Warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/archive/newDesign/archive.php on line 134
Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/archive/newDesign/archive.php on line 135
News of: Saturday, 2nd of January, 2010
Notice: Undefined variable: prev in /var/www/archive/newDesign/archive.php on line 163
The agricultural landscape of the district's Ali Kadam upazila has changed drastically in last two decades with most of the cropland given over to cultivating tobacco.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday threatened to forge a movement if the government fails to protect its own country's interest in negotiations with India.
BNP last night disclosed the names of all 386 members of its central executive committee, 22 days after holding the party's national council.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the country's businessmen to help remove the income inequalities between the rich and the poor by generating job opportunities in the industrial sector.
At least 17 people were killed and 56 others injured when a bus crashed into a roadside tree in Sadar upazila of Faridpur early yesterday.
Two persons died in Satkhira yesterday because of unbearable cold as a shivering cold wave has been sweeping through various parts of the country for the last few days. Thousands of others are also falling ill with cold-related diseases.
The Power Development Board is seeking the power ministry's approval of its recommendation to award contracts for its five power projects of 320 megawatt capacity to lowest responsive bidders, a top source of the board said.
Monitoring of water level at different points of the Ganges and the Padma has been undertaken jointly by India and Bangladesh under the Ganges Water Sharing Treaty.
The government perception of a disproportionate increase in deer population on Nijhum Dwip, the largest national park in the country, might be proved wrong, indicate wildlife experts.
Shakespeare in his play Othello compared jealousy with a green-eyed monster. Imdadul Mallik, 30, is a victim of that green-eyed monster and he is now facing the ordeal of life but his stoic endurance helped him to live to tell the tale of vindictiveness that cost his two hands and paralysed his lower portion.
Urea production at Jamuna Fertiliser Company Limited (JFCL) located at Tarakandi under Sarishabari upazila in Jamalpur abruptly came to a halt on Thursday due to acute gas crisis.
A schoolgirl was strangled allegedly after rape in her residence at Sadipur in Sonargaon yesterday.
A Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leader was killed in Khulna allegedly by a group of Chhatra League activists on Thursday.
A suicide bomber blew up a car packed with explosives in the middle of a crowd gathered for a volleyball game in a northwest Pakistan village yesterday, killing at least 60 people.
Pakistan and India yesterday exchanged lists of their nuclear sites under an annual accord, after a year of strained relations between the arch-rivals, Pakistan's foreign ministry said.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) base attacked by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan this week was at the heart of a covert programme overseeing strikes by the agency's remote-controlled aircraft along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, officials familiar with the installation said Thursday.
A fire at Lama in Bandarban gutted a fertiliser warehouse, eight business establishments, including a residential hotel, and two houses late Thursday night.
Children are twice as likely as adults to catch swine flu, according to a joint UK-US study.
THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) chairman's frank admission that the anti-graft body has its limitations in fighting
QUITE clearly the education ministry is according a high priority to the primary
HOW fast time flies! We are now entering another year. We have memories of the past year and our aspirations for the next. The beginning of 2010 also marks the passage of an eventful decade and the completion of the first anniversary of our current government.
DO all students have similar cognitive styles and abilities to perceive and organise information? Social and educational research says "no." Learning styles and preferences vary greatly among students. It is then obvious that some students face difficulty achieving success at school. Among them are those whom we categorise as students with special educational needs. They have learning difficulties or disabilities which make it harder for them to learn or access education than most other students of the same age. A student with special needs may need extra or different help at school and home because of physical difficulties, problems with thinking and understanding, emotional and behavioural issues, or a combination of these. Due to a lack of awareness and sincerity, we fail to attend to their needs. However, we should properly accommodate students with special needs in regular classrooms and give them an equal learning opportunity both at school and home.
Visiting Chittagong Mohammedan held Brothers Union to a goalless draw in their Bangladesh League encounter at Birshreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.
A 16-member India team, led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, will arrive in the city at noon today while a 15-member Sri Lanka team, led by Kumar Sangakkara, will arrive in the evening to participate in the tri-nation ODI series also involving hosts Bangladesh that begins on Monday.
Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has said he is likely to play the second Test against Australia in Sydney after recovering from the finger injury that ruled him out of the Boxing Day Test which Pakistan lost by 170 runs.
