The Daily Star

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Saturday, September 20, 2014


News of: Saturday, 18th of February, 2012

Front Page

Relief schemes turn into farce

Some 67 tonnes of rice and wheat meant for a test relief programme at Sadullapur upazila in Gaibandha have been utilised only on paper, without any work being done, according to an enquiry report.

BNP activists ready to stay on

BNP leaders and workers will be ready to take position on the streets if met with obstructions in their march towards Dhaka for the March 12 grand rally, say party insiders.

21 Bangladeshis on death row abroad

At least 21 Bangladeshis are facing death sentence and 31 undergoing trial for murder in six Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian countries -- Bangladesh's major labour markets.

Padma bridge work to start in 11 months

Communications Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said the construction works on Padma bridge will commence in 11 months.

Bangladesh runs not on Blake's advice

Bangladesh is not run on instructions of Robert O Blake, the US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs, Railway Minister Suranjit Sengupta said yesterday.

Law minister warns against obstruction

Those who would hinder the ongoing trial of war crimes would be brought to book under the law of the land, said Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday.

Nat'l flag lowered in tribute

On February 22, 1952, even as Chief Minister Nurul Amin rejected any discussion of the previous day's incidents in the legislative assembly, he tabled a resolution in the House to the effect that Bangla be adopted as the state language of Pakistan. He noted that the case for Bangla was supported by the government of Pakistan. Additionally, he made it clear that on February 21, the students had committed an offence by violating Section 144, an act that had led to the shootings.

Telcos puzzled by regulator's new letter

Four mobile telephone operators are confused over a letter from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission that asked them to pay a due amount and late fees for licence renewal.

Dhaka joins 6-nation move

Faulting the world for not doing enough to curb climate change, the United States on Thursday announced the formation of a six-nation coalition including Bangladesh to cut short-lived pollutants that speed up warming and harm health.

UN calls for end to Syria violence

Syrian troops were shelling intensively parts of the city of Homs yesterday, a day after the UN General Assembly called for an end to violence.

Martyr Barkat museum still waiting for opening

A museum set up on the Dhaka University campus three years ago to honour 1952 Language Movement martyr Abul Barkat could not be opened for public until date due to negligence of the DU authorities.

Cops get no clue from fingerprints

The CID could not find a lead from the fingerprints and footprints collected from the crime scene as the impressions provided to them were not clear, said DB sources yesterday.

German president resigns

Germany's president resigned yesterday after a string of scandals, handing Chancellor Angela Merkel a political headache at home as she battles to lead Europe from its debt crisis.

Singapore to further curb foreign worker inflow

Singapore will further restrict the inflow of foreign workers as the nation's infrastructure comes under strain and its national identity risks being eroded, the government said yesterday.

Editorial

Al Jazeera report speculative

We in The Daily Star are fully committed to freedom of the press and all sorts of opinion. We also fully accept any news organisation's freedom to report as they see professionally fit. Yet we can't but express our consternation over the Al Jazeera television channel broadcasting a report saying that the ongoing war crimes trial in Bangladesh will push the country into political instability. Focused on the trial of Jamaat chief Golam Azam, the report speculated 'dramatic consequences of whatever decision the court comes to'.

Parks for children

Dhaka city, once boastful of its many parks or breathing and recreational sites is fast running out of space for them. Apart from a handful of child recreational facility in some selected residential areas, city-dwellers in general are devoid of any open space to use for walking or other leisurely purposes. This is the denial of a standard civic amenity that most of the cities in the world have.

Sports

Mohammedan, Abahani fight to a lively draw

There-time champions Abahani were held to a 1-1 draw by archrivals Mohammedan SC in their Bangladesh Premier League encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. The Sky Blues opened the scoring a minute before the break, thanks to a Lucky Paul slap-in before Basden Wilcox headed in the equaliser on the hour mark to snatch a valuable point for the Black and Whites. The draw put Abahani in second place on the points table with seven points from three matches, two behind pace-setters Muktijoddha Sangsad while Mohammedan have four points from two matches.

Locals must stand up

After a week of action, the Bangladesh Premier League took a break as the six franchises travelled to Chittagong where the matches resume today.

Gayle out for two weeks

Chris Gayle will leave the capital by tomorrow depending on availability of flight after his MRI revealed that he will be out from cricket for two weeks.

