survey have faced some level of sexual harassment on campus. A total of 200 students from different public and private universities participated.

  • The Immigrant's Fourth Estate

    The content of the newspaper stand at 73 Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, a neighbourhood in New York City, is a mirror reflection of one halfway across the world anywhere in Dhaka. In place of the usual NYC newsstand fare, the New York Post or any of the other local tabloids, these stands proudly display an array of newspapers in Bangla.

  • Independence day celebration 2018

    A Campus Forever Linked to Liberation

    "The city wrapped in starlight, was in deep slumber. The night was as pleasant as a spring night in Dacca could be. The setting was perfect for anything but a bloody holocaust. At around 11:00 pm, the local commander [Dacca] asked permission to advance… everybody looked at his watch. The Operation Searchlight began with great cunningness, surprise, deception and speed combined with shock action…

  • Deradicalisation is more than just combat

    The puppet show starts with a group rehearsing “Aguner Poroshmoni” for Noboborsho celebrations. Safat stands aside, not participating. Turns out Safat has been getting flak from his father for “wasting” time with music. The scene shifts to the landlord of the building walking in on them and telling them that cultural activities are not important. In the middle of all this, Safat is befriended by a guy who later on in

  • Extracting stones at the cost of lives

    2018 was supposed to begin on a positive note for 65-year-old stone worker Jahur Ali. Jahur had received an assignment to extract a huge pile of stones—more stones than he had collected in the recent past and that meant more money.


    On the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11, Star Weekend profiled several prominent

  • The bot bubble

    How are clickers countering the depreciating value of the Like button?

  • Fear, a part of the curriculum

    Bangladesh Chhatra League's reign in Dhaka University

  • Tenants: At the mercy of landlords

    Ananya Paul, 26, a working professional in Dhaka had an eye-opening experience of religious harmony (or lack thereof) while house-hunting in Dhaka. In 2015, she and her in-laws went searching for an apartment in the Banasree area.

  • An underwhelming experience

    A museum is meant to be a gateway—a magical door into another world at a different time and place. For those (like this writer) who are not avid readers and are more visual learners, there are not many places better than museums to learn, experience and marvel at the wonders of the world.

  • Lure of the confirmed A+

    The neighbourhood around Dhanmondi Lake is a quiet residential area. On each side of the narrow roads, there are only residential buildings, a few grocery stores and the tranquil greenery of Dhanmondi Park.

  • Ghosts of News Past

    Something wicked this way comes

    Propping up a hood against a mild December chill, a lone figure strides forward along the train platform.

  • Coming home in coffins

    If you haven't hit 45, you are ideally not supposed to worry about suffering from medical conditions such as brain strokes or heart attacks.

  • Editing out 1971

    The tendency to change textbooks according to the ruling party's ideology and its own version of history has meant that millions of students have learned distorted, inconclusive versions of history.

  • Not seen, not heard, not believed

    Over the last month Star Weekend surveyed and interviewed 300 people to find the answer to this question: why do child sexual abuse cases not get reported, and what can be done to rectify it? The respondents included social workers who deal with these cases, lawyers, eye-witnesses and 195 child sexual assault survivors themselves.

  • Death camps for wildlife

    Juboraj, the 19-year-old ailing lion is awaiting death in a cage at Comilla Zoo. His skeletal body and the rotting wounds on his back are stark signs of the extreme negligence that put him in this fatal state.

  • 5 years since Tazreen: delayed compensation and deferred justice

    It has been five years since Reba leaped out of the third floor of the Tazreen garments factory and fractured both her legs. It's been half-a-decade since a rod pierced through Akash's eyebrow, after he smashed a window in an attempt to escape the burning floor. It has also been five years since either of them have had a good night's sleep.

  • militant money maker

    The militant money maker

    The man takes different names but introduces himself as an automobile trader to all. He lures people into buying vehicles at prices far lower than the market rate, citing special connections with the custom officials at Chittagong Port.

  • The spectre of Red October: 100 years of the Russian Revolution

    The 1917 October Revolution was a watershed moment in history. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels set the philosophical vision for the scientific theory of revolution, and even actively fought for it, but it was Vladimir Lenin under whose stewardship it became a reality.

  • The abandoned mothers

    Thirteen-year-old Rupa Akter begs on a foot over-bridge in the capital's Shewrapara area, with her eight-month-old son, Nirob. Akter lives in a makeshift house (if one can call the threadbare tarp tent a house) under the bridge—her unemployed husband left her and married another woman during her pregnancy.

  • Is BTV obsolete?

    BTV, at best, is a nostalgic reminder of the past—of the powerful, yet entertaining serials and dramas of the 70s and 80s—when it was the sole broadcaster of the country.

  • Prison babies: childhood behind bars

    What is it like spending the formative early years in one of the most overcrowded prison systems in the world? What protections are there in place to ensure they develop like any other child?

  • Living the genocide: in the grip of trauma

    With no psychosocial assistance, Rohingya refugees are vulnerable to life-long PTSD.

  • Swallowed by the river

    A flood is a familiar drill for Anwar Hossain. He can't keep track of how many times he has dismantled and moved his house. Of the millions who live on the riverine islands, or chars, in the Jamuna, no one lives in one place for more than a few years.

  • Why your drugs don't work

    There are drugs that come as tablets or capsules and can be kept at room temperature. Then there are drugs that patients will not usually handle—reagents used by diagnostic centres to conduct tests or intravenous drugs administered by medical professionals.

  • Yearning for relief

    August 26, 2017. The morning started like any other at Shikderpara village in Maungdaw town. He was preparing to visit his paddy fields where around 400 maunds of rice were almost ready to be harvested next month.

  • How flows become floods

    Failure of flood embankments and absence of alternative solutions are leading Bangladesh to a watery grave.