India's cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni yesterday said Bangladesh are a good side and can beat any team on their day.
Five years have passed since Shane Watson and Mohammad Asif made their Test debuts at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Despite inauspicious outings -- Watson fell over delivering his first ball, Asif failed to take a wicket in either innings -- great things were expected of the duo by their respective nations, both of which had invested much time and many resources into their development.
The Khulna Divisional Commissioner Gold Cup Football gets underway today. The tournament is being organised by Khulna Divisional Football Association and sponsored by Shahjalal Bank television channel ATN Bangla.
In the aftermath of the Kotla fiasco, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has lashed out at pitches that have nothing for the bowlers. While the abandoned one-day international in Delhi was a result of a "dangerous" pitch, tracks such as the one used in the high-scoring draw between India and Sri Lanka in Ahmedabad were also unfit for cricket, Harbhajan said.
India sent its first sports team to Pakistan in more than a year on Thursday as a seven-member boxing team flew into Karachi to compete in an international tournament.
The attack on the touring Sri Lankan team decimated Pakistan's international cricket and made 2009 one of the worst years for a sport followed by millions, former captain Wasim Akram said Thursday.
Khulna beat Sylhet by 85 runs in their clash of the Women's national Cricket League at Khulna University Ground yesterday.
All eyes will be on Belgian comeback queens Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters when the second Brisbane International tennis tournament begins on Sunday.
South Africa are set to make at least one change in their team as they go into a crucial third Test against England, starting on Sunday.
Pakistan are confident they can bounce back to level the series against Australia in Sydney in the New Year's Test, due to begin on January 3. The tourists lost the first Test in Melbourne by 170 runs, their tenth defeat in a row to Australia, but they are notoriously slow starters. The pitch at the SCG looks surprisingly green two days out from the Test, but conditions are warm and muggy, conditions to which Pakistan may well be suited.
A three-day training programme for the liaison officers of the 11th South Asian Games began yesterday at the Dutch-Bangla Bank Auditorium in the newly constructed building of Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA).
They'll be the tournament's odd couple on the court but emerging US youngster Melanie Oudin believes she and teammate John Isner can be a threat in the mixed teams Hopman Cup, starting on Saturday.
West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor escaped starting the New Year in police lock-up after he was arrested, charged and released over an incident at a bar.
Contrary to Mohammad Yousuf's assumption that T20 cricket would eventually destroy Test cricket, Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi says it has actually made the five-day games more result-oriented.
How much the FA Cup still matters is a much discussed topic of conversation among English football fans.
After a memorable 2009 in which they won a record six trophies, league leaders Barcelona hope for more success in 2010 and aim to start on the right note with a home win over Villareal on Saturday.
Japan international midfielder Yasuhito Endo scored twice and set up another to lead defending champions Gamba Osaka to a 4-1 victory over Nagoya Grampus in the Emperor's Cup final on Friday.
Carlo Ancelotti has attributed Chelsea's recent inconsistency to small problems that have since been ironed out and claims he is confident of staying at the top.
Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho has no plans to abandon his "project" at the San Siro.
Real Madrid's Brazilian midfielder Kaka touched the ball during a training session on Thursday for the first time since he was sidelined at the end of November with a hernia, the Spanish club said.
Liverpool defender Glen Johnson will be out of action for at least a month, Reds manager Rafael Benitez said here Thursday.
France international midfielder Abou Diaby has signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal, the Premier League club confirmed on Thursday.
Mohammad Hashmat Ullah, father of director and CEO of Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) M Wali Ullah, died from old-age complications at his Dhaka residence on Thursday. He was 87.
Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) said there was no notable improvement on human rights or law and order situation in the last one year and that extrajudicial killings and torture on BDR members and their deaths in police custody following the BDR mutiny were matters of serious concern.
While most people celebrated the New Year with party and picnic on Thursday night in Rajshahi city, a group of youths came out to the streets to mitigate the suffering of homeless poor people who were lying out in the biting cold.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said a committee of experts will be formed within a month to make recommendations for modernising the libraries across the country.
Speaker Advocate Abdul Hamid yesterday said it would be easier for him to find solutions to problems if the opposition party returns to the parliament and express their views there instead of doing it outside the House.