FIFA positive on academy

FIFA will provide Bangladesh Football Federation with technical, financial, logistic and player selection related help, said BFF president Kazi Salahuddin yesterday. The BFF boss, along with the high-ups of the federation, held a meeting with a three-member FIFA delegation team which is currently in Dhaka to weigh up the initiative of BFF's proposed football academy in Sylhet and also fixing the agenda of the upcoming visit of FIFA president Sepp Blatter in March.

Westfield jailed over spot-fixing

An English cricketer who claimed to have been lured into a spot-fixing scandal by Pakistan international Danish Kaneria was on Friday jailed for four months.

Shahid Smriti hockey on

Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Army won the opening day's matches of the Exim Bank Noorjahan Group Shahid Smriti Hockey Competition at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

SL drown Aus in the rain

Sri Lanka posted their biggest-ever one-day international win over Australia in Sydney on Friday with a crushing eight-wicket tri-series ODI victory with 101 balls to spare.

Red-hot Guptill burns SA

New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill continued a dream run of form as the Black Caps posted a six-wicket win over South Africa in the opening Twenty20 international in Wellington on Friday.

'Cook is an inspiration'

Senior batsman Kevin Pietersen on Friday praised one-day captain Alastair Cook for the successive one-day hundreds that gave England an unassailable 2-0 lead against Pakistan in their four-match series.

Azarenka moves on

World number one Victoria Azarenka swept into the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open with a swift demolition of Romanian Simona Halep on Thursday as Lucie Safarova claimed another top scalp.

Cloud over Haddin status

Players and newspapers Friday sought answers from selectors over the status of Test wicketkeeper Brad Haddin in Australia's team for the tri one-day series against India and Sri Lanka.

Sahara back as sponsor

India's cricket chiefs thrashed out a compromise with the Sahara group on Thursday, paving the way for their long-time sponsor to remain on board.

Clarke out of ODIs

Injured skipper Michael Clarke will miss Australia's weekend tri-series one-day international against India, allowing George Bailey to join the squad, Cricket Australia said on Friday.

Winning debut

Manchester United made a winning start to their Europa League debut on Thursday after goals from Ashley Young and Javier Hernandez handed them a 2-0 first leg victory over Ajax at the Amsterdam Arena.

Drogba fears disaster

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba believes it would be a "disaster" if the club fails to qualify for next season's Champions League but insists he backs under-fire manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Barca seek lifeline

Barcelona hope that their midweek Champions League win at Bayer Leverkusen will provide the perfect platform in their desperate attempt to slash Real Madrid'd 10-point La Liga advantage.

City overcome defending champs

Manchester City came from behind to beat defending champions Porto 2-1 at Estadio do Dragao on Thursday and take a sizeable step towards the Europa League last 16.

Mario, Yaya racially abused

Manchester City claimed on Friday that Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure were racially abused during the Europa League clash against Porto, media reports said.

Valencia out for a month

Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia faces a month on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury in Thursday's 2-0 Europa League win against Ajax Amsterdam.

Anzhi appoint Hiddink

Dutch coach Guus Hiddink Friday signed an 18-month contract to manage ambitious Russian top flight side Anzhi Makhachkala, the latest big international name to join the side.

Bebeto joins WC panel

Former Brazilian star Bebeto has been selected as a member of Brazil's World Cup national organizing committee, fellow football icon Ronaldo announced Thursday.

Metropolitan

A for Antenna, B for Bolt...

I am in Mirpur visiting the Underprivileged Children's Education programme (UCEP) Technical School. Accompanied by programme managers Anis and Ayub, I trawl through classrooms, photographing the children.

Hookah, boat, sheaf of paddy do not mean success of Language Movement

The Language Movement cannot be termed a success as long as the country's ballot paper has hookah, boat and paddy sheaf, said former chief adviser to a caretaker government Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman yesterday.

Boi Mela: Opportunity to save a life

It was a short, sharp prick, relatively pain free. A short conversation followed and the procedure was over.

PM wants next generations best in sports, knowledge

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed her strong resolve to build the future generations in the country best in knowledge, science, and sports.

'Use of jute low despite law'

Although a 2010 law makes mandatory the use of jute in packaging food and agricultural products, only five percent of total production of jute is being used for this purpose, speakers said at a press conference yesterday.

