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     Volume 7 Issue 5 | February 1, 2008 |

  Cover Story
  View from the   Bottom
  Writing the Wrong
  Photo Feature
  A Roman Column
  Dhaka Diary
  Book Review

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The Road to Democracy
The whole nation is looking forward to a free and fair election. The interim government's first priority should be to remove the state of emergency and arrange a dialogue with the political parties on how the nation can hold the general elections and eradicate the impediments to materialise democracy, good governance, accountability, transparency and discipline in every sector of our struggling country, considering all the resources and constraints.
The election commission, the anti-corruption commission and other dynamic and already reformed national institutions have a vital role to institutionalise democracy by restructuring and redirecting the roadmap procedures and strategies towards a new-born democracy following the next general election. But it must be ensured that the parties have made the necessary reforms and are exercising democracy within themselves.
We are at a very critical point. So at the beginning of the New Year we must have determination, courage, honesty, sincerity and patriotism to move the country forward towards achieving the goals and objectives set after the liberation war for which so many people have sacrificed their lives.
Amit Abdullah
Convener of DPELS, Dania Pathagar, Dhaka
Department Of Finance, DU

'Rajakar Mor'
At present the most talked about issue in our country is how to initiate the judicial process against the war criminals especially those people who are actively denying our glorious War of Liberation. Recently a friend and I had to go to Natore and Sirajganj districts for our research work to collect photographs from the Chalan Beel. We took a local bus to reach Baraigram village in Natore. We were shocked to see the name of the place where the bus contractor dropped us of; it was called the 'Rajakar Mor (Rajakar corner)!' There are many streets and areas named after the patriots of our country but here was a place that was actually named after the infamous traitors of our country! It is a matter of great regret that after 37 years of our independence, we name our landmarks after such individuals who were ready to sell their motherland to bigots.
Md. Mehedi Hasan (Sagar)
Dept. of Fisheries, RU

The Morality of Doctors in Bangladesh
It seems that the doctors of our country are more interested in making maximum profit from their profession instead of considering how best they can serve the patients. The doctors at the public hospitals don't give sufficient time listening to the patients' ailments. Some of them simply hand over their visiting cards and compel the patients to come to their private chambers. When my elder brother took my six-year-old niece who was constantly vomiting to one of the public hospitals in Chittagong, a duty doctor asked him to go to his chamber where she was simply given a Hepatitis B vaccination which cost Tk 5000 and did not prescribe any medication. Under what rationality he did that only he knows.
I would like to draw the attention of the authorities of the public and private hospitals to take action against those doctors who are engaged in such immoral work. The doctors of this country are so commercial they have absolutely no regard for their social responsibilities. When cyclone Sidr devastated our country Pakistan sent a medical team to give medical help to the victims while our medical students and teachers were too busy fattening their pockets. Did they have no responsibility at all towards their own people?
Md. Hamid Iqbal
Dept. of Finance & Banking, CU

Men and the Media
It seems that making comments about women's bodies is one of the favourite pastimes for men in our country. But who is to blame for that? Parents, teachers, the company they keep or our culture itself that does not teach how to treat another human being with dignity instead of looking at her as an object of desire. And if it wasn't bad enough that our culture does not teach these things, the mass media which has a social responsibility to educate the masses are instead only adding to the deep-rooted patriarchal mindset of the people. So it's really no wonder that men get the wrong idea and cannot get out of that traditional mindset.
Rubaida W Sharmin
West Dhanmondi

Behaviour in the Libraries
A library environment should be very calm and quiet so everyone can do their work in peace. But these days it's impossible to concentrate on anything for too long. Despite the signboards some people invariably forget to switch off their cell phones. Some people who come in groups start talking to each other and become a distraction for everyone else. Some couples tend to choose the library as a dating place, for reasons beyond comprehension. Some people start dragging chairs for their convenience and are completely oblivious to the noise they are creating. And many people have little regard to the books and magazines they borrow and mark them with pens and markers as if they were their own. Some even have the nerve to cut out parts of pages they need for themselves. If people were a little more conscientious it would be much easier to avoid such nuisances.
Shakawat Hossain
Deparment of Accounting
Govt City College, Chittagong

On Tolstoy's Hat
I want to thank SWM and Aly Zaker for his wonderful piece of writing 'Tolstoy's Hat' on January 11, 2008. I am very much moved by the content and moral that it conveyed, though it may seem very simple, it addressed a universal sin and the article is also very appropriate for our society today where it is no more a shock to acquire wealth by any means.
When I was a kid there was a man living in our neighbourhood who was disliked because he was apparently making money by abusing his position. Today, after 20 years, the situation is totally different. The dishonest people during those times understood their crime and were not so open and arrogant about it as people are today. People have almost accepted corruption and nepotism as part and parcel of life. We have accepted it as the fate of our country. If these people don't destroy our country, we certainly will, with our acceptance and silence.
We need money but not a lot, to be happy. After all, “How much land does a man require?”
Bulbul Makid
By email

Corruption in Government-run Institutes
The interim government has made some good efforts to make this country corruption-free. But the field of education has remained mostly neglected. As I was a student of a government-run school I have seen how much corruption there was. Teachers have a tendency to opt for private coaching. And students who pay for private coaching get special favours while the other students get completely neglected. I am a student of technical studies. Those who do not take private coaching are completely neglected here and do no get to exercise their merit. And there is an unspoken rule where no one can complain. If you do you will fail your exam. I would like to request the government to look into these matters.
Dept of Electronics
Mymensingh Polytechnic Institute

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