Speakers at a seminar called on the government to specify the role of the manpower agents to facilitate the migration process.
Seven people were killed and 11 others injured in separate road accidents in Mymensingh and Bogra in the last two days.
Some 1,639 workers were killed and 1,858 injured in 2009 in different occupational hazards and workplace violence in the country, said a survey of Bangladesh Occupational Safety Health and Environment Foundation (Oshe) on Thursday.
Eighteen people were injured in attacks on separate processions of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) in the town here yesterday.
The government is actively considering introducing Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as mandatory trial mode both in civil and criminal courts to remove the logjam of cases to mitigate the suffering of justice seekers.
A total of 1922 women fell victim to violence in various ways in the last year, said a report of the women and children affairs ministry.
Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan called on the people of different professions as well as policy makers to ensure the maximum utilisation of the internal resources for economic development of the country.
The four-day 51st National Convention of Institution of Engineers Bangladesh (IEB) will begin here today with a view to preparing concrete recommendations on different contemporary national and international issues and presenting those before the government.
Speakers at a workshop called for establishing a separate ministry for elderly and veteran people.
The campus of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) turned into a funfair with retrospection of the graduates of 1970 who are celebrating 40 years of completion of their graduation.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday exchanged New Year greetings with leaders and workers of Awami League and its different associate bodies at her official residence Jamuna.
The forest department sent a Eurasian griffon vulture (gyps fulvus) to Bangabandhu Safari Park in Cox's Bazar yesterday for its conservation, says a press release.
Moni Singh-Farhad Smriti Trust honoured 16 veteran leaders for their contribution to social and progressive political movements.
A Dhaka court on Thursday sentenced a man to death and four others to 30 years' rigorous imprisonment for killing a nine-year-old girl after abduction at Keraniganj in Dkaka in February last year.
A journalist received a death threat from a notorious pirate for writing reports on the piracy in the Sundarbans and river routes in the region.
The BNP-Jamaat-backed White panel won the election to Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (Kuet) Teachers Association on Thursday.
At least 100 landless families in every upazila will be provided with 'khas' lands by June this year, Land Minister Md Rezaul Karim Hira said yesterday.
At least 50 people were injured in an attack on a JCD procession which was brought out in the district town yesterday on the occasion of the 31st founding anniversary of the associate body of BNP.
Seven people were killed and 12 others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka and Mymensingh yesterday.
Bangabandhu's youngest daughter Sheikh Rehana yesterday said she is ready to sacrifice her life like her father to build Sonar Bangla and establish the people's rights.
The United Nations has decided to move a quarter of its international staff (60 employees) out of Pakistan over fears of security concerns for at least six months.
The Afghan government demanded Thursday to take into its custody foreigners wanted over the alleged killing of 10 civilians, sharply escalating a war of words with its powerful Western military backers.
Reiterating its concerns over the alleged interference of India in Pakistan through Afghanistan, Pakistan Foreign Office has said that the situation in the region cannot improve unless New Delhi stops its covert activities.
Iran's opposition leader yesterday pledged to remain defiant in the face of new threats including calls by hard-liners for his execution and said he was ready to sacrifice his life in defence of the people's right to protest peacefully against the government.
Paris jazzed up the Eiffel Tower with a multicoloured, disco-style light display as the world basked in New Year's festivities with hopes that 2010 and beyond will bring more peace and prosperity.
Iraq expressed astonishment yesterday over the dropping of charges against Blackwater guards accused of killing 14 civilians in 2007, one of the bloodiest incidents involving a private security firm here.
In a major discovery, geophysicists have identified a vertical hole they believe is a skylight on the surface of the moon that could serve as a lunar base for astronauts.
The failed Detroit plane bombing showed that terrorism remains a "very real" global threat as the world enters a new decade eight years after 9/11, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned yesterday.
The number of people killed across Iraq in December was 367 and the civilian death toll in 2009 was 2,800, making the year the least violent since the US-led invasion of 2003, officials said yesterday.
Once-bustling Dubai will open the world's tallest skyscraper on Monday, boasting new limits in design and construction, hopeful of polishing an image tarnished by the debt woes afflicting the Gulf emirate.
