The Daily Star

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014


News of: Saturday, 28th of July, 2012

Front Page

The show is on

At 8:12 am on Friday morning, all the bells in England rang. Martin Creed's signature “Work Number 1197” rang in the 30th Olympiad to the only city that has so far played host to it thrice. In the evening, another bell rang. This, the largest harmonically tuned bell in the world, part of Danny Boyle's three-hour three-act magnum opus of an opening ceremony kicked off the London 2012 games in style.

Fake note maker held

The Detective Branch of police nabbed six people and recovered fake currency amounting to Tk 1 crore from their possessions in separate drives in the capital between Thursday afternoon and early yesterday.

WB not happy yet

The World Bank is still not satisfied with Bangladesh's anti-corruption move over the Padma bridge issue despite the resignation of a key minister.

Old billing system to return

The power distributors are persuading Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Berc) to increase bulk and retail electricity tariff by 30 to 35 percent by mid-August to cover their losses.

Abul is a corrupt, shameless man

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's remarks on Syed Abul Hossain's resignation have drawn flak from the main opposition BNP as it termed the former communications minister a “corrupt and shameless person.”

PM's remark, a few questions

The constitution does not support Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's remark made in London Thursday that the next general election would be held as per the parliamentary democratic system in other countries.

Cuba offers US olive branch

Cuba's communist regime marked 59 years Thursday since the launch of the revolution that brought it to power, using the occasion to offer to hold talks with its longtime foe, the United States.

Prices of edible oil drops a little

The price of bottled soybean oil yesterday slid slightly in the city's kitchen markets thanks to an increase in supplies from the major refiners.

Row over overtaking leads to death

A rickshaw puller died a tragic death yesterday when a fellow rickshaw puller hit him during a punch-up over overtaking on the Dhaka University campus.

Govt firm on free, fair polls

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government was determined to keep the country's electoral process neutral and free from government interference.

BNP eyes bigger alliance

Failing to bring some political parties into the BNP-led alliance, the main opposition party is now trying to persuade them to go for an anti-government movement simultaneously after the Eid-ul-Fitr.

Rajuk passes the buck on ACC

Being mysteriously silent for years, Rajuk only a couple of months ago passed the issue of controversial allotment of 55 housing plots in Banani to influential BNP people to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

One killed by BSF

Members of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) tortured a Bangladeshi cattle trader to death on Wednesday night and threw his body into the Saniyazan river along Burimari border in Patgram upazila here.

3 League men held with arms

Police yesterday arrested three leaders of Chhatra League and Jubo League in Tangail on charge of abduction.

Shift work riskier for heart

Shift workers are slightly more at risk of having a heart attack or stroke than day workers, research suggests.

Journos allowed in DMCH at last

Dhaka Medical College Hospital authorities and journalists yesterday submitted applications to withdraw the four cases filed against each other over Wednesday's incident in which interns assaulted at least eight newsmen.

US drought may hike food prices

The drought in America's breadbasket is intensifying at an unprecedented rate, experts warned Thursday, driving concern food prices could soar if crops in the world's key producer are decimated.

Key Zardari aide wins back parliament seat

Pakistan's de facto interior minister, a close aide to President Asif Ali Zardari, was sworn back into parliament yesterday just weeks after being forced to step down over his alleged British citizenship.

Editorial

Chaos reigns supreme in road repair

This year is no different from years gone by when the many utility agencies commence their various repairs works that involve digging up roads and leaving them in a state of disrepair after completion of the job at hand. Interestingly, practically all the agencies, whether it be the laying of new water pipes by WASA or the repair of gas lines, work during the rainy season that not only prolongs the particular job at hand but adds to the misery of city dwellers who must travel through sludge or mud ridden roads. The incidents of accidents increase manifold as vehicles get either stuck or overturn as they run over pot holes; while the average pedestrian must count extra pennies and countless hours having to ride rickshaws to get from Point A to B, since roads are inundated by the downpour.

Passport theft worrisome

It is highly disconcerting to learn that 6,000 Machine Readable Passports (MRP) have been stolen from the Agargaon passport office. What is more worrisome is the apprehension expressed by the six-member probe committee that the number may stand well beyond what has been given.

Sports

Blind archer breaks world record

Bangladeshi archer Emdadul Haque Milon will come up against Great Britain's Larry Godfrey after finishing 61st out of 64 competitors at the Men's Ranking round in the archery event of the London Olympic Games held at Lord's yesterday.

