Relax, America is not falling apart. Not yet.

Two days ago, I received an earnest query from a friend in Dhaka. He was concerned that the US was showing some signs of becoming dysfunctional. Could it be that the Empire itself may soon become a failed State?

Decency vs Banality

Last week we witnessed two extraordinary events. First, President Barack Obama bid farewell to his fellow countrymen. He shed a drop

HIGH NOTES LOW NOTES / Too late, too little, Mr. President

President Obama's heroics at the fading hours of his presidency may have come too late too little, but it was just enough to ruffle both

Let's talk polls and politics

There is some very good news for Bangladesh's ruling party in a poll conducted by the US-based Democracy International. More about that later. Let's for a moment focus on the value of opinion polls.


There is a genocide taking place in Myanmar. An entire people is in the process of being annihilated. Entire villages have been plundered, mosques have been torched, people have been killed.

Coming to grips with an absurdity called Trump

In simplest terms, the victory was a clear rejection of the rural white America of Washington's elitism. These folks, under tremendous economic stress due to globalisation and continuing economic depression, exacted a revenge on the rest of the country.

A requiem for the Sundarbans

Why is the Bangladesh government so determined to go ahead with a project that every sane-minded person not affiliated with the government thinks will do more harm than good? In September, I put this question to the members of the delegation accompanying Prime Minister Hasina who was in New York for the annual UN General Assembly. One of them, speaking on behalf of the group, replied with a counter question: Do you think our Prime Minister would do something that would go against our national interest?

HIGH NOTES LOW NOTES / Exercise in democracy or “Bolirkhela”?

Imagine two heavyset men in the middle of a mud pool lunging at each other. They huff and puff, throw up their arms in the air screaming obscenities – some in earnest, some to stir their supporters.

United Nations and the “i” word

Shashi Tharoor, my former boss at the United Nations, was - and perhaps still is - a fiery defender of the United Nations. He was once asked by a BBC interviewer how did the UN feel about the “i” word, i for irrelevant? Mr. Tharoor, without missing a heartbeat, replied, “Oh, I think the 'i' word for us is actually 'indispensable.'”

A double murder in New York

There was nothing distinctive about Maulana Alauddin Akonji and his associate Tara Uddin, except their Islamic garb and flowing beard.

Why Donald Trump scares me

Donald Trump has variously been described as “dangerous,” “fraud,” “unhinged,” “racist,” “mentally unbalanced” and “outright nuts.” Vanity Fair magazine's Mark Bowden summed up these epithets in one sentence in a slightly more charitable manner:

Remembering Sydney Schanberg

Bangladesh's war of independence had many unlikely heroes, some of whom lived outside of Bangladesh and had no formal connection with the country and its people. Sydney Schanberg, an American journalist working for The New York Times (NYT), was one of them.

What more could we have done?

My plane touched down at Dhaka airport at about the time when the joint security operation against terrorists at Gulshan's Holey

The Orlando massacre and the “Muslim factor”

When I first saw the news flash scrolling at the bottom of my TV screen, my first thought was, please God, not another Muslim!

Ali and the power of dissent

On April 28, 1967, Muhammad Ali, just 25 years of age, stood at the Houston Military Recruiting Office and said he won’t go to Vietnam. “I ain’t got no quarrel with the Vietcong, no Vietcong ever called me nigger,” he said and defiantly courted arrest.

Silent death, unrecognised

Wednesday, May 4, was a great day for eight-year-old Mari Copeny. At her request, President Obama visited Flint, her home town in Michigan.

Enabling minority voices

Mahatma Gandhi had once said, to judge how civilised a nation is, just look at how it treats its own minorities. Going by this yardstick, Bangladesh does not make a passing grade.

1971: Our war, their battles

In 1971, during Bangladesh's Liberation War, much of the action was confined to the territory of Bangladesh, but there were battles being fought in locations many oceans away.