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     Volume 4 Issue 38 | March 18, 2005 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
   Straight Talk
   Food for Thought
   In Retrospect
   Slice of Life
   Time Out
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review
   Write to Mita
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A Great Loss
We are extremely shocked by the death of Abdul Latif, who is a legendary figure in Bangladesh. Undoubtedly, most of his folk song lyrics were about the struggle of the common people. His talents were on the same level as other music veterans of the subcontinent. One of his wonderful songs, "Ora Amar Mukher Bhasha Kaira Nite Chai", inspired by the language movement, is one that we still remember. He received both the Ekushey and Swadhinata Awards in his life-time.Nothing can console us or heal our pain and at this great loss. May his soul rest in eternal peace. We will miss his inspiration in every waking moment.

Md.Toufiqur Rahman Rothkola, Kishoreganj

On Slice
The article "Forever Fair" was brilliantly written. It had everything -- a good approach, the right use of words and a wonderful sense of humour. It is one of the best-written articles I have read in recent times. It is also very honest and frank. I have wanted to congratulate SWM for publishing Richa Jha's articles for quite some time. The manner in which she writes her pieces is indeed commendable. The writer has an excellent, witty approach to writing. She is also someone who feels very comfortable in mentioning events and taking incidents from her personal life. I personally think that she is the best contributor SWM has got. I look forward to reading many more of her articles in the coming weeks. I admire a person who can discuss herself so freely in her write-ups.

Arbab Quadri Dhanmondi, Dhaka

Searching Intimacy
Every year a number of freshmen entering a university are introduced to some of their seniors in an unpleasant way. With the beginning of their classes, they also learn a new term -- "ragging." For them it is a game. But there are more repercussions from this unpleasant practice, as every day juniors suffer from this humiliation, which in turn leads to emotional instability as well as physical and mental illness.

Thankfully, in our country, ragging is not as widespread as it is in a country like India, where it is apparently very common among college and university students. However, I would like to make the point that whether or not it is common, the university authorities should be aware of this problem. University as a whole opens a wide window before us and education is typically centred around three aspects of a person's life--one's intellect, one's body and one's morals. As a university student, it's our moral obligation to do the humane thing, show consideration, courtesy and politeness and stop this barbaric tradition.

Towfida Jahan Siddiqua University of Dhaka

Good Cover
Congratulations should go to Kajalie Shehreen Islam for writing such a wonderful cover story on "Nurjahan Begum -- An Invincible Trailblazer" in the March 11th issue of SWM. The article focused on journalist, activist and social worker Nurjahan Begum, who is also one of the country's pioneer in women's rights and liberation. As the world is changing, so is Bangladesh slowly, but surely, we see on the streets more and more women who are actively seeking careers and making a place for themselves in the working fields, be it garment factories or corporations. I can only imagine the struggles that Nurjahan Begum must have come across considering that it was long before it became somewhat acceptable for women to work. It is comforting to know that this fight for equality started not recently, but a long time ago, and that women like Nurjahan Begum were ahead of their time and made things easier for the working women of today, paving our way to a brighter future. I thank the writer of this well-written and thought-provoking article, for opening our eyes and giving us hope for our future.

TNA On Email

On Relocating the Cantonment
I have read with great interest a letter appearing in your magazine dated March 11th, where the writer A. Siddique argues persuasively the proposal to relocate the Cantonment to a place away from its present location. I strongly support this proposal. The Cantonment, like all other Cantonments around the world, should be located away from the civilians. Indeed, when the present Cantonment was set up, it was away from the bustling crowd and quite a distance from the civilians. Since Dhaka in 1971 emerged from an obscure corner of the globe and became the capital of a sovereign state of 140 million people, the growth of the city has been phenomenal. It has extended in all directions and is approaching Tongi. It is in view of this that the old Dhaka airport has been moved to its present location near Tongi.

Our armed forces need a serene environment to carry on their regular activities including training and exercises. The present chaotic situation with civilians and the military jostling side by side can hardly be conducive to the high degree of concentration that military work demands. The building of the flyover between Mohakhali and Gulshan has made the traffic situation worse and the earlier passage through the Cantonment has been effectively blocked. Dhaka, which has become a city of horrific traffic jams, has failed to make any headway through the construction of flyovers. The solution lies in building skytrains like in Bangkok. I hope the authorities will give their attention to the relocation of the Cantonment.

Arshad-uz-Zaman Dhaka

Submission Guideline:
Letters to the Editor, Dhaka Diary and Write to Mita, with the writer's name and address, should be within 200 words. All articles should be within 1,200 words. A cover letter is not necessary, but every write-up should include the writer's name, phone number and email address (if any). While SWM welcomes unsolicited articles and photographs, it cannot accept the responsibility of their loss or damage. SWM does not return unsolicited articles and photos. Response time for unsolicited write-ups range from three weeks to two months. All articles submitted are subject to editing for reasons of space and clarity.
All materials should be sent to: Star Weekend Magazine, 19 Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215, Fax: 880-2-8125155 or emailed to: <starweekendmag@gmail.com>
It is recommended that those submitting work for the first time to the SWM take a look at the sample copy beforehand. Our website is: http://www.thedailystar.net/magazine

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