Ashes at Lord's

Even at the best of times, archery is a low-key, quiet affair that requires intense concentration. As such there is often little hubbub surrounding the sport and none of the passion that sets apart sports like football.

London Diary

For New Zealand horseman Mark Todd, 56, being one of the oldest competitors at his seventh Olympic Games has caused some embarrassing moments.

Caesar all set for bow

Syque Caesar really wants to meet Usain Bolt. He also wants to meet Michael Phelps and although he has already seen the great man in passing, he would like the time to properly get introduced to the swimmer and perhaps indulge in the commonplace Olympic hobby of badge swapping.

Enamul's three helps BD A

The Bangladesh A team dominated Baroda Cricket Association XI on the opening day of the Dell-KSCA Shafi Darashah cricket tournament at Alur in Bangalore yesterday.

Sharmin shoots today

Sharmin Akter Ratna, Bangladesh's lone shooter in the London Olympics, will be hoping to put on her best show when she takes the field for the 10m Air Rifle event at the Royal Artillery Barracks in London today.

MSC go six clear

Malaysian forward Tanku Ahmed Tajuddin slotted a hattrick as title contenders Mohammedan SC recorded a convincing 5-0 win over Shadharan Bima at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday, to extend their lead in the Green Delta Insurance Premier Division Hockey League to six points.

Gayle puts WI on top

Chris Gayle marked his return to five-day cricket by hitting a half-century Thursday as West Indies boldly replied to New Zealand's 351 all out to close on 145 without loss on day two of the opening Test here.

Gautam backs Rohit

The change of venues from windy Hambantota to humid Colombo may not change the fortunes of Rohit Sharma and Manoj Tiwary. The team management expects much of Rohit in the 2015 World Cup and will back him "as much as possible", according to opening batsman Gautam Gambhir. Tiwary is sure to get opportunities, but whether it comes in the next game or the next series, "no one knows," Gambhir said. So basically, Rohit has the faith; Tiwary can keep the bench.

Nasri banned for 3 matches

The French Football Federation says it has banned midfielder Samir Nasri for three matches because of his behaviour toward a journalist at the European Championship.

Federer warns his rivals

Roger Federer insists his Wimbledon triumph should serve as a warning to his Olympic rivals that age won't be a barrier to his dream of winning a gold medal at the All England Club.

Asafa's last chance

Jamaica's former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell conceded that the London Games probably represents his last chance of erasing previous disappointments in two Olympic finals.

Bolt raring for four

Jamaican track star Usain Bolt could win four track golds at the Olympics after admitting he may run the 4x400 metres relay.

Abdul Hamid critically ill

Abdul Hamid, noted sports commentator and one of the pioneers in sports journalism in the country, is in a serious condition in a local hospital of the capital.

Chapal leads metro chess

Hafizul Islam Chapal maintained his solo lead in the Metropolitan Selection Chess Tournament at the close of the sixth round at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall room yesterday.

Manikganj DFA Cup football

Pouli Bulbul Club defeated Dashara Nabajagaran Sangsad 1-0 in the opening match of the DFA Cup Football Tournament at

32-member squad named

Bangladesh Football Federation yesterday announced a 32-member preliminary squad for the 2nd SAFF Women's Football Championship which will be held in Sri Lanka from September 7 to 16.

Brazil survive Egypt scare

Star-studded Brazil survived a second-half fightback by Egypt to win their men's Olympic football opener 3-2 in Cardiff on Thursday.

Phelps set for history

The eight-day Olympic swimming programme starts with a bang on Saturday with US star Michael Phelps and his arch rival Ryan Lochte on a collision course in the men's 400m individual medley.

Cauldron next for torch

The Olympic torch relay has completed its 70-day tour, the final leg having been finished by royal barge on London's River Thames in front of tens of thousands of enthusiastic spectators.

Hijab ban irks Saudis

Saudi Arabia have complained to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after judo fighter Wojdan Shaherkani was banned from wearing the hijab head scarf during competition.

Banned jumper bitter

The Greek triple jumper expelled from the Olympics for sending a racist tweet about African immigrants and the West Nile virus is speaking out against the decision to ban her from competition in London.

Bolt to carry Jamaica flag

Defending double sprint champion Usain Bolt will be Jamaica's flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, an official said Thursday.

