|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 54, Tuesday August 29, 2006|
One ring to rule them all?
Or maybe just one to wear for luck! Popularised through the Japanese horror film and Tolkien's recently cinematographed stories, and sold as junk jewellery by the dozens along the Gausia and New Market footpaths, the symbol of the Ring, is as old as the earth itself! In the ruins of the oldest of civilizations, the relics of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa in the Indus Valley, were found bronze and other metal rings, worn by both men and women eons before our modern fashion statements were born! The Egyptians had their Shen Rings worn by their Pharaohs as symbols of their divinity and power followed by the Cartouch, which was also used as royal seal. The Celts arranged their mystical monoliths around rings drawn on the ground. Throughout history, rings have symbolized the circle of life, everything coming round a full circle to where it was born, life and death, completeness, wholeness. The symbol has sanctified sacred beliefs and ideas for generations. According to Chinese astrology, Vedic scriptures and other cultures, the right stones and metals worn on the right fingers could change your life forever- bring you good fortune and love, give you magical power over those who challenge you. While we may not be magically inclined or believe in following history by the word, we may just like to look hip in the many varieties that are crawling all over Dhaka this summer. Here's where you can get them and how cruel they will be to your wallets!
Other attractions: You can get anything from embroidered shalwars and blouses to glass bangles to mehendi in these stores.
Other attractions: Bibi Russel designed coloured bangles in different sizes are back with a BANG so go ahead and spoil yourself.
Other attractions: They also have different shaped plastic bangles in a variety of colours that can add colour and excitement to your wardrobe.
On the cover
With her long, braided hair, and her kohl-lined eyes, the Bangali woman is a sight to behold.
Politics? What politics?
This time, the Election Commission (EC) has promised us a "proper and decent" election. In the past there have been numerous conflicts over the voter list- the list was not updated, certain groups of people were being excluded, while many were registering their names from different areas.
The Commission is apparently working on updating the voter list, with the declared deadline of August 20, 2006. This time limit has been subject to much modification and extensions. But Abdur Rashid Sharkar, the Secretary of the EC Secretariat has stated: "We are hoping that 95 per cent of the task would be completed by the scheduled time. If anyone is left out, he/she would have to apply to be registered."
To make the already-bad situation worse, a large percentage of the population above eighteen years of age are not willing to vote at all. Under a democratic governance, it is important for everyone to vote. Only in this manner can it be ensured that the government elected is the government desired by all.
Moreover, with the election candidates changing parties so frequently, confusion looms heavy over the public. One of the most debated switches was that of Ershad joining the BNP-led ruling four-party alliance. Needless to say, the aim for switching parties for anyone would be to widen the voter support- i.e., in Ershad's case, to earn votes from both the BNP alliance supporters and the Jatiya Party supporters. But is the outcome of the different switches likely to be fruitful?
There are also many under-the-table transactions. Buying votes from people are common. There has even been buzz of votes being bought at Tk.10! Nonetheless, the EC ensures that this time there will be strong security at the voting centres to prevent such problems.
We, as citizens, keep criticizing the political power-play. But it is time that we realize that this is our country and we are the ones responsible for upholding democracy. More of us should voluntarily register as voters and vote for those who we think are qualified. Although given the candidacy of the nominees that might be more than a little difficult. Do not depend upon the government staff to come up to your doorsteps offering registration, because there is a high chance that they will not.
By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky
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