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     Volume 8 Issue 59 | February 27, 2009 |

  Cover Story
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Campus Violence

Over the last few weeks, the news of violence in different campuses dominated the newspapers and electronic media. It has become a trend in our politics that right after any change in political regime our campuses are violently taken over by the student wings of those parties who are in power. The violence and instability of the clashes between rival cadres lead to classes and examinations being hampered. Just after the 9th parliamentary election, a landslide victory achieved by the grand alliance raised the hope for the country to restore a new nation free from violence, oppression and corruption. But the Chatra League has vandalised valuable property of the universities and colleges, confined teachers, unleashed a violent rage against opponent student parties. All this undermines the image of the present political government. It was student politics, which significantly contributed to our language movement and liberation war. Now however, it is very different. The government should handle this issue very prudently.
Eity Khatun
Department of Islamic Studies
Eden College, Dhaka

Unhygienic Dustbins
Open and unhygienic dustbins with overflowing garbage are a common sight in the city. It is so annoying and intolerable to pass a dustbin and not be able to breathe. These unhygienic dustbins are not only contaminating our environment but also destroying the beauty of our cities. Moreover if people remain in such an environment for so long they may contract various serious diseases. The respective authorities should take the responsibility of cleaning the garbage make the city clean, garbage-free and healthy.
Mohammad Zia-ul-Haque
Eng. Department
International Islamic University Chittagong

Violent Strategy by Sri Lankan Troops
The strategy taken by the Lankan government to fight LTTE totally violates basic human rights of people. Is there no other way to solve this? Every day a group of Tamils are killed mercilessly. The government troops are even destroying the hospitals. Should they not leave the common Tamil civilians out of this? They are taking all measures so that the common civilians cannot escape through sea. Probably they want to kill each and every Tamil. It is regrettable that the United Nations is not paying any heed to this. They are not even discussing how to find measures to stop these atrocities.
Akash Pradip
Lecturer in English

Hail Mashrafe and Ash!

It is needless to say that the Mashrafe episode in IPL will add a new dimension in the crown of our nation's cricket.
However, his achievement is the first landmark of any Bangladeshi cricketer to cut such a huge figure (USD 60,000) in the international cricket arena. Apart from the financial matter it has others significance too. It is a matter of prestige and dignity. Tamim is also a perfect potential player for T20 cricket. On the other hand Sakib has proved himself to be the number one all-rounder. I would like to draw the attention of the IPL committee and clubs as well to consider the inclusion of Tamim and Sakib. Their appearance in IPL will boost the image of our cricket.
Aiman Bin Shaofiqul Hamid
Dept. of English
International Islamic University Chittagong

Hijab vs Fashion
Neeman Sobhan's Musings at Midnight is getting a lot of negative response from the hijab-wearers in the last couple of weeks. Ms. Sobhan's A Roman Column of many years has been an inspiration for many of us who try to make our lives better and richer, and I am saddened to see her words misconstrued.
Some of the Bangladeshi women who wear hijab may indeed feel genuine religious need to do so, but I believe, Ms. Sobhan's article was directed towards a young generation which has adopted the hijab not simply because of modesty but as a fashion and even as a political statement--- a solidarity with a pan-Islamic cause that could be dangerous.
I am a modern woman who tries to live her life according to the basic dictates of Islam but who interprets the principles of modesty in a less rigid manner than the hijab-wearers, and I share Ms. Sobhan's concern about the implications of the garment these women have newly appropriated and what it means for our culture.
In our mother's and grandmother's generation some women wore burqah when they went out, (and it was not a 'badge of honour', rather urban women were happy to be rid of it!) but never did the question of covering the hair at the forehead become an issue. The sari has been sufficient for modesty, and the headpiece is simply not part of Bengali culture and dress code.
Still, the outraged letters in response to her article are an indication that we need to open a measured dialogue on this topic.
Zeenat Khan (USA)

Empowered Women
An article on the front page of the Prothom Alo on February 23 was a shocking reminder about what kind of a society we live in. The story centred around a wedding ceremony of a Bangladeshi man residing in Saudi Arabia and a local woman. It seems the groom's family has a tradition of being served eggs by the bride's family at the wedding. The bride's family made the grave mistake of not being aware of this very important tradition. So although the bride's father did feed the groom's family with various other dishes the eggs were missing. So irate was the groom's family at the absence of the eggs that when the girl was taken home the whole family in an attempt to 'teach this girl a lesson' broke 45 eggs on her head. She later had to be taken to a hospital with severe head injuries. Now one may think this is the work of a psychotic abuser, but how does one possibly explain a whole group of people behaving in this manner and not a single person stopping such an atrocious act? Just when one wants to believe that women in this country are indeed moving forward and the outlook of society is changing, we come across such a ghastly account of abuse and realise that things have hardly changed. Will this man and his family serve a sentence for this terrible violation? We do not know. But I thank the newspaper for bringing this to the attention of the people. I hope this will stop the acts of violent abuses against women in our society.
Nadia Momen
Dhanmondi, Dhaka


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