Day Guide

Saturday, July 28
Gold medals awarded: 12

If all goes to plan for Great Britain, Mark Cavendish will win his first gold medal of the Games as he crosses the finish line at The Mall in the Men's road race event. Britta Steffen and Germany will look to beat off Great Britain to claim the 4x100metre freestyle relay in the pool. Michael Phelps needs three medals of any colour to become the greatest Olympian of all time. He will open his account with the 400m individual medley at the Acquatics center.

Metropolitan

Marathon Man

Mount Everest, Mathematics Olympiad, Ironman Triathlon: hardly a week goes by when I don't hear of world-class achievements by young Bangladeshis. Recently I had the opportunity to meet one such achiever. Sayyied Kabir (no relation) is a marathon runner, having completed the London and Rome Marathons.

Situation led Tajuddin to buy revolver in 1974

Perturbed by the situation in Bangladesh, Tajuddin Ahmed had purchased a revolver from Washington in October 1974 and expressed concern while leaving for Bangladesh, said his former personal secretary, Dr Faruk Aziz Khan.

Two electrocuted in Manikganj

Two people were electrocuted at Elachipur village in Shivalaya upazila in Manikganj early yesterday.

Protect democracy

Dr Akbar Ali Khan, former adviser to a caretaker government, yesterday said people should come forward to save democracy if political leaders failed to show respect to it.

Four women 'commit suicide'

Four women allegedly committed suicide in separate incidents in Tangail, Thakrurgaon and Jessore on Thursday night.

Humayun's four children visit grave

The four children of illustrious writer and filmmaker Humayun Ahmed from his earlier marriage visited his grave at Nuhash Palli in Gazipur yesterday.

16 held with fake Janata Bank question papers

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) detained 16 people from a city hotel in the early hours yesterday and seized 'fake' question papers for a recruitment test for the post of executive officer at Janata Bank.

Ahmed Sofa was voice for the deprived

Speakers at a memorial lecture yesterday commemorated Ahmed Sofa as one of the most distinct of intellectual voices in post-liberation Bangladesh who strongly voiced the concerns of underprivileged people.

15 killed, 38 hurt in road crashes

Fifteen people were killed and thirty-eight others injured in separate road accidents in Comilla, Brahmanbaria, Jessore, Sylhet, Chittagong, Munshiganj and Narayanganj on Thursday and yesterday.

Now punish war criminals: Sajeda

No more soliciting was needed for the punishment of some “war criminals” and the nation had seen enough of the trials, said Deputy Leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury yesterday.

Sand lifters' gang leader arrested

A leader of a sand lifters' gang was arrested from the capital yesterday in connection with killing a landowner of Keraniganj.

Govt trying to develop anti-Hepatitis B drugs

The government is trying to develop medicines to prevent the attacks of Hepatitis B virus (HBV), which kills around five lakh people across the country every year, a BSMMU teacher said yesterday.

Sajeeb Wazed celebrates birthday with mom

Sajeeb Wazed Joy, the only son of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the eldest grandson of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, celebrated his birthday with his mother here.

Police submit charge sheet against Rab men

Police submitted a charge sheet on Thursday against seven people including former commanding officer of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) Lt Col (sacked) Zulfiqar Ali Majumder and former Rab officer Flight Lt Shiekh Mahmudul Hasan for their alleged involvement in looting Tk 2.07 crore from a shrine in Chittagong.

Two KMC students among five drown

Two Kushtia Medical College students, two schoolgirls and a boy drowned in Kushtia and Lalmonirhat yesterday.

'Bangladesh, China to strengthen military ties'

China and Bangladesh will forge closer military ties in the upcoming years, said a Chinese embassy release.

2 held in capital

Detective Branch (DB) of police arrested two men from Paris Road at Pallabi in the capital early yesterday on charge of extortion.

Meena to be aired on ABC Radio

The popular cartoon character Meena will be aired on ABC Radio, a private broadcaster, to facilitate vulnerable and marginalized children to share their views and concerns, said a press release yesterday.

Housewife killed for dowry

A housewife was strangulated allegedly by her husband and in-laws for dowry at Kachua Khalkand village in Jessore Sadar upazila early yesterday.

Keep Sylhet environment friendly

Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday demanded an effective strategy to keep Sylhet city environmentally friendly to protect habitats there.

Mill owner held for stealing OMS wheat

A mobile court arrested an owner of a flour mill in Pirojpur on charge of stealing 10,000 kilogramme of wheat meant for Open Market Sale (OMS) on Thursday.

Laptop fair begins in Ctg today

An eight-day laptop and mobile fair will begin in Chittagong city today.

