• Saturday, October 25, 2014

Op-Ed

Editorial

  • Editorial

    The evil that men do….

    His can never be forgotten or forgiven

    GOLAM Azam has passed into history.  He was sentenced to a very long term jail sentence on several counts for genocide and crimes against humanity. He was spared by death the agony of long incarceration. Golam Azam will remain a part of our history, and even after recollections of many events of our nation life become distant memories his role during the Liberation War will remain vivid in the nation's collective psyche. He will remain a part of our history in a negative way, much the same way as Quisling is of Norway's or Hitler of Germany's. Golam Azam was instrumental in organising the dreaded Al-Badr and Al-Shams groups and colluded with the rapacious occupying forces in perpetrating one of the world's biggest genocides after Second World War with the purpose of stifling our victory. And even after the war he did everything to prevent the nascent state from gaining international recognition. There are certain things that human beings may forgive and certain that they may forget and a few that they may both forget and forgive, but the misery and pain that Golam Azam helped to visit upon his fellow countrymen and women can neither be forgiven nor...

Opinion

STRAIGHT LINE

Limon's ordeal and the State

THE optimists in Bangladesh would hope and pray that Limon's ordeal has perhaps come to an end, now that all the criminal cases filed against him have been withdrawn by the state. Limon, a young man, has been a subject of public discussion through sheer misfortune, by a suspect lethal action of a state organ that has left him crippled for the rest of his life. Fortunately, however, the incident has not crippled his spirit as he is reportedly...

EXCLUSIVE TO THE DAILY STAR
WORLD IN WORDS

China's Hong Kong follies

China's Hong Kong follies

THE massive public demonstrations by students and young members of the middle-class that have roiled Hong Kong in recent weeks are ostensibly demands for democracy. But they actually reflect frustration among a population that has been poorly governed by a succession of leaders picked by China's central government more for their loyalty than...

Fear spreads faster than Ebola

WHEN contagion break out -- whether it is AIDS in the 1980s, SARS a decade ago or Ebola today -- fear invariably spreads faster than the virus. Vivid imagination, intense news media coverage, ignorance and natural human fear of the unknown all conspire to defeat reasoned analysis of the facts which, for now at least, are these: Only two cases of Ebola have been diagnosed in the USA, one linked to the other and confined to a tiny part of...

Post-Rana Plaza disaster

Securing positive dynamics in RMG sector

Securing positive dynamics in RMG sector

READYMADE Garment (RMG) industry is one of the major contributors to Bangladesh economy in terms of employment, production, export and foreign exchange earnings. RMG contributes 13% of GDP, adds value to 78% of total exports and employs around 4 million workers, mostly women. Moreover, it has also created employment in related services. Bangladesh...

Gender equity in schools in Muslim countries: It can be done

MUSLIM countries worldwide have problems with gender equality. They dominate the bottom ten countries in the Global Gender Gap Report and none of the ten most successful countries offering equal opportunities for men and women is Muslim. Girls lag behind boys in school attendance, making up 54% of the out-of-school child population in...

CROSS TALK

Published Date: October 24, 2014
A nation on delayed action fuse

IF individuals take too long to appreciate something, we taunt them for being “tube lights.” We compare thick-skinned people to rhinos, which supposedly react a long time after being tickled. These are but the lighter sides of what is known as delayed action mechanism, which works in cameras when shutters take time before...

Loader

Letters

Letters To The Editor

On English medium schools' fees

In response to Sirajul Islam's letter regarding fees of English medium schools, dated October 18, I would like to say that he should have admitted his child to a school that he can afford the fees of. There are many excellent Bangla medium schools in Dhaka as there are schools offering the national curriculum in English. I am a single parent with limited income but I sent my son to a reputed English medium school. The good English medium...

Letters To The Editor

Spiral of crime robs citizens of security

News of macabre incidents reaches us almost every day. Dead bodies are being recovered from rivers, ponds, septic tanks, ditches; members of some family found burnt to death, strangulated or chopped in a gruesome way. Fiendish incidents have increased alarmingly. It seems that the law and order has collapsed completely. Political unrest is the main reason behind this. Criminals are taking advantage of the situation as law enforcing agents are busy stopping the normal activities of the political parties...

