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     Volume 7 Issue 16 | April 18, 2008 |

  Cover Story
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  Food for Thought
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The Gender Debate
Gender equality is not a concept supported by religion, especially Islam. The author of the article 'Gender Politics of Representation' (March 7, 2008) spoke about two kinds of opinion on this gender equality and Islam. One is the opinion of the women leaders who speak for gender equality and the other is the opinion of some religious leaders who think that there is no place for gender equality in Islam.
Islam is not a static set of values or a code of conduct as the politically institutionalised religious leaders say. On the contrary, Islam is the deepest understanding of the inner soul or a level of consciousness that helps us to define what is good and what is right without any external guidelines.
Gender equality, a basic condition for healthy relationship between men and women and establishing a just society, must be understood by the inner soul. We should not pay heed to what the so-called religious leaders say. The Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) spent his whole life in quest of equality and freedom.
Md. Rubel Miah PK
Zia Hall, DU

Speak Out against Corruption
Corruption, no doubt, is a big obstacle for our socio-economic development. In spite of our people's hard labour, we are being deprived of good economic atmosphere due to corruption.
Nowadays, corruption has changed our everyday life with its aggressive claws. It is very unfortunate to note that even we cannot realise why and how we should uproot corruption. We often fail to understand that it is not impossible to wash away corruption if we want. In the past we showed our courage against many anti-moral activities. It is high time we spoke out and stood up against all evils that is stopping Bangladesh from becoming a corruption free country. And it should start from now.
Ashim Kumar Paul
Department of English
Govt Edward College, Pabna

Disparity in The Education System
Education plays a vital role in national development though it is one of the most neglected issues in our country. No doubt our education standard has deteriorated. But the worst thing regarding our education standard is the difference in standards between the rural schools and urban schools. But the standard of education in the rural area was never as bad as it is now. Many successful people are the by-products of schools from rural areas. It is clearly understandable that the teachers' mentality to establish in Dhaka and Dhaka's centralisation are responsible for the present situation. According to a report of the Daily Star there are 150,000 educational institutions, 34 million students and over 900,000 teachers. Our government has to ensure the balanced spread of these institutions in order to develop Bangladesh.
Mushfique Wadud
Department of English
Stamford University Bangladesh

Vote For Pride
It's a matter of great pleasure that the Sundarbans and Cox's Bazar have been initially nominated for the 'New Seven wonders of the World'. But it is matter of regret that, Bangladesh can't keep its spirit up because of our neglect.

We know that the Sundarbans is the largest Mangrove Forest of the world. On the other hand Cox's Bazar is the longest unbroken sea-beach of the world. Both the places have a huge possibility get the final nomination in New7Wonders competition. I would like to request the readers of SWM to vote for these two places so that we can be in the final seven and mark a place for ourselves in the world. Readers can do so by logging on to: www.new7wonders.com/nature
Khalid-Bin-Mostafa (Robin)
Management Studies (2nd Year)
University Of Chittagong

On 'Joy Bangla!'
I would like to thank Chintito for his article 'Joy Bangla' (April 11, 2008), which made me realise for the first time what an unceasing source of intense motivation this chant was to the valiant freedom fighters and all Bangalis.
But I wonder how the Bangali nation can be united in that glorious way in 1971 and can chant in unison again? In 1971 we had a clear vision of what we wanted, what we were going to do and above all a very well thought out guidelines by our great leaders. Unfortunately, after a hard-fought independence we lost our vision and submerged in greed for power and wealth disregarding the interest and greater cause of our country!
No matter what difference exists amongst us about our socio-political views, the chant that infused the Bangalis with patriotism and passion for independence shouldn't belong to a certain quarter of the nation.
Ahmad Ferdous Bin Alam
Department of CSE, DU

We write to clarify to your valued readers a few of the incorrect issues raised in the article 'Style over Substance' on the SWM (April 4, 2008; pages 34-35). At GMG Airlines we take our responsibility seriously. Safety and well being of passengers are of first and foremost concern to us and at no time are we willing or would allow these to be compromised.
The writer of the article is unlikely to be aware that all airlines are subject to stringent rules and regulations and no flying is possible without obtaining clearance from ATC (Air Traffic Control), be it domestic or international flight. Since the incident referred to was between Kolkata and Dhaka, a short (40 minute) international flight clearance was given by ATC of both countries hence the aircraft took off and tried to reach Dhaka. Unfortunately the weather deteriorated rapidly, an 'act of God', which could not be predicted. The pilot with advise of ATC (Dhaka) hovered above the Dhaka sky is nowhere near the time mentioned in the said article. ATC would not permit aircraft to be in any kind of danger.
With regard to subject of providing hotel, yes when deemed necessary GMG Airlines has provided hotel accommodations (Date-03.04.08, Flight no-z5-008) and will do the same in future without hesitation. However on that particular occasion it was not necessary as both Kolkata and Dhaka ATC had advised weather to improve shortly which it did and aircraft and aircraft flew into Dhaka safely.
We thank the writer for her observation of our cabin crew, we take the opportunity to assure all our valued customers that necessary action has been taken so that our crew are better equipped to deal with these once in a while situation.
We take pride and keep no stone unturned to improve in order that we may continue to provide truly 'World Class Service All the Way'.
GMG Airlines

The photographs accompanying Andrew Morris' article 'Frozen Music' (April 11, 2008) on SWM were taken by Snigdha Zaman/IKON Photo.

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