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     Volume 7 Issue 36 | September 5, 2008 |

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Harassment on Campus
'Violating a Sacred Relationship' (August 1, 2008) was an absolutely timely cover story. Sexual harassment in an educational environment is unacceptable behaviour. Such acts carried out by teachers are shameful for the whole nation. Many children, while growing up, experience some form of sexual harassment or bullying. This can have serious consequences.
Relationships between female students and teachers can be often quite intimate and intense. Students are dependent on their teachers' approval for academic success, opportunities, and later for success in career. Some teachers like to take advantage of this situation and try to form a relationship with the students. This is also common at the BAU campus.
This situation is likely to continue or get worse if something is not done about it. The impact of sexual harassment on a student's educational progress and attainment of future goals can be significant and should not be underestimated. As a result of sexual harassment, a student may, for example, have trouble learning, skip classes or drop out of school altogether, lose trust in school officials, become isolated, fear for personal safety, or lose self-esteem.
It is extremely essential to formulate a sexual harassment policy that defines the boundaries of sexual harassment and takes strong actions against the perpetrators.
Jewel Rana
Dept of Biotechnology
Bangladesh Agricultural University

The Real Shame!
Regarding the article 'A Nation's Shame' (August 26, 2008), drew our attention to an abominable happening in our nation. Razakars are the real enemies of our nation. They collaborated with the Pakistanis to carry out all kinds of unbridled murders and rapes in our country. Although a matter of shame, it is bitterly true that these war criminals actually dared to attack a freedom fighter. It is a shame that we could not take these war criminals to the courts despite there being so much evidence against them.
The present caretaker government has taken various reformatory steps -- arrest of corrupted politicians, eviction of illegal constructions, separation of judiciary from executive etc. Undoubtedly these activities were significantly appreciated by the civil society and many people of our country. We were further hopeful that they would take affirmative steps to start the trials. But all expectations have gone to distress as no such initiative has been undertaken.
Several mass movements have been undertaken over the last few decades with regards of political, religious and social issues. We should raise our voice all together to wipe out the blot entirely from our nation through embracing the nationalist sentiment.
Sumon Biswas
Sociology Discipline, Khulna University

Proud to be Bangladeshi
We Bangladeshi people are so patriotic to our nation that I feel proud (!) to be one of them (?) by nationality. When someone dies without food or treatment on the streets, we say almost nothing; when a girl is raped, we don't even place charges at the police station; when so many people die in a bomb blast during a cultural festival, we don't punish the people who were behind it. But when a corrupt so-called political leader, who actually broke the very backbone of our nation, fell down in his bathroom, we set fire to vehicles on the street in rage; we fight against each other; an innocent man is allowed to die on the street. We seem to care more about corrupt politicians than people who are actually doing some good for our country. Is this how our country is expected to progress?
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Father of the Nation

I have read with considerable interest the article written by Chintito and the other by Aly Zaker on The Star magazine of August 22, both dealing with someone very close to our heart -- Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
It is high time that we declare Sheikh Mujib the Father of the Nation and get the history books sorted out once and for all, so that the next generation does not have any room for confusion.
Having said all that we should also look at the 'slips' that occurred from 1972 to the early part of 1975. In my opinion Sheikh Mujib made three such slips for which we are still paying a very high price. The first one is the pardoning of the war criminals both Pakistani and local ones.
The other was abandoning English language as a medium of instruction. It is very difficult for our children to compete with others in this century. Something should be done within our educational system to give our children a competitive edge.
The third slip was the creation of a para military force called Rakkhi Bahani. Aly Zaker skips very lightly over this but the fact is this was a private 'army' of the Awami League, designed to keep that party in power and to protect its leaders. They had the same dress as the Indian Army, had better equipment than the nascient Bangladesh Army. Their officers were trained in India and to become an officer in the Rakkhi Bahani one had to be loyal to Awami League. This was the Gestapo, Bangladeshi style. After the famine of 1974, the Rakkhi Bahani was let loose to contain the hard core leftist parties, particularly in the north and the southern part of the country and there they created a reign of terror. The irony is that what could have been their finest hour, in the early hours of August 15, 1975, they meekly surrendered without firing a shot to the infamous 'Farook-Rashid' gang. So much for safeguarding the leaders!
Salim Akbar
Gulshan 1
Dhaka 1212

Getting Admission at School
In this age of capitalism acquiring knowledge is no longer a right but a privilege. When getting admitted to renowned schools (both English and Bangla medium) we usually see a kind of admission battle among the students. Moreover, being a student of a renowned school has become a matter of social status. In order to bring this status, some groups of people do not hesitate to pay a good bribe.
As a result, the actual talents do not get the chance to disclose their genius.
A few days ago, my younger brother gave his admission test at a renowned school in Chittagong. Though he obtained more than 85 percent marks, he could not get admission into that school because he could not pay a donation fee. Students who obtained only 60 percent had been admitted into that school because of recommendations from higher authority and their ability to pay bribes.
This is a fact of many other people who cannot afford to put their children into a good educational institution. I hope our educated civil society and the ministry of education will do something to change this scenario so that students with talent get the opportunities they deserve.
Aiman Bin Shaofiqul Hamid (JASIM)
Dept. of English
Intenational Islamic University Chittagong (IIUC)

Neglected Uttara Gono Bhaban
The historical Uttara Gono Bhaban Palace in the neglected northern region, consisting of a total of sixteen districts, has been functioning as another President's Palace. The credential ceremony of some Ambassadors was received by the then president Ayub Khan at this Palace, well known to the diplomats of the region.
This most historic attractive Palace was owned by the then Rani (Queen) Bhabani in Natore district.
The father of our Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman also received the credential of the Ambassadors at this historical palace after Bangladesh came into being.
Such a ceremony had not yet been held on it during the previous governments for three decades, as far as my knowledge goes. The people of the neglected northern region have been anxiously waiting to see such a ceremony on this historical palace during the present caretaker government's period in office and as well as during the ensuing democratic governments too.
Mohammad Anwarul Quadir
Advocate and Journalist

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