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    Volume 10 |Issue 18 | May 13, 2011 |


 Cover Story
 Wild Life
 Human Rights
 Writing the Wrong
 Photo Feature
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Through the Eyes of a Freedom Fighter

Photo: courtesy

The country wide famous weekly magazine 'The Star' published some write-ups on May 6, 2011 about the recently released film 'Guerrilla' as a cover story as well as a review. As a son of a freedom fighter, I think, it is my duty to write a few words on these write-ups. If we look at the word 'film' we will see it is nothing but the reflection of human life, which includes art, knowledge, morals, beliefs, customs and any other habits and capabilities acquired by man as a member of society. The film director Nasiruddin Yousuff Bachchu tried to characterise this poignant episode of human suffering in the middle of the war though this movie. From the view of cognitive / symbolic 'Anthropology' he refers to the elements of the fundamental factors that are allied with the establishment of a nation. We have passed 40 years of our independence, but the question to all people of our country is that, are we self-governing people in the true sense of the word? Most people will agree with me that, we are not independent; we are living in both an external as well as an internal colonial era. Because the mission and vision of the freedom fighters have not come into being. We are accustomed to following the examples of first world countries that are always exploiting us in the name of so-called 'development'. On the other hand, we are always fighting with dishonesty, corruption, discrimination, internal political feud, violence, crime, vicious cycle of poverty, and so on. The present heads of our country are trying to gamble with people's lives while they pocket all our hard earned money. So, I think, the film should be screened in the parliament to bring to life their long dead 'patriotism'.

Md Nasir Uddin
Institute of Bangladesh Studies (IBS)

Social etiquette

A few days ago, I participated in a national seminar on occupational safety, health and environment. At that seminar, I felt disturbed due to the frequent ringing of cell phones. It was so surprising to me that someone was talking over the cell phone in the seminar room. And from then on I have been looking for an answer to a question-“why do we do that?” We are used to spitting here and there even on a clean floor. We have no problem using walls and garbage dumps as toilets. We are very reluctant to say 'Thank You', 'You are most welcome' and 'I am Sorry 'to anyone. We do not want to stand in a queue for getting or doing something because we are always so busy. In fact, standing in a queue is more or less considered humiliating for most of us. When we are on a public bus, we buy a seat for ourselves. Once I said to someone, ''Sir, can I get this now?” and some of my university friends told me "Never call anyone Sir, because we only refer to our teachers as such." I told them Sir means 'Janab'. It's nothing but courtesy. They replied it does not work that way in our country. When will we start to learn basic manners?

Md Taherul Islam
Institute of Social Welfare & Research (ISWR)
University of Dhaka

Write To Mita

Photo: Zahedul I Khan

I would like to raise my concern over a response by Mita in the March 25th issue of The Star to a letter, which I can only describe as a cry for help by a young woman. From her letter it is clear that she is suffering from confused gender identity, which is manifesting itself in physical harm and emotional turmoil. As a human rights lawyer I have dealt with a few such cases where, after having provided necessary legal assistance, I have referred the person to a competent professional of recognised expertise who could provide the necessary support on a case by case basis. I was quite shocked to read the advice provided by Mita. Whereas the young woman made it clear her confusion over her gender identity was making her life intolerable on all fronts especially social and economic, Mita tells her that she is suffering from “penis envy, where female long to have all the physical and mental attributes of males”. Mita then goes on to tell her that all she needs to do is just build her self-esteem and confidence as a person and as a woman because that is what she is! Quite honestly, I find this advice wrong, misleading, irresponsible and even dangerous. I dread to think what impact this kind of advice has had on the letter writer. The least that should have happened in this case was to treat the young woman's request with respect, confidentiality and referral to professional assistance.

Faustina Pereira

Alleged robbery by police

Police are supposed to maintain law and order and ensure security of the lives and properties of the citizens. But sometimes law enforcers appear in the role of law violators and even allegedly commit crimes. Such an unwarranted incident was reported to have taken place in a Dinajpur village on Tuesday in which, some police personnel were allegedly involved.

According to a news agency report “Three cops were injured in a mass beating when a group of police allegedly attempted to commit robbery at Bohola village in Birganj upazila in the early hours of Tuesday. The injured were-SI Sukumar and SI Tajul and ASI Shajahan of Birganj police station.Witnesses said, when 10 to 12 members of police entered the village in a microbus to commit robbery at about 3 am villagers encircled them and beat them black and blue. At one stage of beating, they revealed themselves to be police officers and called the Birganj thana police over mobile phone to rescue them.”

When Birganj thana police reached there to rescue them local people chased the law enforcers and set two pick-up vans of police ablaze.

What has happened in Birganj on Tuesday is most unwarranted and unfortunate. The violent reaction of the villagers and the mass beating of the police afterwards were results of the alleged misdeeds of the police personnel concerned. So, the most unfortunate aspect of the incidents is the robbery allegedly committed by police personnel. The question that arises immediately is where will the people go for security if law enforcers commit crimes in this way.

Mohammed Jashim Uddin
BSS, Dhaka

Submission Guideline:

Letters to the Editor, Star Diary and Write to Mita, with the writer's name and address, should be within 200 words. All articles should be within 1,200 words. A cover letter is not necessary, but every write-up should include the writer's name, phone number and email address (if any). While The Star welcomes unsolicited articles and photographs, it cannot accept the responsibility of their loss or damage. The Star does not return unsolicited articles and photos. Response time for unsolicited write-ups ranges from three weeks to two months. All articles submitted are subject to editing for reasons of space and clarity.
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