Damaged Vietnamese vessel to head for Ctg

MV Ahn Son, a Vietnamese vessel with a damaged rudder that has been anchored at Sagar Island for the last several days, will leave for Chittagong port soon, reports the Times of India.

Workers' salary by Aug 9 urged

Shramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SKOP) yesterday demanded that all the factory owners pay the salaries and bonuses of the workers by Ramadan 20.

'Pass amended CHT land dispute resolution act soon'

Speakers at a press conference urged the government to pass the amended Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Resolution Commission (CHTLDRC) Act, 2001 immediately to ensure land rights of the Jumma community.

International

Assad's fall 'matter of time'

The former head of the UN observer mission in Syria yesterday said it is "only a matter of time" until President Bashar al-Assad's government falls.

Cautious on Syria, Obama moves to help rebels

In his first year in office, US President Barack Obama sent a letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad seeking a new start to a long-strained relationship.

US, 5 other nations strike pact

The United States and five European countries announced Thursday an agreement to fight offshore tax evasion through automatic information exchanges.

London mayor mocks Romney over Olympics criticism

US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney found himself the target of jokes in Britain Thursday after London's mayor Boris Johnson mocked comments he made about preparations for the 2012 Olympics.

Suu Kyi eclipsing new Myanmar stars

Aung San Suu Kyi's iconic allure has helped train the eyes of the world on Myanmar's democracy struggle, but some experts say her star appeal could thwart the rise of a new generation of leaders.

'Hang me if am guilty'

A slug-fest broke out Thursday between the Congress and the BJP over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's controversial "Hang me if I am guilty" remark related to the 2002 riots in the state.

Palestine in 'critical' cash crunch: UN

The United Nations on Wednesday called for international donations to help the Palestinian Authority through a "critical" cash shortage.

Karzai warns of graft crackdown

Afghanistan's Western-backed President Hamid Karzai admitted Thursday that his government was corrupt and issued a sweeping directive for reform ahead of the withdrawal of international troops in 2014.

Afghan insurgent attacks up 11 percent: Nato

Insurgent attacks in Afghanistan rose by 11 percent in the past three months over the same period last year, according to the latest figures released by Nato's US-led coalition.

Americans still think Obama a Muslim: Poll

More than one in three conservative Republican voters still thinks US President Barack Obama is a Muslim, nearly four years after he won power, said a Pew Research Center survey Thursday.

Russian court orders BP to pay $3.1b

A Siberian court yesterday piled more legal pressure on BP by ordering the British group to pay $3.1 billion in damages for its attempted Arctic oil exploration tie-up with the state giant Rosneft.

Lokpal movement will go on: Hazare

Veteran social activist Anna Hazare yesterday said that his movement for a strong and effective Lokpal Bill go an even if the ruling UPA Government does not agree to their demands.

Truck plunge kills 16 in Kashmir

Sixteen Hindus returning from the site of an annual pilgrimage in Indian Kashmir died when their truck plunged into a deep gorge, police said yesterday.

School collapses in India; 6 killed

Six children were killed yesterday when the roof of their school collapsed in a village in northern India, police said.

Pakistan 'global leader' in visa, passport forgery: UK envoy

Dubbing Pakistan as a "global leader" in visa and passport forgery, Britain's envoy here has said that visa fraud is a deep-rooted industry in this country.

Arts & Entertainment

Master of technique

“I am enjoying freedom working on a big canvas; it offers me opportunities where I can easily apply my thoughts through lines, forms and colours. Small space cannot give me such an opportunity. I think each medium has an individual demand and personal trait. Art can be enriched by changing medium.

Let there be a museum at Nuhash Polli

Litterateur Humayun Ahmed was laid to eternal rest on Tuesday at his favourite retreat at Nuhash Polli in Gazipur even though most of his family members desired to bury him at Mirpur Intellectuals' Graveyard. The family's decision must have been taken in view the last wishes of Humayun Ahmed as expressed by his wife Shaon.

Shelu Barua performs on Tara Muzik

Well-known Bangladeshi singer Shelu Barua won the hearts of many spectators by performing at a solo musical programme "Aaj Shokaler Amontroney" aired on a Kolkata based popular music channel Tara Muzik on July 24 and hosted by Mallika.

Shahidul Islam Babu: A dancer with artistic talent

Shahidul Islam Babu has created an aura of exquisite dancing in the sphere of Manipuri and folk dance. In each of his performance he tells wonderful stories with the help of his graceful body movements. Abhinaya or expressional acting plays a very important role in his style. He states, “Dance is a type of acting. It is through these expressions that we can reach the audience and explain the whole theme. That is why perfection during limb movements and facial expressions is significant.”

