The Daily Star

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Friday, May 18, 2018

News of: Saturday, 21st of August, 2010

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Cops identify some masterminds

Investigators of the August 21 grenade attack believe they will find all masterminds of the incident making a departure from the tradition of other grievous crime probes where enquiries are finished with main culprits remaining unknown.

Toxic chemicals found in fertiliser

Scientists have found high concentration of toxic chemicals like cadmium, lead and chromium in fertilisers which may affect agriculture ecosystem and thereby human health through food chain.

Kitchen market set up occupying footpath

The community police are running an illegal kitchen market on a portion of footpath on Jasim Uddin Road in Uttara, disrupting movements of passers-by and ruining the beauty of the area.

38 fall sick in Sirajganj village

At least 38 people have fallen sick allegedly from anthrax-contaminated beef at Shahzadpur upazila in Sirajganj District, said the district civil surgeon's office.

Pre-paid meters from next May

Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution company is set to introduce the first batch of pre-paid gas meters at homes in Dhanmondi from May next in a bid to check gas wastage and ensure fair payment by the consumers.

Manpower shortage cripples NHRC

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is crippling due to manpower shortage, thanks to government decision to keep it poorly staffed.

Ibrahim 'murdered'

Dhaka Medical College morgue in its autopsy report suspected that Awami League activist Ibrahim Ahmed was a victim of homicide.

3 wounded in ansar firing

At least three people, including a woman, were wounded as ansar members opened fire at a mob in the city's Swamibagh yesterday.

BNP struggles to form 11 district units

Main opposition BNP struggles to form some district units because of conflicts among local leaders, who have influence over the party's high command.

Tony Blair, Cherie in city

Former British prime minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie Blair arrived here yesterday on a three-day private visit to Bangladesh.

AL men force workers to stop dev work

Sujanagar upazila unit Awami League activists stopped development work of four projects under Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) yesterday due to a feud over "negotiation money."

Truck kills doctor, bus kills school boy

A speeding truck ran over a doctor after his motorbike hit a human haulier from behind and skidded on to the middle of the road in the city's Konapara Bus Stand under Jatrabari Police Station yesterday night.

Tale of a scapegoat

Joj Mia spent four years behind bars for an offence he did not commit. He had been falsely implicated in the August 21grenade attack case.

Moments of shock

A series of deadly grenade explosions shook downtown Dhaka just as Awami League President Sheikh Hasina was wrapping her party rally at 5:22pm on this day in 2004, in front of the party's central office on Bangabandhu Avenue.

BNP quickly held AL responsible

Within days after the deadly grenade attack on August 21 that killed 24 AL leaders and workers and injured scores more, BNP straightaway blamed Awami League (AL) leaders for the “heinous crime” and demanded their punishment.

BNP criticises cancellation of Koko's parole

BNP's Senior Joint Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has slammed the government decision of cancelling the parole of Arafat Rahman Koko terming it an act of "political vengeance".

DU goes for online admission

Dhaka University will introduce online application for student admissions to the first year honours courses for the 2010-11 session.

48 Bangladeshis deported from Spain

Forty-eight Bangladeshis who were recently detained in Spain for illegal stay there returned home yesterday under a deportation process, immigration officials said.

Schoolboy run over by bus

A bus yesterday ran over a schoolboy from behind on Lalmonirhat-Burimari highway at Kaliganj upazila. The boy died on the spot.

Cop Manjurul an inspiration for others

Police constable Manjurul Islam was responsible throughout his professional life, even on the day he was killed while on duty at a checkpost at Motijheel yesterday.

Dhaka-Sylhet rail link snapped for 14 hours

The train communication between Sylhet and the rest of the country was restored after 14 hours yesterday morning.

Rashidul's body found in river

Police yesterday recovered the body of Rashidul Islam from the river Dharla near Kolakhawa Ghat in Sadar upazila of Lalmonirhat.

14 killed in Karachi violence

At least 14 people have died in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi overnight following the target-killing of an Awami National Party (ANP) leader outside a cargo terminal.


Contempt of court and free press

When a six-member appellate bench of the highest court headed by the chief justice delivers a verdict in a contempt of court case it is a serious matter. More so, when conviction has been handed to individuals involved with a newspaper, one being the editor.

