Your fascinating cover story, 'Serenading the Soul' dated 7 December, 2012, has touched my heart, and reminded me of the heritage of classical music in this part of the world. It is worth more than a thousand lessons on the existence of Bengali instrumental music in the country. I gather that since the time of Nawab Wazid Ali Khan, the culture of classical music has been kept going among the elite, many of whom are lovers of music.
Unfortunately, the practice of royal art and culture has been greatly disturbed by the current mechanised way of life. We appreciate very much the role of Bengal Foundation in reviving this art, allowing the realisation of its values for future generations.
The popularity of rock music in the western world has greatly affected the musical pattern of the eastern world, resulting in the lesser interest in royal art among the young modern men and women of this subcontinent.
Let us hope that Bengal Foundation takes effective steps to face the challenge against the culture of modern popular music to keep the royal art alive in our country. It is, in fact, a therapy for the uneasy heart.
Abul Ashraf Noor
Photo: Star File
The Tazreen Tragedy
More than a week has passed since Bangladesh's worst garment industry tragedy that killed 112 and injured hundreds. We have seen photos and TV footage of wailing widows, the cries of orphans and the silent grief of parents. This seems to be a normal phenomenon in our country and will soon fizzle out. The usual blame game between owners, government, firemen, police, and buyers is going on at full blast while the bankers, investors and multi-lateral giants wait in the wings to join the fray.
I am however surprised that I have not found one word written on a subject which should have had front page prominence by now: how much insurance coverage was held by Tazreen? Which companies insured the risk? Did these insurance companies investigate whether the factory premises were compliant with fire safety prior to taking on the risk (the usual procedure)? Has any insurance claim or First Information Report been lodged? If so, for how much? What was the value of goods, machinery etc destroyed? Were the workers insured? Once these figures and information are made public, we will have a clearer picture as to whether there is any conspiracy, sabotage or complicity by firefighters, banks and insurance authorities. This has all the hallmarks of being our latest multi-crore scam.
'Voicebox' in the Star is an easy and informative way to catch up with who said what on which occasion without second thought as to what they had said or whether it was appropriate or not. Those quoted attack one another on personal matters, maintaining grudges and bad feelings, even to the extent of character assassinations. Politicians, bureaucrats, and businessmen, from time to time pass such remarks and are not aware of what damage they are causing to the nation. Nor are they aware of what message they are sending to our youngsters who will one day become the leaders and public servants or officials steering the nation. Will these future leaders step into the same shoes and follow the example of what they see around them?
It is time that our political leaders shun such unhealthy and immature behaviour and strengthen their moral and decent feelings towards all the existing political camps that is, if we want to have good democracy and governance, allowing the people to live in peace.
With all due respect to the writer Shah Husain Imam, I oppose the title 'Street Children as Human Resource' of an article published in the Star on 30 November. No civilised world can ever use children, street or non-street, as resources. Their stomachs are too small so they want less and that's why many people want to use them as cheap labour, which is pathetic. Children are angels. They are the symbol of beauty, innocence, and purity. Childhood is the sweetest period for any human being. Unfortunately, in poor country like Bangladesh, for multiple reasons, many children don't get the chance to know the meaning of childhood. We should try to create a society where all children can enjoy their childhood with joy, not with struggles and sorrow. Every human being has the birth right to have a childhood full of beautiful memories. So please don't try to describe them as “human resources”. Let them live a happy, healthy, beautiful childhood and let us try our best to ensure it.
Joynal Abedin Rimon
University of Dhaka
Quality of Kindergarten Education
Photo: Syed Latif Hossain
I fully agree with Shanjida Rimi on her Star Diary story, titled 'Great Mistake' in last week's magazine, because she pointed out an important issue. My only daughter is studying in kindergarten and her teachers are frequently doing the same great mistakes. My better half takes my daughter to school every day and I asked her what the problem is behind these mistakes? She told me that kindergartens are a business, not only in Dhaka city but also across the county. The ultimate goal for kindergarten owners is to earn money instead of providing quality education. To do this, they are recruiting less able teachers. Most of the kindergarten teachers' salaries are lower than we would expect. As a result, less qualified teachers (SSC, HSC pass or workless housewives) are interested in teaching in these schools. The owners of kindergartens charge high fees to parents and guardians but this is not spent on quality education. These owners have no responsibility or commitment to the nation. These kindergartens have no serious monitoring system by the government's education agency nor any proper guidelines. I firmly believe the key reasons behind the poor quality of education in kindergartens are the business-inclined owners and their low salary packages for teachers.
Md Zillur Rahaman
Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd
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