Response to Farhana Deeba's Article
Thanks for your letter in SWM on the April 29th issue. I
would like to express my feelings on this matter about the
majority of students at Dhaka University, who I feel have
no commitment to our Bangali culture. I have observed the
students of DU and they are always watching foreign movies
and music videos on satellite television and they try to
incorporate this foreign culture in their everyday lifestyles.
They avoid Bangali culture and never make an effort to watch
any Bangla serials on Bangla channels. They celebrate Pahela
Boishakh as a fashion. They spend the entire day visiting
Chinese restaurants with their friends and watching Hindi/English
movies. They insult our culture with their disregard for
Bring Them to Reality
I must thank Biddut Khoshnobish for his letter "Detached
from reality" in a recent issue of SWM. I totally agree
with him. There are some fanatics who try to reap there
own benefits in the name of religion. And regrettably it
is true that they are successful in planting their militant
attitudes in other peoples' heads. It is surprising, however,
that so-called literate people actually buy into these close-minded
concepts. At least an educated person should not accept
this kind of extremism. These unruly, blind, fanciful persons
are trying to bring Islamic Revolution through militancy,
hostility and destruction. I want to remind those people
that they are just losing their acceptability and at the
same time creating a bad impression of Islam to the rest
of the world. I believe that we should be more tolerant
and show respect to other religions. Sometimes I wonder
how long it will be before Bangladesh becomes a truly civilised
nation! Once again I would like to thank Khoshnobish for
such a bold writing.
"DU's Smelly Secret"
I would like to express my thanks to Star Weekend Magazine
and Kajalie Shehreen Islam for the cover story about the
very poor condition of the toilets at the DU Arts Faculty
Building. If we review the condition of the toilets in different
government offices the picture would not be much better.
and sanitation has a link with the general habits of the
people. There is definitely room for improvement in terms
of cleanliness in bathrooms. For unknown reasons the relevant
record of the sub-continent is very poor if you travel around
the region. Open defecation is a common sight. Spitting
in public places is a regular practice. Surprisingly, increased
literacy level of the people could not change their respective
unhygienic behaviour which indicates that other elements
are involved in determining hygiene behaviour.
traditional notion of maintenance puts the total responsibility
on a few people. But a system is actually run by people
whose behavioural pattern matters. Nowadays we talk about
the role of the beneficiaries also in the maintenance of
public infrastructure. The arts building premises is used
by hundreds of outsiders everyday and they also use the
toilets. Restriction has to be put on the use of toilets
am not against running a story like this where you bring
to light the uncomfortable secret of an institution, but
I would like to treat the matter in a larger perspective.
How much the issue of the story is related to cultural behaviour
of the people is indicated by the fact that there was a
need for a large scale social movement to try to achieve
safe defecation practice in the countries of the region.
There is a need for a change in the mindset of the students,
teachers and the staff if we want to get an impressive Arts
I.Khan University of Dhaka
Accept or Not?
I have been following the recent controversy over the issue
of the NBR (National Bureau of Revenue) chief's return of
the Rolex watch handed over to him by a businessman, with
some concern. In some quarters, there has even been an adverse
reaction against the return of the Rolex, with sinister
(not quite explained) motives attributed to this action,
claiming that the NBR chief should not have been embarrassed
to refuse the gift.
disagree with this. Quite apart from the fact that we Bangalis
do not usually accept rejection with any degree of grace
-- our so-called "prestige" being extraordinarily
easily hurt -- I believe there may well be more to the story
than meets the eye. However, my analysis is that, rather
than there being any sinister motive, perhaps the aim of
making the story public was firstly, to make it very clear
the disgraceful extent to which corruption has permeated
our society; and secondly, to send out a wider message that
the NBR chief is not interested in being the recipient of
such bribes. In effect, this sends out a clear signal which
should act as a preventive measure against any future offerings
of this kind. I think this is an effective and strategic
approach to the problem of widespread corruption in our
think that we need to direct our suspicion towards those
who accept gifts, rather than those who reject them (for
whatever reason!). The fact that we are spending so much
time questioning the motives behind the return, is for me
a worrying indication of the extent to which cynicism has
pervaded our society.
Rahman On Email
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