• Saturday, March 07, 2015

Published Date: March 6, 2015
WOMEN OF THE WORLD

WOMEN OF THE WORLD

A challenge that a woman faces in Bangladesh today is the lack of creative space-- a space which will allow her to think, a platform where she will plan her actions and where she will make decisions of her own. Despite the growing popularity of women as authority figures, and also the established idea of the country being led by a woman, there is still a lot left to be desired for. As Virgina Woolf mentions in 'A Room of her own,' referring to a female author, "Give her a room of  her own and five hundred a year, let her speak her mind and leave out half that...

Published Date: March 6, 2015
Editor’s Note

For 18 years, the Star Magazine has been an integral part of your family. The magazine has successfully initiated drawing room discussions, brought about stimulating opinions and thought provoking ideas. Starting from politics, governance, policy making to building relationships, music, humour – the magazine has definitely grabbed a place in your hearts. However, thanks to changing times, the Star is now ready for a re-vamp. The success of the magazine has inspired us to bring in new bits and columns...

HUMAN RIGHTS

Published Date: March 6, 2015
A SHAMEFUL TRADITION

A SHAMEFUL TRADITION

The tradition of giving and receiving dowry is unfortunately still alive and kicking in our country. Despite the increase in literacy rate, awareness, and provision of laws against dowry over time, one would think the practice has been significantly curbed. Unfortunately, the opposite has happened. The practice has now spread to the poorest classes of society and is considered nothing less than a curse. 2015 hasn't even begun properly, and already dowry related deaths are being splashed across the newspapers. Reshma Khatun from Benapole, Mollika Das from Jessore, Jesmin Khatun from Sirajganj, Sharmin Akhtar from Monirampur, Simi Akhter from Joypurhat and Chand Banu from Sharsha were all young women in...

ENDEAVOUR

Published Date: March 6, 2015
From behind the Red Bricked Walls

From behind the Red Bricked Walls

EMILY SUMMERS Political Section, British High Commission, Dhaka I arrived in Bangladesh in July 2014. My impression on arrival: hot, larger than life, and colourful and I loved it. I still do. I have the grand title of Climate Change Attaché, although there is no hat to go with this! I am here is to...

SPOTLIGHT

Published Date: March 6, 2015
THE #POWERWOMAN

THE #POWERWOMAN

Meet Minoti Probha Chakma of Rangamati, Bangaldesh, who is a part of a group of Bangladeshi women drivers trained by BRAC. She has been working as a driver at BRAC for the last two years, after receiving a six-month training from BRAC driving school. “I used to be very shy and was scared to...

SPOTLIGHT

Published Date: March 6, 2015
SETTING THE STANDARD

SETTING THE STANDARD

Nihad Kabir is without a doubt one of the most brilliant legal minds of our country. After completing her BA and MA in Law at Cambridge University in England, she was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1989. She returned to Bangladesh shortly after, and joined the chambers of Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed and Associates, where she is now a senior partner. “I think having a profession is important for a woman, and law is a profession that allows you to do many other things using law as a base,” she tells us. Although Kabir's area of expertise has been corporate commercial law, she has used her knowledge...

SPOTLIGHT

Published Date: March 6, 2015
A FREE SPIRIT

A FREE SPIRIT

In the world of art, Kanak Chanpa Chakma needs no introduction. Being one of the most eminent painters of our time, Kanak Chanpa has created her own genre through her unique style. Her paintings mostly feature the indigenous community and their daily lives combining semi realistic and abstract in the same frame. Her...

SPOTLIGHT

Published Date: March 6, 2015
AN ENTREPRENEUR'S TALE

AN ENTREPRENEUR'S TALE

Ivy Hasan, an entrepreneur and artist, has gone out of her way to fulfill her promise of upholding the character of our culture and nation. She passionately discusses her ideas about designing outfits that represent our unique history and past. Starting a business is always challenging and it was even more difficult for a...

