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     Volume 6 Issue 26 | July 6, 2007 |

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A Timely Cover Story
The cover story 'When in Rains, it Pours' (June 22, 2007) of the Star Weekend Magazine was synonymous to the struggle of the Basabo residents against the menacing water logging. Each year, we are held hostage to this nefarious curse. The ten-minute route to the Atish Dipankar Road transforms into an hour-long bitter ordeal. The sickening stagnant water unleashes many diseases. This season, the incessant filling up of water bodies and merciless digging of the roads by WASA will aggravate the situation. While proper waste disposal systems and lake digging may alleviate flood in the higher parts of the city, if the rivers rise above the danger level, the plight of the Basabo residents will be dire.
The caretaker government has already manifested desire to foster the welfare of the country. Can they not take a bold step to kick-off the construction of the Demra-Tongi barrage and emancipate 20 million people from flood forever? The Herculean cost will certainly be more than balanced by the benefit to the people. We are keeping our fingers crossed that bureaucratic hassles will not come in the way of this important project.
Ananya Das
A level Student
Cephalon International

Atomic Electricity in Bangladesh
I enjoyed the cover story 'A Budget in Disguise' (June 15, 2007). I am astonished to learn that the government has especially targeted the agriculture sector and the scheme to rid Bangladesh of load shedding in three years, which was neglected by the previous governments. However recently our fuel adviser Tapan Chowdhury has declared that the country will face great deficits in electricity within the year 2011. As a consequence the government is looking for an alternative source of electricity to overcome the critical situation.
It is a matter great hope that our government has achieved the approval of producing atomic electricity in our homeland from IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).The IAEA has permitted eight developing countries to generate this energy and Bangladesh is number one in the list. In the meantime two representatives of IAEA have signed their deeds in Bangladesh. We want to give our cordial thanks to the caretaker government for taking these actions.
Rotaractor Abdul Kader Biplob
Rotaract Club of CU

Knighting Rushdie
I strongly condemn the writer' (Midnight's Child and Beefy) statement that Salman Rushdie deserved the knighthood in the article 'Midnights Child and Beefy' (June 29, 2007). I am sure that people all over the country felt the same way about the article. In one of his books Rushdie also did not fall short of terming Her Majesty the Queen with a word that I am unable to use here. But still he was given this honour. Everyone knows why, because he is one of the many ''champions'' who find deep pleasure in maligning Islam and hurting the religious sensitivities of millions of people worldwide.
Md Shahanur Rashid
Salimullah Road
Mohammadpur, Dhaka


Nader Rahman deserves appreciation for his article on the recent Knighthood laureates. It would be naive to think that the Knighthood honour is not political at all. Probably, Salman Rushdie would not have received it if he had written 'Celestial Verses' instead of 'Satanic Verses'. The British Government has been investing a lot in Salman Rushdie by protecting him from Ayatullah's Valentine greetings but recently it is turning to be a bad investment as he left England for New York where he is living with his fourth wife and has started criticising the British government.
This Knighthood might be an attempt to bring the Prodigal Son back home. Leaving the politicised Salman Rushdie behind, there can be no question about his literary talent and he has, rightly, all plaudits of the literary world one can wish for. He influenced a new generation of Indo-Anglican writers and attracted the limelight on them. Unfortunately, he is widely disapproved by the people outside the literary world. Every year though he has been shortlisted for the Nobel Prize, the Committee never dared to honour him and not provoke a controversy. So, in a sense, the British Government should be thanked for honouring him though it might not be its intention to appreciate a real literary genius like Sir Rushdie.
Kamil Khan
Varby, Sweden

On 'A Diasporic Perspective: Deepa Mehta's Water'
I think the writer was hasty in commenting on Deepa Mehta's point of view as being generalised. After all, the writer herself quoted Mehta on being a "storyteller" and that is precisely what Water is - a story. It portrays a particular ashram and not all ashrams in general.
In fact, the writer pointed that out herself though it was paradoxical - "... the microcosm of this particular ashram is Mehta's dramatised re-creation..."
"...ashrams are not commonly understood to be silent brothels". Mehta did not necessarily say they were for she was telling a story of a certain ashram where a certain widow (Lisa Ray) plays the part of a prostitute.
Why has this movie been criticised so much when movies against the country for speaking of issues such as the underworld, political corruption and even prostitution are released on a regular basis? Perhaps because there is a different agenda behind the criticism, which we should look at more carefully.
There is no real justification or explanation for the writer's comment that 'Water' was made for a foreign audience. Furthermore, how could 'Water' be expected to get an audience in the East when it was banned there in the first place?
I think we South Asians would benefit from being able to take internal criticism in a more constructive manner. And I suspect most people who have seen the film would agree that the article was highly opinionated, and did the film an injustice, as opposed to being an unbiased - or at least, a more balanced - review.
Adiba Rahman
BRAC University

Your Attention Please, Mr. Rokanuddoula
At the eateries located at the entrance of Gulshan 2 DCC market some unscrupulous elements are doing brisk business by selling so-called fast foods in the most unhygienic manner under the open sky. The list of options include noodles, peaju, beguni, potato chops, jali kebabs and other items including fried chicken prepared with stale pulse pastes and fried in days old oils. These are sold at very cheap rates. People are regularly eating these unhygienic and unhealthy foods at the cost of their health.
I would request Mr. Rokanuddoula and his team to visit the place and take the necessary steps to stop their detrimental business.
Dr. S.M. Rahman
Gulshan 2, Dhaka

Save Private University Students
The development of a nation fully depends on education as well as its system. It is rare to find a country where the government imposes tax on students' tuition fees. Our government collects taxes at 4.5 percent on the fees of private university students whereas the public university students do not have to face such taxes. This is an extremely unfair practice.
More than one hundred thousand students are studying at different private universities where they are studying free of any campus politics. The Bangladesh government should take action as early as possible so that private university students and their families can bear the expenses and the highway to tertiary education becomes less burdensome.
Ayan Gupta
Department of Business Administration
East West University

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