Letters To The Editor

Private car running illegally as taxi

The other day I was waiting at Gulshan-1 intersection for transport to reach my home. All the vehicles plying the road were crowded with passengers. Then I saw a private car just after pulling up at the bus stop started taking Mohakhali-bound passengers. The driver was asking two to three times more the fare. Very often we see this practice on Dhaka roads. These drivers of private cars breach their employers' trust by doing so. And commuters must not get...

Comments on news report

“Corruption and the admirable jurisprudence,” published on October 18, 2014 Nds To me it appears that our bureaucrats' arrogance far exceeds that of our politicians'. Politicians sometimes, particularly at election time show a little bit respect to the common people but bureaucrats never. Rahman Mostafiz The bureaucrats having skill and power can manipulate everything that they have under their jurisdisction; whereas the political leaders have power but don't know how to use it because of lack of intelligence. So, politicians are always dependent...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Mysterious death at DMCH

The news of Asma's mysterious death at DMCH, published in TDS on 22.10.14, is highly worrying. The authorities claimed that she had died of renal failure, lever diseases and jaundice after she delivered a baby boy. But her close neighbours confirmed that she had no such ailments; rather she was in perfect shape even during the final stages of her pregnancy. We demand a thorough investigation into this mysterious death. Everyone concerned must be interrogated. Sabrina Samreen North South University, Dhaka  ...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Repair Chittagong station road

Repair Chittagong station road

The station road is a busy road of the port city. Every day I have to travel through the road. As I travel by bus, I experience a bumpy ride from the Kadamtali point to the old station area. For more than one year, the road has remained in a dilapidated state. It...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Tips for our batsmen to avoid being trapped

I would like to mention some guidelines for our cricketers to follow during the next series. 1.    Bowlers sometimes intentionally bowl full tosses and bad balls in order to make the batsman play at it. This is done to set up the batsman and in many cases, the batsmen get out as they get carried away by trying to hit every ball to the boundary. Our players should not fall in this trap. 2.    The opposition will change field settings to...

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Comments on news report

“Southwest may turn wasteland,” published on October 21, 2014 New Generation Bangladesh has long been getting very “warm reciprocation” from our friendly neighbouring country. Dr. Miah Adel Please read the book entitled “Farakka Barrage, the Symbol of Bluffing, Blackmailing, Bullying, and Cornering the Downstream for Upstream Water Piracy” now in press in the German Academic Publishing Company Lap Lambert, and other books and articles of this series authored by this responder to learn more about Indian water piracy tricks. S. M. Iftekhar Ahmed How unfortunate...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 23, 2014
Culture of labeling people

I felt really sad to know that Professor Piash Karim has passed away. I personally do not know Prof. Karim, but have seen him in talk shows in Bangladeshi TV channels and have developed respect for him for his rational thinking. I was not too surprised to see the reactions of different people regarding his funeral. The tendency to label people based on ideology or political view is a hindrance to progress and free thinking. A doctor's son is not...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 23, 2014
Right to safety on road

Our roads have become death traps. Every year thousands of people get killed in road accidents. There is hardly any family left in this country that never experienced the pain of losing somebody in road crash. So far by birth we have the rights to have accommodation, food, clothing, education and medication. I think it would not be wrong if I say that safe road should also be our right. Safe road is now the demand of the whole nation....

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 23, 2014
Avoid aping alien culture

Nowadays people of our region are more interested in the western culture so they now neglect their own culture, ideas, norms and values. Mostly the young generation is imitating them. This happens mainly because of globalisation which helps the capitalist countries to expand their trade and commerce all over the world through intruding into other cultures (e.g. advertising their culture and products through satellite channels). We must be aware of it and should hold on to our cultural values...

Published Date: October 23, 2014
Comments on news report

“Modern-day slave trade unearthed,” published on October 19, 2014 New Generation Is this horrifying incident also an 'achievement' of the present government? Who is there to reply? Shiful Islam Foysal I can't believe that slavery still exists. ***** “Sagar-Runi murder investigation” (Oct. 17, 2014) Mortuza Huq This unacceptable delay might reinforce the belief in people's mind that the government has things to hide regarding this brutal murder case. Rahman Mostafiz This case is still shrouded in mystery. This is how we are heading towards the notion that justice is...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 22, 2014
DU should rethink its new admission policy