SPOTLIGHT

Published Date: March 6, 2015
SALMA KHATUN THE CRICKETING WONDER

SALMA KHATUN THE CRICKETING WONDER

Earlier this year, the International Cricket Council announced that Salma topped the ICC T20 all-rounder rankings with 291 rating points, clearly four points ahead of Sri Lanka's Shashikala Siriwardene. She is also ranked as the number one T20 bowler in the ICC Player Rankings Despite the lack of public and media attention, the Bangladesh National Women's Cricket Team continue to make us proud in the international arena. The team had a victorious international debut when they won two matches against Thailand in a series played in July 2007. They then went on to compete against China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand and the UAE to win the ACC Women's...

CONFERENCE

Published Date: March 6, 2015
VIEWS ON GENOCIDE

VIEWS ON GENOCIDE

From February 27 to March 1, the 4th International Conference on Bangladesh Genocide and the issue of Justice was held at the International Conference Centre (CIRDAP). The three day conference was organised by the Liberation War Museum. Scholars and specialists from all over the world attended. Amy Fagin, artist and genocide scholar; and...

PERSPECTIVE

Published Date: March 6, 2015
A Thought to Ponder on!

A Thought to Ponder on!

Women in Bangladesh spend between six and eight hours in the kitchen every day, and nearly three to four of those hours cooking. Both women and men are involved in firewood collection, but women often do the majority of the collecting. Access to clean household energy services directly reduces time spent on these...

CULTURE

Published Date: March 6, 2015
Annihilation of an Oral language

Annihilation of an Oral language

What would people do if their language disappeared into oblivion? What would happen to a culture when its language is extinct? These questions might pop up in one's mind when s/he learned that Achik, the oral language of the Garos, is on the verge of extinction. This indigenous group, who live in Madhupur  Garh, Mymensingh, Netrokona and Sylhet, has a long drawn history and culture. Achik is amongst the half of the world's 7,000 languages that are expected to disappear over the next hundred years. Should this extinction ring alarm bells amongst the world civilisation or is it just a way of natural elimination? The Garo language does not have traditionally...

Published Date: March 6, 2015
PEARLS OF WISDOM

PEARLS OF WISDOM

“If women are not empowered, there will not be any development in the country.” SUFIA KAMAL Poet and activist “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” MAYA ANGELOU American poet and actress “Gender equality not only liberates women but also men from prescribed gender stereotypes.” EMMA WATSON Actress and Women’s rights activist “We want deeper sincerity of motive, a greater courage in speech and earnestness in action.” SAROJINI NAIDU Indian independence activist and poet “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.” HILLARY CLINTON Former United States Secretary of State "I never wanted to be an Olympian. All I wanted was to keep breaking my own record. I never competed to defeat anybody." PT USHA India’s best...

ACHIEVEMENT

Published Date: March 6, 2015
A Change Maker's Journey

A Change Maker's Journey

Back in the 80s a young woman in her early 20s used to travel regularly to different parts of Dhaka with a determination to establish her own business. Living in a conservative society, it was no easy ride for Sangita Ahmed. But she was determined to overcome the hurdles she was facing as a woman entrepreneur. Her courage and determination has finally paid off. Sangita Ahmed, the former president of Bangladesh Womens Chamber of Commerce and Industry and currently, a Director of Janta Bank Limited, is the owner of a few of the country's most successful business enterprises-- Time Out Restaurants and The Sky Room Dining. Besides running her own...

Musings

Published Date: March 6, 2015
Be Selfish For Once

Be Selfish For Once

My mother suffered from stomach ailments for over a year before she told anyone about it. It was only when I fell sick and had to visit a doctor that my mother asked my father if they should make an appointment for her as well. The doctor heard her symptoms and immediately prescribed a colonoscopy. A couple of days later, we learnt that she was suffering from the last stage of colon cancer. Immediate surgery would be required and she would then be required to undergo chemotherapy. She lost her battle with cancer a little over a year later and left her family bereft in her absence. She was 48....

