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     Volume 6 Issue 16 | April 27, 2007 |

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The State of Religion
I would like to thank the SWM for the informative and timely cover story 'The State of Religion' (April 20, 2007) by Ahmede Hussain.
It's true that the main leaders of the JMB have been hanged but still there are many Islamic extremists residing in the country. They seem to be in a process of reorganising themselves for further attack. It's very bad news for Bangladeshis. Fundamentalism is the belief in absolute religious authority and the demand that this religious authority should be legally enforced. Fundamentalists reject modernism. I think the disparity between religious beliefs and modernism of society should be minimised otherwise it will be very tough to establish a secular society. A secular society is not a threat for any religion and people really need to understand that. The goal of these fundamentalists is to remake Bangladesh and impose their radical beliefs on people everywhere.
This is the best time to uproot these mega criminals and prevent them from entering politics to establish democracy and maintain national security. We hope this interim government will do so successfully.
Jewel Rana
BAU, Mymensingh


I was not pleased after reading your cover story 'The State of Religion' where blame was blatantly put on religious clerics.
It makes me wonder why our top two leaders, who are family members of prime figures in our liberation war are being sent out of the country (apparent exile). I do not see why history about Jamaat-e-Islami should be brought into the current context when neither the AL nor the BNP have kept their post-liberation war promises. So not only the Jamaat-e-Islami but also the AL and the BNP are an insult to the memories and dreams of our freedom fighters. Their senior party members are idols for corruption and terrorism which shows patriotism for our country is the last thing on their minds. They have long ago lost the confidence of the people and very few will be saddened to see the two leave.
Rezwan Kabir
By email

Thanks for a Good Cover Story
I want to thank the SWM for its cover story 'Women in a Make-Believe World' (March 9, 2007). It's a common picture in the media that women are represented as commodities. It is very degrading when advertisements show that only beautiful and glamorous girls are preferred in the job market and that a dark complexion is a nightmare for a girl's life.
Women have merit and they are now proving their intellect in every sphere of life. Advertisements have a very heavy impact on people's thoughts and principles and people who make them have an ethical responsibility to not represent such negative and unrealistic views of women.
Agrabad, Chittagong


Discrimination against women in different segments of our society was clearly represented in the cover story 'Women in a Make-Believe World' and other articles written on the March 9, 2007 issue of the SWM. It was an appreciable effort.
We always talk about women's welfare, their rights on TV shows, seminars, or conferences. But still they are deprived from their rights. In every field of work, they are humiliated by men. Every year we celebrate a particular day for women to raise awareness about their rights. But what have we gained from this? Although it has some effect in the urban area, in the rural area women do not comprehend the importance of 'a woman's day'. And they are regular victims of persecution and discrimination.
There are laws regarding such violation of rights but instances of such activities are increasing day by day. If this situation continues, we cannot establish our right in society.
Farhana Hoque Panna
Dept. Of Applied Statistics, DU

The Price of Protest
As an adivasi citizen myself, I have never had to put up with any racial prejudice up to now. But from time to time we do hear snippets, stories, rumours, vivid and grotesque descriptions of adivasis being biased and tortured in many different places of the country.
We love Bangladesh as much as any citizen of BD does. We cheer when our cricket team wins a match. But the incidents described in 'The Price of Protest' (April 20, 2007) really do not honour us, the adivasis or any persons in the country. The story about the murder of Choles Ritchil and the torture of others vindicated those allegations about adivasis being looked down upon. What we can hope for right now is to see the government take proper steps to investigate the matter and punish the culprits. If that does not happen, the government that won my heart will lose it as well as of all the other adivasis.
It is time for the government to honour our motherland, her children and the unbiased image of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Let us know deep inside that they really do have a clean heart!
Hitoishi Chakma
By email

A New Bangladesh!
I would like to thank Ahmede Hussain for a valuable and important cover story 'A New Bangladesh' (March 16, 2007). Due to the unbridled corruption of the politicians we have so far been unable to propel our country towards development. Now the bold feats being carried out will play an important role to deracinate corruption. Let us make a 'New Bangladesh'.
M. M. Milon
New Government Degree College, Rajshahi

Grameen Phone Vehicles
Grameen Phone has a fleet of buses for their employees. However, they have insufficient parking for these buses at their offices. Why does this give them the right to park their buses in every inch of space around Gulshan's residential areas?
It is very inconvenient for everyone in the area to have all these drivers and big buses hanging around every time we come in and out of our houses. It used to be quite a peaceful area but now there is constant honking and drivers loitering around. Grameen Phone needs to show some social responsibility and should have a proper parking lot for their buses, further out of town if necessary. I don't see why it is necessary for them to be located in Gulshan in the first place. they should move to another part of the city and ease our traffic burden.

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