Further probe to identify Kibria killers: Shafique

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday expressed his hope that the killers of former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria and their patrons would be identified through further investigation and be brought to justice.

Reschedule of HSC exams demanded

HSC candidates of different colleges in the port city yesterday demanded rescheduling of the routine of HSC examinations scheduled to be started from April 1.

Paschimbanga expert body delays report on Teesta

An expert committee of the Paschimbanga government is set to delay its report on the Teesta water-sharing issue between India and Bangladesh.

JS resolution for political gains

BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed yesterday said the government, on Thursday, passed the parliamentary resolution to take legal action against those obstructing the war crimes trial for its own political gains.

200 tourists fall into Naf as wooden gangway collapses

At least 200 tourists fell into the river Naf and 50 of them received injuries when a wooden gangway collapsed at Damdamia ghat (terminal) in Teknaf upazila of Cox's Bazar yesterday.

Five-yr campaign launched to save Sundarbans

The Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh (WTB) yesterday launched a five-year long mass awareness campaign through different programs from Khulna University campus on how to protect the Sundarbans.

978 bullets recoverd in B'baria

Police recovered 978 bullets of three-not-three rifle and light machine gun from four sealed steel boxes found in the Ghughu River of Brahmanbaria district on Thursday night.

Opportunity to boost trade

The World Marketing Summit (WMS), scheduled to be hosted by Dhaka from March 1 to 3, could provide an opportunity for Indian and Bangladeshi entrepreneurs to enhance cross-border investment and bilateral trade.

Four killed in road crashes

Four people were killed and three others injured in separate road accidents in Satkhira, Narail, Natore and Panchagarh early Thursday and yesterday.

Zoha Day today

“Zoha Day” will be observed by the Rajshahi University authorities today commemorating Prof Dr Shamsuzzoha's 43rd anniversary of martyrdom.

Wife sues ASP for concealing religious identity in marriage

An assistant superintendent of police was sued on Thursday for concealing his religious identity while marrying a Muslim woman.

Suspend five policemen

Seven eminent citizens of the country yesterday demanded suspension of five policemen for their involvement in torturing Rakib Hossain, a grandchild of the country's first premier Tajuddin Ahmed.

RMCH interns go on strike for security

Intern doctors of Rangpur Medical College Hospital (RMCH) went on work abstention yesterday morning demanding their safety and security.

Four burnt in blast

Four youths were burnt critically in a blast at a building in the city's Moghbazar area early yesterday.

3 held for killing

Detective police on Thursday arrested three youths from Tangail in connection with the killing of an NGO director on December 15 last year.

CU teacher Prof Khatibee passes away

Dr Muhammad Anwarul Huq Khatibee, Prof of Islamic Studies Department of Chittagong University (CU), passed away at a private hospital in the port city yesterday, due to a cardiac arrest at the age of 60.

Aliul's death anniversary today

Today is the first death anniversary of Aliul Islam, former chief selector of Bangladesh Cricket Board, and former captain of Abahani cricket team, says a press release.

75th birth anniversary of Prof Anisuzzaman today

Today is the 75th birth anniversary of Professor Emeritus of Dhaka University Dr Anisuzzaman, says a press release.

USTC medicine faculty reunion begins

The first reunion of medicine faculty of University of Science and Technology, Chittagong (USTC) began in the port city yesterday.

BCL men beat JCD activist at JU

Sohel Rana, joint secretary of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) Jahangirnagar University (JU) unit, was beaten up on the campus by a group of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists yesterday.

One held in domestic help murder

Police yesterday arrested a person in connection with the killing of a teenage domestic help in the city's Sabujbagh area on Wednesday.

Woman killed in Ctg

Throat of a woman was slit in Rasulbag Residential Area under Bakalia Police Station in the port city yesterday.

Boy killed in city road crash

A 14-year-old boy was killed in a road accident last night while he was crossing a road near Shantinagar intersection in the city.

AKM Jahirul Islam

Today is the first death anniversary of AKM Jahirul Islam, former principal of Abudharr Ghifari College and former president of Bangladesh College Shikkhak Samity, says a press release.

Prof Habibur Rahman

Today is the first death anniversary of Prof Habibur Rahman of Dhaka University, says a press release.

