Bangladesh is about to step into its 41st year. We are presented with a huge canvas to traverse, evaluate the quality of the journey and the outlook unfolding on the future. The more challenging the intellectual environ the more satisfying is the venture to do justice. In that spirit, we approach the matter-of-fact and yet mesmerising and stimulating issues confronting us today. Substantial has been the gain and equally disappointing the gap between aspiration and achievement and that between potential and realisation.
We witnessed rebirth of forces that we had to contend with to gain our independence. We also experienced birth of politics of corruption, violence and opportunism, thus diagnoses a probing writer. The way out is for political parties to rise above narrow short-term gains and address the vices starting with themselves, a prescription one cannot disagree with.
The sheer height scaled in quality literature on trail-blazing and forward-looking feminist movement, South Asian drive towards equitable discourse being part of it, is wholly awe-inspiring. One can only be profoundly impressed by the lives, works and thoughts of Begum Rokeya and Sultan Jahan Begum. The key comment is: "female reformers understand women as means to themselves, and their success in breaking down the home-world, private-public, spiritual-material demarcation of nationalism pronounced by patriarchal reformists." Manoshik Dashhotto will have to be banished.
On rights of 100 million women working overseas, concerns have been voiced for compliance with ILO Convention and conduct training programmes and screening processes to guide female domestic workers through culture shock often in hostile working conditions.
Accelerated media is depicted through the expanding role of photography and film 'as witness and advocate' in conflict coverage. But 'as tools get smaller and faster, the cycle of news-gathering accelerates' while publication often fails to keep pace with it. The news cycle's 'call to action or responsibility' may as well be missed.
Corruption, an expert writes, cannot be controlled from outside of the state. Triangular equations between the state, politics and private sector keep sustaining corruption.
An interview on human rights emphasises social, economic and cultural dimensions of such rights. We note, a new legislation on disability falls short of Bangladesh's obligations under international law. Child rights have been focused on as climatic concerns have been addressed in view of the Durban COP.
A Pakistani writer drawing an empathetic parallel between Balochistan and erstwhile East Pakistan makes out a case for Pakistan to formally apologise to Bangladeshi victims and their families of 1971 genocide.