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     Volume 4 Issue 19 | October 29, 2004 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
   A Roman Column
   Straight Talk
   Photo Feature
   On Campus
   Time Out
   Slice of Life
   Book Review
   Dhaka Diary
   New Flicks
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On Campus

Is DU a University
or a Political Centre?

A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindless in clothes a wantonness…
I see a wild civility…

During our first year at university, while giving a lecture on Robert Herrick's "Delight in Disorder", Prof Syed Manzoorul Islam asked us, "Do you see disorder in the university?"

All the students immediately replied in unison, "Yes, Sir, everywhere!"

Like Ulysses, a restless warrior, in our first year at DU, we were busy all day long simply having fun. University was a new world for us, DU being the centre of everything. But the joy didn't last long. Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) called an indefinite strike preceding the national elections of 2001. Now a 4-month session jam every year has become common for us at DU. We don't understand the need to close the university. Even during movements, like those protesting the police raid on Shamsunnahar Hall and the attack on Prof Humayun Azad, wouldn't the university remaining open mean more people taking part in them?

In our country, nothing is free from politics, including public universities. Our university teachers are members of the White, Blue, etc. panels. No other country in the world has teachers, the architects of the nation, involved in politics as they are in ours. Students of the Arts Faculty cannot concentrate in class because of noisy political meetings and processions at Aparajeyo Bangla, which sometimes feels more like Muktangon or Paltan Maidan than an university campus.

One morning when I went to my university hall office for some paperwork, some JCD men stopped me and asked me to join a political procession. "But I don't live in the hall," I ventured. "Shut up! That doesn't matter," said a cadre angrily. They stopped everyone entering and leaving the halls and made them join the procession.

It has now become an established fact that meritorious students get admitted into DU and lose all their talent in the volatile environment. They gradually lose interest in their studies due to all the turmoil. They become frustrated even to the point of taking drugs.

I am a third year student. My third year exams have been postponed three times already. Right now, it seems wiser to go to private universities or else abroad for our higher education. But both options are difficult for middle class families because of the expenses involved. Those who try are either refused visas at the various embassies or financial aid from the different universities.

We don't know what awaits us in the future. We are victims at the mercy of the shameless and corrupt political parties and their wrong, mindless politics.
Rahad Abir
Department of English
University of Dhaka


I am a founder member of the Alumni Association of Asian University of Bangladesh (AAAUB). The third convocation of AUB was held on June 1 of this year. It consisted of a cultural show featuring renowned artistes. The show was arranged with the aim of signing up students who had graduated as members of the Alumni Association. A large group of people learnt about the Alumni Association for the first time and were very interested in it. We are hoping to expand the number of members and are organising various activities for he alumni.
Mominul Hasan Rintu
Dept. of Business Administration
Asian University of Bangladesh

Student Politics

By the term "the dark side of the moon" we understand that apart from its glorious side, the moon has its dark one as well. The term "student politics" also has both a good side and a bad. The better side of it refers to students forming a committee in order to establish their manifold rights including their overall welfare on campus. A committee accountable to the university authorities. In short, the politics is supposed to be for the betterment of the students. But, unfortunately in our country, students are mislead and become involved in violent and self-destructive politics. Student politics here is simply a tool of the mainstream politicians with which they take advantage of naïve students in order to carry out their own evil designs and the students are merely their victims. I felt the curse during my own university days. I was not really involved in student politics myself, but I witnessed the tyranny of the so-called student leaders of the different political parties. These rogues were the terror of the whole campus. Many were not even students and had no academic background whatsoever. They would abuse students without any party affiliation who refused to join in their activities and would even throw plates at other students without any reason or provocation. The ultimate result is the loss of a number of lives, and utter frustration on the part of the innocent students, struggling to deal with the harsh realities of life and fulfilling the dreams of their families. It is high time that students as well as the different parties ponder over this issue.
Rafiqul Islam Rime
Agrabad, Chittagong


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