BSTI reform issue

One of the major non-tariff barriers facing Bangladesh's export to India centres on BSTI's product testing and certification which the latter has questions about. Actually, US$ 1 billion credit offered by India to Bangladesh does contain a provision for upgrading the BSTI facility. The central focus of the Indian loan being on infrastructure building and connectivity, the issue of modernising product testing and standardisation procedures calls for a specific, focused approach. Basically, for the good of our own consumer market and to meet international standards we have to do whatever we must in order to strengthen and re-equip the fragile Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI).


Lofty goal for Sky Blues

Three-time Bangladesh League champions Abahani began their preparation yesterday with their focus firmly on securing a fourth consecutive Bangladesh league title.

Pakistan have the edge

Alastair Cook ended the first real slump of his international career with an innings of 110 as England fought back in the third Test against Pakistan at The Oval here on Friday.

Players up for Germany tour

National hockey players are optimistic about their Germany tour as a part of their preparation for the upcoming Asian Games as the players of the preliminary squad reported to assistant coach Barkatullah Chapal at the Bangladesh Hockey Federation yesterday.

Ali urges for victory

Azhar Ali may have been left stranded on 92 not out but he was delighted to have put Pakistan in a position where they could contemplate victory over England in the third Test here at The Oval.

Felix bags brace of diamonds

American sprint star Allyson Felix cruised to victory in the 400m at the penultimate meet in the IAAF's Diamond League in Zurich on Thursday to ensure she bagged a brace of trophies.

Top guns all thru'

World number one Rafael Nadal saved a match point and rallied to defeat France's Julien Benneteau 5-7, 7-6 (8/6), 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the three million-dollar ATP Cincinnati Masters.

Semenya back in Berlin

A year after her controversial victory, world 800m champion Caster Semenya will be back at Berlin's Olympic Stadium on Sunday as she rebuilds her career after her sex test ordeal.

Kim in Montreal qrts

Reigning US Open champion Kim Clijsters cruised into the quarterfinals of the two million-dollar WTA Montreal Cup on Thursday by defeating Estonia's Kaia Kanepi 6-2, 6-1.

Lochte adds more gold

Ryan Lochte piled up more gold at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships Thursday, winning the 400m individual medley in dominant style and anchoring the victorious US 4x100m freestyle relay.

Murali eager to play WC

Legendary Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralidaran has expressed his desire of playing in the 2011 World Cup to help his country repeat the success of 1996.

Division I football

Sonali Otit drew with Nabajagaran Sangsad 1-1 in the Hafizul Islam Khan Uttu Smriti First Division Football League at the Shaheed Miraz-Tapan Stadium in Manikganj yesterday.

SL-NZ match abandoned

Heavy rain forced the abandonment of the fourth ODI of the tri-series between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in Dambulla yesterday. It was the reserve day after rain had washed out matchday on the previous day. The two teams had to share the points after two days of rain-marred cricket.

Manik set for MSC coach role

Shafiqul Islam Manik is all set to return to his old outfit when the football committee of Mohammedan Sporting Club proposed him as coach for the upcoming season.

Airtel to sponsor India's home matches

Telecom giant Bharti Airtel was on Friday named as the sponsor for all international cricket played in India after offering to pay 700,000 dollars per match, India's cricket board said.

Blues in the mood

The top of the Premier League has an unusual look as champions Chelsea and relegation favourites Blackpool hog the spotlight following emphatic opening weekend wins.

Balotelli's flying start

Mario Balotelli got his Manchester City career off to a flying start when he scored the only goal in their 1-0 win over Timisoara in Romania in the first leg of their Europa League play-off.

Remorseful Cole

Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole apologised to his team-mates as his indifferent start to life at Anfield left the club's Europa League hopes hanging in the balance.

Favourites struggling

August is hardly a time for any one club to win the French championship but it may just be possible for one or more of the favourites to lose it.

Gallas set for Spurs

Harry Redknapp confirmed on Friday that former Arsenal captain William Gallas is due to join the Gunners' north London rivals Tottenham.

Lahm has no stress with Ballack

Defender Philipp Lahm insisted on Friday he has no problem with rival Michael Ballack as the pair wait to see who will be made captain of Germany for next month's opening Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Carlo slams French Federation

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has slammed the French Football Federation for banning Nicolas Anelka for 18 matches.

Aquilani on way to Italy

Roy Hodgson is ready to end Alberto Aquilani's nightmare spell at Liverpool by loaning the Italy midfielder to a Serie A club.

Juventus tie up Krasic deal

CSKA Moscow announced on Friday that Milos Krasic was joining Juventus after the two clubs reached agreement on a 15 million euro price tag for the Serbia forward.