International

Foreign meddling causing regional unrest: Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday lashed out against foreign interference in the region at a summit in Pakistan designed to help chart a political solution in Afghanistan.

NY Times MidEast reporter dies in Syria

New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose richly crafted dispatches captured more than a decade of Middle East turmoil, has died in Syria of an asthma attack.

No Israeli decision yet on Iran attack

Israel has not yet decided to carry out a pre-emptive military strike against Iran's nuclear program and Tehran appears reluctant to provoke a conflict, the head of the US Defence Intelligence Agency told lawmakers Thursday.

Nasheed welcomes early polls in Maldives

Ousted Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed welcomed yesterday an Indian-brokered deal to enable early elections on the troubled islands as hundreds of supporters massed ahead of a rally in the capital.

Suicide blast kills 26 in Pakistan

A suicide bomb attack on a market in a Shia Muslim area of north-west Pakistan killed 26 people and injured at least 50 others, officials said yesterday.

Indian president's son faces probe

The politician son of the Indian president has been asked to explain the origins of 10 million rupees ($203,000) found in a party worker's car in his constituency, an official said yesterday.

Sun journos mulling legal action as Murdoch flies in

Journalists from Rupert Murdoch's The Sun have contacted a trade union to discuss suing the British tabloid's owners, the union said, after the arrest of five staff members in a police bribery probe.

UN chief makes new call for execution of nuke treaty

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made a new call yesterday for the last countries that have not yet ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to let it enter into force.

US to withdraw 11,000 troops from Europe

The United States vowed Thursday to retain close military ties to its European allies after unveiling plans to withdraw more than 11,000 troops from Germany and Italy as part of a strategic shift to Asia.

Evidence against Gilani submitted to court

Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq submitted to the Supreme Court on Thursday evidence relating to the contempt of court case against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Thai police seek two more suspects

Police in Thailand yesterday said they were seeking two more suspects in connection with a bomb plot believed to have been targeting Israeli diplomats.

EU lifts travel ban on 87 top Myanmar officials

The European Union lifted a travel ban on 87 Myanmar officials yesterday, including the president, in an effort to encourage more political reforms but kept an assets freeze against them.

Dutch prince injured in avalanche

A son of Dutch Queen Beatrix, Prince Johan Friso, was injured in an avalanche while skiing in the western Austrian resort of Lech yesterday, the royal family said.

Tablet computers the new babysitter

Move over TV. Tablet computers are the new electronic babysitter.

Western pupils lag Asians by 3 years: Study

Western schoolchildren are up to three years behind those in China's Shanghai and success in Asian education is not just the product of pushy "tiger" parents, an Australian report released yesterday said.

Nigerian bomber given life term

Unrepentant to the last, the Nigerian "underwear bomber" who tried to blow up a packed airliner on Christmas Day 2009 was sentenced to life in prison by a US judge on Thursday.

UK, France sign nuke power deals

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron put recent disputes behind them yesterday to unveil a nuclear power deal and renew their own sometimes shaky political alliance.

Japan emperor hospitalised

Japan's Emperor Akihito went into hospital yesterday, a day before he is due to have heart bypass surgery, royal officials said, as members of the public signed books at the Imperial Palace to wish him well.

Arts & Entertainment

Our Faridee

In a magazine interview, Afzal Hossain announced that within a few days he would introduce someone on TV who would change the whole thought process of the television audience. The Dhaka cultural arena was mystified as to the identity of this person. We kept questioning Afzal but he made no comment.

Sanat Kumar Chatterjee: The Sage Artist makes it to Guinness

The year 1998 was a watershed in the in the life of Shimla-based artist and sculptor Sanat Kumar Chatterjee. His magnum opus, a water colour on a 100 foot X 11 foot silk scroll had found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's longest painting. Chatterjee vividly recalls the proud moment when he got the news. “I was at a complete loss for words. The feeling of elation was incomparable,” says Chatterjee.

First World Bengali Conference to begin in Dhaka tomorrow

For the first time World Bengali Conference is going to be held in Dhaka. The three-day conference will be inaugurated at Osmani Memorial Auditorium at 10:30 am on February 19. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be the chief guest while Nobel laureate Dr. Amartya Sen will be a special guest at the inaugural programme. A London-based organisation, Bengal International (BI), is hosting the conference.

