No Vow for Insulin
President Mohammad Abdul Hamid was speaking at the silver jubilee celebration of Lalmatia College in Dhaka on December 26 when he told the audience how he often teases his wife Rashida Khanam. He said that once when he was having his breakfast, the nurse came to give insulin injection to his wife. He said he asked the nurse how much an insulin injection cost and learned that every two shots cost BDT900. He estimated that the cost of insulin and medications would cost around BDT1,000 every day. So he asked his wife where that money would come from once he retires from his job, because now the government takes care of the medical expenses for his family. When his wife replied that he will have to pick up that cost, the president quipped that the insulin was not included in his marriage vows
Standard of Universal Education is Poor
Former adviser to caretaker government and economist Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman is of the view that the standard of education in the country suffers from many shortcomings. He said the standard of universal education was poor and it is essential to ensure qualitative standard of education. Rahman said he would like to request the prime minister to introduce at least one thousand standard academic institutions in the next 15 years. While speaking at a seminar at the CIRDAP auditorium on December 28, he also added that it was important to closely observe the standard of education in the universities
Role of Money in Elections
Awami League general secretary and min - ister of road transport and bridges, Obaidul Quader, admitted that allegations about the use of money in the elections could not be denied. He added that none of the candidates are abiding by the funding limit determined by the Election Commission, and instead it is being violated in many places. Quader said it while responding to ques - tions from journalists at the meeting room of his ministry on December 27.
As Good As Putting One’s Head Under a Truck
BNP standing committee member Goyeshwar Chandra Roy claimed that while no vote robbery took place in Narayanganj, vote theft took place in the dark night. He said that according to many intellectuals the Narayanganj election was a rehearsal meant to establish the fact that fair elections could be held under Sheikh Hasina. Roy said that it is easier to detect a robbery than theft and it is also easier to apprehend the robbers than the thieves. He said it at a roundtable discussion organized by Voice of Democracy on December 27 at the National Press Club. He then added that going to election under Sheikh Hasina was the same thing as putting one’s head under a truck. He further added that it is a great sin to commit suicide but it is an even greater sin to participate in an election under her rule.
Getting Back the Right to Vote
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has wished success and uninterrupted peace and prosperity to everyone in Bangladesh, while injustice and oppression would disappear from the world. She added that she also wished for the end of all sorts of killings, kidnappings, murders, wars and conflicts in the New Year. She urged the people of Bangladesh to wage a united movement to restore democracy and the right to vote. Zia said it in her New Year message sent to the media on December 31.
Standard of Education
The prime minister gave a piece of her mind to those who questioned the Education Policy. She said she would like to tell those who criticize the policy that nothing can be changed overnight. She also added that these critics should first offer their voluntary services and do something for the underprivileged such as educate them. Sheikh Hasina further said she was yet to know from the critics what they meant by the standard of education and that she would be happy if they could explain it to her. The prime minister made her comments while launching the free books distribution program at Gonobhaban on December 31.
Khaleda Knew BNP Would Lose
Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury, known as a BNP sympathizer, believes that BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia knew that her party would lose in the Narayanganj City Corporation election. He said that Ivy had won the poll by dint of her own qualification and anybody who would have contested against her from BNP was bound to be defeated. Dr. Chowdhury expressed these views during an interview with a vernacular daily on December 23. He added that this time, like the last time, many BNP supporters voted for Ivy.
No Peace Without Social Revolution
Dr. Serajul Islam Chowdhury, emeritus professor of Dhaka University, said that these days it is hard to find as much knowledge as the noise that one hears. He also said that it is important to have knowledge because knowledge brings joy and that is the only way to make happiness available for all. Dr. Chowdhury emphasized that the joy of education is more entertaining than entertainment itself. He was giving a memorial lecture at Bangla Academy on December 25 when he also added that the quest for knowledge in Bangladesh was in a distressed condition and happiness for all could not be achieved short of a social revolution.
“Is This Country Your Feudal Property?”
BNP’s senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi gave the reaction of his party to the Awami League threat that BNP would not be allowed to take to the streets on the third anniversary of the tenth parliament. Regarding the BNP program on January 5, Rizvi told journalists on December 31 that if Awami League as a political party had any accountability to the people, then it would not have used such phrases as “we shall not allow them to do it” or “we shall stop them.” He wanted to know why Awami League would not allow BNP to observe its programs and asked if it deemed the country as its feudal property. Rizvi also said that only a gang of robbers could have such a devious mentality.
Tying Ropes Around the Feet
Jatiya Party chairman Hussain Muhammad Ershad complained that no government after 1990 has done justice to him. He said he was a chained politician and the incumbent government has still kept alive those lawsuits that BNP had filed against him. Ershad lamented that everybody wants to keep him in chains. He then added that he could no longer be kept in confinement and would come out breaking the chains. He also vowed that Jatiya Party would return to power. The Jaitya Party chairman was speaking at the Dhaka Supreme Court auditorium on December 21 when he made these remarks.