International Women's Day: The Way Ahead
Several programmes, seminars, symposiums, discussions and meetings are organised across the globe to commemorate International Women's Day, every year. Bangladesh is no exception. But women's rights are still violated everyday, and women are stigmatised by different sections of people in our country. We sometimes forget that women's rights and freedom are not just words, but real-life issues that bear serious implications for our country. It is needless to say that the progress our country has made so far in different areas is due to the contribution of both the men and women of our country.
But a lot more needs to be done to liberate women from all forms of repression, to ensure equal rights at every sphere of society and to free them from social maladies like dowry. Determined efforts should be made at all levels of society for the greater benefit of our country. We hope for a society which will honour women and make sure that they are respected.
Deaths of Journalists
As I read through the cover story 'Shooting the Messenger', I kept thinking that even during the days of monarchy, war-kings would not usually kill the messengers. International terrorist groups kill journalists not because of what they write, but to get across their demands. In countries where journalists are killed, it appears that they either get in the way of crime syndicates or political power. These countries, where the killing of journalists is almost a given, are considered failed states or states engaged in war. So what about our country? Why do we have to see such deaths when we have neither a war going on in the country nor an autocratic government in power? Why do we have to see such deaths when our home ministers continuously claim that the law and order situation of the country is in good shape?
You can do anything in Bangladesh if you have power and political influence. You can even kill whoever you dislike and go unpunished! It's unbearable to imagine the kind of trauma Megh, Sagor and Runi's child is going through and yet we have no answer. Funnily enough, our home minister's ultimatum of 48 hours has still not ended! Police and law enforcing agencies have been trying hard to solve the crime, but they haven't made much progress. Maybe their investigation will never end. Journalists are being murdered regularly, with their families receiving no justice. Like everyone else, even I suspect that the truth will be lost during investigation. Our home minister always says that no one will be spared in the quest for justice and also talks about democracy, but unfortunately, we are yet to see any results.
The killing of Sagor and Runi has moved every citizen of Bangladesh and yet the government remains insensitive. The public needs an answer. If this trend continues, journalists will be discouraged from performing their duty. We may lose many more journalists in the same way. I have no doubt that they'll get justice from the Judge of all judges, that's for sure!
Privitisation of DMCH
Photo: Amirul Rajiv
Our government wants to turn the age-old Dhaka medical college and hospital (DMCH) into a medical university for higher studies. This step, however, will create an undesirable situation in the most reputed hospital of the country. While a section of the staff supports the change, others disagree with the declaration of government. Most of them think that they will be bound to be suspended without any excuse. The patients coming from remote places won't receive medical services.
If DMCH becomes a university, then the other 21 government medical colleges and hospitals will also demand the same. This, in turn, will increase the cost of running all the 21 universities. The cost of service will also increase since every university will want to increase their service charges. Amidst all this, the poor people would suffer the most. This problem can be easily solved if the 22 government medical colleges and hospitals become affiliated with the faculty of medicine and surgery departments of the various public universities and private medical colleges. Most of the reputed medical colleges of the world are run under the faculty of medicine of famous universities. Our government should follow a similar system.
An Insincere Formality
February 21 is undoubtedly a glorious and significant day in the history of Bangladesh. More or less, we all know about its history, but have we really been able to show respect to those who sacrificed their lives for the Bangla language? Is it enough to maintain the formality only on February 21? We don't give Bangla priority in our daily lives. In offices, colleges, universities and many other sectors we are ignoring Bangla and preferring English. Many people speak Bangla with a mix of English. Even the verdicts in court are announced in English. Why is there this insincerity to the most glorious language in the world? The high court recently imposed a rule to the government about the use of Bangla but a law is not sufficient. We should have sincerity and pure love from the depth of our hearts. Real and true respect to our language-martyrs should be shown through speaking correct Bangla and prioritising it in our daily and national lives, not only by the mere formality of celebrating February 21. Let us speak Bangla correctly.
Nur Islam Sarker,
Carmichael College, Rangpur
This letter is in regard to the cover story 'Whitewashed' published on 24th February 2012. This story has rightfully established another medium of discrimination against women. Thanks to the Star for covering this matter. Although we live in a civilised society, women still face a lot of discrimination in various sectors. Even though there are many women who are efficient and have good qualities, they still don't receive the kind of treatment that they deserve, solely due to the colour of their skin. In fact job sectors prefer good-looking fair-skinned girls. They hire pretty girls in order to attract more customers. This kind of sexism mainly exists in South Asian countries and discourages women to participate in various nation-building activities. It should be stopped immediately.
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