North Korea called for an end of hostile relations with the United States in a New Year's message Friday and said it was committed to making the Korean peninsula nuclear-free through negotiations.
Veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu was admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital here yesterday with chest infection as attending doctors said his condition was stable.
Australian researchers have cracked the genetic origin of the deadly cancer that is threatening to wipe out Tasmanian devils, raising hopes Friday that the animal's future is safe.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhara Rao is confident that Telangana state would be a reality in 2010.
Pakistan hosted its most expensive federal cabinet meeting when a Navy ship was anchored near Gwadar Port which is estimated to have cost the taxpayers over Rs.5 million, after the PPP-led Government decided to follow austerity measures.
Arts & Entertainment
Bangladesh Poush Mela Udjapon Parishad has organised a two-day Poush Mela at Ramna Botomul. The festival was inaugurated yesterday by eminent cultural personality and artist Mustafa Monowar. “We have been celebrating the festival in the city for last 11 years. The festival is usually celebrated on the first day of Poush. A return to our roots is one of the aims of such a mela in the city,” said Monowar.
Marking the 95th birth anniversary of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, a discussion was held at the hall room of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala (art gallery) recently. Eminent eye specialist Dr. K. Zaman and artist Amirul Islam participated in the discussion. Dr. Bijoy Krishna Banik, deputy keeper of the art gallery presided over the event.
A painting competition for BRAC school children was held recently at ESDO Training Cetre under sadar upazila in Thakurgaon.
Her rise to recognition as a singer/lyricist/composer has been like a Paulo Coelho story. Clad in black, with a guitar and at times a harmonica, she contradicts all stereotypes. Her buzz cut might intimidate some but the disarming smile radiates with sincerity. For seven years, she desperately tried to release her debut album -- a compilation of songs that chronicled her growth as an individual and an artiste. When the album, titled "Shayan-er Gaan", was finally released on May 6, 2008, people listened and those who listened closely were in awe.
For lots of people 2009 had a special meaning, especially the digits 2 and 9, the 21st century influence, the energy, the life. All these could only mean one thing-the fun and happening drama of the year “1920” by Hridi Huq that was aired on NTV on Mondays and Thursdays. This was a story about the lives of Asib, Tonmoy, Sagor, Ayon, Promiti, Sraboni, Pinky and many more.
It's a final goodbye to 2009. While most people were looking for new fashion statements, designer Shahruk Shahid preferred to hark back to the old times and has many ideas up his sleeve for the new year.
Bollywood super star Aamir Khan has done it again hitting the jackpot for the third year in a row.
A cultural programme was organised by Sheikh Russell Jatiya Shishu Kishore Parishad (SRJSKP) on Monday at the Thakurgaon District Shilpakala Academy Auditorium.
THE hon'ble home minister's apparently explanatory statement, describing the crossfire incidents as acts of self-defence by law enforcement personnel, brings into sharp focus the use and abuse of force by state organs. The question of proportionality in the use of force by those in authority has always been a vexing issue. Cynics, however, say that in finding out the justification or otherwise of the use of force, the bias has been against people and in favour of the governments.
THE Copenhagen accord left key questions unanswered because it contained no specific targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. The pact called on developed nations to provide $30 billion to help developing nations deal with the effects of climate change from 2010 to 2012. The text further says, by 2020 rich nations should "set a goal of $100 billion a year" for poor nations, especially the most vulnerable ones. With no specific binding treaty, the deal pledges to keep atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide low enough to keep average global temperatures less than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels -- a threshold beyond which many scientists say dangerous consequences could result.
HOW is an investor, living outside Dhaka, Chittagong, or abroad, supposed to get information about a listed company to make a wise investment decision? You might say that, to get information about a firm, an investor living in Noakhali or abroad may visit the respective firm's website. Unfortunately, most of the listed firms do not even have a website. Very few listed firms, mostly banks, have websites with insufficient information. On the DSE or SEC website, there are hardly any audited annual financial reports of the listed firms. Therefore, to invest in the stock market in Bangladesh, one has to contact the respective firm's register office, or DSE, CSE or SEC, which is costly, and sometimes, even impossible, given Bangladesh's perspective. Then, how do you make your investment decisions? Is it that you invest based on what you hear on the media or from your friends who are also exposed to the same situation like you are? To solve the above-mentioned problem, i.e., lack of relevant information, and also to make the market more efficient and transparent, the SEC must need to have an online database or archive like Edgar, i.e., Electronic Data-Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system.
