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     Volume 7 Issue 39 | September 26, 2008 |

  Cover Story
  One Off
  Writing the Wrong
  Food for Thought
  Straight Talk
  A Roman Column
  Star Diary
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Sexual Harassment on Campus

Sexual harassment is not a new phenomenon in our society. It existed in the past and has taken various forms with the passage of time. It has evolved as a brutal form of assaulting women. Discrimination based on sex is likely to result in physical or psychological harm or suffering to women including threat of such acts, arbitrary deprivation of liberty in public and private life. Sexual harassment in both the private and public sphere has emerged as one of the most pressing issues in educational institutions and community levels. Within this sphere, the instances of sexual harassment occurred in different public universities during few decades that have been receiving a great amount of attention nationwide. Several incidents in Rajshahi, Dhaka, Jahangirnagar and other universities has occurred over the decades, reminding us how little we have done to ensure the security of female students on campus. Moreover, these incidents are largely invisible as many women victims are reluctant to speak out because of shame or fear of future violent, social stigma. The recent incidents at JU are a wake-up call for us on the need for a law against sexual harassment on campus. In addition, some socio-political and psychological factors behind these incidents should be addressed to resist these monstrous trends any further.
Sumon Biswas
Department of Sociology
University of Khulna

Thanks to Chintito
I want to give hearty thanks to Chintito for his didactic and encouraging article 'Ramadan II: Giving to Receive' (September 12, 2008) regarding one of the five pillars of Islam i.e. Zakaat. Obviously it is a refinement of our wealth. But it is very regretful that although many people go to regular pilgrimage they don't give proper portion of zakaat and remain satisfied by distributing few clothes among their domestic workers. But a vast amount of their money remains veiled. Though our country has a majority Muslim population, there is hardly any urge in collecting zakaat. The Government can take a step to collect it strictly as well as to distribute it among needy persons by following the rules as dictated by religion. Consequently it can play a vital role in relieving our country from the awful grasp of poverty.
Fatima Khatun,
Student of English
Khulna University

Conservation of Water Sources
Scarcity of suitable drinking and irrigation water has created panic in various regions. A major cause of the present food crisis is drought. As the water cycle does not maintain its activity smoothly because of natural and artificial causes (mainly human activities), drought is an avoidable phenomenon.
Bangladesh is in a relaxed condition about her water resources so far. Though some parts of the northern area face shortage but as a whole this issue has not created enough panic for the authorities to look for a solution. This is just going to make matters worse.
The major rivers of Bangladesh are now dying. The activities of neighbouring countries decrease the flow of river water. Because of the siltation process, the water-holding capacity of rivers is at a low. In dry season the rivers actually turn into canals. Meanwhile in the dry season illegal establishments take place in the riverbank, which changes the direction of the river flow. Other water sources are continuously filled up for housing and commercial purposes. Though the inland water transport is not used by our major industries, most were established by the side of water sources. Waste water is disposed into rivers which turns the river water toxic and it is now unfit for human consumption and irrigation purpose.
Moreover in case of flooding, these toxic waters are flown over our cultivable land and as a result the heavy metal toxicity in soil is rising. These elements are taken by plants, which ultimately enter the human body through food grain and fruits. Various chronic diseases are now very common in people mainly because of these toxic metal intakes. The river is polluted with agricultural wastes too. A large amount of nitrogenous fertiliser is applied in the field which are washed away by irrigation and rain water and ultimately stored in the river. Only a well-planned water resource conservation policy will save our drinking and irrigation water.
Abu Kausar Mohammed Sarwar
MS Student, Dept. of Agri-Chemistry
Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh

Pursuing Happiness
Happiness is a fascinating word for human beings. Especially now when people's perspectives are changing and worldly possessions and materialistic views seem to be taking control; happiness is becoming almost unachievable. I want to thank the author for her article, 'In Pursuit of Happiness'. Her figurative language is an incredibly interesting read. Also her use of a good number of imagery is worth mentioning. But her exercise of 'imperative sentence' breaks the euphony and makes it a little bit prophetic. After all it is worthy of appreciation. We want to read more of her writings.
Md. Hadiuzzaman

Expectation or Destruction?
Most parents of our country only have one dream for their children -- that they should either be doctors or engineers. In an attempt to fulfil our parents' dream we are compelled to carry a mountain of books from an early stage of our academic life. No importance is given to what the student wants to do with his or her life. As a result, the students can't enjoy their academic life because they feel that education is a burden rather than a challenge.
As a student I think this destroys the inner, unexpressed and creative powers of child. Such ambitious parents are destroying the creativity that exists inside each and every child. To nurture the creative powers inside individuals we must remove the narrow-mindedness of our society. Everyone should be allowed to study in the discipline that he or she chooses.
Md. Kamrul Islam Mishu Kutubi
Dept. of English

On ' Under the same sky'
I am very impressed with the articles under 'Under the Same Sky'. I would like to extend my special thanks to the writer and the Star magazine for this praiseworthy series of articles. In fact we know very little about the partition of 1947. In her autobiographic write-up, the author depicted very clearly the storm of geo-political shifts that developed during and after the Second World War which she has witnessed. She provided us some unknown history and we got a glimpse of the events of 1947.
She vividly stated the political upheavals, religious bigotry, demon of communalism, painful migration, the tumultuous waves of Indian Nationalism, Gandhi's non-violence movement and so on. We can learn many things about the stated period from the articles.
We hope The Star will bring out more such thought-provoking articles in future.
Swapan Biswas
Freelance consultant

Due to the Eid Holidays there will be no issue of the Star Magazine on October 3, 2008. We wish all our valued readers 'Eid Mubarak'.

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