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The demeaning of politics

POLITICS has been variously defined by erudite men. Some have called it the art of the wise and the possible. However, as of now, harried Bangladeshis are seeing more dirt from indecent political exchanges in a distressingly combative scenario wherein

Political violence and police

Pragmatic observers agree that political violence is not just a matter of crime or law and order to be handled by the police organisation alone. It is a national issue that calls for national response. One, however, needs to take

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Hope under strain

UNBRIDLED violence and horrendous bestiality that hapless Bangladeshis have been witnessing in the run up to the national election have caused deep despondency, and many citizens are distressed at the defiling of the norms of civilised life. As usual there

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Premonitions in a volatile polity

IN the current politically charged situation the phenomenon of political violence assumes special significance. Reference is made to violence that calls for a political response from the state authorities rather than a police response. The latter is often necessary but

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The remand issue and beyond

IN the wake of the arrest and remand of some prominent leaders of the major opposition party, a leading Bengali daily, editorially, takes a very critical view of the matter by branding our criminal justice system as generally remand-oriented. It

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Politicians have to deliver

Pessimists would say that politics has never been a particularly edifying activity. Daniel Webster said that the unvarying tendency of the mad strife of politics “is to belittle greatness and corrupt goodness. It contracts the mind and hardens the heart.”

Remembering an admirable matriarch

Remembering an admirable matriarch

Alhaj Selima Khatun, a self-effacing educator and a kind hearted public spirited lady passed away at the ripe age of 82 on October 15, 2013, at her residence in Lalmatia, Dhaka. Her death has devastatingly affected all members of a

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Eroding institutions in polarised society

THE cynics in the current hyper-charged socio-political situation would say that ”the banality of evil” has come home to us with a strange poignancy. They cannot be blamed, because violence has characterised our national life on a scale so widespread

Pernicious grip of bankruptcy

FROM recent political discourses it appears that we are unable to agree on the arrangement that would ensure peaceful transition of political power. What is constitutionally mandated is not acceptable to the dominant opposition party. Reasonably credible opinion survey indicates

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Defiling the well-springs of democracy

THE 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh wrote into the constitution the concept of non-party caretaker government to ensure a smooth transition of power of one elected government to another. The 15th Amendment to the

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Dignity of public servants

A senior politician belonging to the ruling political party has taken the public servants to task by warning that those employees who would not obey the orders of the government would be sent home (read sacked) for non-compliance. The media

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Deputy commissioners and national election

TRANSPARENCY International Bangladesh (TIB) has proposed that deputy commissioners (DC) should not be appointed as returning officers in the upcoming national election, taking into consideration the issue of “politicisation in administration.” It has also recommended that the Election Commission (EC)

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Tackling tragedy under the wheel

THERE is a heated debate going on over whether or not to treat deaths caused by speedy and rash driving as murder. Legally speaking, culpable homicide, that is punishable killing of man is murder, if the act by which death

The ominous challenge
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The ominous challenge

Going by media reports one would find that attacks on the police by Jamaat-Shibir activists have been well planned and deliberate since war crimes convict Delwar Hossain Saydee was given capital punishment on February 28 this year. Since then, eight

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The trust deficit

The controversy over the restoration of non-partisan caretaker government to oversee the general election will continue to haunt the Bangladesh polity every time a government approaches the end of its mandated period. Clearly, the concept of caretaker dispensation is a

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The new terror outfit

THE all-pervasive fear and uncertainty emanating from the raging controversy over the restoration of caretaker government to oversee ensuring general election have perhaps deflected our attention from the mischievous activities of yet another terrorist organisation that has taken root in

Photo: iqbal ahmed/drik news
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Police service and public satisfaction

According to media reports, Professor Mahbub Uddin Ahmed of Dhaka University and his team conducted a study on Dhaka Metropolitan Police in which they found that the majority of the respondents were satisfied with the service of police. This report

Star Archive
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The August 21 carnage

THE nation has observed the ninth anniversary of the ghastly grenade blasts but it still remains uncertain whether the trial for the gruesome attack will be completed during this tenure of a government which will leave office in a few

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Muslim identity and Pakistan

ON August 14, 1947, the State of Pakistan came into existence as a result of continuous political movement waged for the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of Indian sub-continent. Though the creation of such a State has

