News of: Saturday, 27th of June, 2009
Gunmen killed three persons including two businessmen belonging to the ruling alliance, and wounded another in broad daylight at the city's Karwan Bazar yesterday.
The government's daylight saving time (DST) formula to save electricity is yet to have the desired effect in improving power situation even after seven days of its introduction, as people have not changed their lifestyle while offices and business establishments are not following the directive properly.
President of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolan (Bapa) Prof Muzaffer Ahmad yesterday demanded recovery of the grabbed river land and formulation of strong guidelines to save the rivers and other water bodies.
BNP yesterday sought the United Nations help in conducting an independent enquiry into torture on political leaders and businessmen during the last caretaker government regime and killings and torture of BNP activists in the last six months.
Over seventy percent areas of the capital is still out of sewerage network of Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) which leads to dumping of untreated sewage into rivers around it and other water bodies severely polluting those.
Michael Jackson is dead after suffering a cardiac arrest, sending shockwaves sweeping across the world and tributes pouring in Friday for the tortured music icon revered as the "King of Pop."
Being the biggest kitchen and vegetable market in the city with over 5,000 shops, Karwan Bazar has always been a hub of extortion.
Alauddin Ahmed, an adviser to Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina, came down heavily on Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil yesterday for his comment in parliament on the appointment of advisers to PM.
Opposition Chief Whip Zainal Abdin Farroque yesterday blamed the government for trying to make a one-party parliament keeping the opposition out of the House.
Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) has increased water tariff by 5 percent, which will come into effect from July 1.
Two people were killed and one was injured as their motorcycle hit a truck parked on Barisal-Patuakhali highway and skidded off the road at Varatkathi in Nalchhiti upazila of Jhalkathi district on Thursday night.
An armed cadre of Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP), student front of Parbattya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS), was shot dead during a gunfight with security personnel at Suvalong Bazar yesterday morning.
The government is going to procure three dredgers at a cost of Tk 105 crore as part of its recently conceived ambitious plan for river dredging.
Power generation from 20-megawatt (MW) rental power plant in Bogra has become uncertain due to lack of required equipment.
Imposing taxes on mobile phone sets and SIM cards will create impediments to fast expansion of information technology at a time when the government is trying to build a Digital Bangladesh, economists and information technology experts said yesterday.
Iran's electoral watchdog insisted yesterday that this month's disputed presidential vote was the cleanest ever, rejecting opposition allegations of fraud that have brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets.
Trials of four cases filed in connection with the recovery of one truckload of bullets in Kahalu upazila of Bogra on June 27, 2003 remains stalled for about four and a half years.
Iraq's main motorcycle market was hit by a bombing yesterday that killed 13 people and wounded more than 40, just four days before US soldiers pull out of cities, towns and villages nationwide.
The Daily Star and Aktel will jointly launch an English language programme for secondary school-goers in Rajshahi divisional headquarters today.
UK Minister for Security and Counter-Terrorism Lord West will today arrive at Dhaka on a three-day visit to discuss with the prime minister, leader of the opposition and high government officials to strengthen Bangladesh-British counter-terrorism cooperation.
At least 25 persons were injured in a clash between auto-tempo and auto-rickshaw workers at Bazaar Station Karitola in Sirajganj town yesterday afternoon.
A mobile court seized over 100 maunds of mangoes artificially ripened using chemicals during a drive at Tebunia marker in this district Thursday afternoon.
Police recovered the decomposed body of an official of Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company (Kafco) with bruises all over it from his own flat at Meem Tower under Panchlaish Police Station yesterday evening.
Former adviser to caretaker government barrister Mainul Hosein yesterday binned a parliamentary standing committee's allegation that he had allocated plots abusing power.
Another Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) jawan was found dead yesterday inside a bathroom of a building at Pilkhana BDR headquarters.
The High Court's emphatic and comprehensive set of directives to the government that it take targeted and time-bound action to reclaim the four endangered rivers augurs well. It constitutes a high-water mark in the campaign to save the choked up life-lines to the city. In fact, the judicial intervention can be seen as a turning point from what has so far been an awareness building exercise followed by a determined, yet occasionally halted, eviction operation, into giving a massive push for concrete result-oriented action from here on.
Effective disaster management has not been one of our strong points. It is disconcerting indeed that in a disaster-prone country we have no legal framework to guide protective, rescue and rehabilitation activities to minimise sufferings of the people. While various forms of calamities strike us the year round, what we do in reality is to react in bafflement and then sit down to form a committee to assess the damages wreaked and lives lost or displaced. We hardly see local level community leaders included in such committees who could come up with worthy suggestions.
