cover story on the garment factories in our country
was thorough and well researched. It vividly describes,
in harrowing detail, how the garment workers are forced
to work in cage-like factories. The owners of these
factories are earning huge amounts of money every
year, but they literally do nothing to improve the
working conditions in their factories. The government
has been doing nothing either, and this indifference
is giving birth to one tragedy after another. Quite
contrary to other Bangladeshi writers, who are in
cases are unnecessarily pretentious, Aasha Mehreen
Amin and Ahmed Hussain's writing style is surprisingly
newsy. I was a great fan of Mr Afsan Chowdhury until
he stopped writing for you. Now I get that same bold
way of writing in the writing of these two SWM writers.
Lubaba Rukhsana, Chittagong
These days we live in a world, where the proverb "Might
is Right" is the most appropriate. Thousands
of instances can be provided to prove this proverb.
For example in March 2003, when the first paratroopers
landed on Iraqi soil, US President George Bush claimed
that he was trying to "liberate" Iraq. All
the sensible people of the world had their doubts.
Now, a year later the horrible pictures of Iraqi prisoner
abuse have come out, and the real face of the "liberators"
are discovered. There is world-wide protest on the
abuse. Still, nothing will happen as "Might is
Right". Again, in Palestine, the mighty Israeli
PM Ariel Sharon is driving the steam roller of oppression
on the innocent and 'unarmed' [compared to the ultra-modern
weapons of the Israeli Army] Palestinians. The entire
world is watching with their "mouth-shut"
and "eyes-closed". Some so-called Arab states
sometimes condemn these killings which seems more
like "lip-service" than anything else. Kashmir,Bosnia,
Chechnia -- everywhere the scenario is almost the
same. Still nothing can be done because "Might
Anis, University of Dhaka
Factories or Jails?
I congratulate you on your accurate cover story on
yet another garment factory tragedy. This is a regular
disaster of our national life. You have so rightly
pointed out that there are no exits in these factories.
Truly speaking they are worse than jails, where young
females work for minimal wage under the most inhuman
and hazardous conditions. Most garment factories have
very narrow stairways with an inadequate capacity
for the number of workers. The main gates of these
factories are invariably found to be locked particularly
during the time of an emergency. Does this matter
to anyone at all? Although you raise a very important
question on whether it could have been avoided, the
bottom line is that under most circumstances our perception,
to a large extent, dictates reality.
Farida Shaikh, BAPA, Dhaka
"Saving Mostakina", the cover story of the
May 14th issue just terrified me as it uncovered the
brutal torture against innocent maids in our country.
It is certainly a shame that we are living in a society
where educated people like Dr.Fatema Doza and many
others torture their domestic help. Being educated
people how can we be so cruel knowing that our education,
our principles and our ethics certainly don't allow
us to do so. It is said that a doctor is a saviour
of lives but what happens when a doctor snatches that
belief away? Dr Fatema Doza has certainly disrespected
her profession and made a mockery of herself. She
fails to hold the dignity of such a noble position
in society. She proves to us that to be a good human
being, it does not only take an institutional certificate.
What we need is to grow our conscience.
Farah Sharmin, University of
Slice of Life
I read the story that Richa Jha wrote in the "Slice
of Life" section last weekend and after reading
that I couldn't help writing this note to express
my disappointment about this writing. I was requested
by a friend of mine to read this story as she was
disturbed by its content and said that she refused
to read The Daily Star anymore. After reading
the story, I as well as two of my friends found it
really pointless as well and we thought we should
let you know that the story does not go with the standard
of The Daily Star.
I hope Richa Jha will present us more quality writing
in future that won't be as silly as this one.
Arif Banani, Dhaka
special thanks goes to Shamim Ahsan, Kajalie Shehreen
Islam and the Editor of SWM for making my Friday morning
so enjoyable with your exclusive cover story about
the brutal incidents involving Mostakina titled, "Saving
Mostakina". It was a great piece of writing where
we see that such barbaric torture is happening repeatedly.
Through this cover story, we came to know about the
brutality of a witch in the guise of a woman. Thanks
a lot for telling us the real story. Hopefully these
people will get severe and exemplary punishment for
Politics is the most lucrative business in Bangladesh
now, as far as I am concerned. Politicians -- especially
government MPs, only think for themselves but not
for the masses. Democracy is now endangered and all
democratic notions are lost. Politicians only believe
in taking, but not giving and the victims are underprivileged
people. In democratic Bangladesh, it is high time
that we amend the definition of democracy. If Abraham
Lincoln had been alive, he would have amended his
quote after seeing the Bangla perspective. The new
quotation may go thus: "Democracy is of the people,
by the people, for the people" … and from the people.
Sujohn Iftekhar, Gopibagh , Dhaka
The book review titled 'A Joy Ride into American University
Life' printed last week (May 28, 2004) had some printing
errors. The name of the company Mustahid Hossain works
for should read as General Electric.