Study tour of India by DU students
Md Zonaed Emran, G.M Shakur, Abul kasem & Kamrul
THE students of the department of political science, Dhaka University, recently went on an extensive study tour of India. Thirty-four students and two teachers of the department embarked on this exciting and educative trip to learn about India, in view of the country's geo-political importance.
India, which is Bangladesh's largest next-door neighbour, is important in many aspects. It is the largest democratic and secular country in the world with its diverse ethnic identities. The trip was planned about three months back, some of our classmates Shakur, kamrul, kasem worked hard to make this tour a successful one and some teachers also helped us and extended us their support.
On march 16, we traveled to Kolkata by air. It was for the first time many of us experienced an air trip. So it was full of horror and thrill.
As it was a guided tour, so we were received cordially by the tour operator from the airport lounge and then we went straight to the hotel. Surprisingly, on that day IPLT20 match was going on in the Eden Garden playground, which was very near to our hotel. But we could not enjoy that match, as we had not booked any tickets earlier. The next day we went to visit the Science City. Then we went to the Birla Planetarium and the magnificent Victoria Memorial Hall and the Park and rode the under ground tube train. We also visited Kobiguru Robindranath Tagore Bissho Bharati College, Hindu College and Sanskrit College. After finishing sightseeing around Kolkata, we moved on to Agra, which is famous for many historical monuments. It was a 22-hour train journey from Kolkata. However, we did not feel bored, rather we enjoyed the train journey. While going to Agra we crossed over Uttar Pradesh and Punjab and enjoyed the pastoral scene on both sides.
In Agra we saw the Tajmahal, hallmark of Emperor
Shajahan's love for his wife Mamataj, Fatepur Sikri is situated here. Next we began our journey towards Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. We went to Rajasthan and stayed there for one night. We went to Birla temple at night and the next day we went to Azmer Sharif, the shrine of Nizam Uddin Awulia and offered our monajat there. In the afternoon we set out to visit various museums and learnt about their cultures and traditions.
Our next destination was Delhi; the capital of India . We reached Delhi early in the morning and had free time in the evening so we went for shopping. The next day we went out for site-seeing. We saw Indian parliament house, president house, congress president Sonia Gandhi's residence, BJP leader's house and India Gate.
Our next and last journey was the heaven on earth, Kashmir. We went to Jammu by train from Delhi and then took a 10-hour bus ride through the mountainous terrain. We were all gripped by height phobia. It was as if we were about to die. The natural scenery on both sides of the mountain roads were incredibly beautiful! And we could see the white snow-enveloping mountain ranges. Sometimes we were 500 feet above and could see the waterfall and Folling Lake. We were astonished to see that many people were living on the slope of the mountains. At 10 pm we reached our destination, Dal Lake. We stayed in Kashmir for four days.
Gulmarg is one of the nicest places in Kashmir and its main attraction is snowfall. So we headed to Gulmarg some 150km away from Dal Lake. We got up early in the morning and set out on our journey. When we reached Gulmarg it was a sunny day. We were delighted when we saw snow everywhere whether it was the fields or mountains. Seeing the ice we did not want to miss the chance of ice-skating. So we tried to learn. We stumbled several times. However we enjoyed skating a lot.
Another place you would want to come again is Pehelgar. Pehelgar is surrounded with mountains and natural waterfalls and breathtaking views. Kashmir is famous for its shawls, so we bought some of them.
Four days in Kashmir went by real fast and it was time to return home. We went to Kolkata from Jammu station - a 3-day journey. May be it was the most tiring and exhausting journey ever.
The study tour to India is remarkable for many reasons. It was an eye-opener for us as we learned first hand how India is developing rapidly with its ethnic and cultural diversity. Indian patriotism is worth taking note of. It was evident when we went around seeing people riding their homemade Suzuki Maruti or TATA comfortably, and not Nissan and Toyota.
(Writers are students of DU)
The Youth factor
Mohammad Ruhul Kader
I have an incurable disease as my friends call it; some of them even named it “Youth factor” as I'm wasting most of my time searching, commenting on youth networks, activities and youth contributions to development and positive change in society.
A Bangladeshi youth has conquered the Mt. Everest; an Australian youth has completed her expedition around the world through sea route within 210 days, an American teenager conquered the Mt. Everest. Then the youth are promoting MDG, struggling against AIDS, poverty, climate change, conflicts and so on. A number of things has been done by the youth of this country to impress me and make me confident. It has increased my thirst to do something better for my country and society. We know that the youth are the most important factor for all kinds of development and effecting positive changes. But, unfortunately this is something that is highly ignored and underestimated. Youth are the epicenter of all hopes of the nation.
Psychological research tells us that our lifelong behaviors are determined in large by the influence of our circumstances. Although we are blaming the youth continuously for their wrongdoing but we never recognise that their environment is also responsible for their behavior. Wrongdoing is not the problem but it is a symptom. To solve the problem we must go
deeper to understand the problem first.
It is known to everyone that our youth has played a legendary role in our national history; from 1952 to 1971 they gave blood and contributed to the creation of Bangladesh. After 32 years of Independence our nation is now passing through a crucial time. Though we have achieved freedom but we failed to make it meaningful to our people, as they deserve it. The true meaning of freedom would be - free from poverty, discrimination, right to education, economic freedom, cultural dominance, mental peace and so on.
Youth constitutes a major portion of our total population; they have the power, intelligence, passion and patience to bring about positive changes. But the question is what kind of change will they bring?
It actually depends on how we use and channelise the power of youth. Today our nation is prepared for a social and economic transformation to make our future better and secure. To mobilise and make this transformation smoothly the youth can play a leading role but this is the responsibility of the elders to give them the opportunity and guidance. For the sake of making our freedom meaningful the “Youth Factor” must be taken into proper consideration. Eligible, effective and efficient plan should be taken to utilise the power of youth in a productive direction. Steps should be taken to build youth capabilities and create opportunities for exercising their choice. Youth can bring changes but their voices usually get lost amidst political rhetoric and overreaction. Steps should be taken to engage youth in the decision-making process at all levels. The process of political participation should be more transparent and encompassing to ensure youth participation. Proper opportunity, common platform, quality education, efficient steps towards empowerment should be enacted by the all the responsible authorities. Without utilising the power of youth it will be impossible to realise the expectations of 'freedom'. So this is the right time to take the right steps for utilising youth power.
(Writer is a student of Department of Marketing, DU)