Published Date: March 6, 2015
What a Piece of Work is Man

What a Piece of Work is Man

Women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. If you don't agree that men are stupid just check the newspapers. Ninety nine percent of the truly horrifying things going on in this world were initiated, established, perpetrated, enabled or continued by men. Women have...

Interview

Published Date: March 6, 2015
“YOUR LIFE IS IN YOUR HANDS”

“YOUR LIFE IS IN YOUR HANDS”

Tell us a bit about RSPH & its work globally? The Royal Society for Public Health is an independent, multi-disciplinary charity, dedicated to the promotion and protection of collective human health and well-being. With stakeholders including healthcare workforce, charities, community groups, public health specialists and local and national government bodies, we have a global...

NUCLEAR FUSION

Published Date: March 6, 2015
The Holy Grail of Energy

The Holy Grail of Energy

Ever wondere how the Sun could have been shining for 4.55 billion years, radiating immense amounts of energy into space? How does the Sun produce the energy that will keep it shining for another 5 billion years? The energy source that powers the Sun is a “fusion reactor” buried at its center, where...

Published Date: March 6, 2015
1 MINUTE PLEASE!

1 MINUTE PLEASE!

In the contemporary world of music in Bangladesh, Kona is a household name. Not only is she a classically trained singer, Kona is passionate about Nazrul compositions and likes to learn and perform unconventional songs of his. Popular for her appearance in the cricket world cup theme songs and her playback numbers, she is also known in her close circuits for being a fantastic cook and actor. The Star catches up with the established singer and learns about her inner thoughts and opinions.    What are the three things you would take with you to a deserted island? I would take a smart phone with me and would make sure the...

Published Date: March 6, 2015
SHUTTERSTORIES

SHUTTERSTORIES

Dance is breathtaking and sensual without being perverse, emotional without being titillating, and as graceful as it is strong. A joyous celebration of the human anatomy and the ability of phenomenally-gifted performers to move in a way that is equally capable of moving us as well. Photos: Ridwan Adid Rupon      

Published Date: March 6, 2015
SNAPSHOT

SNAPSHOT

"Women hold up half the sky."  – Mao Zedong Indigenous women work twice as hard as men. In fact, in Bangladesh, women from all walks of life have learnt to balance between taking care of a family and earning a living. PHOTO: ANURUP KANTI DAS

Published Date: March 6, 2015
YOUR SAY

YOUR SAY

Unveiling the Great Thinker Chintito- the pseudonym writer always charmed us with his pleasant and witty columns. But, was it necessary to divulge the identity of Chintito who for so long remained in disguise from the readers? As a mysterious writer, I think he would find a better name and would have remained largely admired for his thoughts. M Haque Via Email The Story of the Star It is really heartbreaking to even think that from the next Friday I will not get the Star Magazine in its renowned shape. It has always been a good friend on the weekend. It seems to me that this sudden makeover of the magazine is going to...

HERITAGE

Published Date: March 6, 2015
Family by Novera Ahmed

Family by Novera Ahmed

Novera Ahmed, the first modern sculptor of Bangladesh, was born in 1930 in Kolkata. She earned a Diploma in Design for the Modelling and Sculpture course from Camberwell School of Art in London in 1955. At Camberwell, she studied under the renowned British sculptors Sir Jacob Epstein and Karel Vogel of Czechoslovakia. She also enriched her perspective on European sculpture by studying under Venturi Venturino in Florence and later in Vienna. She was credited alongside Hamidur Rahman for the original design of the Shahid Minar. Within a short span of time, from 1956 to 1960, Novera had worked on about 100 sculptures in Dhaka. Her first and last exhibition was...

