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     Volume 5 Issue 118 | November 3, 2006 |

   Cover Story
   Straight Talk
   In Retrospect
   Food for Thought
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review
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“Good Cover Story”
I would like to congratulate SWM for the superb cover story titled 'Faith and Modernism' (October 20, 2006). The article reflected some of my most personal thoughts about religion and its importance in our daily life. It was fascinating to read about the diverse opinions of our young generation about how religion functions or should function in our daily life. I think, to an extent we are gamely attempting to find that balance between living a contemporary life and at the same time keeping our spirituality intact.
Confusion clouds our judgement when we try to separate the following rituals and leading an urban life. The most striking statement expressed by the article was that young people today take a greater interest in matters of faith but have abandoned many or most of the rituals which fettered our freedom to pursue a modern lifestyle. I wholeheartedly agree with the notion that faith comes from within and that, it is a private relationship that an individual shares with God but I also respect other peoples' views that the tradition and spirituality of rituals need to be maintained.
In the end, there is no unanimous verdict. I think history has noted that increased modernisation has brought about radical changes to how we view religion and its boundaries. Personally, I believe that faith is all important. Yes, adapting religion according to our contemporary lifestyle may certainly not be ideal but if this faith were to slip because of the a disinclination to conform to centuries-old rituals then that to me would appear to be a far greater tragedy, a far greater sin.
Arafat Hasan, Law graduate Dhanmondi

Biased Photo Feature
I want to thank SWM and all its writers for the special Eid issue. The pictures were really colourful but there was something missing. To my utter surprise the photo feature, trends and special feature contained only the women's fashion trends! There were exactly 24 pictures on saris, shalwar kameez and other ladies accessories except one vague picture of a man buying a punjabi. This is incredible!
Eid fashion is no more predominantly confined to women. Today's men are also very in vogue. No fashion magazine in the country can be so partial in their depiction. In fact, on July 21, SWM brought a whole cover story on male grooming. But I don't understand what made SWM tick this time! Why on earth did the whole SWM not put up any special fashion items for men?
Shaikhul Akbar Eishan
Chudanga Govt. College

Education: going beyond reach
"Students who cannot afford to buy admission forms should not aspire to study in the university, they would rather enrol at madrasas."
My heart trembled as I read this quote by Altaf Hossain, VC of Rajshahi University in the Voicebox of SWM. Politicians may be used to saying such junk but when the head of the second largest university in a country says it, the situation is serious. The Vice Chancellor of a university is the guardian of the students who must not overlook any of the students. He is the person who ensures enrolment of students according to their merit, not their social or economic status. When he looks for financially strong students for the institute we feel helpless.
In our university there are students who struggle to pay the hall fees. Some of them don't go home during vacations only to save their money. But they prove their quality in their respective fields. We won't see such students in the future if the authority makes their path even more troublesome. In that case public university, the last hope for poor students will also become a dream for them.
Istiqaque Uddin Rifat
4th year, Dept. of EEE

Spreading around 'Lost in the bush'
one of the best things that could have happened to Bangladesh. Thanks to This is to convey my heartfelt gratitude to Chintito for his wonderful, revealing and at the same time heartrending piece “Lost in the 'bush' on SWM (October 6, 2006). This happens to be the innermost voice of all of us in Bangladesh kept in our deepest self throughout all these years. Thanks to Chintito for putting it clearly in black and white and we feel so much in harmony with our feelings and emotions as we go through the piece. I believe that this write-up should be read by people throughout the world, especially people who have any cognizance (albeit wrong ones) of the events of 1971.
I request you to make arrangements for publishing this piece in widely circulated newspapers in USA, UK and also in Pakistan. People in wider circle of the world can get a glimpse of Bangalee feelings about Pakistani President General Musharraf's mindless and highhanded idea of our great War of Liberation as depicted in his book 'In the Line of Fire'.
Farida Akhtar
Department of Chemistry
Jahangirnagar University

Proud to be Bangladeshi
Recognising that poor people in small villages in Bangladesh, and in fact throughout the world, had no access to the capital that would enable them to earn an honest living, Professor Yunus dedicated his life to rectifying the situation. In 1983, nearly six years after his first loan, he founded Grameen Bank, an 'upside-down' bank that lent to the poorest rural villagers, enabling them to start small businesses to support their families.
As a result of it today he has earned the most prestigious award in the world. It was actually long due on him. Interestingly, he has earned the award at a time when Bangladesh, along with many other Muslim countries, is presented to the international community as a terrorist state. This achievement of his, has not only brought him what he deserved for quite long, but has also made every single Bangladeshi proud. Today, we can at least proudly say that the Nobel Prize for peace belongs to our very own Prof Yunus.
As citizens of Bangladesh, I think, we all owe him heartfelt congratulations for his achievement. If people of every profession be they service holders, businessmen, teachers or a sportspersons felt for the country like Prof Yunus does and went on to play a role in their respective fields, we wouldn't have been known as a 'bottomless basket'. I wish Prof Yunus and his Grameen Bank all the best; I am proud of Dr Yunus and I am proud to be a Bangladeshi!
Syed Nazmul Alam

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