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     Volume 4 Issue 5 | July 23, 2004 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
   Slice of Life
   A Roman Column
   In Retrospect
   Straight Talk
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   Book Review
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C for Confusion
I really enjoyed reading the article "B for Bangladeshi" in SWM's July 9th issue, which was beautifully written by Srabonti Narmeen Ali. But what about H? Our history, which is changing much too rapidly! Different political parties when in power change our Liberation War's history as much as they want for their personal gains. But if we are confused about our history and identity then it will raise other questions, like who we are and where we come from. Which story do we believe? Is this confusion over something that make us proud?
Shantanu Saha Subrata

Kudos To You and Your Team!
My introduction to the SWM happened during my recent visit to Dhaka. I picked it up for a glimpse. Reading between the lines, I realised it is strongly addictive. Your subjects might be mundane but it is matched with a treatment of tact, perceptiveness and styled with sensitivity and an unending tone of humour and finesse, all of which make the magazine an amusing read. The accuracy of wit with which Shawkat Hussain and Chintito write their articles, the elegance of Neeman Sobhan's writings, the extra topping of humour in the most trivial things in the Slice of Life column and much more. All make the magazine a work of outstanding credit. I have also read many articles, which I find are an assembled gamut of inedible words and lacklustre thoughts, but SWM has aroused my interest in diverse fields just by the style of its writing. It's easy, simple, funny, yet thought-provoking, because the message is conveyed with a much greater impact. The anniversary special issue was a feast with so many talented writers sharing chapters of their life.

Democratic killer
Hartals are a type of democratic protest. They cripple the economy and take away valuable life. Sadly the government and opposition party are not taking any necessary steps to stop hartals. None of them want to ban it as AL needs it now to protest against the government and the BNP will need it if they are in the opposition in the future. But are hartals more important to BNP and AL than our people's lives? How many more deaths do we have to see because of hartal?
Nayeem Islam
Class-VIII, The Aga Khan School.
Uttara, Dhaka

The Patriot's Act
It is nice to know that not all Americans think the way George W Bush does. I would like to thank SWM for publishing the article by Michael Moore called, "The Patriot's Act". The article was simple and effective. There were no frills and sugar coated excuses for the way the United States and Bush's cronies have conducted themselves since September 11th. As Moore rightfully asks to his fellow Americans, "Are you proud that the rest of the world, which poured out its heart to us after Sept. 11, now looks at us with disdain and disgust?" These are real and harsh home truths that I feel the citizens of the United States should consider. Since no one else can speak out against the US without fearing some kind of social or economic repercussion, it is nice to know that one who can -- meaning a non-immigrant American -- is using his automatic advantageous position to educate those Americans who (for reasons of their own) may not know any better. I think SWM should definitely continue printing more such articles in the future, as well as writing their own -- like the article by Mustafa Zaman in the July 9th issue titled "The Land of the Not So Free". This, too, was a very well written article in which the author discussed the shameful conduct of the Bush administration. I think that it is important to write articles such as these against the grave injustices being committed around the world today.
On Email

On B for Bangladeshi
In her passionately written piece "B for Bangladeshi" Srabonti Narmeen Ali rightly points at the vacuum that the Bangladeshis are in. And this vacuum is our own creation. Even after 33 years of our independence the idea of a good government seems elusive. As a nation, we have witnessed the decimation of our cultural heritage as well as gross deterioration of political practices. Politics is not supposed to be about one party defeating the other in the elections, it is about an agenda for a nation, which is implemented collectively. This notion of thinking politically is absent in our national psyche. The word politics has taken so much flak that it almost seems synonymous with what is all around us -- as Ali so emphatically pointed out -- corruption, exploitation, extortion. She was right in stating that our previous generation has been wailing over the current situations without ever paying much attention to the changing world. Perhaps, it is the job of our generation to try and put Bangladesh back on the right track.
Elora Mahmood
Uttara, Dhaka

Are we a democracy?
I am as confused as the whole nation is. People should enjoy the right to vote and elect their representatives, but some people enjoy the right to vote so much that they vote more than fifty times. Sometimes people vote under false names as well. The High Court had ordered the government to deploy the army in every polling centre. Instead of being concerned about security and fair voting rights, the government made a mockery of the High Court order. The army was too busy patrolling the streets to be manning the poll booths. Major (retd) Mannan, the BDB candidate, had no other option but to boycott the election. However, the Election Commission insists that these irregularities are not sufficient to cancel the election. Now citizens of this independent and democratic country will always wonder whether their votes are secure.
Elias Saif

Letters to the Editor, Dhaka Diary & Write to Mita with the writer’s name and address, should be within 200 words. Articles should be within 1,200 words. Articles and photos submitted will not be returned. Plagiarised articles will not be accepted. All materials should be sent to: Star Weekend Magazine, 19, Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215, Fax: 8125155, or e-mailed to <dsmagazn@gononet.com> Articles may be edited for reasons of space and clarity.
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