Climate change caused by global warming is a hard and bitter reality now. World leaders and activists have risen to the occasion lately; intercontinental level discussions after discussions have been held over the recent years to agree on ways and means to mitigate effect of and adapt to this unwelcome change. But any adequately effective and agreed measure is yet to be on card. The latest Copenhagen conference has also unfortunately experienced more discord than consensus. Meanwhile the scourge is assuming further gravity for the vulnerable.
At the United Nations climate change conference last moth , an index was prepared for judging the risks of climate change countries. According to the index, Bangladesh will be most severely affected by climate change .Myanmar, Honduras, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Haiti, are in subsequent next positions.
Since its introduction back in 1845, concrete has become the most important item among construction materials accounting for 20% to 40% of total construction cost of a project. Be it for a residential building or for structures like bridges, flyovers, road pavements that are needed for the development of any country, concrete is an essential item that needs careful attention, more so for a country like Bangladesh.
Kazi Nazrul Islam addressed the undying sense of self respect of the common man that persists, even as a hardly perceptible undercurrent, in the most trying of circumstances. He recognised that the weakness of the elitist centre meant a corresponding strength of the subaltern periphery, since through a series of strange binaries, the ebb and flow of the two mutually locked segments of our population shows each other's strengths and weaknesses.
Love is an inimitable feeling that illuminates the soul. We all have a basic need to be loved. When we are children we are content with our parents' love and familial bonds. As we mature and form different relationships that deepen with time, we feel an innate need to love and be loved in return.
It was the second time the white car passed us by. That was way back sometime in mid March 1985. My fourteen year old sister and I were in our father's car which had suddenly decided to halt right in the middle of Dhanmondi road 3. No amount of pressing the accelerator or pulling the choke would make it change its mind. I had just got my British driving licence and had come to Dhaka for a month's holiday. To be honest, I found it highly amusing when people used to stare at this pretty young girl (being myself!) navigating a car through the streets of Dhaka. Believe me, this was not a common sight twenty four years ago. But on that breezy evening the car was letting me down. This wasn't supposed to happen to a young and confident noveau-driver.! My cockiness began to somewhat deflate. The white car passed us for the third time. In the dark purple twilight I saw a tall, well built young man in a white shirt come out and walk towards us. “Oh God!” I thought. I hadn't bargained for another problem. Why hadn't I listened to Abba and taken the driver?
Let me swallow the shredded anti-particles
Up in the void
With particles whizzing past my bodily form.
Now, somewhat erect on the gaseous clay
With fractionation working in me
I whiz past time itself leaving
Frozen moments that whiz past future.
In resonance of truth and absurdity
I call out askance in human voice,
'Who is there?'
In resonance it is ethereal 'I' eternally existent,
An ever-repeating dimension of only
Fractionation, relativity of shine and shadow,
Disfiguration of only earth and water!
People make new resolutions on the commencement of a New Year to lead a better life, to remain heal and hearty throughout the year and after on. Some people pledge to shed extra pounds, give up their bad habits like quitting smoking, alcohol, excessive eating. Some people make healthy plans like dieting, exercise and regular check up to boost up their fitness. Whatever may be the plan, making resolutions for health certainly help people to stay healthier than people without any plan of resolutions. Here are some tips that can help making perfect resolutions for you and keep you in track of road to good health.
Although cervical cancer is the leading cancer in women of Bangladesh, it is still a less spoken issue. The ironical thing about cervical cancer is that many women cannot access the free service to screen cervical cancer simply because of not knowing about the service. Many women detected at end stage of cervical cancer when apparently physicians have nothing to do. Unlike many cancers, we have vaccine and chap cancer test called VIA (Visual Inspection using Acetic Acid) to prevent and detect the disease at early stage. Still it remains one of the top ranked killers. There is an urgent need to promote these services throughout Bangladesh.
Bouts of low blood sugar can lead to unsafe driving among people with diabetes, new research shows.
Are you concerned about how much time your child spends watching TV or playing video games? Although some screen time can be educational, it is easy to go overboard.
