old in the new
The above title in SWM of July 2, 2004 under "Impressions"
brought back memories of New Orleans as well as the beautiful,
but dilapidating architecture of Dhaka. We drove to the
city from the West Coast to attend a conference in 1973.
We found New Orleans the same way Ms Nawaz did although,
I must confess that, at the time, we did not think of comparing
the physical aspects of the two cities as the author has.
Nevertheless it dawned on us that the summer there was similar
to that of Bangladesh. The author is right when she says
that we are keen to destroy our heritage in the city of
Dhaka. There are individuals like Ms Nawaz having great
love for what they had inherited from their forefathers,
while intently wishing the survival of the old city with
its glory of the past. The quaint city that once existed
is no longer there since it became the capital of the then
East Bengal in 1947 with its consistent unplanned growth.
Thanks for bringing back the memory of New Orleans and old
Dhaka through this thought-provoking article.
I think you guys do an amazing job! I also want to say that
I absolutely agree with Mominul Hasan Rintu and Khokan Sarker
about having a poetry section of some sort. So many of your
readers, including me, would love to read and contribute
poems. For me, writing poetry has become a way to express
the love for my country and make the necessary criticisms.
I do contribute somewhere else, but this is the publication
I would really love to contribute to. Thank you for listening
to a reader.
SWM is always subjected to criticism because of their jokes
page. The main complaint is that the jokes are not funny
at all and that the jokes editor should make a little more
effort. In my opinion, the jokes in the last two issues
(July 2nd and July 9th) were very funny and definitely warrant
a chuckle here and there. I especially enjoyed the jokes
in the July 2nd issue called "Why did the chicken cross
the road." I implore the jokes editor to keep up the
I applaud Ms. Srabonti Narmeen Ali for a poignant and passionate
piece under the above title in which she reflects the thoughts
of her generation. I will urge those from my generation
and the handful of Freedom Fighters still around to read
her piece. She points the finger rightfully at us when she
writes, "…our parents fought for our country
and gave us the gift of independence…However, where
did they go from there?" So true. We fought the enemy,
our comrades gave their lives and once we became free we
let politicians take over and run the country as they wished.
We, who fought thought we were such heroes and it was enough
that we picked up arms to fight the Pakistan Army. So we
relinquished our duties of making sure the DREAM of the
People to make Bangladesh a Paradise on earth was realised.
Yes, my young friend, you are so right in saying that this
is not the Bangladesh anyone wants. As Freedom Fighters
we failed our future generation in not trying to continue
our struggle to reach that goal. In the process we have
lost our pride and we have not imbued our future generation
to be proud of anything as we ourselves failed to follow
the spirit of the Liberation War and practice it in our
everyday lives. We have been hypocritical by saying one
thing and practising another. I have faith in my young friends
and believe people like Srabonti should continue their writing
so fossils like us will wake up and see what is happening
Land of the Not So Free
Mustafa Zaman's article titled "The Land of the Not
So Free" gives a chilling account of the double standards
perpetuated by American foreign and domestic policy. He
brings to attention all those unpleasant truths that politicians
go through amazing lengths to hide. Zaman mentions Senator
Daschle who had the gumption to criticise the Bush Administration
for their fascist post September 11th legislation and policies.
The write up mentions Gore Vidal's writing titled "The
End of Liberty" which took months to get published.
Vidal points out Osama Bin Laden's former involvement with
the CIA as well as the FBI's murderous attacks on Waco evangelists
that left 82 dead including 25 children. These and many
more home truths have been revealed before but they get
buried with time and propaganda. So it is important to highlight
these gross violations committed by these “fighters
of terrorism” again and again. I commend Zaman for
his incisive writing and in touching a subject that is so
controversial, yet so crucial.
Roxana S. Islam
After reading both of Kajalie Shehreen Islam's articles,
"Til the Pages Go Blank" and "Baba/Ma, the
World is a Horrible Place," I have to say that I have
very little hope in my country. Both of her articles had
to do with the social decline we are facing in Bangladesh.
The first article was on the security of writers and journalists
and the second one focused on the many kinds of harassment
that women face. We ought to be ashamed of our country and
the current state that it is in. I would like to thank Ms.
Islam for writing two very well thought out and extremely
coherent articles. Although I felt slightly depressed after
reading them, I also feel that there is hope yet, if there
are people like her out there, speaking out against injustice
and wrongdoings in whatever way they can.
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