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Showing posts from April, 2004
Arithmetic of Poverty for World's Poorest


Dear Readers,

Poorest of the poor are neglected. For billions of people dire poverty is the fact of life. There are hard workingmen like Kanu Sarkar who has to peddle rickshaw everyday, even in severe pain from ulcer in his stomach. Clutching his belly, he says, "If I can't work for even a day, my wife and children go unfed," He can’t even decide between seeing a doctor or buying food, “laying out the pitiless arithmetic of poverty”.

The New York Times article “Debate Stirs Over Tiny Loans for World’s Poorest” is a very well written piece. It is a reminder for us the lucky ones what most of the world’s populace are going through everyday.

Microcredit has proven to be blessing for many, who perhaps would not dare to step in any standard money lending institutions. Poorest of the poor generally do not count in all the development process for any nation’s political leadership, except when the election time comes. Then there wo…
Oppressions of Ahmadiyya Muslims in Bangladesh


By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
April 28, 2004


Bigotry and zealotry are raising tentacles of fear and oppression in various parts of our globe and Bangladesh is no exception of this. A few months ago, rather than being bold in upholding the nation’s law in protecting freedom of religion and expression, Bangladesh Government, reportedly steered by the radical Islamic groups had imposed crushing injunctions on Ahmadiyya Muslims. Their publishing books were banned, clearly bypassing “Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Bangladesh is a state party states: " Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion…”[2]

The recent agitations against the Ahmadiyya community has reportedly been spearheaded by Islami Oikyo Jote (IOJ), a partner in Khaleda Zia's coalition government. Though in the past, it was Jamaat-e-Islami who took leading role in anti-Ahmadiyya activities…
Columnist Mary McGrory Dies at 85


Dear Readers,

It was only a few years ago that I had begun to read Mary McGrory’s weekly column and her piercing writings reminded me what does assertive journalism means.

Mary McGrory had been writing for more than half a century, won Pulitzer Prize many years back, and she had continued her fearless journalism career to the very last column she had written for The Washington Post.

It was only last year, just days before the Iraq invasion had begun, just hours before “shock and awe” and “precision” bombs had commenced showering over Iraqis, children included, Mary McGrory wrote in that opinion column: “Although you can depend on her to produce her lovely weapons, Mother Nature cannot be programmed. Already, the authorities are conceding that the cherry blossoms will not be in their prime for the festival, an annual event that draws thousands of visitors. That is, if they're not afraid of retaliatory acts of terrorism once the laser-guided bombs…
America's Ayatollah

Dear Readers,

As much as I could remember, Richard Cohen, the distinguished writer for the Washington Post, was in favor of Bush’s war in Iraq last year. Like millions of other good-natured Americans and other nationals, Bush and Blair’s trickery had put a mushroom cloud between the reality and fabrication. But the cloud has started to dissipate, and the writers like Mr. Cohen has begun to lash out against America’s Ayatollahs, the “almighty” driven current Bush Administration, who had taken the nation to a war on the basis of gross sham.

These are all good indications that American slumbering consciousness that was most likely suspended just aftermath of the devastating September 11 attacks a few years ago, are rising up once again. This is the time taking back America from the disastrous path that Bush is leading to, willingly playing at the hands of terrorists of visible and invisible attributes, this is the time challenging dogmatic Bush policies with th…
Shock and Awe Plastered in Permanence

By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
April 14, 2004


Nothing original popped out of his head. He looked perplexed, shifted weight from one leg to another, eye sockets rolled. Plenty of “hmm”, and “umm” were heard, and the old messages are replayed, the “incredible” Mr. Bush’s non-credible portrayal of war in Iraq.

"One thing is for certain, though, about me, and the world has learned this: When I say something, I mean it. The credibility of the United States is incredibly important for keeping world peace and freedom."

After seeing one hour long press conference, an infrequent event for this administration than a solar eclipse, foreigners from thousands of miles away or a hard-working American in neighboring suburb, sipping a club soda under a tropical colored umbrella or in a music roared tavern may ponder, how and why the intelligent Americans had “elected” this mediocrity loaded person as their leader. Does he deserve to be leader of the “free …