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     Volume 5 Issue 102 | July 7, 2006 |

   Cover Story
   View from the Bottom
   Food for Thought
   Special Feature
   Common Cold
   Book Review
   Dhaka Diary
   New Flicks
   Write to Mita

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"The good, the bad and the fake"
I read with great interest your article on fakes in the art scene. Most of the contemporary artists of Bangladesh are very successful. It would not be such a huge investment to produce an electronic catalogue of the works by contemporary artists. A committee could be formed to authenticate and catalogue genuine, ambiguous and fake works of the deceased masters. The catalogue could be made available in a CD or on the Internet. It would also be an invaluable tool for art students.

The Radio Days
I want to thank SWM and Sabira Manir for the article 'Going Back to the Radio Days' (June 30, 2006). Radio is thought of as an old-fashioned entertaining media but in reality people are getting busier everyday and don't have enough time to sit in front of the TV for too long.
The radio can accompany you even on your way to work. The radio will take over all other entertainment media rapidly. Hats off to these four FM radio stations for bringing this media back from the cloud of satellite TV channels. I hope Radio Today FM 89.6 will start transmitting these lifestyle programmes in other districts of the country as soon as possible.
Shaikhul Akbar Eishan
Chuadanga Govt. College

On "High Standards, Low Self-esteem"
I would like to thank Sarah Mahmud for the article "High Standards, Low Self Esteem" (SWM, June 30, 2006). Most women would support the view that the 'human' side of women is not portrayed by the media.
Fortunately, women can command honour and respect - a side which is usually not portrayed by media or beauty pageants. Young women badly need a 'correct view' of themselves to build up their self-esteem.
Yousuf M Islam, PhD

Please Revive our Glorious Culture
Being an important medium cinema usually conveys traditional, historical, cultural and religious aspects of a particular country. Taking this point of view, we can conclude that Bangla movies are the reflection of our lives. But is that really so?
The previous glory of Bangla cinema is slowly being lost. A particular class of audience has left the cinema hall and are focussing more on Indian and Western movies. But who and what are responsible for this disgraceful condition? A group of greedy filmmakers and inoperative authority are responsible for the dismal situation of Bangla movies. Instead of our cultural identity the movies are the expression of vulgarity and filthy dialogue. Our filmmakers are busy defaming our culture and literature.
I request each member of the authority to recover the previous glory of Bangla movies if they have a strand of nationalism in their heart.
Md. Mehedi Hassan
Ibrahimpur, Dhaka Cantonment

On "Reclaiming Islam"
Every point Rubaiyat Hossain highlighted in the article "Reclaiming Islam" (June 23, 2006) seemed to me to be outstanding and respectable. The best portion of this write-up, according to me, is "we follow a faith without understanding its origin, history and theology. We follow the holy Qur'an without reading it in Arabic."
The significance of this very line implies that the present Muslim world has been suffering the outcome of such ignorance. Another important point that may be added to the writer's opinion is that the rate of conversion into Islam in the West has been elevated more than before, as many surveys showed, simultaneously with the sale of the holy Quran and biographies of Prophet Muhammad. Why is that? Probably, they studied the theology of Islam and read the text of Quran with their introspection. So the more we'll be reluctant to know and understand, the more we'll jeopardise our future.
M Alauddin Ansary
Zahurul Haque Hall, DU


I beg to differ with some of the points mentioned by Rubaiyat Hossain in his article "Reclaiming Islam". The writer mentioned that in Islam the mosque is simply a place for prayer. But the truth is that in Islam, the mosque is not only a place for prayer but also an office for social welfare. Many renowned scholars are now speaking in favour of mosque-based societies.
In Medina, the office of its president, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was "Masjid-e-Nabobi". All affairs of the state were conducted from this mosque. The writer also said that the teachings of the Holy Quran cannot be implemented on its face value in Bangladesh society since it differs from the then Arabian society.
Allah says in the Quran "In the month of Ramadan, the Quran was revealed as a guidance to the whole of mankind". When Allah says that the Quran has been revealed for the benefit of the whole of mankind, it is simply ridiculous to believe that the teachings of the Quran cannot be implemented directly in our society with success. Allah also says "O you who believe, enter into Islam totally and do not follow the footsteps of the Satan, surely he is to you an open enemy". So it is compulsory for every Muslim to follow the teachings of the Quran in every sphere of life, be it political, social, family or personal life.
I agree with the writer that we now face certain modern problems, the solutions of which are not directly mentioned in the Quran and Hadith. But yet the Quran and sunnah serve as a basic guide to the solutions to such problems. Our prosperity lies in following Allah's commands both in this life and also in the hereafter instead of following our own vain desires.
Sameer Ahmad Khan Mojlish

Flags and Patriotism
I would like to shed some light on the latest topic of criticism about flying flags of other countries. It is certainly a matter of great regret that many people consider this act unpatriotic.
Patriotism is not about opposing the influence of other cultures or the invasion of other traditions. Patriotism varies from person to person. It is not how you hate or despise another country and their culture but how you love your country. It is that simple. I do not understand why people do not understand this.
If people think that flying our national flags only on 26th March and 16th December is patriotism, they are wrong. This is the month of the World Cup and if people are enjoying their time and showing their support by raising other countries' flags, I do not find anything wrong with that. It is a matter of individual choice and way of expression. I would request people not to compare this thing with patriotism.
Anika Bhuiyan
Southpoint School and College

Matter of Concern
According to the order of each board and the ministry of education, the practical exams of the HSC will be held in the examinee's own college.
But it is a matter of great regret that the College authorities are charging such a huge amount for the practical exams (nearly one thousand taka for each subject). The collected money will be divided into three categories - one for the subject related college teacher, one for the centre related person or teacher and the last one is the percentage for the representative of the college board. Most of the college authorities collect a huge amount of money from students as bribe.
I ardently request the state minister of the Education ministry to take the necessary steps to stop this bribe collection and set-up a committee to track down these persons behind such corrupt activities.
Mamunur Rashid Tomal
A worried guardian
Pallabi, Dhaka

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