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Volume 5 Issue 08 | August 2011



Original Forum

Readers' Forum

State Policy, the Constitution and 6
Equal Rights for Disadvantaged Groups
--Devasish Roy Wangza

State Religion for Whom?
-- Dr. Anish Mondal
The Curious Case of Rohingya Refugees
---- Ziauddin Choudhury
Incorporating Religious Institutions in Climate Change Adaptation:
an Islamic perspective

-- Mohammed Abdul Baten
Bollywood and Dhallywood: Contentions and connections
-- Zakir Hossain Raju
Photo Feature: Life on the Margins
Education in Transition:English based learning in Bangladesh today
-- Olinda Hassan

RTIA and People's Right to Know
-- AJM Shafiul Alam Bhuiyan

Knowledge Society: Manifesto for a new world

-- Alamgir Khan

Good governance in Bangladesh: The role of the civil services
-- Hafeejul Alam

Tagore on Film
--Trisha Gupta

Your savings can hurt you, especially, if you are Belal...

-- Nofel Wahid


Forum Home


Editor's Note

Topics are diverse, but the new approaches and angles to making sense of them in a cacophonous context are what thought-provoking deliberations are made up of. That way, it shines a light out of the cul-de-sacs, we would like to hope.

In the season of amended constitutional contents the question of equal rights to disadvantaged groups in state policy and Constitution surfaces. The approach begins with a grievance but is constructive and remedial in the end. A leading voice is heard bemoaning 'the playing field is not level for them (disadvantaged groups)'. The suggested ways forward include vesting district level judges with special authority; land commission modeled along the lines of the CHT Land Disputes Resolution Commission; anti-discriminatory boards and Ombudsman for the Adivashi communities.

Parliamentary dysfunctionality is rooted in the lack of intra-party democracy as voices of dissent within parties are muted. Without a change in the equations between party leaders and legislators on the one hand; and between the parliamentary parties and the MPs on the other, parliament cannot function to its potential.

Good governance will remain a far cry as long as bureaucratic professionalism is overtaken by a persecution mentality lest the line of loyalty is crossed.

We-they attitudes between Bangla and English medium students even in the same institution, let alone between exclusively Bangla medium and English medium institutions needn't be all that much socially and opportunity-wise discriminatory, if we regard English as an aid and complement to education through Bangla. Rather than crushing the existing similarities between students of the same school, same neighbourhood and same city, both the languages should enhance those. Look at China embracing English whole-heartedly as the western world picks up mandarin out of sheer necessity.

Knowledge should not be confused with information. Information is one of the tools of acquiring knowledge, but is not knowledge as such. This is because the latter is product of intelligence applications, cross-fertilisation of ideas, enlightened interfaces and amalgam of deductions and interpretations of data and trends.

RTIA stands out in its own right as the basis of other rights. The exemptions list for the government should be reduced to a minimum; exemption of the private corporate sector from furnishing information needs revisiting and the time lag for journalists reduced in releasing information from sources.

The government borrowing - inflation duo in an overheating economy robbing small depositors and savers of the opportunity of borrowing has been focused as much as employing religious values in climate change adaptations convincingly underscored.

Tagore on film casting a mystical spell and mundane contentions and connections between Bollywood and Dhallywood have been delved into.


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