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     Volume 8 Issue 67 | May 1, 2009 |

  Cover Story
  Current Affairs
  Photo Feature
  Straight Talk
  In Retrospect
  Star Diary
  Book Review
  Write to Mita
  Post Script

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Baishakh and… Sweetness
The postscript 'A Touch of Sweetness', aptly described the spirit of Baishakh. The spirit of Baishakh is manifested in Nature's myriad colours and in the colourful art work, by the young students at Charukala in so many different shapes and sizes of birds, butterflies, masks, and Dinosaur like creatures, all representing freedom of expression
As Baishakh approaches the young students of Charukala are engrossed in creative art form; these are original and individualistic impressions of what the young mind craves for. Music, which is the vocal expression of Baishakh combine the art in so many tunes and lyrical lines.
The concerted effort to promote all that is Bangladeshi and to be, in every sense a Bengali comes into full swing during Baishakh, the first calendar month of the Bangla New Year. The young ones are wrapped in enthusiasm, and their exuberance gives expression to their thoughts and ideals which then emerges in a commonality and togetherness. For the younger generation ethnicity and authenticity are the important element in their search for identity.
And this, as you say, may not be a forced sense of identity but surely an evolving sense of identity which the spirit of Baishakh ushers in each year. The endeavour of the younger generation to meet this goal is their way of translating the sovereignty of Bengali nationhood. Baishakh in its many folds contain the very essence of a Bengali identity which the young ones celebrate so profoundly and renew their pledge for the next Baiskakh!

On the cover story “The cry for water” (April 24, 2009)
The water crisis has become a regular event in the dry season, especially in Dhaka city due to its ever-increasing population and lack of proper management in providing an adequate supply of drinking and irrigation water. A proper long-term effective plan in this regard is desperately needed to handle the scarcity of water over the few decades.
Water is a vital element of the environment and an essential part of our everyday life. Environmental pollution, different national and international barriers and a want of consciousness amongst the people about the water shortage in the dry season are the key factors for the indescribable sufferings of the urban population.
Though many factors are responsible for this drastic shortage of water in this weather, the government and other related authorities concerned can reduce the hazard of the urban population by taking effective measures and its strict implementation which will ensure the availability of sufficient water and make the life of the city people easier and happier.
Since the rivers and canals are the mainstream sources of usable water in Dhaka, the reform of these water reservoirs and proper use of water must be implemented in providing sufficient water for the ever-increasing population of Dhaka city.
Indiscriminate use of water supplied by the Dhaka WASA and groundwater is another crucial factor for the scarcity of usable water and Bangladesh should follow the innovative water reservation and purification system of different parts of the world to provide more pure water to a wider area.
Sheikh Abdullah
Department Of Finance,
University Of Dhaka.

Power Crisis

Photo: Anisur Rahman

People of our country are facing an acute water crisis and constant load shedding. Its well known to all that this situation has led to a host of problems for students around the country, as they are currently sitting for their exams. Under such circumstances, it is quite natural for people to agitate, demanding an end to such frequent problems. Meanwhile, the government continues to say, “it will be brought under control soon”, a comment, which was recently made by a representative of the home ministry. But the question I put forward is, where will the people go? To whom will they go?! To agitate for our fundamental rights is a part of democracy, isn't it? We earned our freedom through the war of liberation, which was at its most basic was an agitation against inequality. Above all, people now look up to the government, but if this situation continues, that may soon change. The Government must take the necessary steps to accurately solve this crisis or else the people's actions will speak louder than words.
Mostafa Al Mahmud (Mamun)
Humanities Group,
Dhaka College (DC), Dhaka

A question to the conscience of the nation
We recently commemorated the 11th death anniversary of Shazneen Tasneem Rahman. At the tender age of 15, her tragic death touched the entire nation. It is truly disturbing that staff in her home committed such a heinous act. After the incident, a case was filed against the culprits and accordingly on the accused culprits were sentenced to death. However, the decision is still being discussed in the Appeals Department of Supreme Court of Bangladesh.
I am not an advocate, and neither am I a judicial heavy weight, but I feel that her case must come to a conclusion, to finally ease the pain and suffering her family has been through. I never had the pleasure to meet Shazneen Tasneem Rahman , yet I still feel a certain affinity for her. Today, I am 25 years old, if Shazneen were alive today, then she too would my age, possibly doing a job just like me. That's why I think of her as my sister of sorts. As a brother, I want justice. It is painful to see her innocent face in the newspaper. I do not want anyone else to be a victim of such a horrible crime.
It is the urgent responsibility of the nation to raise its voice. I do not want a “Digital Bangladesh” to take precedence over a “Safe Bangladesh”.
Akash Pradip
Lecturer and writer
BHPI, CRP, Chapain,
Savar, Dhaka

Pakistan at Stake
By providing shelter to evil forces, Pakistani politicians have given way to fundamentalists. The problem will continue if nothing is done about it, and now it is high time that the Pakistani government reigns in the militants and the Taleban.
The proliferation of extremism and terrorism in the name of religion is one of the main factors that has turned the ongoing process of peace and mutual co-operation in the South-East Asia upside down. And Pakistan is the worst victim of this global curse for its internal turmoil, factitious politics.
The stumbling democracy in Pakistan could eventually become the curse that divides the Indian sub-continent along the lines of religion and extremism. Pakistan has turned into a source of instability, extremism, terrorism and bigotry as a result of rearing the inconsiderate, cruel, and primitive Taliban extremists and this is a matter that deserves to be delved into from a global perspective as its repercussions could be felt around the world.
Pakistan is also an acute victim of faulty US foreign policy where the US nourished the Taliban establishment with a view to overthrow the communist-backed Afghan regime. The Bush administration has used Pakistan to try to keep India in check and while also trying the same for its daring rival-China. But all of that needs to be re assessed as the very future of the Indian Sub-Continent is now under risk if Pakistan loses its self and its identity to the Taliban and Islamic extremism.
Sheikh Abdullah
Department of finance,
University of Dhaka.

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