Proud to be ‘Bengalese'?
One day I went to an inn and there I noticed two children speaking to each other. The topic of their conversation shocked me. They were discussing how Bangladesh is a horrible country and they don't want to stay here. They were also saying that to reside here would ruin their future.
I barged into their conversation and asked them about their nationality. Without a moment's hesitation they said they were American. When I enquired about their forefathers they confessed that their parents were born in Bangladesh. However, since they were born and brought up in the United States, they felt more comfortable thinking of themselves as Americans.
I thought of them as young children who didn't understand their duty towards the nation. However, since they were only children, I felt quite assured that it was their parents or other grown-ups who were influencing these children to perceive only the negative aspects of Bangladesh. People like them should understand that problems exist in all nations, especially in the third world, but that does not mean Bangladesh does not have any positive sides. Bangladesh is a country where different cultures and religions exist, but some Bangladeshis who reside abroad are ashamed to confess that they are Bangladeshis. They prefer to say, that they are western i.e. American, Canadian, British and so on, instead of taking pride in their Bangladeshi identity.
International Turkish Hope School, Dhaka
Ignoring the Rules
A few months ago, I was making a journey from Bogra to Dhaka. When the bus approached the Bangabandhu bridge, I saw many rules inscribes on a plate. There are directives that set the maximum speed and orders that prohibit overtaking.
As soon as the bus got on the bridge, the driver decided to ignore the prescribed rules. This should not have come as a surprise as drivers in Bangladesh; especially bus and truck drivers regularly ignore safety rules, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of human beings. I watched with horror as the bus crossed the maximum speed limit and started to overtake dangerously. Looking from the height of the bridge, one could only guess the sheer trauma had any untoward incident taken place.
Drivers should learn to read and follow the rules that are prescribed for driving on the bridge.
Recently cracks have been appearing on the Bangabandhu bridge and reckless driving is one of the reasons. All the citizens of this country should maintain the bridge from their respective positions and that includes the drivers and the concerned bridge authorities who are supposed to monitor the situation. Bangabandhu bridge is a national resource and has contributed immensely to the welfare of the nation. Also the mentality of reckless has been the cause of premature death of human lives which is off course much more precious than any other resource.
Yousuf Plaza, Chandgaon
During the auspicious Durga Puja that passed a few days ago, my friends had planned to celebrate the Mohaaustamee (the holy eighth day) in Narayanganj. We rented a microbus and accordingly set off on our trip. Amidst a festive spirit, we reached our destination in the evening following a daylong journey. The magnificent decorations of the temples dazzled us. Hordes of people along with their families and relatives were on the move to attend the festival. However, in spite of the huge number of visitors, concerned authorities did not organise the event properly, and among other things there was a lack of security and the entrance and the exit were one and the same.
We had to jostle ourselves into the massive crowd to pray and watch the colourful show of the mythical tale about the festivity displayed on the stage. In the meantime, one of our friends discovered that his cell-phone had been stolen from his pocket while he was managing his way into the entrance. With this revelation, our cheerful vibes were transfigured into anguish and trepidation.
As if this was not enough, a thief tried to snatch a ring from another friend's finger as we were returning from a different temple. Luckily, the friend was alert and therefore, could avert the occurrence. Feeling insecure, we shortened our schedule and went back to our houses. Had the concerned authorities deployed more manpower and effort, the devotees and visitors could have celebrated without the familiar trepidation that can often be felt in many crowded places over the country.
Ashim Kumar Paul
Government Edward College
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