Published Date: March 6, 2015
NUMBERS 1000

NUMBERS 1000

Europe's Jews face rising anti-Semitism in some countries, but multiculturalism is far from dead. Today, more than 1,000 Muslims formed a human shield around Oslo's synagogue, offering protection and solidarity with Jews following a violent attack in Copenhagen last weekend. Chanting “No to anti-Semitism, no to Islamophobia,” Norway's Muslims and others formed what they...

QUIRKY SCIENCE

Published Date: March 6, 2015
Madam Curie the Nobel Laureate

Madam Curie the Nobel Laureate

Marie Curie was a Polish physicist and chemist who lived between the years 1867-1934. Together with her husband, Pierre, she discovered two new elements (radium and polonium, two radioactive elements that they extracted chemically from pitchblende ore) and studied the x-rays they emitted. She found that the harmful properties of x-rays were able...

QUIRKY SCIENCE

Published Date: March 6, 2015
Hedy Lamarr the Goddess of Wireless

Hedy Lamarr the Goddess of Wireless

Although better known for her Silver Screen exploits, Austrian actress Hedy Lamarr (born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) also became a pioneer in the field of wireless communications following her emigration to the United States. The international beauty icon, along with co-inventor George Anthiel, developed a "Secret Communications System" to help combat the Nazis...

MAD GENIUS

Published Date: March 6, 2015
FEROZA BEGUM

FEROZA BEGUM

Feroza Begum, a legendary singer, gave Nazrul's songs the passion with her unforgettable seasoned voice and she will remain afresh in the heart of millions. For her unstinting dedication to music, Feroza Begum has been awarded the Shadhinata Puroshkar including many other prestigious awards. She has been awarded the D Lit title from Bardhaman University of India as recognition of her special contribution in the musical arena. Life and Career At the age of 10 she started her career. And by that time she met poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and had the brief opportunity of taking lessons from the maestro himself. She first sang on All India Radio while studying in...

Published Date: March 6, 2015
STAR DIARY

STAR DIARY

PROTECTORS OR PREDATORS? A week ago, I was stopped at a traffic signal in Mogbazaar, because the PM was passing by. The rickshaw next to mine couldn’t quite stop in time when the traffic police hailed us to, and went a little ahead in line. The place was surrounded by the police as can...

Published Date: March 6, 2015
THE VOICES OF MEN

THE VOICES OF MEN

Millions of men and women work and live in Dhaka. Like many cosmopolitan cities of the world, ensuring a friendly environment for female city dwellers and workers has been a challenge for the city's authority. Already, we have seen several steps taken to make the city female-friendly an example being special bus service...

Cover Story

Published Date: February 27, 2015
Unveiling The Great Thinker

Unveiling The Great Thinker

Professor Dr Nizamuddin Ahmed has been writing for the Star Magazine with the pseudonym Chintito. His witty and thought provoking articles have been nourishing our readers mind for more than 18 years. This week The Star reveals the amazing story of this thought leader through a detailed interview. Professionally Dr Nizamuddin Ahmed is...

Cover Story

Published Date: February 27, 2015
THE MAN BEHIND THE MAGIC

THE MAN BEHIND THE MAGIC

It is hard to speak out honestly in a world that is so intolerant of divergent views and so harsh in judging anything that challenges the status quo. But that is exactly what Chintito has done over the last twenty years – defying the convention of not talking of unpleasant truths. Starting as...

Periscope

Published Date: February 27, 2015
It Ends Here

It Ends Here

About 12 years ago, I, a naïve 24-year-old, joined the Star as Staff Writer, and now, it is time to bid it a tearful goodbye. When I first stepped into the three-storied Daily Star office in grungy Karwan Bazaar I did not have any idea about journalism in Bangladesh. I had just returned from Hong Kong, and the only piece of information I had about the Daily Star was that it was the largest circulating English newspaper in the country and its fan following was increasing rapidly.  My first piece (Collecting Past) in the Star was my musings on Dhaka, a requiem for the fading beauty of a city we...