'We must mend batting'

Opening batsman Simon Katich said Friday Australia still has weaknesses in its batting three months ahead of the Ashes Test opener with England.

Rice out of C'wealth Games

Australia's triple Olympic gold medallist Stephanie Rice will have shoulder surgery and miss the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October, the emotional swimmer said Thursday.

Daley cleared for Youth Games

Britain's world champion diver Tom Daley was cleared to compete in the inaugural Youth Olympics on Friday after recovering from a tricep injury.

Bollinger feeling no pressure

Paceman Doug Bollinger says skipper Ricky Ponting's claim that Australia could sweep this year's Ashes series 5-0 has not heaped extra pressure on the team to beat England, reports said Friday.

Paul backing English bid

Paul the octopus, the oracle of the World Cup in South Africa, has become an official ambassador for England's bid to host the tournament in 2018, organisers said Friday.


Production target set at 14 million tonnes

Despite having insufficient rain, the department of agriculture extension (DAE) eye an increased production of aman paddy in the current season with the target set at 14 million tonnes - an increase of over one million tonnes from the previous season.

Call for establishing a non-communal country

Speakers at a discussion yesterday called for establishing a country free from communalism in accordance with the spirit of the Liberation War, 1971.

50pc rural people seek home remedies for illness

Half of the rural people, consisting over 70 percent of the country's population, do not seek treatment for illnesses because of poverty, ignorance, distant barriers and cultural shyness, reveals a study of ICDDR, B.

Govt to hold trial of all political killings

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday said a comprehensive investigation into the 21 August grenade attack is going on to bring its godfathers to book.

Most countries support trial of war crimes

Most countries responded positively to upcoming war crimes trial, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told a discussion meeting yesterday.

New left-leaning political party CLB floated

A new left-leaning political party Communist League of Bangladesh (CLB) was launched here yesterday abolishing another leftist party Jatiya Gano Front.

Retired army men receive govt funds for their welfare

The government provide special facility to army by allocating huge funds and property for welfare of its retired officials whereas retired government officers receive almost nothing, said a BBC radio documentary yesterday.

Safety for passengers on Eid demanded

Speakers at a press conference yesterday placed a five-point demand for ensuring safety of home-bound people ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.

'Another black chapter'

President Zillur Rahman yesterday said the barbaric grenade attack on an Awami League rally on August 21, 2004 in the city will remain as another "black chapter" in the political history of Bangladesh.

Delhi to implement soon joint statement decisions

With a view to operationalising the decisions incorporated in the joint statement issued after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi, India took up at the highest level the issue of expeditious implementation of the decisions.

GD filed for planning to kill PM, 7 others

A freedom fighter yesterday filed a general diary (GD) with Dhunat Police Station of the district against 21 leaders of BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami with an allegation of making a plan to kill Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and seven others by planting a remote controlled bomb at a rally.

DU to hold special convocation for students of 60s-90s

A special convocation is on the cards to bring together all the Dhaka University (DU) graduates who passed during the three decades - 1960's to early 90s - when the graduates got almost no convocation.

JMB man arrested

A close associate of executed JMB kingpin Bangla Bhai was arrested in a drive in Mymensingh early yesterday.

Fake musk seized in Jessore

A Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) patrol team seized six pieces of fake musk from a bus in Sharsha under Jessore on August 10, says a press release of Directorate of Conservator of Forests.

Bir Shrestha Matiur's anniversary of death observed

Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) yesterday observed the 39th death anniversary of martyred Flight Lieutenant Bir Shrestha Matiur Rahman with due solemnity.

Worker dies falling from high wall

A construction worker was killed and another injured in a wall collapse at Langongaon village in Sadar upazila of Panchagarh on Thursday night.

Man found dead in Naogaon

Police recovered the body of a dead man from a ditch at Ramraipur village under Mohadebpur upazila in Naogaon yesterday noon.

DMCH staff killed in road accident

An employee of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) was run over by a speeding bus while crossing the road at Bangla Motor in the city yesterday.

'Abductor' lynched in Ctg

Mob beat an unidentified criminal dead and injured his two accomplices while the gang was trying to abduct a college girl at Boalkhali upazila in Chittagong on Thursday evening.

Powder seized at Airport identified as 'drug ephedrine'

The 82 kilograms of powder seized by customs intelligence at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Thursday night was preliminarily identified as stimulating drug ephedrine.


Australians go to the polls

From the dusty Outback to beachside booths and frozen Antarctic polling stations, millions of Australians will vote today in an election costing some 90 million US dollars and employing 70,000 staff.