Laltip released yesterday

Big budget Bangladeshi film “Laltip” was released yesterday. In the run up to the big day, a red carpet premiere show was held at Bashundhara City Star Cineplex on February 15, says a press release.

OP-ED

The attitude question

The Daily Star of February 14 takes editorial cognisance of the alleged master mentality of police and impresses upon the urgency of inculcating attitudinal change. The said editorial adds that the police "must understand that they are the servants of the people, not their masters, and behave accordingl." No well-meaning citizen would take issue with such reasoned observation.

Strength to judiciary's elbow

I have always considered that the success of the lawyers' movement in Pakistan in 2008 was its first war of independence. The formation of Pakistan was the result of a peaceful agreement which it signed with India under the aegis of the British government.

Journalist killings

When on the morning of February 12 newspapers ran the news of the gruesome killing of a journalist couple Sagar Sarowar and his wife Meherun Runi in their Rajabazar apartment in the city, people went numb with shock, horror and panic. Once in a while death becomes a matter of more than personal grief to the bereaved family. It comes as a cruel reminder of the social disruption in the country. In a media-driven environment, private distress is often catapulted into public arena. Most ominously, when media people are killed, then all hopes for recovery of the society from the quagmire of politics and social conflicts are lost.

Harnessing solar power

We started the Solar Home System (SHS) programme at the Infrastructure Development Company Ltd. (IDCOL) in 2003. To date, 1.3 million households and business organisations have been provided with SHS under this programme, and the number of beneficiaries is estimated to be 10 million.

Pragmatic view of relations

Chinese and European Union leaders will meet on Tuesday in Beijing to attend the postponed 14th EU-China Summit. Undoubtedly both parties have a lot to discuss, notably China's role in alleviating the eurozone crisis, global economic governance, climate change, regional peace and other bilateral issues.

This Day In History

February 18

1873
Bulgarian revolutionary leader Vasil Levski is executed by hanging in Sofia by the Ottoman authorities.

Environment

Restrictions must be totally enforced

The use of polythene bags is increasing in Dhaka and elsewhere, despite the government's ban on the environmentally hazardous item, as most people and businesses have started to use it extensively again.

Strict guidelines can help conservation

Since the inception of civilization mankind has been living within predatory relationship with the nature. The tendency to exert uncongenial influence on ecosystem has resulted in deforestation, loss of biodiversity, land degradation, coastal erosion, environmental pollution and rapid increase of GHGs. The notion, however, has recently been changed with the introduction of new concept -- Sustainable Development, which has now become a central concern all over the world.

Literature

Love rises in melody

If it ever happens, while you are strolling back from work at midnight, you hear a voice crooning, 'Such a feeling's coming over me/there is wonder in most of everything I see/ the reason is clear/it's because you are near/you are the nearest thing to heaven that I see', your footsteps slow down and suddenly, you realize that indisputably the heart that belonged to you now belongs to someone else! Go home, check the calendar and you will find, that the following day surely is Valentine's Day!

The river girl

She sat looking forlornly at the river. Its murky grey water spreading out in ripples beckoned her to unburden herself. The water's ugly appearance reflected the dark sins of mankind. What was one more added to the infinite stretch of the water?

Relief . . .

Born on December 25, 1919 in Calcutta, Abu Rushd earned his under-graduate and graduate degrees in English from St Xavier's College, Calcutta and Calcutta University in 1940 and 1942 respectively. He did his Masters from Oxford University. He was supernumerary professor at Jahangirnagar University.

Star Health

Type 2 Diabetes in youth: Epidemic-bell ringing

Type 2 diabetes is no more a disease of our parents or grandparents. It has now been emerging as a new epidemic affecting more and more young people in their 20s and 30s, whereas earlier it used to be in the late 40s or 50s.

Beauty clinic offers new sliming service promoting healthy lifestyle

VLCC healthcare Ltd., a pioneer and leader in the wellness domain offers its premium weight loss programme in Bangladesh — Insta Weight Loss Detox Treatment. The edge of therapy is that besides the weight loss and centimeters loss, the treatment also helps in detoxification of the body resulting in a slimmer, healthier and well-toned body.