Special Feature

Published Date: February 27, 2015
THE GROWTH OF THE SOIL

THE GROWTH OF THE SOIL

For a TV show about farmers—thin, bony, illiterate peasants, and agriculture—the mundane business of producing rice and jute, Mati O Manush might not have been a bright idea. But Shykh Seraj, award winning development activist and journalist, crafted it in such a way that it grabbed the audience by the collar and demanded...

Current Affairs

Published Date: February 27, 2015
World XI versus AL?

World XI versus AL?

Why does Sheikh Hasina now oppose the UN's call for holding a dialogue between her ruling Awami League and the opposition BNP to resolve the ongoing political crisis? Her stance regarding the UN was different in 2006 when her AL-led alliance resorted to all possible means to stop its rival BNP-led coalition from holding the parliamentary polls scheduled for January 22, 2007. She even sought a UN-mediated election rather than the prospect of the polls under the then caretaker government led by Iajuddin Ahmed, according to US diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks in September 2011. The then US ambassador to Dhaka Patricia A Butenis in a cable sent to Washington on...

Perspective

Published Date: February 27, 2015
The Story of the Star

The Story of the Star

The Star is about to embark on a new journey. It will change its format from its present size to a tabloid. Being its editor for most of the 18 years of its existence a little reminiscing is in order. As I look through old issues of the Star my facial expressions change from a smile to a grimace to a look of utter horror and then a grin. If cartoonist Sharier Khan were nearby he would have had a blast drawing cartoons of these contortions. But while my hands are blackened with the soot from old issues that are only archived in paper form, I am filled with pride...

Food for Thought

Published Date: February 27, 2015
Waiting for the Storm

Waiting for the Storm

It's happening again. A familiar rage unfolds its sticky wings within the captive interior of my chest: a monstrous butterfly emerging gracelessly from its cocoon. It's the same every night. The taste of panic blooms bitter on my tongue. Swallowing hard, I wonder how much longer I can bear this charade. I sculpt my features into submissiveness by a sheer act of will, reminding myself sternly that it's only during dinner that I must endure your company. It is the one meal that we eat together; indeed, the only time of day that we are even in the same room. I have tapped unexpected creativity to find excuses for wandering away...

Perceptions

Published Date: February 27, 2015
The Lure of Storytelling

The Lure of Storytelling

I am an accidental journalist, the one who sort of stumbled into the world of writing. I had a different dream as a kid. I wanted to be an astronaut, explore the stars and the universe. However, with age my ambition changed. At 14, I fell directly from the sky to the ocean...

Village Flute

Published Date: February 27, 2015
Coal Street

Coal Street

Coconuts, jackfruit, fish, papaya and rice… there's generosity to its geography. Bangladesh has a landscape that perpetually gives. It's the morning and I'm sitting in Saju's living room. It's not his Dinajpur Town residence but the old cottage in a row of cottages at Parbatipur's Barapukuria Coal Mine: the place he calls home on workdays. The housing strip is the old staff barracks. It currently houses employees unable to be accommodated elsewhere. Md Shajiul Islam, Saju Bhai, 43, is an assistant manager in the mechanical section. He's worked there for just short of eleven years. The minor concrete laneway features cute front gardens of vines and fruit trees – but has no...

Musings

Published Date: February 27, 2015
The Bizarre, the Weird and the Fantastic

The Bizarre, the Weird and the Fantastic

In my two years working with The Star, I had the opportunity to contribute to this wonderful magazine in a number of capacities. I wrote features, often helped with the editing and collected the entries for Star Diary and Write to Mita. Of all these responsibilities, I felt a particular affinity for Star...

Art

Published Date: February 27, 2015
KAJOL'S VISION

KAJOL'S VISION

According to artist Ruhul Amin Kajol, who is in Bangladesh for three months , visiting friends and relatives, formal art began with the Egyptians, Phoenicians and the cave dwellers before them, who used art to express their thoughts, beliefs and stories through architecture and relief work and to glorify their power. Huge constructions...