70 years on from WWII, Britain remembers 'the few'

In the words of Winston Churchill, it was Britain's "finest hour," a turning point in world history though it didn't always feel that way at the time.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq claims army recruit bombing

An al-Qaida in Iraq front group yesterday claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing this week that killed 61 Iraqi army recruits in the deadliest single act of violence in Baghdad in months.

US discusses Iran sanctions with Turkey

US officials have held talks with Turkey over US sanctions on Iran, US and Turkish officials said, a possible sign that Washington may be growing impatient with Ankara's trade with Iran despite sanctions.

Israeli and Palestinian heads await direct talks invitation

Israeli and Palestinian officials are awaiting statements from Washington and the Middle East Quartet inviting them to direct talks, the BBC has learned.

Floods expose civilian-military divide in Pakistan

Massive flooding in Pakistan appears to be draining support for the already-weak civilian government while boosting the powerful military, a blow to US and domestic hopes for a strong Pakistani democracy capable of undercutting the allure of al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

US official denies 'threat' over loan and Bhopal leak

A senior US official has denied making any link between India's request for a loan from the World Bank and continuing anger over the Bhopal gas leak issue.

Nato troops, Afghans killed in attacks

Three Nato soldiers, at least a dozen Afghan security guards and several civilians were killed in a wave of violence across Afghanistan, authorities said yesterday.

'Bold' plan for Mekong area rail link approved

A "bold" plan for a railway system connecting more than 300 million people who live around one of the world's great rivers, the Mekong, was approved yesterday, officials said.

Pakistan accepts Indian aid for flood relief

Islamabad has accepted $5 million in aid from India for flood victims, a rare expression of goodwill between the feuding neighbours at a time when Pakistan is reeling from one of its worst ever natural disasters.

India cabinet approves nuclear liability bill

India's cabinet has approved a controversial draft law aimed at opening up its civilian nuclear power industry to private investment.

Thai grants extradition of 'Merchant of Death'

A Thai court yesterday ordered the extradition of an alleged Russian arms dealer dubbed the "Merchant of Death" to the United States on terrorism charges, prompting an angry response from Moscow.

Hendrix's London flat to open to public

Jimi Hendrix's central London home will open to the public next month to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his death.

58 whales die in N Zealand beach stranding

New Zealand whale rescue volunteers were racing against time yesterday to save 15 pilot whales stranded on an isolated northern beach -- after rescuers reported 58 of the pod had already died.

Cyprus will not allow Gaza-bound aid ship

Cyprus will not allow a ship carrying women activists and aid for the blockaded Palestinian territory of Gaza to sail from its ports, the island's police said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Bangladeshi short film “720 Degrees” going to Venice Film Festival

Bangladesh is going to be represented at this year's 67th Venice International Film Festival by Ishtiaque Zico's short film “720 Degrees”. It should be considered an achievement for Bangladeshi films, considering this is one of the most prestigious international film festivals.

A full plate

Actor Anisur Rahman Milon is fully immersed in single-episode plays, telefilms, serials and movies, with as many as 20 to 22 plays to be aired this Eid.

“I have had a very long history with cops”

Salman Khan puts on a cop act once again in his forthcoming film “Dabangg”. But unlike his previous outings in “Garv” and “Wanted”, this one is very corrupt, and looks very interesting.

Drama serial “Anubhumi” on Desh TV tonight

Humayun Faridee directs the serial “Anubhumi,” written by Ejaz Munna. The serial will be aired on Desh TV tonight at 8:15 pm.

Ratan Kumar: All for the love of musical instruments

Sincerity and hard work led to Ratan Kumar's success. He attained the attention of music enthusiasts and musicians in Jhenidah, Dhaka, and Chittagong districts as well as other parts of Bangladesh. Many reputed music institutions now purchase musical instruments from his shop, Ratan Kumar Kha Sur-Kanika Melody.

DVD on Al Deen, Mamun and Bulbul launched

G-Series has recently launched a DVD featuring three renowned cultural personalities -- Selim Al Deen, Abdullah Al Mamun and Bulbul Ahmed, according to a press release.

Boat race in Manikganj

Kalta Bazar Committee arranged a traditional boat race on the river Ichhamoti in Manikganj district on Wednesday afternoon. Ten different kinds of boats took part in the race.


