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       Volume 10 |Issue 42 | November 04, 2011 |


 Cover Story
 Current Affairs
 One Off
 Special Feature
 Photo Feature
 Food for Thought
 Star Diary
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I must congratulate The Star for this week's cover story. I know the Naranganj debacle has been in the forefront of news lately and everyone these days has something to say about it, but the story you printed was refreshing and informative. I thought it was particularly brave, and I salute the writer for taking such a bold stance when many people are just shying away from stating the obvious. I also really enjoyed his writing style, which was satiric, saucy and savvy. I hope people now have a better idea about the real state of Naranganj. If Osman comes to power, AL will have to face severe consequences as the public realises that a fair election cannot take place under AL's watch.

Jaffar F Kabir
Gulshan, Dhaka

Higher Education Subsidy

Photo: Zahedul I Khan

Higher Education Subsidy has become a controversial issue as its cons exceed pros in our country. Logic behind subsidising higher education lies in its copious external benefits to the country. Subsidy is a scheme to pay for these benefits as market mechanism does not allow paying for it. A significant portion of our annual budget is allocated for this subsidy. But questions are now arising whether this sacrifice meets our expectation. The cost for higher education will return to students in the form of high remuneration in his/her career life, so why should the general public pay for it? Higher education triggers economic development but maximum subsidised subjects have no significant correlation with country's development. It is true that subsidising university education enhances the knack of poor students to avail education, but many subsidised students receiving it have no need to take it as they are well-off. Moreover a noteworthy portion of subsidised students are leaving Bangladesh permanently to serve for foreign countries. Although subsidy may seem as a medicine to correct market inefficiency, financing (tax) distribution is a much more critical issue. Our financial authority has to revamp our conventional subsidy system followed by cost benefit analysis.

Muhammad Anisul Islam
Department of Finance,
University of Dhaka

Consider them as human beings

“Hijra community” is a part of our society, and we can never deny that they can also play a role in our society. Many people don't consider them as human beings. We shouldn't misbehave with them. As human beings, we must have sympathy for them. They must have the right to live in this society with dignity like others. They can do any kind of job since they have no mental disorder. So we have to assist them. Mass awareness is important to honour them as human beings. I think that print or electric media can play a vital role to create awareness among the public. This community can be a skilled manpower of the nation, provided that they are properly trained. The govt has to come forward, give them training and employ them. Then they can afford to lead normal lives and we will get a discrimination free society.

Shahadat Hossain
University of Chittagong

Photo: Amirul Rajiv

Orangutan Chronicles!

I've passed the pet shops in Katabon many times, but I never knew that there were so many dodgy dealings going on there! Wow, is it really that easy to get your hands on owls and exotic monkeys? I just hope the people in this city with no ethical values don't get an idea about where to get their hands on such exotic pets from your article!

I also wonder if the authorities would take any action after reading your article. It would be nice if they did, and your investigative journalism led to this horrible gang of animal poachers being caught! Please do let us readers know if that happens.

Reema Ahmed



The Bomb that Never Explodes

The article titled “The Bomb that Never Explodes” was well written and informative. But while Prince's photographs are aesthetically pleasing and show his acumen as a documentary photographer, one can't help noticing how completely the photographs and the article itself conform to the views of the development organisations and the UNFPA. This NGOised perspective towards the “inverse relation” between population growth and economic growth is not only incomplete but also highly ideological.

Bangladesh is among the ten most densely populated countries in the world. We agree that that is a problem. The population of the country has more than doubled over the last forty years. We have more hungry people now than we had in 1971. However, our GDP and yearly food production have also increased significantly. An equitable distribution of wealth, food and power would have made the growing population a national asset. Ensuring education for children all over the country is also a crucial factor. We hope that any discussion on the issue of population growth should consider these facts in the future.

Raihan Bin Shafiq

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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