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     Volume 8 Issue 53 | January 16, 2009 |

  Cover Story
  Food for Thought
  View from the   Bottom
  Photo Feature
  Making a Difference
  Follow up
  Art - Dark Colours   that Express the   Unknown
  Art -Sketches that   Speak for   Themselves
  Star Diary
  Book Review

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Victory of Grand Alliance and Our Expectations
With the return to democracy, this year will hopefully be a very special year. The people of this country were expecting a positive change in the politics of Bangladesh. They were expecting those leaders who have a vision for this country and will bear the ideology of liberation war, to come into power. With the boycott of war criminals, corrupt and communal leadership in the parliamentary election I believe the changing process has already started. This changing process can get a better shape if the AL-led Grand Alliance keeps the promises they made during the election campaign and be determined to achieve them. With their landslide victory, the AL-led alliance has a lot of responsibility. We expect that the newly elected government will contain the spiralling price of rice and other essentials and control the blatant abuse of power by their leaders. We also expect that they will ensure a better educational environment for the students of public universities and will not use students or teachers for their own political gain. It cannot be denied that the new voters and Sector Commanders' Forum have played a great role in the victory of the Grand Alliance. They have special expectations from them. As a new voter I hope that the war criminals will be brought under judicial procedure and the perpetrators who assassinated Bangabandhu and the four great leaders of our nation will be brought to book. It is also very important to bring those people under judicial procedure who were behind the deaths by crossfire, grenade attacks, bomb blasts and other political killings throughout the years.
Jhalok Ronjan Talukdar
MSS student, Dept. of Social Work, SUST

Saying 'No' to Religion-based Politics
We are not ready to believe that religion and politics are connected to each other in such a way that one is meaningless without the other. Rather, we oppose as often these two terms act very differently and often create problems in making a free choice. Considering the perspective of Bangladesh, we can define that religion is often used as a weapon to capture people's emotions. Even the thought of religion-based politics led by certain groups pushes the nation into a certain ambiguity of what is the right choice -- religion or politics? Moreover, the group uses religion as a unique way of playing with the public sentiment. Raising a voice for the poor and donating money for charity is good practice. But doing politics in the name of religion cannot be continued. Religion-based politics create problem in choosing the right leaders and limiting the boundary of judgment. It fosters militancy, limits the scope of thought and introduces discrimination into the formula.
The newly elected government should rethink the constitution of 1972 and reinstate the section of prohibiting the use of religion in politics.
Farhad Kabir (Aabir)
University of Dhaka

New Government, New Hope

In recent years Bangladesh has been treated as a model of a democratic country in the world. Although Bangladesh achieved liberty from Pakistan in 1971, it has some core problems, such as hunger, poverty, illiteracy and overpopulation. In recent times terrorism has added new tension in our national life. It is destroying our prestige home and abroad.
In 1971 Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia were in similar states. But, at present there is a big difference among the three countries. How did this happen? Do we lack resources? After the liberation war many governments ruled the country. We have experience about how BNP and AL governed the country. They claimed they were working for the people, and they would fulfil all the needs of the people. Unfortunately, our problems still remain.
The new government must take a tough stance to deal with the issues of illiteracy, hunger and poverty and get rid of terrorism once and for all. The Grand Alliance will also hopefully play an important role in ensuring women's rights.
Mohammad Khademul Islam
BSS (Hons) 1st Year
Dept. of International Relations, CU

Doing Justice to the 'Landslide'
The people of Bangladesh have entrusted their faith on the Grand Party Alliance or more specifically to the Awami League. But there should be no room for complacency on the part of the Awami League if they genuinely want to do justice to the peoples' verdict. The challenge of putting a rein on the spiralling price of commodities and curbing terrorism ought to be their prime concern. They ought to bear the notion that they are here to serve the people. We the general people of the country are looking forward to a developed Bangladesh where the people of the country will not be tormented by skyrocketing prices and unbridled terrorism.
Aminul Islam Chy Masum
Applied Chemistry, Shahidullah Hall, DU


Making Use of Potential Talent
A child usually carries huge potential. It is an adult's duty to bring that out of him/her and let him/her develop it. In Bangladesh, children usually meet their first challenge at the admission test in school. The parents of these children force them to fight in this exam 'battlefield' and they play the role of the tense spectators. Finally it becomes a matter of fate, luck and knowing the right person.
As a 'wind of change' is blowing across the country, our total education system needs to be changed. Why is it that we all run after a handful of schools to get our children admitted into them? Schools should all be made of an equal standard so that there is no discrimination between students who come out of two different schools.
We hope that the newly elected government will address this problem. The newly elected ruling party has said much about how they are going to be elements of change.
Aiman Bin Shaofiqul Hamid
Dept. of English
International Islamic University Chittagong

In a rejoinder Barrister Abdur Razzaq protested a statement of Mezbahur Rahman Chowhury in an interview with the last issue of The Star where the latter accused the former as an Al Badr commander. Barrister Abdur Razzaq claims that he was not in Sylhet in 1971 and therefore the question of being the Commander of Sylhet Town Al Badr does not arise. "This is a falsehood and deliberately imputed on me for character assassination," he said.

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