Chobi Mela VII
There is a lot to be said for an international festival born and raised in a country like Bangladesh. Chobi Mela VII is rightfully recognised for being an established photography exhibition and the dozens of foreign and national photographers featured in the festival are a testament to their profession. I thank the Star for writing a cover story on the event and featuring some of the beautiful photographs I have had the pleasure to see firsthand. I really enjoyed attending the Chobi Mela and hope to visit more of the venues as I have only attended a couple so far.
However, this brings me to my point, one that is difficult for me to express considering my respect for the exhibition. After lunch one day, I was visiting the exhibition held at Shilpakala Academy where a young woman in a sari was walking around with a notepad. Maybe she was a writer covering the event or a student of art looking for inspiration. Regardless, I was truly disheartened to see a handful of men, following this young lady like she was the attraction! These men had no idea what Chobi Mela was and what it meant for Bangladesh or our own photographers to have an exhibition like this in our midst. There was no staff nor any volunteer to engage visitors or even direct them to the right gallery space. If small things like this could be ensured and maintained throughout the day, single women, wanting to enjoy public spaces and the art that graces their walls, would feel less stalked and those who wandered in off the streets none the wiser could actually learn something about what they were actually supposed to see.
Photo: Anastasia Taylor-Lind
In this busy world we perhaps don't have the time to stand and stare at the beautiful things around us. We perhaps don't bother to see the inner beauty of anything. So a thank you to Drik is in order, for organising a photo exhibition that inspires our senses to see the unusual beauty and meaning in usual phenomena. It is a manifestation of different cultures and way of thinking and at the same time a brilliant opportunity for local enthusiasts to display their creation and observe some other masterpieces. A photograph not only presents a picture but also tells a story. We have to learn how to feel it. If such events are arranged frequently and all over the country, our young people would be more interested in photography and see the hidden charm and significance in everything.
Indrajit Kumar Das
Photo: Star File
I would like to thank the writer of the article "Boys With Guns", published on 1 February 2013, for bringing up the common concern of all public universities' students. I strongly agree with Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna and Dhaka University Professor Mahbub Ullah, who have clearly expressed the genuine reasons behind the student organisations becoming the centres of spoiled and degraded individuals. One cannot help but wonder how, in a short span of time, these so-called political party cadres become strikingly dangerous from the moment they join student politics, hoping to have power, wealth and domination. We, the 'apolitical' students, observe in awe that if these amoral, unethical and criminal students are supposedly the ones to take the lead in future politics, the worst is yet to unveil for all of us.
After going through the article titled “Shapla and Others Make a Difference” in your esteemed magazine published on 18 January 2013, I would like to thank the Star as well as the writer for portraying such a sensitive and important issue. I was glad to know that there are some benevolent people still alive in our country. We are gradually forgetting that we are the best creation of God. He gave us sympathy, love, affection, justice and some responsibilities. But man forgets the qualities which are given by God as now they show no sympathy for deprived children. These children can not carry on their studies due to extreme poverty. Parents have no way to feed their children and when they can not give them food, they can hardly give them an education too. So they are compelled to send their daughters to work as domestic workers. But the women of the house do not treat these girls as human beings. They treat them like animals and abuse these deprived children. Instead of treating them as a member of their family, they torture them physically, mentally and even sexually. We are fed up of reading about child abuse in the media.
As I am a tutor, I generally form a relationship with many families who hire domestic workers. I observe very carefully but silently how they treat them or how they behave with them. In most of the families, they are maltreated by the women of the house. They behave as if these domestic workers are domestic animals. Even the children in these houses are following this example of behaviour. I have surprisingly noticed that they have to eat separately, eat separate food, use separate plates and glasses and are treated with apathy. Although child labour is banned by law, it is still very much in practice. Being encouraged by the writer, we should take care of these children and treat them like equal human beings.
S A Rajin
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