Dhaka University is the first choice of the majority of students willing to get higher education. Students try their level best to get admitted into this university. In the previous years, students used to get a second chance to sit for the admission test. But the DU authorities have decided to allow only freshly passed HSC students to appear in the admission test from the next academic session. Dhaka University is an autonomous institution and can take any decision freely...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 22, 2014
Political lesson to learn from Bolivia

Evo Morales won his third consecutive term as the Bolivian president on October 12, 2014. He defeated his conservative opponent by a comfortable margin.  Morales is the first Bolivian president to hail from the country's indigenous majority. He was first elected in 2006, and will remain in office until January 2020. Morales is one of the most popular socialist leaders of Latin America. During his presidency, Bolivia has grown economically, decreased income inequality and uplifted the economic status of the...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 22, 2014
Exemplary step by parents of drug addict sons

The report, “Parents hand over 3 drug addict youths to police,” published in your daily on October 19, 2014, caught my eye. Helpless parents of three drug addicts handed over their sons to police. In our country, most of the parents want to hide such kind of information relating to their children. But these parents have taken a bold decision. No one should ever hide these types of incidents and should raise their voice against it. Afrah Aanan Viqarunnisa Noon School...

Published Date: October 22, 2014
Comments on news report

“Dream big, defeat failures to succeed,” published on October 18, 2014 Hafeejul Alam I am no more a youth. But the inspiring speech given by the former Indian President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam makes me feel as if I am still a youth and of course I have a dream. ***** “Unfreedom and indecency” (Oct. 17, 2014) Sayed Chowdhury I mostly agree with Mr. Hashmi's comments about the democratic principles and practices, including mutual tolerance as an indispensable element of democracy. I also fully agree...

More

Editorial

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Voted above law!!

THIS is possible only in a country like Bangladesh. And we have written on this issue umpteen times and will continue ad nauseam to do so until this brazen and rank bad practice of violating traffic rules in a brazenfaced manner is stopped completely.    It is not ministers only that violate rules of the road. It is anybody who is somebody and owning a large vehicle violates traffic rules with impunity. Thursday's issue of this paper carried several pictures...

Editorial

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Road safety issues

THERE is no denying that serious problems and impediments to road safety both on the highways and the cities exist. We are informed that there are three separate committees involved in coming up with constructive steps which authorities need to implement to bring about an improvement in this area. Yet, year after year, nothing changes due to the fact that many of these committees fail to sit on a regular basis and their recommendations are simply ignored. We are appalled...

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Partnerships for development: A shared responsibility

Partnerships for development: A shared responsibility

EVERY year on October 24, we celebrate UN Day, commemorating the founding of the United Nations. Since joining 40 years ago, Bangladesh has experienced significant gains in economic growth and human development. In 2000, world leaders met at the UN Headquarters in New York for the Millennium Summit, which introduced to the world the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These goals would guide development progress towards meeting basic needs and increasing quality of life for all. Bangladesh has become one of the best performing least developed countries (LDC) in MDG attainment, particularly for the goals on maternal mortality, child mortality, poverty reduction, and primary education. Nevertheless, there is still much...

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Remembering the Professior

WHILE writing this obituary, I discovered that a glossary of adjectives is not enough to qualify Prof. Salahuddin Ahmed. I decided not to use any in the title. Just his name is enough. I first met him after my wedding in 1967 at Rajshahi. He was related to my in-laws. We used to call him Mowla Bhai. We met almost every time I visited Rajshahi while he was there. We saw each other more frequently after he had moved...

PLEASURE IS ALL MINE

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Economy: Not rocket science

LIKE photo-graphy, economy cannot lie. It reads like an open book. We feel it in our daily grind. We suffer in or gain from it. On balance, it adds to or deducts from our future. Such is the power economy holds on our lives. When billions go down the drain through cracks of the state-owned banking sector and a new-genre exploitative financial sub-sector, it is the depositors who are hardest hit. Confidence in the financial system dwindling, an important building...

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Ebola response needs preparedness, not panic

EBOLA Virus Disease outbreak in three West African countries continues unabated and the number of cases and deaths increase exponentially, sending alarm bells ringing across the world. The actions by national governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone supported by the international community have yet to yield desired results. Greater efforts and more resources are being mobilised to reverse the escalating epidemic of this dreadful disease. So far no case of Ebola virus disease is reported in the WHO's...

