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     Volume 7 Issue 41 | October 17, 2008 |

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Minus as Many as Necessary
Since Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed-led caretaker government has taken power last year we have been hearing a lot about the so-called 'Minus Two' formula. Though in a democratic country it is not possible to refuse anyone's right to get elected to the parliament, time has proven that the leadership of Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina will bring no good for the country. The two leaders, because of their personal hatred of each other, have proven time and again that with them remaining at the helm of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Awami League, the country and its economy will remain backward-looking, caught in the disastrous cycle of self-destruction, not to mention the politics of violence that we have witnessed in the last one and a half decades.
It is extraordinary that after the hype and hoopla that the CTG has generated in the first half of its rule the government will suddenly sit on its knee to plead with the big parties, many leaders of which we know are corrupt. We, the people of this country, believe that a bleak future awaits us if we do not pursue the war on corruption more vigorously. There is no denying that the country badly needs a democratic government to take over, but that does not mean that the rule of law, the basic premise of democracy and freedom of speech, will be ignored. I urge the CTG and the Anti-corruption Commission to rejuvenate its drive against corruptionists, smugglers and the godfathers who have kept the 14 crore people of this country hostage in the last 37 years.
Masud Rana
Shukrabad, Dhaka

Value of Democracy
News of the acquittal of the killers of our great leaders -- Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, AHM Qamaruzzaman and M Mansur Ali -- came as a shock for us. Moreover, most of the corrupt leaders in Bangladesh have been released from jail without punishment. So what is going on in our country? The caretaker government has lost much time in recovering the economic image of our country. Prices of all necessary goods are increasing day by day and everything is now beyond the poor people's reach. This government has already failed to bring down those prices. In the ensuing election, most of the corrupted leaders might participate and use unfair means.
Subir Kumar Das
Department of Economics
Khulna University

Sexual Harassment on Campus

Instances of sexual harassment in Rajshahi, Dhaka, BUET, Jahangirnagar and other universities have occurred over the decades, reminding us how little we have done to ensure the security of female students on campus. Now the students and the civil society are also trying to force the authorities to make stringent rules to prevent and punish such incidents. The authority seems to be acting otherwise. Persons who have been proven guilty of harassment should not be selected for any public institutions.
Maheen Zakariah Khan
Elephant Road, Dhaka
Ex-student of BUET (93 Batch)

Prospectus of Cooperative Agriculture
Enhancing crop yield is becoming an important issue for our policy makers. But till now no sustainable approach has been taken to shape our agricultural sector in a more productive way. Our agricultural policy makers have taken many approaches but the sector of cooperative farming is largely ignored. In our country, the total cultivable land area is being reduced at an alarming rate. For boosting up yield, modern technology like HYVs, GM crops, fertilisers, pesticides, mechanised cultivation tools etc are needed. But the present per capita land size and the land distribution pattern is not suitable to adopt these technologies by a single farmer. As there are many owners in one particular location, it is impossible to cultivate with modern technology if others do not agree to cultivate the same. Moreover the modern inputs and machines are costly, sophisticated, need extra care and professional handling. For a sustainable eco-friendly agricultural practice, modern scientific knowledge is necessary. But our farmers do not have this knowledge. Cooperative agriculture is a solution to these problems from various alternatives and we need to try this approach. If cooperative agriculture is introduced in the rural areas then the farmers can exchange knowledge, easily get credit from bank as a single body or may raise funds and can adopt modern technology. The return will be significant. Moreover this can help the government to conserve our cultivable land by applying rules and the government can find effective small units of disciplined farmers to discuss various issues and can easily disseminate knowledge about various issues in rural areas. The major result will be that it will turn our village into a production unit. If we consider them as small business units, money flow will increase to rural areas through their activities. As money flow increases in future these units will turn their activities to obtain self sufficiency in various sectors which will ultimately help develop other industries. The government of Bangladesh now needs to explore the opportunities of cooperative farming in rural areas for securing her future.
Abu Kausar Md. Sarwar
MS Student
Department of Agri-Chemistry
BAU, Mymensingh

Unexpected Shock

The joining of some members of the Bangladeshi Cricket team to the ICL is a tremendous shock not only for the structure of the entire team but also for the cricket-loving people of our country. A breach in the team reducing the number of such promising figures is really unbearable. Players may be professional but patriotism is an extra dimension of a player. It can stimulate a player in the field to a great extent. The abrupt decision not only throws the team into a mournful state but has also disheartened many cricket fans. Such disloyalty, from these golden sons of Bangladesh is very unexpected.
Fatima Khatun
Student of English
Khulna University

The Admirable 'No Vote'
Although we enthusiastically supported them to power almost two years ago, the present government has proved to be no different from the previous governments in terms of economic and political stability in the country. But surely the voter list and I.D. card they drew up is a great gift to our nation. One other thing that made me very happy was the 'No vote' option. I live in Bakshibazar where BNP's candidate was Nasir uddin Pintu and Awami League's candidate for past two sessions was Haji Salim. Neither of them is worth voting for. This problem exists in many places of Bangladesh. There is one other problem. There are people who support BNP but oppose Jamat and there are people who support Awami League but not JSD, the Communist parties and the others. I think in the above cases, the 'No Vote' is a great option for the real supporters of a party to make the party Chairperson think twice before nominating a worthless candidate for our country and his/her party.
Dr Thanveer Hassan Jitu
Bakshibazar, Dhaka

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