The Third Eye
Congratulations to Rubaiyat Hossain for her brilliant article, "I Know I Am A Woman" in SWM on July 1. The issue of gender inequality is still extremely salient in our society and it is nice to know that there are women out there who are not only unafraid to fight and speak out, but speak out in a way that everyone will listen. Hossain talks about the idea that women should be treated as the wink links in our society, but in actuality, they are extremely strong as she concludes. What I liked the most about her writing was that she does not mince words, nor does she sugar-coat them. It is amazing for a writer to be so honest, so transparent and yet so matter-of-fact. Keep your third eye open Rubaiyat, and maybe someday, everyone's third eye will open up too.
Born Free and Proud
News about the progress of Bangladesh in "Born Free and Proud" by Chintito must have come as a surprise to those who rely on an otherwise despicably negative print media for monitoring the health of the nation. Yet in several social indicators our achievements are considerable and disproportionate to a low income per capita. For example, in a significant departure from most of our history, the widely respected Human Development Report now categorises Bangladesh as a Medium Human Development Country. This accreditation places us ahead of 39 nations in terms of composite social indicators.
True, by the same yardstick, Bangladesh is outpaced by 137 other countries. Yet just because prosperity is a long way away it does not mean that this country has not made remarkable progress. It has! And taking a cue from Chintito it is important to recognise our achievements. Recognition brings hope, and hope is a precursor to progress.
Syed S. Kaiser Kabir Banani, Dhaka
Cineplex: A false promise
It is evident that Star Cineplex authorities are very quick in responding to criticism. We understand from their reply that it is very difficult for them to release the latest Hollywood movies because of various reasons. But it might be mentioned that when Star Cineplex started its journey, it promised to show new Hollywood flicks within two weeks of their world premiere so why did they make a promise they knew they could not keep? A few days ago they shown Die Another Day which is not suitable for those aged below 18. Did Star Cineplex take any measures to make sure no one below that age watched the movie? We know some scenes in most English movies are not suitable for children because they don't blend with our culture. Our children are not even used to seeing kissing scenes. So do the authorities censor these scenes? Star Cineplex must confirm its stand against such issues.
A Concerned Adult
On Farewell Little Friend
I was touched while reading last week's issue of SWM (July 1, 2005), especially after reading Nadia Kabir Barb's Straight Talk entitled, "Farewell, Little Friend". They say that children are unnecessarily cruel but in moments such as this, you cannot help but wonder at how innocent and empathetic they are. To see an injured bird and pick it up in order to try and nurse it back to health -- I wonder how many adults would do the same? Which just goes to show you that we lose our human side more as we grow up. It must have been extremely traumatising for the children to witness the death of the poor bird. It is a shame that such innocent creatures have to understand what suffering and pain is at such an early age. Losing pets is a precursor to all the other losses we suffer, but somehow, the loss of a beloved pet always remains one of the most difficult to forget.
Husna On Email
I really enjoyed reading Kajalie Shehreen Islam's cover story, Access Denied: Fighting a Disabled System on the July 1 issue of SWM. Saying it was an eye-opening article would be an understatement. It is unfortunate that there are so many social inequalities that our minority and marginalised population have to face. Now we have one more category of so-called minorities to think about and worry about thanks to this article which finally told us their story. Islam is one of SWM's brightest writers. She always finds those issues that none of us even think about and writes the most succinct and thought-provoking article in her own perceptive and observant way. Every cover story that she has written to date has made me think twice about my surroundings. It is amazing that SWM is lucky to have such talented and mature writers. They are the future of our country, and for that I am grateful and still have hope.
Remembering Prof Naiyar Sultana
Please let me take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to Prof Akhtar Sultana for sharing with us her emotions and feelings and her unforgettable memories with her sister, Prof Naiyar Sultana, one of the most brilliant, beautiful, influential and intellectual personalities the country has ever had.
I would also like to thank her for giving us the rare opportunity to have a glimpse of her feelings by writing such an article for this widely circulated magazine. Such an attempt would not have been possible without her sheer courage. Many of us have experienced and gone through similar feelings, particularly those of us who have had the opportunity to witness the same era of upbringing from our childhood days to the moment where we stand today.
We feel proud and honoured to learn more about Prof Naiyar Sultana from the time she had passed her matriculation until she reached the height of distinction and zenith of her career. I truly hope that, her brilliant career will provide inspiration to all the students and colleagues who were closely associated with her as well as to the nation as a whole.
S. Z. Siddiky Tejgaon, Dhaka
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