Defense -- Great Idea
I was going through the magazine (February 18th issue) and
was quite intrigued by Ekram Kabir's piece on 'civil defences.'
I think he has hit a bull's eye when talking about a new
kind of governance -- one in which the people look out for
themselves. As he has mentioned, our governments have utterly
failed in providing us with security, a basic civil right.
It is high time that we -- the ordinary people at least
develop a mechanism through which we can help each other
in times of need or defend ourselves when in danger. Ordinary
citizens should be given training so they can tackle disastrous
situations such as earthquakes, floods, etc. Kabir also
gives the example of how something like reckless driving,
which kills 5,000 people each year, can be significantly
reduced by sensitising people about stopping irresponsible
drivers. Of course the concept needs to be studied further
and examples from other countries need to be replicated.
There are many among us who genuinely feel for our fellow
citizens and would be happy to help them when they are in
need. Such like-minded people need to be trained and organised.
Here, of course, government support is much needed.
The article "Another Dose of Reality" was a delight
to read. The viewpoint expressed is rather unique. The current
scenario concerning the television programmes is well-illustrated.
It is indeed true that many of the television shows can
be slotted into the categories mentioned. This has been
expressed in a manner that is witty and humorous. The article
manages to retain the attention and curiosity of the readers
throughout. Sensationalism is likely to be the focus of
the television channels in the coming months. A point to
note is the writer's irritation with the current trend in
Quadri Dhanmondi, Dhaka.
"Human but not Humane"
I really enjoyed reading Aasha Mehreen Amin's article of
the above title in the February 25th issue of SWM. The article
was very heartfelt and extremely intuitive. It is a sad
truth that religious figures, be it priests in the Christian
church or Imams in Islam, have a habit of abusing the power
and influence they have on other people. The problem of
sexual harassment being committed by these religious figures
is increasing at an alarming rate and has become a serious
issue. People trust these figures, send their children with
the belief that they will be safe and well looked after.
When we find out that these children are exploited and hurt
it is enough to break our spirit. In our country, it is
a sad reality that these criminals -- there is really no
other word for them--usually see no justice and, as the
author mentioned in her article, even newspapers and media
do not put enough emphasis on the seriousness of such issues.
Thank you again for bringing this controversial but very
important issue to our attention and congratulations on
such a beautifully written article.
The comment made by Farhana Deeba in Dhaka Diary regarding
the absence of any prayer facility at Nandan Park was incorrect.
In fact, there is a large prayer area located in the middle
of the Park. The arrangements include separate areas for
men and women with prayer mats, fans and lights as well
as a "wet" area for ablutions. But we have taken
necessary steps to ensure that visitors are able to easily
locate the prayer area in the future.
Muhammed Asif Hasan
Once again, a wonderful piece of writing by Chintito. I
read his column regularly and with time his topic and its
contents just seem to be getting better and better. Being
in a foreign land, I am proud that people from my country
are such masters in a language that is not our mother tongue.
My co-workers too find Chintito's column very humorous and,
like me, read it regularly. Keep up the good work!
the Name of Democracy
The term democracy means freedom of the people -- the right
to live securely and speak freely, but it seems like our
country is no longer operating under the system of democracy.
The political condition of our country is going to the dogs.
Every day the local newspapers are crammed with news of
corruption, frequent hartals without any good reason, brutal
attacks on our country's intellectuals, stagnation in our
economic development, continuous parliamentary boycotts
and counter-productive activities. Both political parties
are busy competing with their rivals and establishing their
credentials as to how much they contribute to the development
of our country, none of which is relevant to the present.
Despite the increasing protests from the public, our political
parties pay no heed to the voice of the people. They are
simply playing the role of dictators…in the name of
Mohammad Belal Hossain
A launch accident occurred in the Buriganga on February
20, killing scores of people. According to news reports,
over 100 passengers died and more than 50 went missing.
These days, deaths in launch accidents are becoming alarmingly
common in our country. Our vessels fail to meet fitness
standards. They are overloaded with passengers and driven
by unskilled masters. As a result, accidents occur. When
they do, the Department of Shipping religiously puts the
blame on natural catastrophes which is intolerable. The
authorities should make more of an effort to find out the
real causes of the accidents, starting with the one that
occurred on recently. Necessary action should be taken against
the people who were involved. We do not want to see any
more launch accidents.
cover story of February 18 issue of SWM carries two inadvertent
slips, here are the corrections: The book "Orientalism"
by Adward Said was translated by Faiz Alam, and "Crime
and Punishment" is Feador Dostoevsky's master piece.
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