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        Volume 10 |Issue 04 | January 28, 2011 |

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Star Diary

Auto-rickshaw Fare Problem

On Friday last week, I was out in the evening with my friends. We were looking for a transport to get to Gulshan from Manik Miah Avenue. Buses were barely available and those which were available, were packed with passengers. Having no other options left, I was looking for CNG driven auto-rickshaws. As it was already mandated for those vehicles to go by the rule, i.e. taking passengers anywhere they wanted to and taking fare as par the metres indicated from the passengers, I thought it would be less of a trouble to take a three-wheeler. To my dismay, it was not. There were a lot of auto-rickshaws standing in front of Aarong, but none of them had drivers because those vehicles were caught by police sergeants for violating the recently imposed laws. We saw that traffic police and sergeants were probing the area; they stopped most of the hired rickshaws to check whether they were going on metre or not. We waited for a while for an un-hired auto to arrive and finally it did. We asked the driver to stop, he did. We asked whether he would go to Gulshan or not but no sooner had he seen the sergeants around he left the spot without saying anything. We figured out that he would only go on contract and as there were sergeants probing, he would be fined for that. Now what can the law do about the run-away auto-rickshaws? Unless the economic problem, the system and the financial problems of the auto-drivers are changed for the better, the public suffering will never stop.

Rafee Kadree
Brac University, Dhaka

An Impatient Nation

A few days ago, when the share market was going through its record breaking lows, I was walking in front of Meena Bazar in Dhanmondi. As there were several broker houses in that area, I saw many investors vandalising the vehicles, screaming in anger and creating panic among the others. I could not understand, why they were venting their frustration on innocent people who had nothing to do with the price fall in the market or with the losses the investors were suffering from. If those people had the courage to risk their 'everything' in a share market with the ambition to become rich overnight, they should also have the patience to go through painful phases of loss and bankruptcy. I never saw the investors treating others with sweets or gifts when the market price was rising high, then why did they make others suffer for their problem? How long will it take for us to become a nation that is driven by logic, patience and perseverance?

Saimum Nahar
Viquarunnisa College, Dhaka

Invading Privacy

The other day, my friends and I were having lunch at the Shwarma House in Banani. We were making fun of each other, admiring beautiful people around us, talking about the current issues, etc as friends usually do when they hang out. While chatting, a young, attractive lady caught our attention. She was standing right outside the restaurant and was clearly visible from our vantage point. I was already uncomfortable with the fact that we were actually “checking out” that woman without her knowing; a friend of mine intensified my discomfort by taking a picture of her. She was not aware of us taking her picture or even us talking about her. I requested my friend to delete the picture and asked him not to repeat such thing ever. To this, all my friends laughed, asked me to take life less seriously and complained about my sense of humour. I thought, it could be that. I had over reacted and I dropped the topic. The next day, I saw, the friend who took pictures of that lady, without her consent, had posted her pictures on facebook. My friends and many other people were posting funny and even offensive comments on those pictures. I opposed to this and asked my friend to remove those pictures immediately as this was a violation of privacy. Fortunately, my friend was decent and civilised enough to do the right thing. But I really had to go through bullies from my friend circle after this event. I don't mind being bullied, as long as I feel I did something ethical. My point is, this time my friend was rational enough but that might not be the case every time. People, both men and women, might get harassed and fall victim to the “paparazzi culture” and yet we keep doing things like this for fun!

Zarif Rizwan
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology


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