DEMOCRATIC political systems are generally seen as best suited to protect and guarantee human rights and to deliver social and economic development. From that point of view, it is also accepted that a democratic process is vital for addressing the political aspect of poverty. Being accountable to citizens, enable democratic governments to chart a political course supported by people and to be able to change it when needed. This will however be possible only if we are able to bring together a broader understanding of democracy where there is juxtaposition of the procedural and institutional aspects with the delivery element.
INDIA and the world remember the protests by students and workers at the Tiananmen Square in Beijing and China's ruthless suppression through tanks. But the world, particularly India, has forgotten the imposition of the Emergency which had suspended even the fundamental right to live. Significantly, both tragedies occurred in the month of June -- the first on the 4th, two decades ago, and the second on the 26th, some 34 years ago.
It is true that without strong and close Indian support Bangladesh could not have attained independence. It is also true that at the initial stage of our independence India helped us rehabilitate and reconstruct our country. Thus the relationship between India and Bangladesh should have been close and cordial based on a clear mutual understanding. Of course when the interest of the states clash the strength of understanding is tested. Building the Tipaimukh dam for production of hydro-electricity, irrigation and to control flood has created an atmosphere of mutual suspicion.
Barcelona defender Daniel Alves spared Brazil's blushes as his late goal earned the five time world champions a 1-0 win over spirited South Africa here Thursday to book their place in the Confederations Cup final.
Matches in the 2011 World Cup due to be staged in Pakistan will not take place in the United Arab Emirates, International Cricket Council (ICC) president David Morgan said here on Thursday.
Roger Federer set up a Wimbledon last 16 clash with Robin Soderling on Friday, the man he beat to win the French Open and who was once famously described by Rafael Nadal as the most disliked man in tennis.
Australian cricketers perform better in Ashes series played on their home turf when the El Nino weather system dominates, and worse when its opposite prevails, a British study published Friday said.
England captain Andrew Strauss is used to hearing Australia skipper Ricky Ponting announce the opening batsman will be targeted during the forthcoming Ashes series.
Pakistan vowed Friday to fight for the right to co-host World Cup 2011 matches after the country was stripped of the games by the sport's world governing body because of multiple security concerns.
Rising Star Club secured a 25-run victory over Prajonmo Club in the first Teletalk cricket tournament at the Khagrachari Government High School ground yesterday.
Andrew Flintoff hit his highest competitive score since the 2005 Ashes when he thrashed 93 for Lancashire against Derbyshire in English county cricket's Twenty20 Cup on Thursday.
Bangladesh National Hockey team takes on 11th ranked Canada today in their third and final match of the four-nation Invitational Hockey Tournament in Moscow.
Pakistan captain Younus Khan said Friday his team are ready to rise to the challenge of the Test series against Sri Lanka but admitted they were under pressure following their World Twenty20 victory.
Barcelona's Dani Alves suffered the agony of missing out on the Champions League win over Manchester United due to suspension but he put that misfortune well and truly behind him by taking centre stage with a vengeance here Thursday.
Liverpool hitman Fernando Torres has warned that Spain plan to start building another lengthy win streak, starting on Sunday against South Africa.
Bernd Schneider has announced his retirement from football with immediate effect.
South Africa may have lost against Brazil but at least they went down with a great deal of verve and style in a performance that coach Joel Santana suggests augurs well for next year's World Cup.
Organisers of the Confederations Cup on Friday hailed the tournament for uniting South Africans in a way no other sporting code has managed, boding well for the World Cup next year.
Despite South Africa's loss to Brazil in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup, newspapers on Friday praised Bafana Bafana's efforts in the World Cup dress rehearsal.
German football legend Franz Beckenbauer has blamed the absence of a European team in the Confederations Cup final on the long, gruelling season, but says they will do better at the World Cup.
Argentina legend Diego Maradona has signed a bumper contract to continue as coach of the national football team.
Blackburn Rovers have completed the signing of on-loan Marseille defender Gael Givet for an undisclosed fee, it was announced on Friday.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter suggested Friday that the quota of African teams at World Cups could rise if they do well at the 2010 tournament next year.
Kevin Pietersen did his best to allay concerns over his troublesome Achilles injury ahead of the Ashes by declaring himself "practically 100 percent fit".
