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The assault on Humayun Azad and a few thoughts

It was the morning of a usual Hartal day- one of those typical days when one is drowsing even after getting up from the bed. Yawning is the intimate companion of these hours and it always takes a long time for awareness to seam into consciousness, perhaps the whole morning. As usual, with dozy eyes, I grabbed the newspaper lazily to glance at the current affairs. There was an image of a bandaged visage right at the front page-another one of those terrorist attacks, I thought. When something outrageous becomes recurrent, the brain adapts itself to withstand the spasm without shock. As a result of the adaptation, my eyes simply loitered from the distressing picture and took a close shot of the big bold letters beside-'Humayun Azad stabbed, fighting for life'.

My eyes became fixed on the words and just like that, as if by reflex action, I found myself rubbing my eyes-to ensure that I wasn't being deceived by my state of stupor. I stared at the headlines for a long time; perhaps my mind was unconsciously too scared to read the details of the news. My 'irrational' brain hadn't yet adapted itself to endure such news. To it, the news was unbelievable. Why on earth would somebody like Humayun Azad among all be stabbed by anybody' He was, for sure, in no way, related to the world of violence. The only weapon he had ever used was a 6 inches entity with a sharp edge- his ballpoint pen. His detractors could never have even taken part in the battle if they had his weapon; so all the coward barbarians could do was to stop him by violence, by their malicious knives. Now the all-time aphorism seems like a joke and the situation makes us cry out, 'Pen is NOT mightier than the sword'. If it was, the eminent writer would not be fighting for his life in the hospital bed today.

The witnesses who saw his blood smeared body on television and on newspapers could feel the shedding of their own blood. A miscellany of feelings formed the root of the pain 'there was grief for the great man, there was pain was for the state of our country where such incident could occur and most of all there was a lot of trepidation and concern for the future. There was an instant question we could not help asking ourselves-'What does this incident denote about the present condition of our country' What does this forecast''Does it mean that some people are trying to eradicate all the 'Humayun Azad's of the country- the very people who are never afraid to express their righteous thoughts; the people who always speak for the freedom of our society; the people without whom the country would be malfunctioning' Are these evil fundamentalists in the way of accomplishing their malevolent endeavor' If they are- then it is sure that the existence of our consecrated Shahid Minar, our national monument would be in danger. Not only that, the survival of our glorious history, our rich literature, our ritual, or culture that holds us together as 'Bangali' would be in the verge of extinction if somehow these fundamentalists ever take control.

The first urge we always have after any sinful incident is to find the blunderer in the hands of law where he'd be punished for his deed. Not that it really evens the score for the harm, but it gives some satisfaction, I guess. In our country it's a rare circumstances indeed that the law-breakers are ever prosecuted.. In the disgraceful incident of Humayun Azad, anybody can unreveal the identity of the stabbers and their group. Aren't they the ones who urge to forget the '71 and perform the political movements of today' Didn't a representative of theirs demanded for the banning of a book of the injured writer' Aren't they the only group who did not offer any condolence or burst out into rage after the pathetic occurrence' Is the government or the police 'too' blind to see them' Or is it their conscious ignorance' Otherwise why do they say that whether the incident was a result of personal plight' Will it be another unsolved case just like the murder of Manik Shaha or the assault of the eminent poet Shamsur Rahman' Is the day not far ahead when concerned parents would urge their children to aim to be anything other than a writer or a journalist'

The assault of Humayun Azad is not an 'individual accident'. There had been much carnage, many loss of life, and many signs that disclose that the people who do not believe in sanctity of the independent Bangladesh are raising their heads again. Their pseudo mask of patriotism is melting as they rise to the summit of their sins slowly- just like a cobra encircles it's prey's body before engulfing it finally.

Many have been linking the incident to the killing of the intellectuals back in 1971. It is not very unlikely that their apprehension is true. It is widely known that the eradication of a country's intellectuals is the same thing as the crippling of the country. Our country had been crippled once in1971- with broken limbs she had walked for 33 years staggering. It seems that history is being repeated again now. The already broken legged country is now being conspired to be made armless. Once the country is made a quadruple amputee, it would have to bear a more pathetic state than ever. She would have to depend on others to direct her further steps, she would have to seek others to feed herself and'I don't know 'I can't imagine how vilest it might be. What are the fundamentalists, the opposing forces of independent Bangladesh, trying to do' Take control of an independent country by consciously making it disable'

The people of our country are not cowards, they are not ignorant or stupid, and they don't have a little scarcity in the patriotism or love for their nation. They can forecast the worst, are worried about the future (and the present). All that the country needs is the voice of her children raised all together against the evil. The footsteps of the black shadows are already being heard, our voice must surpass their intensity soon- before the shadows knock the door and intrude our home. We don't want to turn a deaf ear too scared to listen to the sound of those footsteps, we don't want our brains to adapt its sense organs to overlook the natural human feelings - all we want to is to open our ears wide and be able to hear the voice of our always dreamed Bangladesh, to feel its glory with our sensitive humanly nature. It's not an irrational desire. Can't we hope that it will be fulfilled 'soon'

By Kazi Priyanka

Campus news

Sunnydale olympiad football tournament

On the 21st of February, the football tournament of the Sunnydale Olympiad started. Held at the field on Road No. 4 in Dhanmondi, the tournament continued for six days. There were two groups, with four teams in Group A and three teams in Group B.

