On Tying the Knot Tight
The article 'Tying the Knot Tight' (March 9, 2007) by Elita Karim was very well written. It's very frustrating that in many families girls are given a good education only for a good marriage proposal rather than to become a good human being.
Are women from different planets or do they belong to a substandard class of human being that they need a special day to celebrate being themselves? I understand that the reason behind celebrating women's day is to educate people about the rights of women but will our mindset be changed in one day in a year? The stereotyped portrayal of women can only be scrapped when women change their point of view.
I would also like to thank Kajalie Shehreen Islam for her cover story and Hana Shams Ahmed for her piece 'Sultana's Nightmare'.
Child Workers in Hazardous Occupations
In Bangladesh, there are about 3.2 million working children. These children are deprived from education and thus do not have proper physical and mental development. More than 40 percent of the total child workers are engaged in hazardous jobs.
This unacceptable form of hazardous child labour deserves immediate attention and resource allocation to address it. A quick and simple attempt has been made to identify the child workers engaged in various hazardous occupations. Researchers, development experts, government and NGOs have identified more than 34 worst forms of child labour which are treated as hazardous in different sectors including welders, bus/tempo helpers, engineering workshop, blacksmith, brick breaking, construction work, tannery worker etc.
These risky and dangerous jobs create a lot of health hazard for children including lung infections, nerve difficulties etc. We must put a stop to hazardous child labour immediately.
Brilliant Cover Story
I always keep The Daily Star in my room for its uniqueness in publishing style of news. The cover story that 'Women in a Make-believe World' (March 9, 2007) was a fantastic one and I think it will help women think in different ways. Actually the women in our country are still regulated by the patriarchal society. Thanks to the SWM for encouraging them for highlighting this issue.
Bangladesh's convincing five-wicket win over the mighty Indians at Queens Park Oval in Port of Spain last Saturday was probably one of the greatest victories in the history of our cricket.
The tragic death of fellow cricketer Manjurul Islam Rana just a day before the match gave a huge shock to the players. Yet our boys were inspired and eager to win the match to show respect to the memory of their colleague. And they did it in grand style.
Mashrafee bowled a dream opening spell and the Indian batsmen were seen helpless to the awesome bowling display by our spinners. Our batsmen led by the young trio of Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Saqibul Hasan decimated the Indian bowling attack to take us to a well deserved win with nine balls to spare. Our selectors took a very brave decision to include inexperienced Mushfiq to the side instead of long standing wicket-keeper Pilot and they had to face severe criticism for it. But I must say Mushfiq has proved his critics wrong.
Although this win is only the second one for Bangladesh against a Test playing nation in the World Cup, I am sure there are many more to come. The way our boys are performing at the international level bears testimony of that. I do believe that if complacency doesn't cripple our player's, we can definitely maintain our winning streak. Our selectors, coach and players deserve our praise for giving us such a beautiful gift ahead of our Independence Day.
The Media and the Corrupt
It is interesting how the media is following each high-profile arrest in the country and then coming up with these extensive articles about the extent of corruption that they were involved in. Even the SWM or Daily Star is no exception. However, as I read these articles there's one question that bugs me all throughout, "Why weren't these published any earlier?" It is a matter of shame and sadness if journalism cannot bring these issues to light without having to fear retaliation.
I am pleased to see this transparency in the articles now and I hope that in the future this trend will persist. The country's media might have to play one of the biggest roles in making the politics of Bangladesh as transparent and free from corruption in the future.
Silent Tears of Underground Music in Chittagong
Metal rock is a new concept in Bangladesh. Though most of the music lovers in Bangladesh would like to hear soft and classical music; surprisingly within a few years heavy metal bands compelled them to accept this new craze through their extraordinary lyrics and excellent music.
Our music directors and organisers have played a great role to push them forward with many concerts and other facilities. Mysteriously they are working only for Dhaka and though Chittagong has a huge number of metal listeners, metal bands are deprived from all facilities that Dhaka-based bands have. As a result while bands from Dhaka are coming up with exceptional compositions, Chittagong is facing enormous problems just in arranging a single underground concert. Even after selling all the tickets the organisers sometimes have to cancel the concert.
Another problem is the paucity of practice pads. They are very few and expensive. Despite these scarcities Chittagonian bands do better than many other Dhakaite bands who get much better facilities. As a result, Silent Prayer and Hemorrhage were involved with the Augontuk series introduced by Sumon (Aurthohin).
Though Chittagong has a great contribution to our culture the truth is that it is very deprived. I urge sponsors and well wishers to help out our young musical talents out of this rut.
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