Australia coach Tim Nielsen came to the defence of his bowlers after they needed more than 80 overs to dismiss Sussex in their Ashes tour opener at Hove here on Thursday.
New Zealand have given Shane Bond a clear indication that he is in their plans for the next year after being handed a central contract for 2009-10. Bond, who gave up his national deal when he joined the ICL 18 months ago, is one of seven additions to the New Zealand squad following sweeping changes that have led to Scott Styris, Aaron Redmond and five others losing their spots.
International cricket's leading administrator insisted Thursday he was doing all he could to support Pakistan after confirming the troubled country would not host matches at the 2011 World Cup.
Former Wimbledon champion Serena Williams has paid tribute to pop legend Michael Jackson, who died from a heart attack on Thursday.
England will host two Test matches and two T20 internationals between Pakistan and Australia in 2010, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Friday.
The 35th Mercantile Bank National Chess Championship will start on Monday at the National Sports Council (NSC) conference room.
England, just days after winning the women's World Twenty20 title, went down to a 34-run Twenty20 loss to Australia in Derby on Thursday.
Australia great Adam Gilchrist has spoken out against the advent of day/night Test cricket.
The US government is working with Bangladesh to strengthen institutions that deter violent extremism and has encouraged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to engage with the opposition and include them in the decision-making process.
Terming the proposed budget for 2009-10 as more prone to gender sensitivity speakers at a discussion yesterday said the country is moving forward to gender budgeting though very slowly.
Nearly two dozen agencies of the United Nations system have banded together to issue an urgent call for nations to 'green' their economies to address the multiple crises that are dampening progress towards reaching development targets.
Tk 59.10 crore annual budget of Jahangirnagar University (JU) for fiscal year 2009-10 was passed yesterday.
A team Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested two suspected outlaws from near a parcel office under Khalishapar Police Station in Khulna city on Thursday evening.
Shahinul Islam Chowdhury and Anup Kumar Khastagir were elected unopposed president and general secretary of Chittagong Journalists Forum-Dhaka (CJFD) for 2009-2010.
The students of Rajshahi University (RU) on Thursday midnight staged a demonstration by blocking Dhaka-Rajshahi highway as a group of unruly local youths attacked some students at a mess at Kazla, leaving one student injured.
Narayanganj Paribesh Andolon in a statement yesterday hailed the decision of the High Court to evict the encroachers from the rivers around Dhaka and Narayanganj by six months.
Two primary teachers who were arrested for threatening a JICA volunteer have no links with Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Commissioner-in-charge of Barisal Metropolitan Police (BMP) Abdur Rahim said at a press briefing yesterday.
A housewife was allegedly beaten to death by her husband at village Tebaria Palpara in Natore over a family feud on Thursday night.
The police recovered the body of a carpenter at Charia Kandipara village in Solonga upazila yesterday.
A two-day symposium on pre-university education of Thailand begins at Lake Shore Hotel in the city today.
The annual general meeting (AGM) 2008 of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences was held at conference room of the academy at Agargaon in the city yesterday, says a press release.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) beat a Bangladeshi cattle trader to dead at Ghiba boarder at Benapole yesterday.
Environmentalists yesterday urged the government to establish a river commission to save the country's dying rivers.
Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday urged private entrepreneurs to come forward in providing medical treatment to drug addicts, as it requires huge amount of money which the government alone cannot afford.
Several leading non-government organisations yesterday submitted a set of recommendations to the Finance Minister AMA Muhith and urged him to address their demands in the budget for smooth development of the country.
Speakers at a seminar yesterday called on all to come forward to launch a social movement against drug abuse.
Tanvin J Ehsan, 25, associate producer (Programme) of private television channel RTV, was killed in a road accident at Ashulia in Savar upazila yesterday.
ASM Abdur Rab and Abdul Malek Ratan were elected president and general secretary of the central executive committee of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) for the term 2009-10, says a press release.
Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) yesterday protested the arrest of Gaibandha district committee General Secretary Mihir Ghosh, says a press release.
The United Nations committee tasked with building alliances in the global fight against hunger has warned that the world financial crisis will aggravate malnutrition among the most vulnerable in developing countries.
The people from all walks of life at Goichachhia village under Kendua upazila in Netrokona were in euphoric mood all day yesterday as the foreigners visited the village to inaugurate a newly built school under Basic Needs Programme.
Bandarban Hill District Council (BHDC) has announced a Tk 47, 49, 70, 000 budget for fiscal year (FY) 2009-10.
