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The week in re(ar)view

Guide to spotting criminals
Here's a guide to identifying 'Awami League criminals". Anybody who protests about government passivity regarding power, water and general safety is a criminal. So says MP Salahuddin of BNP in reference to the people who protested and even agitated due to lack of water and power in Demra/Shyampur. According to him these people are all Awami Leaguers who have planned this crisis to hassle the BNP led government. Yep, even all those under 5 year olds vying for water are also Awami League supporters. Our opposition politicians are getting younger by the day.

BSF wants YOU
On May 6 BSF of India abducts yet again 2 more Bangladeshi nationals from the border. Why do they work so hard at abducting when all they have to do is send invitations? Our people are dying to get out of the country anyways.

Our Resident Conspiracy Theorist of course thinks that these people are actually aliens who landed in Bangladesh instead of Roswell. That's why they were 'abducted'.

Getting high on BD Foods
The current hot news is that BD Foods (big food company) is involved in smuggling heroin.

The case in point is that they have smuggled it OUT to UK. Now that's a new twist because usually we like to smuggle things like cell phones, saris and drugs INTO our country. The only thing we smuggle out are women. 75.5 kgs have been smuggled. We have got to appreciate their efforts at bringing in foreign exchange to our country. And readers blame us that we never highlight any positive activities/achievements. Sheesh!

By Gokhra and Mood Dude

The everyday thoughts of a Fakir

A man takes an envelope, paints it black and takes it to the post office. When he was about to dump it in the deposit box, another man walking by sees the black painted envelope and asks, "What are you doing?" The man replies, "I am black-mailing."

A father is deciding on a name for his new born baby girl; after much browsing he decides on the name “Bushra.” Once he tells his decision to the mother, the mother replies, “One Bush is enough already, how many do you want?”

My friend Tausif once asked a female friend of mine, “Acha, tor ghori churi hoye gele tui ki korbi?” The female companion replied, “Why? I'll just get a new one.” Tausif corrected, “Na. Tui haate porbi.”

There is a recent break in a Ferrari showroom. Several police cars are dispatched to retrieve the stolen car and to bring the criminal to justice. Incidentally, one of the policemen is a Bengali. His chief asks him, “Do you have any lead on the culprit?” The Bengali police officer replies, “Apparently the culprit is Bengali and he won't give in easily.” The chief queries, “How do you know?” “Well I can hear him sing a famous Bacchu song, '…ferrari a mon ta amar, mane na kono badha, tomake pabar ashai…'”

A karate kid was snoozing with a friend at his roof. The weather was dull and utterly lethargic. Being influenced by the weather the friend said, “I am b-o-r-e-d.” The karateka replied “Let me break you then.”

Two gladiators are fighting horrendously in a blood stained duel. One of them cuts the other person's arm off. They still keep on fighting… until he again cuts off one of the feet. The gladiator then says, “I give up. I am un-armed and de-feeted.”

Sabrina F. Ahmed was sitting in her karate class one fine evening until a copy of the Rising Stars caught her eyes. Looking very intently at it for quite sometime, she then finally exclaimed to the person next to her, “Look! My name!”

P.S. This is a true story un-edited and un-cut, but a tiny tincy-bincy bit exaggerated.

By Adnan M. S. Fakir

RS Mailbx

Reaction on 'ranking system in Bangladesh- an essential must…'
The RISING STARS (April 27), particularly the half-page cartoon on the front caught my eye, so I decided to read the article. Perhaps ongoing controversy over the quality of fast growing 'private' universities provoked M.S. Fakir to write that article. The author proposed to launch a common ranking system for Bangladeshi universities, based on criteria including 'highest proportion of graduates getting jobs in the first year of graduation, least involvement in politics, highest number of faculty with PhD departments, highest academic value, etc. I could not agree with some of points, and here I'd like to state that I have no intention to undermine any specific type (i.e. private or public) of university.

Fakir recommended a ranking system based on 'highest proportion of graduates getting job in first year of graduation'. Well, jobs are very important, but a university should never be considered as a factory to produce workers! Providing professional training is only a part of the total function of a university. There is a difference in this respect between non-profit public institutions and profit-making private institutions. The latter, generally focus on preparing students for specialized careers in fields such as business, computer technology, telecommunications, etc, while non profit public universities have no such goal and tend to provide knowledge of diverse sectors like arts, social science, science and technology and commerce, though the scope to pursue such diverse fields is rather underdeveloped in our country. Another point to be noted is: professional training can be completed by attaining a bachelor degree (as in medicine, law and engineering). Higher studies, however (from post graduate programs) are not directed toward career goals. They are pursued from a pure interest for acquiring knowledge. So perhaps, a university can be better judged by the number of diverse programs it offers?