Perceptions

Published Date: February 27, 2015
The Need to Do More

The Need to Do More

‘Ekush' holds a special place in the history of this country. It was the first scintilla of Bangladesh, long before Bangladesh was born. It is a unique example for a nation's struggle for its right, and the sacrifices made for a belief. It took the world decades to fully comprehend the stature of...

Published Date: February 27, 2015
Star Diary

Star Diary

A Rickshaw-puller's Epiphany The rickshaw puller was a middle-aged, jolly fellow, who spoke with concern about the hygiene and cleanliness of the city. He suddenly stopped the rickshaw, signaling to me that he will be back within a couple of minutes. I noticed that he went to a corner beside a sidewalk to respond...

Published Date: February 27, 2015
Write to Mita

Write to Mita

Dear Mita, I am a 48-year-old man and have a 20-year-old daughter who is now away at a college abroad. Her mother and I divorced over a decade ago. However, when I remarried someone else around four years back, my daughter was not pleased with my decision. My wife has been very patient and treats my daughter like her own. But my daughter insists on behaving badly with her, not even attending family events if my wife is there. My ex-wife has encouraged my daughter in this behaviour but now I think that enough is enough. I refused to grant one of her many requests and since then she has...

Published Date: February 27, 2015
Quirky Science

Quirky Science

LOOK AT HIS FINGER Maybe women should take a good look at their partner's fingers before putting a ring on one. Men with short index fingers and long ring fingers are on average nicer towards women. They are more likely to listen attentively, smile and laugh, compromise or compliment the other person, according to...

Remembrance

Published Date: February 27, 2015
The Humanist Author

The Humanist Author

Krishan Chander was an Urdu writer famous for his short stories and novels. He was also well versed in Hindi and English. He has written around 30 collections of short stories and 20 novels with many Urdu radio plays. He also wrote screen plays for several Indian movies. Some of his stories and...

Postscript

Published Date: February 27, 2015
The Last of the Tuesday Blues

The Last of the Tuesday Blues

It's a Tuesday today, the day we go to print, the day my colleagues, friends and family try to stay out of my way knowing the rise in my level of crankiness. Today I start the day with that same sense of panic – will I be able to finish my column before...

Published Date: February 27, 2015
MAILBOX

MAILBOX

Story of the Bangla press What a timely cover story just before the 21st February! While the rest of the world takes great care in preserving their history, we pay no attention our own. How can we let something like the press of Kangal Harinath rot in sheer neglect and lack of attention?  It...

Published Date: February 27, 2015
LUCIANO PAVAROTTI

LUCIANO PAVAROTTI

12 October 1935 – 6 September 2007 One of the most commercially successful musicians Luciano Pavarotti was an Italian operatic tenor.  He made numerous recordings of complete operas and individual arias, gaining worldwide fame for the brilliance and beauty of his tone—especially into the upper register—and eventually established himself as one of the finest tenors of the 20th century. "  For me, music making is the most joyful activity possible, the most perfect expression of any emotion. Why should be elite, music? Excuse me. Music must be for everybody. You don't need any brains to listen to music. There is no prodigy in our profession. If you see all the great singer of the past, none...

SNAPSHOT

Published Date: February 27, 2015
A New Beginning

A New Beginning

O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?         — Percy Bysshe Shelley

Published Date: February 27, 2015
Voicebox

"I believe discussion is needed to change anything in a democracy. Without discussion, nothing can change." AMARTYA SEN Nobel Laureate Economist Said while launching the translated Bangla version of his latest book in Dhaka "We are very much aware of welfare of our country. Do not poke your nose into our internal affairs. The interference of foreigners will not be tolerated, foreigners are not our masters." SHEIKH FAZLUL KARIM SELIM Senior Awami League Lawmaker Warned the foreign diplomats that measures would be taken against the diplomats...