Speakers at a roundtable in the city yesterday urged India to stop construction of the controversial Tipaimukh dam and build a regional communication network by executing the proposed Asian Highway and other such plans.
A local BNP leader was stabbed to death in an attack by unidentified criminals at Titudah village in sadar upazila in Chuadanga early yesterday.
Pakistan's prime minister Thursday told Washington's visiting top security adviser that the United States must halt drone attacks on its soil, after they killed dozens of people in the northwest.
Pakistan Thursday asked India to resume the stalled composite dialogue process, as it was in mutual interest and "unavoidable" if both countries wanted lasting peace in the region.
Amid global tributes to pop superstar Michael Jackson yesterday, friends highlighted the mounting stress and dependence on medication as a possible cause of the King of Pop's sudden death.
Defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi said on Thursday that threats and pressure would not stop him from pursuing his campaign to scrap the results of the disputed election.
The security forces today started fresh offensive operation to flush out the Maoist activists from the trouble hit Lalgarh in West Midnapore District of West Bengal.
UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari arrived in military-ruled Myanmar Friday to pave the way for a visit by the world body's secretary-general focused on the trial of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) has acquitted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the helicopter "misappropriation" case.
A suicide bomber ripped through an army vehicle, killing two soldiers and wounding three others Friday in the first such attack in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, officials said.
Celebrities and stars around the globe paid tribute Thursday to pop icon Michael Jackson, praising his contributions to the world of music as they reeled from the news of his sudden death.
Whether he was dangling his baby over a balcony, sleeping in an oxygen chamber or befriending a chimpanzee -- at times Michael Jackson appeared to revel in his nickname of "Wacko Jacko."
The stress of a hugely-anticipated series of comeback shows in London caused Michael Jackson's death, his close friend Uri Geller, the spoon-bending psychic, said Thursday.
Michael Jackson, the "king of pop" who began his career as part of the Jackson 5, recorded nine solo albums between 1972 and 2001, including "Thriller," the top-selling album of all time.
Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal on Thursday welcomed what he said was a change of US policy towards his Islamist movement, which controls the Gaza Strip and said he looked forward to renewed Palestinian unity talks later this week.
President Barack Obama said Thursday that he wants to "recognise and legalise" undocumented immigrants in the United States.
The United States and Russia will sign a military cooperation agreement when US President Barack Obama visits Moscow in early July, a top Russian general said Friday, quoted by news agencies.
The de facto US ambassador in Taiwan said yesterday the Obama administration will consider the contentious sale of F-16 fighter jets to the island after key American officials are settled into their jobs.
Arts & Entertainment
Alliance Francaise of Dhaka (AFD) in cooperation with Dhaka University, Classic Event Management and Gulshan Club is celebrating the Fete de la Musique, known as the World Music Festival in Bangladesh. On the fifth day (June 25) of the ongoing ten-day festival, folk musical troupe 'Bhawaiya' and 'ghazal' singer Mesbah Ahmed performed at the La Galerie, AFD, Dhanmondi.
With "Debotar Grash," staged by Sanglaap Group Theatre, the six-day festival featuring Tagore plays ended on June 24 at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The play was an adaptation of a poem with the same title by Rabindranath Tagore. Sanglaap Group Theatre organised the festival to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the troupe. The festival featured six plays by Tagore and adaptations of the Nobel laureate's works by troupes from Dhaka and outside.
For his legions of fans, literally across the world, he was the Peter Pan of pop music: the little boy who refused to grow up. But on the verge of another attempted comeback, he is suddenly gone, this time for good.
Farrah Fawcett, an actress and television star whose good looks and signature flowing hairstyle influenced a generation of women and bewitched a generation of men, beginning with a celebrated pinup poster, died Thursday morning in Santa Monica, California. She was 62 and lived in West Los Angeles.
“Amader Katha," a theatre production featuring underprivileged children, was recently staged at the Geneva Camp in Mohammadpur, according to a press release.
The nine-day traditional 'Rath Utshab' began amidst much fervour and religious spirit last Wednesday in Pabna. Pabna Deputy Commissioner Dr. AFM Monjur Kadir inaugurated the festival at Radhanagar Rathghar premises. A programme was held at Radhanagar Barwari Kali temple on the occasion.
Notwithstanding the apparent global economic recession, the Bangladesh economy fared well with an impressive GDP growth rate of 5.9 percent in the fiscal year 2008-09. One of the reasons for this growth is the inherent strength of the economy which lies with its agriculture and external sectors. The bumper agricultural production has not only helped reduce food prices and inflation rate, it has improved the purchasing power of the people and contributed to poverty reduction.
