Ramya Sarma

Forget ethics, just pay!

November 26, 2010
Forget ethics, just pay!

Scandal and sensation is part of everyday life anywhere in the world. Like an epidemic, it has occasional flare-ups and then subsides into a subliminal mutter, all set and waiting to erupt once again into a storm that hits headlines in print, on television and over the Internet. Over the past few weeks, an epicentre has been India, a land-building scam vying for public attention with one focusing on the telecommunications industry and many others just waiting for their share of the media spotlight. It is all about high level politics, contacts, licenses, permits and, obviously, a great deal of money. Read more »

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Taj Hashmi

Towards understanding Islam in postcolonial world order — Part I

November 25, 2010
Towards understanding Islam in postcolonial world order — Part I

Overview

As the discord between modern and traditional Muslims is ideological by nature, so is the conflict between Islam and the West. And ideology is more about power, influence and identity than a mere reflection of culture and belief system. While modern Muslim elites are unwilling to concede power and privileges to the mullahs, most mullahs and their followers — mostly rural and small town lower elites with traditional Islamic or “vernacular” education — are also unwavering about not conceding any ground to non-traditional “Westernised” Muslims. Read more »

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Hasan Reza

Student politics and public university

November 24, 2010
Student politics and public university

The past election victory of the Awami League alliance was followed by another event — change of status quo of the students’ political organisations in the public universities. The student organisations, Chattra Dal and Chattra Shibir were ousted from many campuses. We thought that the reign of the bullies would come to an end! This did not happen. Rather, we were forced to embrace the political and social anarchy of Chattra League. Read more »

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MK Aaref

One-child policy, please!

November 23, 2010
One-child policy, please!

I was reading somewhere that by 2050, our population will be 250 million.

Indeed it is a huge number to deal with. At least, I certainly do NOT want to be around, surrounded by millions at this scale.

I am not going to delve into some statistical exercise. There is no point in arguing about the declining birth rates, our success in child mortality, women’s empowerment and all that. Yes, they all play a part in reducing birth rates, but obviously it has not been enough and we have a long way to go. Read more »

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Arshad Mahmud

Our leaders’ penchant for big house

November 22, 2010
Our leaders’ penchant for big house

The dust appears to have settled, at least for now, over Khaleda Zia’s Cantonment house. And I thought this is time to take a dispassionate look at the whole saga that seemed to have deflected public attention from more pressing issues afflicting the nation.

I must say that I couldn’t help but feel sad for Begum Zia when she wept publicly at a news conference after she was allegedly driven out of her cozy home. Read more »

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Frank Domenico Cipriani

America is not at war with Islam

November 22, 2010
America is not at war with Islam

“We are not at war with Islam. This is a war within Islam. A small minority of violent killers seek to impose their view on the vast majority of Muslims who want the same things all of us want: economic opportunity, education, and the chance to build a better life for themselves and their families.” — Sarah Palin (believe it or not!) Read more »

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Afsan Chowdhury

The minority report

November 21, 2010
The minority report

Seven years after 11 members of a Hindu family were murdered in Chittagong; the family still awaits a trial. In a country where the legal system is disabled and politics influences the verdicts, few can have confidence in the system to deliver. If you are a Hindu, the chances of getting redress are almost nil. We may not want to face it but we have effectively produced an anti-minority state, not just through omissions but commissions as well. Read more »

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Syeed Ahamed

Lie u ten ant

November 20, 2010
Lie u ten ant

On 13 November 2010, the opposition leader Khaleda Zia accused the government of ‘forcefully and disgracefully evicting her’ from her cantonment residence. Ironically the same day, some Awami League leaders thanked her for ‘upholding the rule of law’ by vacating the house ‘willingly’.

In the press briefing, the lamenting opposition leader said, “I feel harassed, humiliated and ashamed of the way I was thrown out of my home”. Read more »

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Ramya Sarma

The great divide

November 19, 2010
The great divide

Once upon a very long time ago God created man and, of course, woman. One school of thought maintains that woman — let’s call her Eve, since that would be more convenient and comprehensible — was formed from a bone from the ribcage of the man — Adam, again for more convenience. A Greek myth says that Pandora, the first woman, was a gift given to men by Zeus to punish them for having received fire, stolen from Prometheus. Zeus — oh, wise man! — commanded the creation of the first woman, a ‘beautiful evil’, destined to give birth to descendants who would torment the race of men. Read more »

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