Massage to heal sore muscles

A massage after vigorous exercise unquestionably feels good, and it seems to reduce pain and help muscles recover. Many people have long contended it eases inflammation, improves blood flow and reduces muscle tightness. Now researchers have found what happens to muscles when a masseur goes to work on them.

BIT held its second conference on Interventional Cardiology

Bangla Interventional Therapeutics (BIT), a platform for all Bangla speaking cardiologists around the world to enhance interventional (angiogram and angioplasty) cardiovascular education held its second conference in Kolkata recently, says a press release.

Breastfeeding tied to stronger lungs, less asthma

Kids who were breastfed may have better lung function and a lower risk of asthma, than those who were formula-fed, two new reports published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and Journal of Pediatrics suggest.

Tall? That may be good news for your heart

Tall men appear less likely than shorter ones to develop heart failure, according to a recent study. Researchers in Boston said that while there is no proof that a few extra centimeters protect the heart, it was possible that short and tall people are different in other ways, including in their diets or diseases growing up, and that this too could affect heart risks.

Strategic Issues

Terror changes its spots

The terror strike targeting an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi in February 13 2012 has suddenly raised the concerns to higher levels both for the police and intelligence agencies - the primary instruments of defence against terrorism in any country. This is not the first strike against a soft target. July 13, 2011 witnessed bomb blasts in Mumbai's Dadar, Opera House and Zaveri Bazaar area, leaving 26 dead and 131 injured. On September 7, 2011, the Delhi High Court was shaken by a briefcase bomb, which killed 12 people and injured 76. However, the choice of Israel's diplomatic corps as the target of the strike raises both the pitch and the implications.

China: How to translate hard power at home into soft power abroad

At a time when the rest of the world marvels at or perhaps dreads China's rise, Beijing perceives a serious weakness in its own armor: the lack of soft power. For all its economic woes, the West still possesses ample soft power as evidenced by its cultural domination. Behind China's worries also lurk fears about regime stability.

Hope of peace in Chittagong Hill Tracts- as I see

Ialong with my senior friends and colleagues visited CHT to observe the post Peace Treaty scenario. My three days' visit was worthy as many stories of CHT are cooked and published at Dhaka which sometimes may mislead the policy makers and the scholars as well. Moreover, on October 17, 2011 the Ambassador of European Union His Excellency Mr William Hanna, an Irish citizen visited CHT and viewed the matter through 'Ireland crisis'. Therefore, this article may unveil the reality of CHT and provide justice to those who are really working for peace.

Star Books Review

The sounds of silence

“The deep silence of this immense forest is what first strikes the unwary visitor who comes prepared to be intimidated by the world's largest natural mangrove forest tract. Instead one is mesmerized by its unbelievable tranquility” are the opening words in the moveable feast that is Enayetullah Khan's book, The Bangladesh Sundarbans. Elsewhere, he writes in lyrical language: “In the sheer elemental wilderness characteristic of the Sundarbans, it is not difficult to imagine that there is something mystical in the deep and ancient silence that encompasses the land. The silence resides like a great echo that haunts every rustle of a leaf and every snap of a twig under the unwary tourist's foot. Whether forager, tourist, or hunter armed with rifles, intruders in the forest experience a humbling awe in this silence that punctuates the dangers of the forest.”

Indians against democracy

Growing up in India in the 1970s and 80s, I often heard people in upper-caste middle class circles say that parliamentary democracy was ill-suited to the country. Recoiling from populist politicians who pandered to the poor, many Indians solemnly invoked the example of Singapore's leader Lee Kuan Yew. Here was an Oxbridge-educated and suitably enlightened autocrat, who suffered no nonsense about democracy, and, furthermore, believed firmly in the efficacy of publicly caning even minor breakers of the law. Devising his wise policies with the help of experts and technocrats, he simply imposed them on the population. Lee Kuan Yew's success in transforming a city-state into a major economic power was apparent to all: clean, shiny, efficient, and prosperous Singapore, the very antithesis of corrupt and squalor-prone India.

Dreams of a better world

Ambiguity is a typical feature of modem poetry. It is so because readers always find it difficult to understand the state of mind of a poet that was really at work while writing a poem. A poem usually appears different to different readers. It also depends on their age, attitude and mentality. What interests you today may not do so tomorrow. The way you interpret a poem today may appear way different tomorrow.



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