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     Volume 5 Issue 105 | July 28, 2006 |

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The Modern Man
This is in response to the cover story "Hommes Fatales" (July 21, 2006). I must say that while I completely agree on having an impressive first impression based on your physical appearance, going overboard with it is actually pitiable.
While reading the stories of men getting groomed right next to pictures of them having facials, a couple of us girls could not help but be amused! Perhaps it's just our narrow-minded opinion on this issue but now what? Do we have to start worrying about men being late for dates? Do we have to comment on how good they look after they have their manicures and pedicures?
Jokes aside it's bad enough telling young girls not to prioritise their looks like the supermodels on television and it's bad enough trying to tell young girls not to waste money on their appearance and explain to them how they should try to build their self-confidence in other more practical ways. Now we have to start doing the same for young men? Perhaps it's not all that bad, perhaps it's just a phase for the Modern Man, but it's definitely a comical thought to ponder upon.
BRAC University

Vote for the Best
I would like to thank the SWM and the writers of the cover story “Eligible to Vote” (July 14, 2006). The report will raise awareness among the young generation who are going to exercise their franchise for the first time. It's no doubt a great responsibility and commitment to the country to vote for an eligible person who is honest, worthy and patriotic.
Save for some exceptions most of the leaders of the Awami League and BNP have failed to take responsibility of the country. As voting is my democratic right I would never choose a person who would lead our country to failure. Moreover there are no protocols to limit our franchise between the above-mentioned two political parties. We should break up this unsaid monarchy. We should give up this mentality to be inclined to a particular party to declare the solidarity with the family as we do with our religion.
It's our duty to elect an eligible person even if he/she is an independent candidate. One must not think as his/her single vote as not important. As a conscious and educated citizen we should not abuse our voting rights so that our next generation accuses us of failing them.
Moin Syed
Computer Science & Engineering Dept.

The legendary bamboo stick
The last issue of SWM (July 21, 2006) gave readers like a 'rewarding' chance to learn about Bengal's Legendary Bamboo Stick (by Shahnoor Wahid). Before reading the article my bamboo bidda (knowledge) was very limited.
I only knew about the use of bamboo in the construction sector and, of course, about lathi khela. I also had in my mind some newspaper images of opened human skulls--the aftermath of a long inter-village, or sometimes, intra-family lathi khela among the land encroachers in the southern part of the country.
The Bamboo-lovers' version of the Titumir legend was also novel to me. I am used to the Titumir Fan Club version in which Titumir fought against the mighty British Empire, where even the sun did not dare to go down below the horizon, from a weak construction of bamboos Titumirer Basher Kella. To glorify Titumir's courage and confidence, his fans always managed to undermine the contribution of the bamboos in this legend.
One thing I should mention is that the writer could have mentioned the size difference of bamboo sticks used in the past (in lathi khela... “Some of them could be six to seven feet long”) and those used in the present (in Citizen-Police Lathi Khela).
I am looking forward to reading Wahid's next article, maybe, with the title “Bengal's Legendary Brick”(...Lalbagh Kella was built with Bengal's legendary bricks.... brick bating among the two Royal families on the issue of hereditary ownership of Bangladesh and its citizen...).
Kamil Khan
Enayetgonj Lane

Unfair Judgement
836 golden GPA holders are being refused from Notre Dame College only for being too young! 1966 golden GPA holders applied against 1130 seats in Notre Dame, Science group.
According to the government law, they are disqualifying students judging by their age. I could hardly believe this news. Age has become the criterion for judgement for the merit of a learner! I don't think anyone can justify that younger people are less meritorious (when their result is the same).
I don't know why they are not taking students on the basis of such a simple criterion as an entrance exam instead of judging merits based on something so ridiculous? It is very possible to increase the number of seats if there is a proper utilisation of the education budget. The improper use of the grading system should also be corrected.
Muhitur Rahman

Ghora Masud
I want to congratulate Shibly Azad for his wonderful book review on Ghora Masud. He portrayed how the subaltern classes construct the boulevards of possibility through the production of counter-discourse to subvert the hegemonic relations.
If he could amalgamate Foucauldian notion of 'power' with the Gramscian one of 'hegemony' and 'common sense mentality' it would have been more sound epistemologically. His dexterous use of a psychoanalytical model proves his command over theoretical repertoire.
Despite the predominance of multiple strands of interpretation in reader-friendly textual analysis, his exposition of 'Ghora' was erroneous. The author meant to trigger through the use of the term 'Ghora' not something related to horse. In spite of that I congratulate the reviewer once again for his erudite explication of the events and the actors of the plot developing on the meadows of subjugated episteme, to crystalise the webs of significance in which we are entangled.
Mohammad Mahfuzul Islam
Department of Anthropology
University of Dhaka

Defiant Israel
It is totally disconcerting to learn that USA itself doesn't want the turmoil in the Middle East to come to an end. On July 21 when US Secretary of the State Condoleezza Rice had been addressing the press with her aphorismic speeches full of grouch against the so-called terrorist group - Hezbollah, urged other middle east countries to join with the International Community in diminishing the atrocities denying an immediate cease fire. She urged both the Lebanese and Israeli government to delve into the root causes of the problem. It is purported that USA wants long term instability in this region to derive her potential gains.
USA's abstruse role in this theatre took the whole world aback. An insight into the problem will assist us to conceive that Lebanese people otherwise are abeam with the Hezbollah. That's why even the Lebanese government are highly infuriated with the sudden incursion by the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) with their latest armour like Markava, Centurian tanks. But if we go by our conscience, the bombings are taking too many civilian lives. Any retaliation or reprisal act on either side will escalate the pitched battle into a campaign or even a total people's war. We therefore ask the UN and the international community to deal with the the matter seriously to bring long-term stability.
Kamrul Hasan
School of Infantry and Tactics
Jalalabad Cantonment, Sylhet

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