With the New Year, come New Year’s resolutions. Here are three choices for all of us:
Air pollution, which tends to inflame the airways in people with asthma, might also reduce the effectiveness of the rescue inhalers they count on for quick relief of their asthma symptoms, study findings hint.
When a dipstick test suggests there's blood in the urine, the next step should be to examine a sample of the urine under a microscope to make sure the dipstick result is accurate, according to medical guidelines — but often the patient is sent directly to see a specialist, or for further testing.
THE most notorious Islamic militants are ordinarily grouped under two heads: Taliban and Al-Qaeda network. However, there is another group emerging - Salafism- that advocates restoring a Muslim empire across the Middle East and Spain. Salafis have sought inroads in Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon and Jordan.
India and Japan will upgrade their defence and strategic ties through a Defence Action Plan (DAP) that will be presented to the prime ministers of both countries when Yukio Hatoyama meets his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, on December 30, said a senior Indian Foreign Ministry official. The Japanese prime minister is visiting India from December 27-30.
Russia must develop new offensive weapons systems to counter US missile defences and prevent Americans from feeling they can "do whatever they want," Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on December 29.
Star Books Review
The occasion of a new book by Chinua Achebe, Africa's most celebrated writer and author of Things Fall Apart, the great African novel, cannot be ignored. It's been twenty years since his previously published book and more than that since his last novel. Much has happened to Achebe and Nigeria during those years, much of it not good. But even prior to those twenty years there was the civil war in Nigeria (1967-1970), after the country's Igbos succeeded and formed their own country called Biafra. It took years for the scars of those events to heal (if they ever did). Achebe and many other Igbos were left in a state of emotional collapse and, if you talk to Igbos today in southeastern Nigeria, they'll tell you that a similar situation could occur again.
In 1945, the president of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema condemned Mohammad Ali Jinnah through issuing a fatwa, calling him the great heathen, or Kafir-e-Azam. It was a pun on the honorific Quaid-e-Azam with which India's Muslims had honoured Jinnah. In the days immediately following the partition of India in 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru was landed a resounding slap by a Hindu refugee from Pakistan at a camp in Haridwar. The man, unimpressed by the prime minister's efforts to assuage the troubled emotions of the men and women in the camp, screamed, 'Give my mother back to me! Bring my sisters to me!' At the railway station in Ambala, Zakir Hussain, a future president of India, miraculously escaped death at the hands of a Hindu mob. The brother of Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, a prominent Congress politician, was stabbed to death. The daughter of Ghulam Mohammad, a future governor general of Pakistan, was abducted. Gandhi sat out the celebrations of independence, for all around him Hindus and Muslims were hacking away at one another in unimaginable fratricide. All across the Indian subcontinent, in the weeks and months before and following the vivisection of the subcontinent, Hindus and Muslims were on the rampage, looking for men to murder, women to abduct and rape and property to loot.
It is these days quite fashionable to consider oneself politically correct. Look around you. You don't have Red Indians any more, only Native Americans. Though you might consider Barack Obama as America's first black president, you must be extra careful in avoiding using the old, denigrating 'Negro' while describing him or any of his kind. It is African-Americans that you have today. On a lighter level, do you realise that there are no housewives any more today? There are only homemakers, whatever that means. It tends to remind you of a rather pernicious term, home-wreckers, one that you associate with men and women who have nothing better to do than making a mess of other people's lives by falling in love, or lust, with other people's spouses. And then there is the way you describe a child whose intelligence is obviously of a poor quality. But, no, you cannot suggest by any means that he is unintelligent. He is merely one who has an attention deficit disorder.
Madhubala, aged thirty six, died in February 1969. She had finally succumbed to the pains associated with the lifelong hole in her heart. And then there were all the other pains she went through life in the course of a career that was to etch forever her name on Indian cinema. All these decades after her death, Madhubala remains an icon. Proof of that is to be found in the excitement with which today's generation has responded to the new, all colour version of the Dilip Kumar-Madhubala starrer Mughal-e-Azam. It was the movie that raised the pair to prodigious heights of popularity. There are those who suggest that it was also a point when their real life romance was on the wane. Remember the moment when Dilip caresses Madhubala's cheek with a feather, causing visible sensual thrills in her?