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Freedom with partition

Historians are polarised on the question whether freedom in August 1947 was seized by the Indians or power was transferred voluntarily by the British “as an act of positive statesmanship.” The British decision to quit was significantly based on the

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The raging controversy

BY all accounts there is a rancorous debate over the type of government that should oversee the next general election slated for late this year or early next year. The prime minister is quite categorical in declaring that the general

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Muslim identity in subcontinental politics

THE mainstream Indian nationalism under the stewardship of the Indian National Congress was first challenged by the Muslims. Muslim leaders could see that the Congress failed to maintain its separation from the blooming Hindu nationalism. In spite of the important

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Concerns over anti-terror legislation

NEWSPAPER reports indicate that the recently amended anti-terror law has received flak from human rights activists, jurists, security analysts and civil society leaders, for having provisions that could violate human and constitutional rights. Provisions in the amended law include sweeping

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The rising Narendra Modi

THE elevation of controversial Indian politician Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat of more than a decade, as the chief of BJP’s (Bharatiya Janata Party) campaign committee for the next general elections is bound to make substantial impact on sub-continental

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Nationalism in the sub-continent

WHETHER it is the rabble rouser of the campus variety or the frothy politician at public meetings, political utterances are always loaded with nationalistic fervor. One is, therefore, likely to evince interest in the growth of nationalism in related to

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The cataclysmic partition

Some call it the vivisection of ‘Mother India’. Others term it as the apocalyptic but inevitable partition of the Indian sub-continent while dispassionate observers view it as the pragmatic solution in a hypercharged polity. The reference is to the partition

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Crime as a political issue

THERE is a general feeling that the government should take steps to deal with or prevent terrorism: the public have no clear idea of what might be effective against terrorism, but require that something be done. Whether the action genuinely

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Our police in perspective

SEEN through the lens of cynical observers, it would appear that the police are destined to act out the role of permanent villain in the wider canvas of our increasingly confrontational political scenario. Admittedly, this is not a desirable profile

Women and public space

There are fears that the virulent movement of a certain quarter might restrict and contract the increasing entry of our women folk into public space. The reference is to the demands of the Hefazat-e-Islam movement that is unfortunately occupying a

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Corporate manslaughter

THE human cost of Rana Plaza disaster that has been described as ‘Savar Tragedy’ has once again brought to the fore the helplessness of a concerned society that has not been able to come to grips with massive destruction caused

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Religion in sub-continental politics

IMPASSIONED speeches pertaining to subjects that are political and outpourings of religious sentiment originating from events that are apparently affairs of the state are taking many by surprise. Religious zealotry of the undesirable kind is also uncomfortably visible. Religious leaders

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Assault on police

THE assault on lawmen, particularly the police, in the first quarter of 2013 has assumed a disturbing proportion. The death of eight policemen and injury of more than two hundred others are manifest demonstration of an ominous tactic of supposedly

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The Ulama and sub-continental politics in perspective

THE massive show of strength and organisational ability of the Ulama (religious preacher) under the banner of “Hefajat-e-Islam” on April 6 in the capital city may have been a surprise for many. The sponsor of the assembly claiming to be

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The continuing menace

THE recent arrest of the so-called religiously motivated extremists that included four foreign nationals along with dangerous explosives and incriminating materials once again confirms the premonition that serious threats to our democratic pluralist existence are a reality. There is cause

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The crippling engagement

IN the background of the decapitating violent incidents adversely affecting all segments of our socio-economic existence, one could suspect if our concern for democracy amounted to merely a false consciousness or worse, was it a crude legitimisation of the so-called

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Faith and politics

CONCE-RNED citizens have good reasons to suspect that following the verdict of the trial of politically consequential persons for crimes against humanity during Bangladesh’s Liberation War of 1971, issues and beliefs relating to faith have been dangerously drawn into present

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Police role in confrontational politics

The recent public violence resulting in many deaths and large-scale destruction of property, both public and private, and the alleged controversial role of police once again brings to the fore the reality that the balance of power within our society

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The militancy factor

Events in the last one week clearly indicate that the mode of political protest has assumed an ominous character. Some actors in the political arena are resorting to tactics that clearly run counter to the norms of constitutional politics. The