HUMOROUSLY YOURS

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Treat's on Me

SORRY sir, your credit card has been declined.”   “'No, I really think that I've been paying my bills.” Fortunately, the wife (as is usually the case), saves the day with her own credit card. Yeah, yeah, this is the story of our (men's) lives. What catches our eyes at this restaurant in New York is this super woman, who saves the hubby from having to leave his wrist watch as collateral while going home (far away) to get cash or borrow...

Published Date: October 24, 2014
You said: -- We say:

You said: -- We say:

YOU SAID "Rab personnel were conducting a raid there [in Jhalokathi] to nab a notorious criminal and they accidentally shot Limon, who happened to be in that place."   WE SAY "Was it also by “accident” that four false cases were filed against him? Was it by “accident” that Limon and his family were repeatedly threatened to withdraw their case against the Rab? After three and half years of state-sponsored harassment of Limon, calling the point-blank shooting a “mere accident” is a clear denial of state responsibility. An independent investigation and prosecution of those guilty of shooting and maiming Limon is long overdue."  

Editorial

Published Date: October 23, 2014
Barrages on the Ganges

WE are concerned about India's reported plan to undertake the construction of 16 barrages, one in every 100 kilometres of the Ganges under the Ganges waterway Project. If implemented, this would have a disastrous impact on the river Ganges and harm the ecology of both Bangladesh and India. In light of India's promise to not harm Bangladesh's interests, we are surprised that India has planned to build the barrages in an international river without consultation with Bangladesh as the lower...

Editorial

Published Date: October 23, 2014
Death under mysterious circumstances

TOO many questions remain unanswered as to how Asma died in the care of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). After the hurried discharge by hospital authorities for burial, the unexplained wounds sustained by the victim on the forehead and blisters along her body, the explanation that she died of renal failure after a caesarian cannot stand serious scrutiny. Asma and her sister had earlier been caught by hospital authorities sneaking away with her newborn. Allegations have been raised that...

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Published Date: October 23, 2014
McCarthyism incarnated!

IS it the first signs of replication of McCarthyism in Bangladesh? One is compelled to express the serious misgivings of a real threat to one of the very fundamental principles on which rests the foundation of this nation, namely freedom of expression. And freedom of expression also implies the right to disagree. The fear stems from the controversies that stemmed from the intention of taking Dr. Pias Karim's dead body to the Shaheed Minar and the character assassination that...

Exclusive to The Daily Star
THE WORLD IN WORDS

Published Date: October 23, 2014
Ukraine's vote, Russia's fate

Ukraine's vote, Russia's fate

WHEN Ukraine's voters go to the polls on October 26, not only the fate of their country will be at stake; so will the future of a significant part of Europe. To put it simply: the future of Ukraine will decide the future of Russia, and the future of Russia will have a...

Published Date: October 23, 2014
Measures to check bus drivers

THIRTY two people died and several others were injured in another tragic head-on collision involving two buses a few days ago. Speeding and reckless driving were the reasons for the accident. News of road mishaps has become quite common these days. To curb the high rate of road mishaps some serious measures need to be taken by the government, bus operators and the highway police to make the roads safer and, most importantly, the buses safer as bus is the...

Published Date: October 23, 2014
Gorai River: Can it flow round the year?

Gorai River: Can it flow round the year?

A front page picture in The Daily Star (October 21) showed the Gorai River at Kumarkhali Railway Bridge, with its bed covered by silt. It is an old story that has continued since the Farakka Barrage was opened in 1975. Due to diversion of about 40,000 cusec flow from the Ganga River towards...

Published Date: October 23, 2014
No second chance?

DHAKA University, once called the Oxford of the East, hardly makes headlines these days for its once “glorious faculty and academic excellence.” Now student politics, fights and the occasional brandishing of a gun make news. Then there is the other kind of news Dhaka University makes, more related to academics, but no less absurd. First, we heard of question paper leaks, then of only 2 students passing the admission exam for the English department and now the drama regarding...

BOTTOM LINE

Published Date: October 23, 2014
Gough Whitlam and Bangladesh

FORMER Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, a towering figure who led the nation through a period of massive change, died in Sydney on October 21, aged 98. He was prime minister from 1972 to 1975. Australia was the first Western country to recognise Bangladesh (January 31, 1972).  Relations with Australia started on a very positive note. Australia's first High Commissioner to Bangladesh, James Allen, could speak Bengali. That gesture demonstrated the Australian government's goodwill for the new country. Under Whitlam's instructions,...

