Stories written by Mohammad Badrul Ahsan

Iron Grip of Persecution, Hunger and Discrimination

Experts tell us that it should take another 150 to 170 years to close the gender pay gap around the world. Bad news for the mothers, sisters, wives and daughters! They have to wait that long for an equal footing with their fathers, brothers, husbands and sons. Especially so, when it comes to salaries and jobs. Living together for centuries, the two genders have been living centuries apart.

Great ideals are ghost lights at night

An increase in elevation lowers air pressure, which makes breathing difficult for a climber. The underwater world becomes increasingly blue and eventually black as a diver goes deeper. Great ideals in their height or depth similarly vary, conception changing when it approaches perfection, and perfection changing when it approaches conception. In the end, neither is like how either appears to be.

Will the World Bank Eat Humble Pie?

It was once a familiar refrain amongst the restaurant-goers in Dhaka that even if one didn'teat or drink anything in a restaurant, one could still end up paying twelve annas for breaking a drinking glass. That saying embodied concerns over the costliness of eating out and its incidental hazards, but eventually acquired a deeper meaning of life. It implies a Kafkaesque helplessness when one has to pay for something without partaking in any of its pleasures. Almost five years later, the Padma Bridge scandal looks like a throwback to that disturbing despair. Some people may have paid the price without doing anything significantly wrong.

Fidel Castro: The Revolutionary Outlived His Revolution

A tyrant to some and a liberator to others, Fidel Castro of Cuba died on November 25, a decade shy of a century. While his own countrymen stay divided on his legacy on two sides of the Straits of Florida, the revolutionary icon was a towering figure for the rest of the world. The cigar chomping, fatigues-clad, bearded man, who famously survived more than 600 assassination attempts, was the last stalwart defending communism to his last breath.

Development Without Democracy Isn’t a Happy Solution

Persistent indigestion may point to the cancer of esophagus, throat or stomach. This prognosis is a sufficient hint for the wise to understand why development without democracy isn't good for a nation. It's no solace for people to know that highways and bridges are being built unless they also feel connected to their country, because it altogether misses the point. A free country is desirable so that people can enjoy, not the freedom of luxury, but the luxury of freedom.

The Asian Stage for the American Show

The Americans had their eye on Asia since Commodore Perry opened Japan in 1853, but now they have their heart set on this distant continent. It's clear as daylight that a quiet showdown is imminent, if not already at work. The United States signed a 10-year defense framework agreement with India last month. Japan is trying to reel in Russia. The purpose is to build a bulwark against China, and isolate it in its own backyard.

The Future Generations are Losing their Entitlement

The world is demographically lopsided more than ever before: old people are concentrated in the rich countries, and the rest of the world is crowded with the young. Whoever said that the young shall inherit the earth must think again. As nations get more affluent, their populations also get more aged. In an increasingly prosperous world, the future generations are losing entitlement.

Need for a Factual Assessment

The Muslims make 14.2 percent of India's 1.25 billion people. But, 25 percent of India's 370,000 beggars are Muslims. The newly released data by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the London School of Economics, published in the journal Human Nature, also show that the Muslim population inside Indian jails is rising. For example, Maharashtra jails have 31.09 percent Muslim prisoners against a state average of 19.06 percent. Arthur Koestler famously writes that statistics don't bleed, but it's the detail which counts. What counts in this instance is that the plight of the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia is nothing but dismal.

The Americans Should Have Their Own Chilcot

Ever since the Chilcot Inquiry vilified former Prime Minister Tony Blair on July 6 for taking the United Kingdom to war in Iraq, the world is waiting for the other shoe to drop. If Blair deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, the report assessed he had done it at the behest of his American ally George W. Bush. That gives sufficient ground for the Americans to have their own Chilcot. Blair had bought the distribution rights on this of the Atlantic for the biggest lot of hogwash Bush sold to the entire world.

A Teacher Has Been Taught His Lesson!

Greek historian Herodotus, living in the fifth century, couldn't have known in advance that a headmaster was going to be humiliated in Narayanganj on the second Friday of May 2016. But when he said that men trusted their ears more than their eyes, it set the standard of mob justice for all time to come. Those who've watched the disgusting video of that outrageous incident couldn't believe their eyes while ears burned with shame. The headmaster was doing earholding sit-ups while an all-daddy lawmaker wagged his finger, keeping count. When the exhausted and embarrassed victim fell on the floor after the third time, he was pulled up to stand on his feet. Then like a mechanical toy, the poor man was made to raise his folded hands to his forehead asking for forgiveness before a hysterical crowd.

Panorama of Perfidy in the Panama Papers

Ever since the Panama Papers hit the fan, the leak has been working like a series of introductions at a high-profile gathering. It's putting a bunch of names to a bunch of faces, men and women leading a double life because of their money. It also shows that these folks have something in common with the squirrels. The rodents hide their nuts, and they hide their assets.