The question arises as to why we spend so much time and money to acquire knowledge if it can't secure a job? As I see it, career prospects have nowadays acquired the topmost position in the demand list. Newly emerging universities place too much emphasis on job-oriented courses like business administration. How many universities have departments like philosophy, comparative religion or even history? Disciplines like these are considered to be impractical in our country since such sectors never flourished in the job market, resulting in a culture which gives the job of a business administrator a high status in our society, when most of these businesses are foreign, not even our own.

A university student should be wise enough to judge among the types of jobs we are getting. Anyone interested to rank the universities on this criterion should typify the jobs on the basis of public orientation- which ones serve the mankind, and which ones do not. And it is going to be a bit tough I know, and will generate further debate.

I agree with writer's ranking proposal on 'highest number of faculty with PhD'. Actually it is some how related to my first criterion. We always lacked good research work. More term papers, M.Phils, and PhDs will certainly benefit us.

It is a demand of the time to build the universities as true centres of knowledge, avoiding dirty competition for superiority. I would like to thank Fakir for raising the issue. Thanks to RISING STARS, its readers and contributors.
Ashraful Haque

This is a reply to the message I received from a reader a week ago, concerning my article on the influence of telecom on our language. Firstly, I would like to point out that expressing the belief that the originality of one's language should be preserved, as I did in my article, is not in any way a show of “kothin bhaab'. Furthermore, it is precisely the attitudes of teenagers like the reader that inspired me to write this article. How one can consider using obscene forms of one's mother tongue to be a show of love towards that language, is completely beyond my comprehension. And while I agree that many foreign languages undergo distortion, and the lingo is then used by teenagers, my question remains: are these lingoes respected at all in any country? And although it is completely my personal opinion (which I do not wish to force on others), I would like to restate that, preserving (and not distorting) the integrity of Bangla is the only way for us to truly respect it, which is exactly what these telecomm companies are preventing us from doing.
Ferzeen Anis

Artcell concert

After the release of their second album 'Aniket Prantor' on April 1, Artcell has never been out of the spotlight. While the album has broken almost all previous sales records (with more than 20,000 copies sold on the release date alone), Artcell is all set to perform in their second solo concert this Friday (May 12th) at the newly established Bashundhara Convention Center in Bashundhara Residential Area.

The concert will mainly feature Artcell, who will perform all the tracks from their new album. But it does have other attractions as well contemporary bands Arbovirus, Eclipse and DNA performing old Artcell numbers and special performances by senior musicians Hamin Ahmed (Miles), Jewel (Miles), Kamal (Aurthohin) and Buno (Bangla). “The concept behind such event is to bring back the tradition of exclusive solo live concert by leading rock bands of the country, which was a regular phenomenon in the past. We believe by organizing such solo live concerts we will be able to offer all core followers of rock music to experience real live performance by genuine rock bands of the country,” says Rousseau, Director of Clapper E-Management, the producer of the event. He also promises the fans that smoke and light machines will be used to create special ambience for each of the song; the first time rock fans in Bangladesh can experience such an audio-visual treat. The entire show is going to be sponsored by Toto sanitary wares (Japan). It might be added here that Artcell's first solo concert was held on April 30, 2003 at the Russian Cultural Center and was, according to most, one of the best solo concerts ever in Bangladesh.

Tickets for the show have been priced at Tk. 250 and can be bought from the NSU canteen, IUB canteen, Helvaetia (all outlets except Motijheel), Boomers (all outlets), Geetanjoly/G-Series (all outlets) and also at the venue. The gate opens at 4.30 p.m. and the show will begin at 5.30 p.m.

News Flash
'BAD' uncovered

Early in the morning of 1st May a beggar in rags was sighted in the footpath opposite Abahani field, sitting cross-legged and smoking a cigarette (not a biri, a Benson & Hedges cigarette) with an aristocratic air around him.

Earlier last month another beggar was seen near the Shangshad Bhaban traveling in a rickshaw and talking into a cell phone. Undoubtedly these beggars aren't as unfortunate as they look and that's not where it ends…

The BAD (Beggar Action Department) has been rumored to exist for quite some time, although the exact name and location had been unknown…until now. An RSUA (Rising Stars Undercover Agent) has conducted a thorough investigation and even at the early stages of development of the case the facts that have been uncovered are rather shocking. This is the story so far:

The headquarters of BAD is situated in a remote corner of Ramna Park (you know, that side which is off-limits and ghost stories are told and publicized in order to ward off general public). All directions and orders are given by the Controller, whose identity is yet to be revealed and is believed to be a very powerful and renowned figure. There is the in-house staff that takes care of the official work at the headquarters and there are the out-house staffs who do the field work: the actual begging. They are assigned to different posts every alternative week and adopt new methods every month. The main quarters have several sections like the Makeover section, the Tailoring section, the transport section, IT section, Training section. The expert staff, in these individual sectors ensure that the field workers look and perform to, their best. All work is carried out around 3-6 at night and workers are transported to their assigned posts by 'mail' trucks and all procedures are carried out in absolute secrecy.

The details are yet to be delivered to us by the RSUA; for updates, stay in touch with your weekly RS edition.


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