OP-ED

Upgrading cops' status

A report in a daily newspaper informs us that the government has upgraded the post of police inspector to class one from class two, and those of sergeant and sub-inspector to class two from class three. According to one considered view, this up-gradation will have very significant impact on the morale of policemen and thus on the overall law and order administration. One has to wait to see the outcome. There is, however, no denying that the present government has taken a laudable step by fulfilling a long-felt demand of mainstream policing.

The doctor of drift

Perhaps the question is not asked as often as it should be because the answer is either unexpected or unwelcome. Does a prime minister become stronger or weaker after re- election? The record, across the world of democracy, is heavily weighted in favour of pessimism. What should be a rejuvenation gradually slips into an unsavoury confusion. The reason lies in the leader rather than the system. The agenda of a first term is driven primarily by the perfectly legitimate ambition to return to office. It, therefore, encourages a practical programme of governance rooted in the public's immediate needs. A second term breeds both exhaustion and complacency: After the high of re-election there seems nowhere to go except downhill. A democracy like America has ended the very concept of a third term; in India, no national government has obtained one after Jawaharlal Nehru, and that was half a century ago.

Krugman and the crisis

I have followed the life and works of Professor Paul Krugman with great admiration. I admire him not because he is a Nobel Prize winner in Economics, nor because of the twenty odd books that he has written on this subject, nor because of his innumerable opinion pieces published in the New York Times.

Bangladesh in need of anger management therapy

The very genesis of Bangladesh occurred from violent and bloody oppression, for which the only means of survival was to meet violence with more violence. But in its infancy, rather than proffering a forgiving hand and choosing to seek justice while retaining a moral high ground, some in the nation resorted to revenge and retribution as detestable as the inhumane slaughter perpetuated by Pakistan. One cannot help but think that the present day propensity to violent retaliation was tragically born in the moments when Bangladesh lost its innocence -- the executions on Dhaka's playing fields set a precedent and a significant minority became prone to resolving internal problems through fights, torture, assassination and murder.

North Korea: Change, no change

In the past few weeks, winds of change have appeared to be sweeping across North Korea, a country sealed from the rest of the world.

This Day In History

1794
Maximilien Robespierre and Louis Antoine de Saint-Just are executed by guillotine in Paris during the French Revolution.

Literature

The storytelling magician

A cultural legend breathed his last on Thursday last week. He was our best known writer. He was a phenomenon. He was only sixty three.

The night of eternal stars is yours . . .

Talented people do not die like ordinary ones: they mostly die at the height of glory and that has been the case with Humayun, the writer of the people. He could have given us more books, could have made some more films. But would we have liked him to give us one hundred percent and then wither away into old age? That would have been unfortunate. No, he left us unfulfilled and therein lies the charm, the allure. They say, too much of a good thing spoils the magic, and so, believing in that, let's accept one thing: leaving a little early, he fell short of utilising his full potential and possibly an eventual burnout. This present feeling of non-fulfillment has managed to maintain his mystique. Needless to say, without that, a writer is brought down to banality.

Sofa's inspiration . . .

Eleven years ago, one of the literary luminaries of Bangladesh, Ahmed Sofa, died a rather premature death at the age of 58. As we recall him today, one particular characteristic of Sofa instantly creeps into the mind: his contribution to promoting budding talents, mixing with the younger generation and his ability to exhibit a natural affinity with people much younger than he.

Star Health

Hepatitis: It’s closer than you think!

Viral hepatitis kills about one million people every year. In addition, an estimated 500 million people experience chronic illness from their infection with hepatitis. It is a major cause of liver cancer and liver cirrhosis. Despite its staggering toll on health, hepatitis remains a group of diseases that are largely unknown, undiagnosed and untreated.

Strategic use of HIV medicines could help end transmission

More strategic use of antiretroviral HIV medications can significantly reduce the transmission of the virus and reduce new infections dramatically, says World Health Organisation (WHO).

Obese children's hearts in danger

Severely obese children are putting their heart at danger even while they are still in primary school, according to a Dutch study published in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Women with diabetes may have more problems with sex

Middle-aged and older women with diabetes are less satisfied with their sex lives than are women without the blood sugar disease, U.S. government-funded research suggests.

