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     Volume 5 Issue 115 | October 6, 2006 |

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Cricket, Religion and Racism!
I wish to thank Nader Rahman for his courageous article against racism in the playground ('Crash', September 15, 2006).
Religious faith is related to spiritual sensation while cricket is played for giving pleasure to spectators. So why is the movement of racism raised between Islam and cricket? It is really tragic that the cricket world has been gradually affected by the plague of racism. Some of the western media inspire white people on the road to racism and also motivate them to stand against Islam.
In his article he not only portrayed the real visage of umpire Darrell Hair but also pointed out the derogatory tone of commentator Dean Jones. At the same time he has magnificently shown that even the African Muslim cricketers are not free from the evil effect of racial discrimination as well as their South Asian counterparts.
However, I would like to add a bit about the unbearable behaviour of some the Australian cricketers, especially McGrath, against the Asian cricketers. The South Asian cricketers are too polite, for instance, several times Jayasurya was called “black monkey” by McGrath, but he never talked back while the game was on.
It is everyone's responsibility to keep religious factors out of the sports arena. Otherwise the typical advancement of cricket will be hampered, and the game will lose its popularity.
S.M. Sanowar Hussan
M.C. University College

Our cover story of September 22, "Choking Voices of Freedom" carried a photograph of Dr. S. Taher Ahmed, professor of geology and mining at Rajshahi University, who was killed in February of this year. The picture had been printed in other national dailies, but later it was found that it was actually not the photo of the deceased. Published herewith is the correct photograph of Dr. S. Taher Ahmed. We sincerely regret the error.

Proud To Be a Bangladeshi?
I am a new international MSc student in Canada. I left Bangladesh 20 days ago and still feel terribly homesick. In one of my Financial Management courses there are about 80-90 students in our class.
One day the professor was speaking about poverty and he talked about Bangladesh for 40 minutes out of a 50-minute class as he had recently visited there. I was the only Bangladeshi student in that class and when the teacher asked whether there were any Bangladeshis there I proudly raised my hand. Then he started talking about Sony's death in BUET, how police take bribes, why it is difficult to get a business registration, how insecure he felt when he was going to his hotel at night by taxi, how muggers plague the general people, how poor people break bricks with hammers, how an air conditioning unit is pulled up by 20 people instead of using a crane, the volatile political situation, about our two proud women leaders one of whom is the daughter and the other a widow of two famous leaders, etc.
At the end of the class, I couldn't help but wonder, why was I proud to be a Bangladeshi?
Audree Alberta, Canada

Purchase Originals to Save Our Music
Bangladesh never suffers from lack of talent. It has been proved in the Bengal Bikash music competition where promising singers are meticulously selected. In recent years, many of our TV channels have been organising similar kinds of programmes.
In fact it is a pity that in our country everyday listeners prefer to copy songs from each other instead of purchasing the original. We are too preoccupied to notice how piracy has taken over our music industry. This forces artistes to accept music only as a part-time profession.
In contrast, thanks to India's massive market (innumerable films against handsome budgets every year and concerts along with audio market abroad) Indian singers are doing very well. I feel that we should show more nationalism and rescue our helpless music industry by buying original music albums.
Md. Maidul Islam
Second Year, Department of English
University of Dhaka

On “Choking Voices of Freedom”
Now that Taslima is in India, she owes a duty to herself, if she is honest to what she said in Lajja, as also to the Indian Muslims to explain to the Bajrang Dal and Indian masses, the true meaning of her novel. The best way to do it would be to study and produce a Lajja on the events leading to the demolition of the Babri Mosque, the protest made by Muslims in Mumbai, the call by Shiv Sena to arrange Aartis on the streets of Mumbai. She should try to understand: why nobody including the “believers in free speech” questioned Shiv-sainiks as to why people gathering for Aartis should be armed with Lathis, Trishuls and Bhalas; why they should shout anti-Muslim slogans on the street and why such Aarti processions should culminate in communal riots, in burning alive or killing hundreds of Muslims and destroying their property; why the then Central Minister sent to bring peace in the city should claim that “peace would be restored in two days” and why this was interpreted as licence to commit crimes against minorities for a further two days on a much larger scale resulting in the loss of a great number of lives and property of the minorities in the said two days before the situation was brought under control.
She should also visit Godhra, study the report of the two enquiry commissions on the train burning and the subsequent riots. It would also be interesting for her to analyse why the State government then ruled by BJP, failed in controlling the riots, why the BJP was very keen in holding re-election before people forget the riots and why BJP was returned to power with overwhelming majority. She and her like, the votaries of free speech, will then understand that John Milton in Areopagitica, is not always right when he says that the “'true and sound' will survive while the 'false and unsound' would be vanquished”. The problem is that opposite of “truth” is not always “false”. They are interchangeable in the sense that one man's 'truth' is another man's 'false'. The truth often lies somewhere in the middle. It is difficult to identify the “truth” but not impossible. Once identified, truth will lead to harmony and peace.
Khursheed Ahmed
Dhanmondi, Dhaka

Holistic Curriculum
This is in reference to the article “Choking Voices of Freedom” (September 22, 2006). I generally agree with what was said yet I feel there are reasons why supporters of “free speech” are not taken seriously and are often branded as arm-chair philosophers or worse still, people whose minds are polluted by modern education.
This is because the moral ground from where the doctrine of free speech derives strength is “truth” and yet those indulging in "free speech" often fail to speak the complete truth for fear of intimidation or allowing “falsehood” to prevail for personal benefits and remain satisfied with half-truths.
Thus, they lose the moral right to speak about “truth”. As against this, the “religious fundamentalists” because of their limited knowledge or call it ignorance, speak one thing, all the time. They are obviously more convincing.
Tanim Khan
Barrister at Law
South Goran, Khilgaon

Last week's cover story inadvertently mentioned Prof. Dr. Md. Zafar Iqbal as being professor of chemistry at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) in Sylhet. Prof. Iqbal is actually professor and head of the department of computer science and engineering at SUST. We sincerely regret the error.

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