With newspaper offices closed for Eid and no fresh news to read, we decided to bring you intros of some scoop stories that are not likely to take place at least in our lifetime.
Kajalie Shehreen Islam
Hasina-Khaleda Friendship bridge inaugurated
The Hasina-Khaleda Friendship Bridge was inaugurated yesterday amidst much fanfare. After being under construction for 20 years, the bridge has finally been completed and will be opened to the public next month. According to sources, the major cause of delay was a disagreement over whose name should come first in the two-name label of the bridge. A number of issues were said to have been put forward, ranging from who was older to who came to power first. It was finally decided that the names should be in alphabetical order, but then the question was, which name -- first or last -- and, more importantly, which alphabet -- Bangla or English? It was finally decided that the bridge would one year be called Hasina-Khaleda and the next year Khaleda-Hasina. Sources claim that in order to decide who would go first, the women had to flip a coin. Heavy security was deployed at both ends of the bridge where cronies and fans of the respective leaders were lodged, ready to erupt into violence at the first excuse. It was the first time in decades that the two party leaders were caught smiling in the same camera frame, though not at each other . . .
Law enforcers receive award for refraining from extra-judicial killings
All offices of law enforcement agencies will remain closed tomorrow in order to commemorate the agencies and their personnel who have won a human rights award for refraining from extra-judicial killings for a whole month. While members of the media and human rights groups have expressed concern over what they will write and rally against if crossfire killings stop, high officials of the concerned agencies believe the award will be an incentive, inspiration and motivation for themselves and their colleagues to stop randomly killing people they may dislike for whatever reason . . .
War criminals repent war crimes
The war criminals of 1971 have sought an apology from the nation. As they were being taken to court yesterday, they told mediapersons not that no war criminals existed in the country, not that they were not involved in war crimes, but that they were “sorry”. Lawyers of the accused and now convicted said that at a sombre iftar gathering in jail, the criminals admitted their crimes and sought penance. Members of the prosecution claim it was a last-minute bid for mercy before they were to be punished for their crimes. Lawyers of the plaintiffs, however, claimed that their clients “have finally seen the light.” . . .
Adulterers take vow of purity
After a month of practising self-control during Ramadan, food vendors and sellers in the city have vowed that they could and so would stop adulterating food items to the point of making them poisonous. “Prices have risen so high that I could not afford chemical and dyes to put in my food to make it more crispy and colourful,” a jilapi-seller told this correspondent yesterday. Another claimed that when he saw his five-year-old eat his concoction of “filthy food for the filthy rich”, he decided to stop adding rotten ingredients, garbage and his own sweat to his mix. “We have seen that we can avoid these things and still make a profit,” he said, “and so we have decided to turn over a new leaf. We hope the people will believe us.” . . .
Nation in shock over 5 min power outage, probe demanded
The capital came to a standstill yesterday following a five-minute power outage. While only a few million takas were lost in the five minutes, people were in shock and confusion over why the outage had occurred. “This hasn't happened since the time of my grandparents,” said a visibly distressed businessperson. “We hear about things like this in stories of the yesteryears, but we didn't expect to face it in our lives.” People from all walks of life took to the streets yesterday following the power lapse, demanding an investigation into why it had occurred. While the usual three-member commission has been set up to look into the matter, psychologists say the overreaction of the people may be a subconscious reflex prompted by hearing horror stories of the dark ages from their ancestors who claim that, in their time, power outages lasted for hours on end, disrupting life and driving them mad . . .
Violence against women on the decline
Violence against women is on the decline, said women's rights activists at a press conference on violence against women held every year to publicise the incidents which occur annually. Having little data to share this year, the activists instead commissioned a research report to investigate what has brought about the decline. As initial hypotheses, it was claimed that violence against women may have decreased due to the fact that i) women no longer wait to be violated but kill themselves first, ii) the focus of men's violence has shifted to violence within men themselves, their own political parties -- not to mention their opponents, men they consider inferior and children of women with whom they have extramarital affairs iii) laws and legal rulings on everything from what women can wear to what games they can play has scared many men off of messing with women . . .
Multinational companies to stop producing 'unfair' fairness products
In an ironic twist of fate, multinational corporations have decided to stop producing fairness products that make people fair and lovely, desirable and employable. But what may seem to have been the result of criticism from all sectors, including women's rights groups and the media, is actually a backfire effect of globalisation. “People just don't value fair skin as much as they used to,” complained a top official of a multinational company at a press conference yesterday in which the decision was announced. “They look to the west and see people burning themselves in the sun and in tanning salons in an effort to look darker and they think, why spend all this money and invite a range of skin diseases to become a colour that is not even desirable? After decades of trying to tell women that they were nothing if they weren't fair, we tried it on men too, but it just doesn't seem to be working anymore,” grieved the official . . .
Shun renaming culture, say top political leaders
In an unprecedented move, top political leaders of the country yesterday vowed to shun the renaming culture which causes confusion for the nation's 160 million people every time there is a change in political regime -- not to mention the risk of everything becoming nameless once certain regimes are declared illegal and unconstitutional. From now on, everything will not be named and renamed after parents, siblings and partners of ruling party members, declared the leaders at a high-level meeting in which the inconsistency of the nation was seen as a major cause for concern. The leaders also hinted that the decision may be carried over to the policy of changing the content of textbooks, especially history books, every few years in accordance with the party in power. “My two children who are a few years apart are constantly fighting and tearing each other's hair out over the nation's history because they learnt different versions during different political regimes. What can I tell them when their textbooks say different things?” said a bewildered political leader on condition of anonymity . . .
Men protest objectification of women only
Preparations are on for the next International Women's Day, with men planning to rally against objectification of women – only. Many men say they resent the trend of highlighting, spotlighting and flashlighting women and their various body parts, especially in the media, leaving men feeling ignored, neglected and rejected. “We are half of the population,” said an angry men's rights activist, “and we deserve to have a presence, especially in the media. It is as if we do all the work behind the scenes and women take the credit by showing off their faces and bodies. Just turn on the television and you'll see – films, dramas, advertisements – are all filled with beautiful young women as perfect mothers and wives and now they're shown excelling at the workplace too. It is as if men don't exist! Where is our role in all this? Whatever happened to Superman?” . . .
Dhaka receives world miracle award
Dhaka has been awarded the prestigious “Miracle of the World” award for winning its prolonged battle against traffic jams. After years of driving people to violence instigated by the frustration and system loss caused by traffic jams, the city's traffic situation is finally under control. Speaking on the occasion of receiving the award, members of the relevant authorities shared their experiences on how the miracle occurred. “Yes, we did have to build some new roads, flyover bridges and underground rails, but the main credit goes to the people. Without them, it would not have been possible. Today, the people actually follow the rules. They obey traffic signals, they are considerate and don't block one road while waiting to go down another, some people even walk to schools and offices five minutes from their homes instead of taking their fancy cars – which may be partially due to the success of the National Campaign Against Eve-Teasers. This award is for the people of Dhaka city – for doing what people in the rest of the civilised world do. We love you, Dhakaiites. Muah! [flying kiss]” . . .
(R) thedailystar.net 2010