Reducing salt would cut cancer

Too much salt is bad for blood pressure and can lead to heart disease and stroke, but it can also cause cancer. Cutting back on salty foods such as bacon, bread and breakfast cereals may reduce people's risk of developing stomach cancer, according to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).

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Strategic Issues

Is Egypt turning to theocracy?

In the post-Mubarak Egypt, two important steps have been taken for bringing democracy in Egypt: a) the people's assembly election, and b) presidential election. In both elections, Freedom and Justice (F & J) Party, an offspring of Muslim Brotherhood, has won victory. Despite overwhelming majority, a big question looms large now-a-days whether Egypt is turning to a theocratic state under the Islamists. Apprehending F & J's religious ideology, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) dissolved people's assembly on June 15 following a verdict by the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC). After taking oath as the president, Professor Dr. Mohamed Morsi issued a presidential decree annulled SCAF's decision. This power struggle between the elected president and SCAF casts shadow on the emerging democracy of Egypt.

US naval interest in Bangladesh

US secretary of Navy Ray Mabus paid a 'silent' but significant visit to Dhaka. There are two aspects regarding the media attention to this news -- one, this visit got less attention than it actually deserved and then, it got better attention in foreign news agencies than the news agencies of Bangladesh. On the contrary, this visit has a huge significance if we consider the developments that have been taking place in South Asia and in South East Asia for last few months. Almost a month before a news jolted the ministry of foreign affairs in Bangladesh. This news was regarding harbouring of US Seventh Fleet in Chittagong. An Indian news agency claimed that the US had proposed Bangladesh to harbour its Seventh Fleet in Chittagong. But Bangladesh completely refuted the claim. Now, how should this visit be taken in the backdrop of such complex developments?

Border haats: Exploring new avenue of cooperation

Trade analysts are opining that the border trades are increasing worldwide for global repositioning of financial structure and changes in trading system.

Star Books Review

Between heroism and villainy

Manoniyo Prodhanmontree (Honourable Prime Minister) is a collection of four plays by Raahman Chowdhury, which was published by ARIAL in December 2011. All the four plays in this collection were published earlier. Shotru Ghare Baire was published in 2000 by Protibuddhijeebee Prokashan, Nishshankachitto in 2004 in the Theatre, a quarterly magazine edited by Ramendu Majumder, Shotru-Mitro in 2011 in the Natun Diganto, a quarterly journal edited by Serajul Islam Choudhury, and Manoniyo Prodhanmontree in 2011 in Ferari, a bimonthly literary magazine. His plays are political in content and western in form. Raahman Chowdhury believes that there is no great play in the world that is not political. And he admits proudly, 'I do not have the ability to compose plays that do not deal with political and state affairs.' (preface to the book). The political connection in these four plays is not at all remote or hidden. They can rather be categorized as direct political plays.

From innocence to experience

Unlike Grisham's many books, A Painted House does not run with crime in focus. Grisham's fans would find a deviation in this story and yet the book is a spellbinder with the saga of the rural South in the US. It is a remarkable family story that explores deep the lives of the cotton planters in the South. Set in the mid fifties of the 19th century it is the story of a boy's journey from innocence to experience. However, the book does hold a touch of mystery that gives the whole story an element of relishing suspense.

Rediscovering the voice…

Last year I was taking an interview of Syed Manzoorul Islam, a prolific litterateur of Bangladesh. At one point I questioned him on how he looked at Rabindranath. He said he never compared Tagore with other world litterateurs. And he believes that though Tagore is termed as a world poet, he together with his thoughts is deeply rooted in our soil. It is rare that Tagore leaves his root in any of his literary works. The essence of Syed Islam's saying is truly reflected in the book, Rabindranath: Deshe Bhashan (Tagore: Speeches at Home) by Hasan Hafiz. This piece comprises the speeches of Rabindranath Tagore that were rendered at different times in India and Bangladesh. The speeches are mostly concentrated on matters like literature, education, religion, secularism, development of rural life and so on. Hasan Hafiz, a poet of the 1970s, juxtaposes Tagore's diversified thoughts which he has expressed in his speeches, with brilliance and concrete understanding. At the outset the point which Hasan Hafiz grabs from Tagore's vast volume of speeches is Tagore's belief in non-dependence on foreign assistance. In fact, Tagore believes in self-power as well as self-dependence. Tagore delivered some of his more insightful and encouraging speeches at some particular places, namely, Dhaka, Sylhet and Mymensingh. And these speeches rejuvenate the things mentioned in earlier.



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