Editorial

Published Date: October 22, 2014
Natore highway tragedy

RECKLESS driving coupled with disregard for traffic rules on highways has again taken its deadly toll as a Rajshahi-bound bus from Dhaka crashed into another bus coming from the opposite direction near Natore killing 33 passengers. The bus from Dhaka turned to the wrong side of the road while overtaking a truck causing the accident.  An account of the accident from a passenger traveling in one of the buses provides yet another narrative of the tragedy: a third bus...

Editorial

Published Date: October 22, 2014
Time extension on safety welcome

IN a move that recognises efforts by the government to improve workplace safety and workers' rights in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza collapse, the 'Sustainability Compact' has recommended more time be given to authorities to make further progress in areas of concern. The review committee in Brussels hosted a 12-member team led by the Minister of Commerce to study progress made on various issues since July, 2013. The body appreciates government efforts in amending labour law, enabling registration...

KNOT SO TRUE

Published Date: October 22, 2014
Captains of economy

THREE centuries ago, Adam Smith thought economy was a clock that would continue its motion once set. Almost three hundred years before the birth of Christ, Plato thought quite the opposite. He thought that the ship of the state would have to be captained by philosopher kings. Way back then, Plato didn't quite think that many centuries later, those ruling the public sphere would be the farthest from philosophy and social good would ultimately be non-existent. Instead of planning...

BETWEEN THE LINES

Published Date: October 22, 2014
Whither Congress?

THE defeat of the Congress in Haryana and Maharashtra state elections does not come as a surprise. It was expected. Those who have followed the political developments since the 2014 Lok Sabha election had inferred that the party was a story of the past. It had been battered by charges of corruption so much and for so long that it had no public image left. The other parties, particularly the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), are finding favour with the...

Published Date: October 22, 2014
Making the market work better for the poor

THE Mecca of modern day capitalism is markets. Our needs and wants are usually allocated through the market; more and more aspects of our lives are becoming embedded in it. The global recessions and its widespread impact is a testament to the power, interconnectedness and importance of markets. Taking into account this ubiquity of market, one has to ponder why we have such widespread poverty coexisting with affluence. This is not a speculation on inequality or redistribution but a...

Published Date: October 22, 2014
Demonising dissenters: Dead or alive

Demonising dissenters: Dead or alive

THIS week has marked an important watershed in Bangladesh's fast eroding political culture. The universal norm of respecting the dead not only fell short, but sunk to a new low when a diatribe was orchestrated against a dead professor who held non-conformist views of society and politics, and was bold enough to express...

Published Date: October 22, 2014
Time to value girls and end rape culture

ROKEYA, one of seven children, studied only up to class 5 since her grandfather feared she was at risk of rape in school being an attractive girl. At 12, Rokeya's first marriage was arranged with a 22-year-old man who abandoned her after only 13 months. At 15, Rokeya left home to take a job in a garments factory. A single girl, living alone, she faced sexual harassment and returned home. Her father confined her to the house to protect...

Editorial

Published Date: October 21, 2014
When will pleasure trips end?

IN a country where thousands of crores of taka is siphoned off from banks without so much as whimper from the government, spending a sum of ten crores by Rajuk on wasteful trips, euphemistically called study tours, may look like pittance. But the issue is more fundamental than the sum involved. It is the planned and calculated manner of misusing public money by persons in high places of a government institution that is the point at issue. And unless...

Editorial

Published Date: October 21, 2014
JCD feuding spills out

OUTRAGED at the announcemment of the formation of JCD's new central committee, the faction feeling aggreived by the decision reacted violently. The reason behind such fierce expression of dissent has had to do with apparently not pursuing democratic procedure to form student body's new central committee. It didn't even spare vandalising the party's central office. The persuausive words of some central leaders fell on deaf ears on the infighting student activists. JCD's election rules were allegedly violated. In one instance,...

Published Date: October 21, 2014
Saarc energy cooperation

THE 5th Saarc Energy Ministers Meeting has finalised the Saarc Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation. Although Pakistan was missing from the meet, seven out of eight Saarc member countries have now come on board on sharing energy resource across borders. This is undoubtedly a very welcome step in the right direction given that it paves the way for member countries to buy and sell electricity as per individual country's needs. Signing of the framework is due to take place...