I love reading SWM. I started reading it about five to six
months ago and it has already managed to successfully influence
and intrigue my thought process. Incidentally, I would like
to ask the SWM team whether you have any plans to further
aid in the protection of women who suffer from acid violence.
This sort of torture is tormenting not only for the victims
but also those of us who are powerless to help them. As
an avid reader, I feel that SWM is a very neutral magazine.
Some columns that I am especially fond of are: Newsnotes,
Voicebox, Chintito, Education and many of the other features
written by the staff writers. As a reader I hope that SWM
will be even more bold in the future, while at the same
time remaining neutral.
Karmokar Taposh Bogra
Your recent interview with Ola Ree, the departing Managing
Director of Grameen Phone (GP), would have been welcomed
by GP as a free-of-charge promotion of their mobile phone
services. However, as a subscriber to GP's "Easy Gold"
pre-paid service, I would have welcomed it if your interviewer
had inquired about GP's lack of transparency regarding their
tariff structures. Why should I, as a GP subscriber, have
been unable to obtain any kind of leaflet on the tariff
structure of my GP mobile phone services, even when requesting
this from the GP customer service office on Gulshan Avenue?
Since GP does not feel itself obliged to provide full information
on their mobile phone tariffs on its own initiative, it
would be welcome if GP and other providers were required
to do so under Government regulation.
SWM is an excellent magazine for all its readers. I read
this weekly magazine every Friday and look for every regular
column. I find every page to be colourful and superb. Now
that I see that SWM is publishing Fiction I would like to
suggest and request that you also start a poetry page. I
know many people, including myself, would be interested
in contributing poetry to your magazine. It is my belief
that you would elevate not only my love for poetry but everyone
else's if you started a new poetry page.
The letter regarding the article "Writing Gracefully"
by a Rajshahi University professor (Dec. 10) criticises
professors from his university for teaching in Bangla (probably
Bang-lish), and wants to declare the medium of study as
English. Just look around the world. China, Korea, Japan,
Russia and all continental European countries teach at all
levels in the people's languages -- which is exactly how
whole populations have become modernised. South Asian, Central
Asian and African countries think that education (at least
higher education) should not be in the people's language
-- an important cause of why they have not developed well.
Modern civilisational creativity is achieved by the population
as a whole when modern and scientific ideas flow through
it in the people's language. As long as a self-styled creative
elite minority vaunt another language, the cultural system
as a whole won't change much. Rather, there will be an unbridgeable
gulf between the "educated" and the rest, along
with a gulf of economy, lifestyle, and attitudes about other
social classes. Do we want democracy in Bangladesh, or not?
We cannot have democracy with an aloof social class being
created by English medium. See the horrible class formation
in Delhi and Mumbai, where 60 percent of people live in
slums, excluded from the modernisation process.
is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world, with
250 million speakers and a vast treasure of learning. If
countries like Denmark and Israel with only 6 million people
have all education in the people's language, why not Bangladesh?
Lack of books is no argument-- when the demand is there,
they will be written. In Korea, in 50 years education in
Korean has driven the country from one of the most backward
to one of the most influential, with books in all subjects
written in Korean. Bangladesh should follow the continental
European model: education in the people's language at all
levels, with students finishing 12th class having mastery
of two other languages which they improve as 2nd and 3rd
languages during university. They can then get any jobs
anywhere. Now see how Bangla will be the vehicle of modernisation
Social Science Consultant and Professor working in Bangladesh
Being a citizen of Bangladesh sounds embarrassing to me.
After I completed my A'Levels all my male classmates went
abroad. According to them there is great happiness abroad
which can never be found here. Some of them also say that
they will never come back here. But why? What more happiness
can there be outside, which cannot be found here? Why can't
we be like the Indians--'Our Neighbours' who sing 'Dil Hai
Hindustani' and learn to be patriotic? Why can't people
in our country love our land and dream of a prosperous future
over here instead of finding happiness abroad? Why can't
they dream of returning here for the development and improvement
of our country as well as help our indigent brothers and
sisters? Unfortunately, these are questions which always
Manifa Osman Dhaka
Last issue's cover story carries an inadvertent mistake.
Dhamrai was mentioned as a thana of Gazipur. It is actually
in Dhaka district.
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