There is no denying that serious efforts to understand the dynamics of disorder in our situation has to focus on identifying the causative factors and then possibly arrive on a broad consensus. The unfortunate part is that somehow the callousness of the police, their role as militarised force, and the alleged incompetence in preventing or detecting crime, the widespread corruption and indecorous behaviour have been taken for granted.
FOR the first few days, the opposition sought to justify its boycotting of the ongoing budget session, complaining that they were not given adequate number of front row seats (FRSs) in the parliament. Since the end of the first session, they have been pushing hard for more FRSs as a precondition for joining the second session.
While Dhaka hits the global headlines as one of the fastest growing cities in the world by population, unplanned development, enhanced by land encroachment and flouting of legal requirements, irresponsible approach to professional obligations by all and sundry, and display of the 'thumb' by the greedy and corrupt, has led the housing situation to an ever-shifting brink where today more than a third of the urban population four decades into our independence live in dire conditions, unimaginable for many.
Urbanization in Bangladesh has progressed very rapidly and today more than 25 percent of the total population of the country lives in urban areas. Simultaneously, Dhaka now contains 40 percent of the national urban population. Existing physical and social amenities have failed to provide for even the basic needs of the majority of these people. As a result, today more than 35 percent of the people living in Dhaka City are residents of slums and squatter settlements. A large section of the lower middle income group also lives in very critical conditions. In the face of multifarious deficiencies, housing remains a most urgent need to be addressed.
Ken's cell phone rang very early in the morning, even before his alarm went off.
The present government's incompetence in terms of power supply is not only causing untold miseries during a sweltering heat wave to an electorate that trusted it to govern, and govern well, but is also ruining my writing of Kali O Kolom reviews. Since I happen to live in an ordinary neighbourhood without montri mohadois nearby on whose uninterrupted power grids I could have a free ride, I am victim to savage load shedding. The power disruptions have frayed my temper to the point where the joy in carrying out my otherwise pleasurable monthly task has vanished. So if this particular review seems somewhat disorganized, I beg the indulgence of readers. I confess that even though I was delighted at the election result I'm now radically revising my opinion. A plague, I feel like spewing, on both political houses - Capulet and Montague!
The title of this review is the evocative one of the book under review, a collection of modern poetry from Bangladesh edited by Kaiser Haq, professor of English at Dhaka University. It was published this year from New Delhi by the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature. One is invited to sail on a huge river of poetry by Bangladeshis, largely in translation, but with also a few in the original English.
If I were an idle April noon
I would go and watch in your eyes
Some blades of grass.
Sad musical bells,
I would go and dance with your rhythmic feet,
Weeping tears of blood,
and suddenly an April fire
would burst into flames.
If I were a copper coloured telegraph wire
I would relay to you all my failures,
any unfinished songs,
grief stricken flowers.
Oh, if I were only a little boy
In this month of impossible desires.
I still haven't been able to figure out
Which is more potent:
The river or its current?
It could be the river
For its bank contains
Fish and the ebb and flow of tides
And displays both restlessness and placidity.
It could be the river,
To which our green rice fields
But the current?
No, I'll never know what it is capable of,
Guessing by what I glimpsed of it
As we sit here and remember you, the calmness of
eyes we had never seen before is overthrown
and muddied; the chant of a million voices deadened,
briefly, in the silence of yours;
Left you an atlas to look
Feel your way back into
The pages are a bit frayed at the edges
And one or two pages may actually
Be missing but
It is quite a complete guide
To an utterly, shatteringly lonely planet.
If your knee is severely damaged by arthritis or injury, it may be hard for you to perform simple activities such as walking or climbing stairs. You may even begin to feel pain while you are sitting or lying down.
The pandemic strain of Swine flu (also called H1N1 influenza virus) has already traveled to Bangladesh. Till date, 8 cases have been detected in the country. The last patient, who was identified Thursday as the country's first domestic transmission of the swine flu, was believed to be infected by his friend. This domestic transmission of swine flu in the country has created panic among general population. Experts urged people not to be panicked over swine flu’s spread and advised to take precautionary steps to be protected.
All over the world, the problem lies solely in the men partner in about one in five infertile couples and in about another quarter of cases, both partners are responsible for the problem. Although, there is common belief of blaming only female partner are still prevail. It has been estimated that one in 20 men have some kind of fertility problem and one in every 100 men produces no sperm in their ejaculate. But fortunately, one in eight infertile men are medically treatable.