Eradicating militancy

On 17th August last Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina had impressed upon the paramountcy of eradicating militancy from our body-politic for good. The same day the Director General of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the prime unit engaged in fighting militancy, informs us that the so-called religious extremists in Bangladesh are not a spent force and that we must exercise constant vigil so that the enemy does not catch us unaware as on previous occasions.

Angry radical youth

Put your ears on the ground and listen carefully. You may hear a new sound across the Kashmir valley. This is a different voice from the usual Hurriyat call for an immediate solution or from the rhetoric by People's Democratic Party of Mehbooba Mufti.

A choking hell?

The overall situation in Bangladesh is highly alarming. Poverty, over-population, over exploitation of scanty natural resources, noxious emissions and toxic effluents from factories and smoke-belching vehicles, coupled with natural disasters, are the major causes of environmental degradation in the country.

Vanishing centenarians

IT sounds almost like a thriller, but with a sad tone. A man thought for quite long to be the oldest living male soul in Japanese capital had suddenly disappeared. The man, 111 years old Sogen Kato, was living in Tokyo's Adachi ward with his relatives and had been drawing pension and other benefits on a regular basis. Moreover, when his wife died in 2004, family pension benefits totaling to more than $100,000 were paid to him. In all Japanese official documents Kato was alive and Tokyo Metropolitan Government had recently listed him as the oldest male resident of the capital.

Let's survive a mugging

Latest scenario: A mugger was shot dead by an MP's gunman when he encountered the latter while fleeing after mugging a housewife in Gulshan area of the capital.

Why Asian hits never go global

Most people know karaoke is painful. But did you know it can be fatal? Today, boys and girls, we will look at the topic of music in Asia.


Football and other games in Shakespeare

The game of football was a nasty sport in England during Shakespeare's era. It is more appropriate to say football was considered a lower-class diversion in Shakespeare's time. By the early 17th century the kings of England were still trying to rid the land of football. James I outlawed the game from his royal court because it was, 'meeter for lameing than making able the user thereof', i.e., the game ended with too many injuries.

Retired bliss

Here I was munching away at my plate of French fries and contemplating the juicy looking hot dog in front of me while enjoying reading William Dalrymple's collection of real life stories Nine Lives at the Chittagong Club bakery when in walks my good friend Capt. Inamur Rahim in Friday pyjama/panjabi. His face lights up when he sees me as does mine and we embrace in a bear hug. Capt. Inam is a ship's captain, a Master Mariner who was once a senior bureaucrat with the government. Our acquaintance goes back two and a half decades. He is retired and I know he is financially well off, living in his own nice apartment on the same high rise building where we have also bought commercial space to house our offices, modified to accommodate two bedrooms where we stay while in Chittagong. We both have married daughters and his son has just graduated from a private university in Dhaka; my son graduated in 2007 from University of California, Irvine, and works for Western Digital on an H1B visa that he won in a lottery. Our son married in December 2009 and Capt. Inam is looking for a suitable bride for his son.

Catching rain

Remember I had said I would get back to you? Well, today I would like to start by saying for some days it is okay to let events choreograph their own course and fall in place where they may.

Star Health

Preparation of diabetics for Ramadan fasting

Fasting during Ramadan is a great worship. But it may be challenging for some people living with chronic medical conditions like diabetes. Although Islam accepts valid reason for not fasting, some people focus on fasting without prior preparation and consultation with doctors making the condition more challenging. However, with appropriate preparation and changing schedule for medication, many diabetics can perform fasting without any complication.

Who needs early screening for colorectal cancer

The general rule is that most people do not need to be screened for colorectal cancer until the age of 50. But for some who meet certain criteria, earlier screening is recommended.

Prevent teeth from dental carries

Dental caries is the destruction of teeth by bacteria. It causes decay and cavities, and affect all ages especially children and young adults.

Soothing itchy skin

Itchy skin can be a major annoyance, whether it stems from an allergy, an irritant or plain old dry skin. Here are the expert's suggestions for managing itchy skin:

Prevent Anthrax

Anthrax, a potential biological weapon has comeback again. Medical authorities of Government of Bangladesh yesterday confirmed clinically the presence of the disease in 38 persons at Shahjadpur upazila of Sirajganj district. However, laboratory confirmation of the sample is expected to be ensured by this week, informed the Director, Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Prof Mahmudur Rahman. He advised people not to be panicked, to report immediately and take immediate treatment if such condition arises further.