Group A had Aga Khan School, BIT, Maple Leaf and Sunbeams, while Group B comprised of BAF Shaheen School, Scholastica and Sunnydale.

The first round was started on the 21st and was completed by the 24th. All the teams played three games each, and at the end of the first round, the teams qualifying for the semi-final were Aga Khan School, BIT and Sunbeams from Group A, and BAF Shaheen School from Group B.

On the 25th, the two Semi-final matches were held. In one match Aga Khan School took on BAF Shaheen School and in the other match Sunbeams faced BIT.

The game, which Sunbeams played with BIT, went through to extra time, at the end of which, both teams were still tied at 0-0. The game proceeded to penalties, when, due to a spectacular save by the Sunbeams goal keeper, and an unfortunate miss by a BIT player, Sunbeams won, and went through to the finals!

The match between Aga Khan School and BAF Shaheen School was also tied at 0-0, but during extra time, Aga Khan made a superb comeback by winning 3-0 due to Silver Goal.

The Finals held on the 26th of February saw Sunbeams versus Aga Khan. Nafis from Aga Khan, scored twice in the first seven minutes, earning his team an early lead. Sunbeams fought back, and Durlov scored five minutes into the second half. Luck was on the side of Aga Khan school, though, and they won the match 2-1 thus securing title of Champions. Durlov of Sunbeams was adjudged man of the match for five consecutive games and received five medals.

By Rohini and Nusrat

Happy Times International school celebrates 25 years!

Starting in 1979, Happy Times has successfully completed its 25th year this year. To celebrate this grand occasion Happy Times had arranged a Cultural function at the National Museum Auditorium on the 5th of March. We were highly honoured by the presence of Mr. M. Morshed Khan, the Honourable Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, as our chief guest for this occasion. Our special guest for this occasion was Dr. Dilara Chowdhury, Professor of Government & Politics, Jahangir Nagar University.

The Function started with Quran recitation by one of the students followed by speeches from the Chief Guest, Special Guest and the Principal of HappyTimes International School, Mrs. Rahat Sarwar.

This was followed by Plays, Songs and Cultural Dances, all performed by the students. Even the students of Playgroup and Nursery took part in nursery rhymes. After all of this, all the ex-students of HappyTimes, sang the song "Purano shei diner kotha" (memories of early days). This was not the last act, though. The last act was performed by six students of the 8th and 9th grade. They performed two band songs. First they did 'Nothing Else Matters' by Metallica, and then they did 'Odbhut Shei Cheleti 2' by Aurthohin.

Most of the students were up on the stage for 'Odbhut Shei Cheleti 2'. It was a super hit. After that, the recent graduates from HappyTimes received certificates for successfully completing their O' levels. The function ended with everybody singing the National Anthem.

By Atif Hafizuddin

NDDC celebrates golden jubilee

Debate is one of the most exciting extra curricular events taking place at the educational institutions in our country. It is quite common now to find debate competitions taking place at different levels. Most institutions encourage this intellectual pursuit of reasoning and we can now find many talented debaters coming out of the younger generation. This era in debating was started in Bangladesh half a century ago in the Notre Dame College, Dhaka; by the establishment of Notre Dame Debating Club (NDDC) by Father R. W. Timm csc in 1953. And after successfully completing its 50th year in life, NDDC is going to celebrate the Golden Jubilee in March this year.

NDDC has ever since its birth worked for practicing and spreading the art of debate. It has produced some of the best debaters of the country, organized various debate competitions and workshops and, helped other debate organizations to take off. However, the primary goal of establishing a debating club was to help young students to learn expressing their views with thoughtful speeches and thus prepare them for their various future pursuits.

In 1956, NDDC held the first annual debate competition. Later NDDC debaters won national championships of the then Pakistan in the late seventies. Though earlier all debates were held in English, Bengali debate was introduced soon afterwards. In 1982, the first Inter College Debate Competition was introduced. This event has evolved in a national character now and the 17th National Debate Competition held last year consisted of 32 teams from 26 institutions. In order to encourage debating among youngsters, the Inter Club Debate Competition was also started. In 2001, the English Debate Competition had been launched. The 3rd English Debate Competition held last year consisted 22 teams from 14 institutions.

NDDC has a much disciplined and well-defined process of training up and selecting its debaters. New club members take part in a series of debate workshops conducted by senior experienced debaters. Then through a four level selection process in Baroary format the four debate teams are chosen: two Gold teams and two Blue Teams, one each for English and Bengali formats. Usually the debates of Annual Debate Competition (also know as Inter Group Debate Championship) and English Debate Competition are held in the parliamentary format. The debates of National Debate Competition is held in Traditional Format, though the final is held in Format-T, an unique format practiced at the NDDC which consists four teams in the debate with a dynamic procedure.

The Golden Jubilee Celebration will gather both ex and current members of the club. The registration has already started and any ex or current member can register during office hours at the College counter. Married ex members can register names of their spouses as well. Th registration will continue up to 1st of March.

NDDC invites all the present and past member to join the golden jubilee celebration.

By Rubab M Imroze Khan




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