This is a very common source of confusion. You do not have to see both! Optometrists are doctors (their degree is an OD, or doctor of optometry) who are trained to perform annual evaluations of your eyes, detect certain eye diseases and prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses for the correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. They are not allowed to perform medical treatment of the eyes or eye surgery, as they have no medical school training.
Amina is a student of class V. Since last 6 month she is having frequent attacks of abdominal pain. Her pain is around umbilicus and not associated with fever, vomiting or diarrhoea. Pain occurs during school time and while her private tutors come. Aminas parents became very anxious and paid visit to several doctors with the same problem. This is a typical presentation of recurrent abdominal pain.
Active compounds in green tea may slow down the progression of prostate cancer, researchers reported recently.
IN the wake of post election disturbances in Iran, an event of great importance was not covered in the international media with the attention that it deserved. In Israel, the rightist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his much awaited speech on Palestine that, before the Iranian upheaval, had been heralded in the media as an event to watch, particularly as it was expected to be Netanyahu's response to the Cairo speech of President Barak Obama on June 4th in which he had made specific and optimistic recommendations for the resolution of the Palestinian problem.
THE three-day summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was held in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg from June 16th 2009. The last summit was held in Tajikstan.
Russia's first submarine developed after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the strategic nuclear-powered Yury Dolgoruky, was launched on June 19 into the White Sea, where it will undergo twenty days of naval tests, the Russian government publication Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported June 23.
German politicians are backing deployment of the Nato Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) for missions over Afghanistan. Nato announced its decision to deploy the aircraft during a meeting in Brussels on June 12 after France threatened to block the move on cost grounds.
Star Books Review
Myth! In this age of information explosion that may not always be an index for acquiring more and more knowledge vis-à-vis an erratic pace of technological advancement. Who would possibly believe in the slightest that a myth has a role to play in human life? At first it is likely to sound anachronistic in terms of its being a story trying to explain an event, an occurrence involving some imaginary characters that is seemingly incomprehensible to the human mind. But there is so much more in a myth than meets the eye as Karen Armstrong takes us deep into the meaning, import, workability, congeniality and most of all into the humane qualities of it. She shows that a myth always existed in human life and, therefore, in a society, whatever kind that may be. Her utterances about a myth are intertwined with the mental state that one comes across in a heightened form of religious experiences that once were only liturgical in essence. A human life since that Paleolithic age down to our immediate environs is fraught with struggles, causing despair, distress, threats, challenges of various hues and magnitudes and eventually an end of this life culminating in death.
Flogging a dead horse might appear a pointless, not to say bizarre, exercise to many, unless that effort is expended towards explaining a momentous event in history. The emergence of Bangladesh as a sovereign independent nation-state is indubitably one such occurrence. The Muslim League (ML) is very much alive and kicking in its various factions in Pakistan, but it is, to all intents and purposes, at death's door in the land of its birth, Bangladesh. As a matter of fact, the party that was the political vehicle in the process of realizing Pakistan out of British India embarked on the road to its demise almost as soon as Pakistan came into being. A whole range of scholarly writings has explored a whole range of aspects that led to the League's debacle, and, undoubtedly, others will emerge in the future. Ahmed Kamal's State Against the Nation is among the more recent additions to this list.
Dohon O Droher Golpo is a collection of thirteen stories about women, all of whom suffer in life and in death. As they suffer they also revolt against the norms of society, a society that is oppressive towards them. It humiliates them, tortures them and then stands up high with pride. As if the whole world is just created for men to rule over their counterparts. In the name of religion they both torture and squash them in their very own home. Society is against women who stand up to protest their malpractices. We all see it around us. It is these writers who paint it on their canvas, make it possible for everyone to understand it better. More than a dozen women are depicted who were really the victims of our modern day society. The male members of their family, even the very near and dear ones, do not spare women when it comes to finding faults with them.
Early in Tahar Ben Jelloun's eye-opening novel of Arab illegals crossing from Tangier into southern Spain, the author describes a cat that sneaks aboard a ship headed across the Straits of Gibraltar: “Even the cat was fed up: he, too, wanted something else from life, and needed tenderness, caresses, a kind family who would spoil him. The cat wanted to go away because he knew instinctively that it was better 'over there,' and he had his obsessions like everyone else, coming stubbornly every day to try his best to jump onto [a] vessel bound for Europe.”