Strategic Issues

Israel's nuclear ambiguity: Time to come out of the closet

IN recent Washington nuclear security conference, held on April of this year, US President Barack Obama stated that every county in the world should sign the international Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), including Israel. Though Israel has signed the treaty, but its signature has yet to be ratified. Not only this recent remark of Obama, but also experts from both outside and inside Israel stressed that this is the high time for Israel to put an end to its policy of ambiguity and unveil its nuclear activities.

President Obama backs mosque near Ground Zero

AT an event in the White House marking the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, President Obama defended the right of the Muslims to build a 13 storey cultural center and a mosque to be named Cordoba House at a stone's throw from Ground Zero. Ever since the news of this project became known, various groups and politicians have vehemently opposed the project. Sarah Palin called the project a stab in the heart of the families of the victims of 9/11. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich called the project “an assertion of Islamist triumphalism”. One protester's billboard read: “Islam builds mosque at site of their conquests.”

Elections in Myanmar

Myanmar's military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), recently announced that elections will be held in Myanmar on November 7, 2010. As expected, the announcement has invited speculations (often marred by scepticism) about the motives of the junta. There have also been questions raised about the way elections are going to be held; for instance how democratic, non-partisan and fair or otherwise they will be? The stand taken by countries on this issue is also quite on expected lines. For one, the US State Department and European Union member countries and the United Kingdom have questioned the 'inclusiveness and credibility' of the elections and its entire process, while ASEAN member countries are more or less positive and appreciative of the junta on the issue.

Star Books Review

Rediscovering nature's resplendence

Everyone should go back to nature every once in a while. For Sourav Mahmud, though, nature is part of the everyday pattern of life. Which is why he moves from one spot in the country to another, to rediscover all those dimensions of nature that have consistently enriched Bangladesh's environment. Mahmud is young. The brutal frankness these days is that you do not expect much of the enterprising from the young, for reasons that have to do with urbanisation, indeed that have to do with the relative ease that has come into the conduct of life through means of technology.

A tortuous struggle in defence of dignity

ONE hears the story of an enchanting land comprising people who are a world unto themselves in terms of ways of living their lives, their demeanour, emotional outbursts, moral standards set by themselves, however wide the deviations might be from the edicts of religion entailing double standards and many others. A reader keeps on peeling off layer after layer of darkness only to discover a nadir of darkness sown in their character as reflected particularly in their private lives unknown to the world outside. One common factor that binds all such people in all such families is that they are all 'obscenely rich'; their men are free to do as they like while women as lesser beings are ruled by them and are the arbiters of their fate. There is dissatisfaction, resentment, fear and sorrow among the womenfolk but all in a hush-hush way. Then the reader is startled coming face to face with a rebel, a belligerent young woman who is determined to fight tooth and nail for her freedom as a human being, knowing full well the price she will have to pay for it. In other words, Amira, the protagonist, later known as Jenna Sorrel in America, risks her life along with her baby son to win freedom.

Understanding the American ethos

"Impatience with theories, ideas --- the entire practice and process of abstract thought --- is perhaps the most common manifestation of anti-intellectualism throughout American popular culture and average Americans' day-to-day lives. Therefore, it should be no surprise when that attitude is found even in magazine coverage of higher education --- the one institution in which Americans have expected (not to say preferred) and perhaps even tolerated this core requirement of intellectual activity.” Although these lines are to be found towards the end of an absorbing book, in a chapter (6) pertinently titled “Unreflective Instrumentalism, Hedonism, Sexism, and Age Discrimination”, they encapsulate the general drift of Anti-Intellectualism in American Media: Magazines & Higher Education. And the author, while ending the previous chapter (5), entitled “Populist Anti-Elitism and Higher Education”, bemoans such a state of affairs thus: “However, the needs and opportunities in the United States in the areas of arts, sciences, government, journalism, retail politics, and the overall American culture and American society --- even the complexity of day-to-day life for the average citizen --- suggest that more citizens, not fewer, should be learning, and not only a finite amount for a degree, but learning more and more over a longer period of time. Unfortunately, American anti-intellectualism makes the idea of even necessary, let alone optional, lifelong learning a tough sell.”

Of reputations proper and misplaced

Swedish linguist Sven Ohman (1936-2008) knew differently, and it would be even harder to imagine why he believed that Noam Chomsky (b. 1928--) has never been a linguist. It is something hard to believe for anyone who is familiar with the name of Chomsky and the reputation it carries. Formerly an Uppsala University professor of linguistics, Sven Ohman in his book, The Essence of Language: A Philosophical Problem, has successfully established his observations and findings denying Chomsky's position as a linguist.

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