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     Volume 4 Issue 62 | September 9, 2005 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
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A praiseworthy step
The role played by the Daily Star in making the city dwellers aware of the adulterated food and unscrupulous traders is really very praiseworthy. It's really shocking that thousands of unscrupulous traders (I should rather call them "cold blooded murderers") have been slowly dragging millions of city dwellers to their deaths by poisoning all kinds of food for decades and the government has all along kept silent! Thank God that they have awakened at last after a series of reports were published in newspapers. Steps have been taken but this drive has to be carried on throughout the year so that these killers always remain alert. I believe some of them should be hanged or given exemplary punishment for having caused cancer among thousands of city dwellers over the decades. Last but not the least, hats off to the honest magistrates who have made this drive successful. I request the Daily Star to keep publishing such investigative reports on, for example, quacks and fortune-tellers in the city, clinics and diagnostic centres, the quality of education at English medium schools and so on.
Zia Hasan Dhaka

Indifference to the law
The government has recently banned smoking in public places. I think this is a positive step, for we all know that smoking is harmful to health and causes various ailments. There is a 50 taka fine, along with other punishments, for people caught smoking in public. But people in our country are indifferent to the law and law-enforcers do not do their duty. It is important for people to go by the rules and for the authorities to strictly enforce laws. I think the government needs to be stricter in stopping smoking in public.
Shimul Kumar Department of Accounting, MM College Jessore

Indian shows and us
Many youngsters -- and even adults -- in our country are addicted to Indian television shows. They derive immense pleasure from watching Indian dramas and musical programmes. After "Indian Idol", the latest craze is "Fame Gurukul". People are crazy about the presenter of the show. Even though private channels in our country have come up with similar talent hunt shows, audience response has been very disappointing. Why are people more interested in Indian shows than in our own? Do we not have talented singers and performers in our country? I do not think we have a shortage of talented performers, but we do lack talented producers and presenters. Indian television shows are presented in very attractive and funny ways. In our country, producers are more concerned with making money than with the quality of their programmes. Television producers in our country have to change their attitude. If they can make quality programmes then the audience will not feel the need to watch foreign programmes. Hanif Sanket's "Ittyadi" is a good example. We need more people like Hanif Sanket to change the face of television in Bangladesh.
Nazmus Saquib Notre Dame College

On freedom of the press
Freedom of the press is a hot topic in our country, especially since the chairman of the Press Council stated that even objective reports should not be published in the interest of the image of the country. What exactly does he mean by the word image? After democracy was established in 1991, every government promised to ensure press freedom. Many newspapers and private television channels were started in this period and this healthy competition is a good thing. But even in this democratic regime journalists are repressed and harassed. Some have even been killed, like Manik Saha and Humayun Kabir Balu. In a recent seminar on print and electronic media in Bangladesh, a speaker stated that democracy will be in jeopardy if freedom of the press cannot be ensured. But the question is, whose freedom -- the journalist's' or the media owners'? If we want a peaceful and prosperous society, we must ensure freedom of journalists and of the press.
Md. Sazadul Haque Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, University of Dhaka

Politicians or comedians?
"All hail the Kings of Comedy from Bangladesh!" by a queer pen-named author -- Half Hazard LXXVII -- in the last issue of SWM was an amazing read! The author wonderfully exposes the buffoonery and incongruity of our high-profile politicians! Indeed, they never run short of high-quality amusement for the people of our country. A minister terming the recent series of bomb blasts as a "game of firecrackers" is simply shocking. One wonders how these people can take such a serious issue so lightly. This is only one example. There are thousands more which show that buffoonery, ludicrousness and incongruity are the prerequisites for our politicians. It is true that Mr. Bean would be put to shame beside them. I would just like to add some words by Jim Morrison: "Here come the comedians/ Look at them smile/...How aplomb". Congratulations!
Rafiqul Islam Rime Agrabad, Chittagong

djuice and us
Recently, Grameen Phone (GP) introduced a new package called djuice. This offers some special benefits like reduced call rates. However, we are very concerned about a few aspects of the youth brand. The ads of djuice whether on television or in newspapers use a very informal form of Bangla (like "kat kat kor") which distorts the Bangla language. Also in these ads, English alphabets are used to write Bangla, which inspires the youth to write the language that way - a severe offence against the language. Moreover, the television commercials of djuice hardly make sense, promoting foolishness through meaningless language and actions. I hope GP takes some sensible action to make sure the international brand does not harm our culture in any way.
Nayeem Islam The Aga Khan School

Inspiring smokers
One of my friends recently told me that he, along with many others, were offered two packets of cigarettes by some big name tobacco companies. I was shocked to hear about this. This is a tremendous inspiration for smokers. I despise these companies. The recent government prohibition on smoking in public is commendable but such promotions will make it ineffective. It is sad that these companies are actually encouraging a bad habit like smoking while the government is trying so hard to discourage it.
Pradip Kumar Roy Department of English, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology

There was an error in the article titled 'South Asian Cinema can Bridge the Gap' in SWM's September 2nd issue. The film Kabul Express is not over yet as stated in the article; it will start shooting only in November and be ready by early next year. The film which Shanaab Alam just completed is Dubai Return, directed by Aditya Bhattacharya, starring Irfan Khan.

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