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The twilight road
Thirty-five years

It's only a small phrase yet it's quite a long time to live through and especially if you yourself haven't reached that age, it's easier to appreciate the magnitude of such a figure…

Everyone probably knows what I'm talking about. If you don't, then shame on you. The 26th of March is upon us. On this momentous day, thirty-five years ago, we established sovereignty we became a free nation of our own.

It was freedom from the tyranny of Pakistani rule. It was freedom from those who wished to subjugate and dominate. It was freedom from a life of a fear.

In perspective, after 35 years, what has it become a freedom to?

A failing Government needs a puppet terrorist organisation to assert itself as a leader we should put our faith in. The reputations of two groups are built up over years one through fear and one through notoriety.

Pebbles are thrown into the pond and the ripples reverberate throughout, ruining the balance and tranquillity the fish are oblivious to world beyond the surface and their hatred, if they feel it, is directed at the unsightly stones that mar their otherwise peaceful lives.

The white pawns are sent into battle, dying so that the King remains unharmed. The black pieces ravage the pawns with little thought. The white army appears to be in disarray until the white Queen and her Knights, Bishops and Rooks are sent into the fray. The black pieces are cut down. The despised black King and Queen seem demoralised and offer little in the way of a fight. The battle ends with their cold, calculated destruction and the surviving pawns celebrate. The black pieces deserved what they got for all the terror they wrought. The King is a true hero.

If only the pieces knew that the game was being played by one person the same person who enjoyed throwing stones into the pond.

We live in this game where a battle of egos and supremacy rages on at all fronts from the highest to the most base of levels.

A man wishes to express his ideals and his thoughts such an activity is duly encouraged. After all, they all shout out to the world that we would be nothing without the right of free expression, right? Of course, they agree that limits must be observed for the sake of protocol and respect.

What is being expressed may infringe into the 'ethics' of others, but that isn't an issue if it is a 'freedom', right? The man will gladly go up to the podium and smile and wave at the awaiting crowd. He will then bow and step down. Maybe there's no real need to say all that, he thinks. After all, he's quite sure they all know. No need to repeat something that everyone already knows, right? There's no need for him to force his personal ethics upon others. Infact, as far he's concerned, his ideas are actually quite biased. As far as he knows, the people might disagree completely with him that in itself is the freedom of their expression right? It makes no sense to go through such trouble, after all. It might even be in the best of interests of himself and others that he not bother to step up to the podium again.

Embracing a single day out of hundreds to celebrate and offer our respects to the ghosts and dreams of history. Spending the rest of our days in activities that undermine the true worth of a freedom fought for in blood and tears. Spending that single day revelling in an emotion that becomes terrestrial for that day and alien the next. What a farcical and pretentious beast patriotism is here!

A nation cannot bring itself up to stand head and shoulders with others if it travels in a straight line. From that point in 1971, it had to travel a curved path. A path that lead up and towards the stars. Such beautiful hopes and dreams they must have had back then. They should be happy that such a dream was realised! The curved path was traversed higher and higher. The path kept curving further. It finally curved back and is now curving into itself it's almost a full circle. Are returning to the very point we aimed to get as far away as possible from?

In the most cliché of definitions, light and dark must coexist in order to maintain harmony. We like to believe that we began that journey on the twilight road, on the 26th of March, 1971. We traverse that same twilight path into not the dawn but the night that is the 26th of March, 2006.

While it's been too long, it's never too late. On this the 35th anniversary of our freedom, it's not too late to remember what this day stands for. Then it is imperative to hold on the same thoughts, the same feeling for the other three-hundred and sixty-four days. I myself am far from patriotic my only thoughts about the 26th of March usually involve wondering if it will fall on a weekday so that I can enjoy a day off from school. At the same time, I truly appreciate and respect the sacrifice that so many made for a future that was uncertain at the time. If you want to honour those brave men and women, then don't just be patriotic mean it. Every single day. Like those before us, stop looking at the now and stare on past the horizon to a brighter future.

Maybe then, we may be able to embrace the glorious light of daybreak.

By Le Chupacabra

Campus news
CUDS inter department debate competition 2006

"Juktir ...Ekhon-e Shomoy, Eito Shomoy" with this slogan Chittagong University Debating Society (CUDS) organised the 8th Bengali & 2nd English Inter Department Debate Competition 2006. The event was held at the Bussiness Studies Faculty Auditorium of the University of Chittagong (CU) and was sponsored jointly by Well Group and The Daily Amar Desh.

