Toufique Imrose Khalidi

Safer Internet: Let’s kick off the conversation

August 29, 2015
Safer Internet: Let’s kick off the conversation

When we talk about technology and crime, or technological crime, we probably refer to crimes using new technologies, that is information and communication technologies (ICTs).

It is very difficult to define, as new technologies continue to emerge and the examples become redundant. In some cities in some countries, burglary is a forgotten thing, thanks to burglar alarms.

Closed-circuit TV cameras solve a lot of problems but they create quite a few more. Surveillance helps, serving as a powerful deterrent. But all these prying eyes of cameras installed in the name of security become a huge nuisance for some of us; citizens’ groups often raise their voice about invasion into our privacy. Read more »

Comprehensive approach needed to address disability issues

August 28, 2015
By Saima Wazed Hossain
Comprehensive approach needed to address disability issues

Bangladesh has ratified the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Moreover, pursuant to constitutional guarantees of equality and non-discrimination enshrined in Article 28 of the Bangladesh Constitution, specific laws have been passed to safeguard the rights of persons with disabilities. Despite these constitutional protections, nearly one million people with disabilities in Bangladesh are suffering from limited employment and educational opportunities, social discrimination and stigma. Read more »

A brief history of political irony

August 27, 2015
By Syed Badrul Ahsan
A brief history of political irony

The war of words between some leading lights of the Awami League and the Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal (Inu), both of which are part of the government at this point in time, is a perfect reason why one needs to delve into the history, somewhat, of political irony in Bangladesh. These days, as a minister, JSD leader Hasanul Haq Inu is a vocal defender of the policies of his government and has been scathing in his condemnation of the politics of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. That does not obscure the fact that in the 1970s, he and his party colleagues, in association with some army officers, were seriously engaged in politics aimed at a dislodging of the government of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Read more »

Go to Lonka, become Rabon. REPEAT.

August 25, 2015
By Kayes Ahmed
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Go to Lonka, become Rabon. REPEAT.

My mother used to say, “Je Lonkai jai, se Rabon hoi”. She was using it in small contexts to point out the unfairness of one kid taking over all the goodies at the expense of others. Once a year as many as 15 of us cousins would get together for Eid Holidays in Sylhet and there was always the fight for little things, mainly cookies. Depending on the day the victim from yesterday would become the oppressor the next day, hogging all the cookies. The cycle would repeat and repeat. Read more »

The many tales of our diplomats abroad

August 23, 2015
By Syed Badrul Ahsan
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The many tales of our diplomats abroad

It is time to sit back and reflect on Bangladesh’s diplomacy and the men and women sent abroad to articulate such diplomacy. The degree to which our ambassadors and high commissioners have since the early 1970s been able to speak forcefully and persuasively for the country abroad calls for a serious and purposeful rethink.
The urgency of such a reassessment becomes necessary in light of the recent appointment of a former inspector general of police as the nation’s new ambassador to Spain. The appointment of Hassan Mahmood Khandker happens to be yet one more instance of a lateral entry into the diplomatic service that the country could have done without. Read more »

A walkover for the colleagues

August 22, 2015
By Shibabrata Barman
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A walkover for the colleagues

A quick bail prematurely ending an earlier remand order and the release of a journalist may settle the dust for now. But there is an element of grave concern the Probir Sikdar whirlwind has brought to our attention and we should not overlook it.

The legal procedures followed in the ICT lawsuit against this journalist might go down in the records as the most disturbing case of human rights violation, the leading role this time around being played, if not by the state machineries, then rather ironically by law practitioners themselves. Read more »

Democracy and Development

August 20, 2015
By Anis Chowdhury
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Democracy and Development

In recent times, the political discourse in Bangladesh has touched upon the question of democracy and development. It was triggered by comments from a Minister and a senior ruling party leader who said, “We believe in democracy, but not too much democracy,” and argued that this is good for development and progress.

His comments attracted a flurry of criticisms as well as commendations and a muddled opinion piece by a senior self-exiled journalist in this column.

This piece is not about different shades of democracy. It is about the broader question, “Is democracy good for development?” Nevertheless, it would be useful to have a working definition of democracy to answer the question.

There is almost universal consensus about the six basic attributes of democracy, irrespective of the form it takes. They are: (i) established popular sovereignty, (ii) majority rule, (iii) individual rights, (iv) free and fair elections, (v) citizen involvement and (vi) open compromise. Read more »

Sundarbans: A universe unto itself

August 19, 2015
By Zeenat Khan
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Sundarbans: A universe unto itself

In describing the Sundarbans, Amitav Ghosh, an internationally acclaimed writer wrote in his novel, The Hungry Tide: ‘A mangrove forest is utterly unlike other woodlands or jungles. There are no towering, vine-looped trees, no ferns, no wildflowers, no chattering monkeys or cockatoos. Mangrove leaves are tough and leathery, the branches gnarled and the foliage often impassively dense. Visibility is short and the air still and fetid. At no moment can human beings have any doubt of the terrain’s hostility to their presence, of its cunning and resourcefulness, of its determination to destroy or expel them. Every year, dozens of people perish in the embrace of that dense foliage, killed by tigers, snakes and crocodiles.’ Read more »

Economic performance: Evaluation

August 18, 2015
By Mo Chaudhury
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Economic performance: Evaluation

That Bangladesh has recently been awarded the status of a Lower Middle Income (LMI) country by the World Bank (WB) is undoubtedly a great achievement of its valiant and hard-working people who have been historically tormented by the exploitative forces of political and economic aggression and devastated by exacting natural cataclysms. To attain the next milestone of Upper Middle Income (UMI) status, it is however important to objectively evaluate the nature of economic performance to this date and strategise for the future. Read more »

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