The competition was inaugurated on the 11th of March. Eminent scientist Dr. Jamal Nazrul Islam was present in the opening ceremony as the chief guest and Mr. Ahmed Kabir , Chittagong Bureau Chief of The Daily Amar Desh was the special guest of the event. Other notables present were Dr. Mahbubul Haque, Moderator, CUDS, Mr. M.S. Abedin, President,CUDS,Mr.Tajul Islam,General Secretary,CUDS, Mr.Fuad Hassan,Ex-President,CUDS and Lecturer, Department of Marketing,CU and many others.

A total of 15 and 9 teams had competed in Bengali and English section of the debate competion respectively. The finals were held on the 18th of March. In Bengali section Department of English defeated Department of Law where Jewel Chowdhury of Department of English was adjudged the best debator and in English section Department of Law (group:Justice) defeated Department of English (group:Plato) where Md. Nasir Uddin of Department of Law was chosen as the best debator.Tamanna Farah and Nishat Sultana of Department of Law were the winner in Bengali and English Barowari Debate respectively.

After the finals, CUDS had organised an exhibition debate between the teachers and the students which was a very enjoyable affair. At around 4.00 p.m. the honourable Vice-Chancellor of CU Dr. M. Badiul Alam had given out the prizes among the winners as the chief guest where Mr. Amanullah Kabir, Editor of The Daily Amar Desh was the special guest, Mr. Saurav Chowdhury, General Manager-Finance, Well Group, the Modaretor, President and General Secretary of CUDS and many others were present.

In this whole event CUDS also showed a number of good Bengali films to entertain the huge number of audiences.The event came to an end after a short cultural programme by the members of CUDS.

By Mokhduma

Saluting our stars

Under a sparkling dome, the brilliant young minds of this nation were yet again honoured for their achievements. The award ceremony for outstanding achievers in the O & A level exams was the 7th such occasion in as many years. It organised by the Daily Star and sponsored jointly by Edexcel International and Banglalink.

The China-Bangladesh Friendship Conference centre brimmed with pride as the 610 awardees, and their parents, awaited with much anticipation. At first there was the National Anthem, led by a well 'tuned-up' group from Sunnydale. The main programme started with an inspirational welcome address from Mr. Mahfuz Anam, after which the chief of Edexcel, Banglalink and his Excellency the British High Commissioner also presented their valuable speeches. After three more short speeches from three top achievers of this session, the presentations were on the way.

As the students collected the awards according to their schools, it seemed as if Scholastica was once again set to steal the show by bagging the highest number of awards. But this time, the likes of Maple Leaf, Sunbeams, Sunnydale International and Mastermind also made significant achievements; as their queues of awardees seemed never-ending at times. 'It's awesome to know your friends aren't missing out', said a beaming Samiha, one of the many awardees from Maple Leaf.

Amongst the flood of candidates from Dhaka, it is important to keep in mind the achievements from outside our capital. Yamin & Yasir bin Baqui, the twin brothers from Sunshine Grammar School, Chittagong, had become familiar faces on the stage. They both grabbed a staggering 5 A's in the A' levels within a single academic year, while Yasir also scored the highest marks in Further Mathematics! When asked about their future plans both of them expressed their desire to work with NASA as aerospace engineers. Another top achiever, Sarah Fouzia from Scholastica, notched up 10 A's in the O'levels in a single sitting! And out of those 10, she scored highest in 4 subjects. As she stood on the stage while her name was called out again and again for 4 distinctions, the stunned audience applauded her with loud cheers.

Just like her speech at the beginning of the programme, Prathama's results were equally impressive. A student of Sunnydale International (this name just keeps on coming up, and no I'm not an ex-Sunnydalian), Prathama has scored as many as 11 A's in her O' levels in two consecutive sittings. She wishes to study neurosciences, and thus contribute to the development of the human mind. Apart from these three, Naila Akhter from Maple Leaf got 5 A's in her A' levels within 1 year, and Nabila from BIS notched up 10 A's in the O' levels in a single sitting.

While we focus on the cream, let us not undermine the efforts of the rest of the lot. The act of getting 6 A's in O'level and 3 A's in A' level alone is no mean achievement, as some universities don't even require students to pass in as many subjects for admission. But as we celebrate our success, let us also be aware of our responsibilities towards our country, and also to the global community. As Mr. Mahfuz Anam puts it more fittingly: “There is no achievement unless it touches the community, touches the people who has given you the opportunity to achieve this.”

In conclusion, we recognize the efforts of the organiser and the sponsors, all attendees, and also the volunteers and all other people who have been directly and indirectly involved in making this occasion a tremendous success. Last but in no account the least, I on behalf of Rising Stars, take this opportunity to congratulate all the stars of our academic arena!

By Tausif Salim


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