Close your eyes and try to see

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Name game continues

Senate of “National University” decided to rename the university as “Ziaur Rahman National University” in a meeting and the proposal was passed unanimously. May be they were all bunch of flatterers so no one opposed this bullshit decision. As an excuse of this rename, they found that National University was a brain child of former president Ziaur Rahman. Interestingly this university was founded in 1992 during the rule of BNP government and they didn’t realize it then. The Senate asked government to take necessary steps. Don’t know how much government will pay to take those necessary steps. This is a clear example of unnecessary steps and expenses, while all universities are suffering from fund shortage.

This not the only example of changing names. This became like a game. One government will change name of some organization or something else when they come to power. When another government comes they again change those or other names. Past Awami League government added the name of “Bangabandhu” (former president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) to as many places as they could. Present government changed some of them and on a similar way adding the name of “Zia”.

There is an easy way to end this “Name Game”. Adding the term “Rahman” everywhere would make it a bit unbiased. Because both the name “Ziaur Rahman” and “Sheikh Mujubur Rahman” contains the term “Rahman”. The authority can take it as a serious consideration.


Friday, October 22, 2004


I got this email from several persons. This email contains a picture of a paper that contains Arabic writings as an attachment. Before commenting on it lets read the mail first-

Believe In that... !! this is in arabic.. this is what it says..
A young girl had a very serious illness.. nothing could cure her.. On laylet el qadr. the girl was asleep..and in her dream.. Zainub (our prophets (sallah allah ala wa salm) daughter) gave the young girl some water. in the morning when the girl got up her illness had cured.. next to her bed..she found a piece of material saying that she must distribute that to 13 people.. and so she did......
A navy officer sent this letter to 13 people and he was promoted..
A business man recieved this letter and threw it away..not believing in it.. and he lost everything he had within 13 days..
It reached a labourer and he distributed it to 13 people. he was promoted and all his problems were solved within 13 days..
So you must send this email to 13 people for something good to happen to you (inshallah) so people..get sending !! :) dont be lazy.

Now almost all sensible people will be able to figure out that this is simply a misinformation. Someone started this cycle sending emails to some folks. They became frightened in fear of losing their belongings and sent to others. When I got the email there were hundreds of email addresses who forwarded it to the next persons.

I have experience of getting similar leaflet few years ago during praying Juma prayer outside a famous mosque. I neglected that leaflet too and nothing happen to me. So are you gonna believe this?


Thursday, October 21, 2004

For the fourth time

Ya. For the fourth time Bangladesh won the price of being the most corrupted country of the world. Bangladesh ranked last among 146 countries by Transparency International. This time she shared it with Haiti, though that doesn't make much difference.

I wonder why the authority don't give some bribe to Transparency International to improve our position!!


Saturday, October 16, 2004

Holy month of Ramadan

Today the holy month of Ramadan has started in Bangadesh. During this month Muslims keep themselves away from eating and drinking anything and some other tasks dawn to dusk. This month has spiritual and social impact on life of Muslims. In my country many things and tasks relating this month became tradition. Most people in Bangladesh fast during Ramadan, even those who don’t pray Namaz or are not that serious about religion. I know a man who doesn’t believe in God, never pray but fast during Ramadan. Isn’t it interesting?


Friday, October 15, 2004

Vacation of Ramadan

From today our university closed for long vacation of Ramadan. It’s a 40 day long vacation. We are quite lucky to get it while many other university and educational institutions are still running. Few years back we enjoyed the vacation at school and college too. But nowadays maximum school, colleges ignore this vacation. It’s really tough for junior students to fast all the day and attend classes. Children aging 10 to 15 remain crazy for fasting. But they are missing the thrill as their parents don’t allow them to fast to attend the classes.

Isn’t it seemed to you that, I am strongly on the side of so long vacation of Ramadan? Yes I am. Actually who don’t like vacations? But to be impartial, so long vacation is not sensible. It is never said that you fast all the day, ignoring your daily tasks. We should sustain our daily routine amid fasting.


Thursday, October 07, 2004

To have Sex or not !!

Recently I have watched a nice movie “40 days and 40 nights”. In the movie a boy takes a vow of not having any kind of sex for 40 days. He also vows not to masturbate and kiss. The movie round around his struggle to resist the temptation to continue with his vow. When he reaches the 40th day he expresses his realization by those words - “I just closed my world off, and I put myself in a little box. For a while everything seemed clear” This movie can be categorized as a comedy, though not that neat. You are suggested to see the movie if you don’t have any prejudice about movie rated 18 years and above. (Interestingly the word Bangladesh is used once in the movie, though it doesn’t have any relation with the mainstream.)

Now, is it ethical to have sex before marriage or not? In western countries it became a common incident. They really don’t care and used to live together. Even there are incidents of having child before marriage. What could be the reason not to marry, when you are ready to take a child? Without marriage one is not bound to his/her spouse. If the boy left the girl with a child none can blame him. Similarly girls want to be free, not being bound to any rigid bond. This kind of relations without marriage making their social structure fragile.

On the other hand in Indian subcontinent it is though not restrained by law, strongly inhibited socially. Though there are discreet incidents under veil occur. Neither Muslim nor Hindu society allow any kind of sex before marriage. I think this is a reason behind strong family bond of this subcontinent.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

101th post: About me

The last post was my 100th post. I don’t I should celebrate it or not. On my last 100 post I supplied very little information about me. Now on this post I am writing about me. Just check it out -

Name: Istiaque uddin chowdhury
Nick name: Rifat
Birthday: 11 January 1983
Native: Chittagong, Bangladesh
Religion: Islam
I study: Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh
Hobby: Listening music, reading books, surfing net, reading and writing blogs of course.
Like to read: Any book of Humayun Ahmed, Jafar Iqbal, Anisul Huq

Isn’t this seems pretty formal? Lets be a bit informal...

Who I am? : I’m just a boy who likes to dream.
What I do? : enjoy songs, sitting in my desk and try to study.
The book I like most: Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary
Favourite music: Bangla - Black, Aurthohin, Artcell. Englihsh - The Corrs, Shania Twain, Westlife, Avril Lavigne
Favourite movie: Titanic, Brave Heart, Independence Day, Terminator 2 and so on.
Do I love someone?: I don’t know (Believe me)
Proud to be: Muslim, Bangladeshi and for being heir of a prestigious family.
I dislike: Telling lie, geeks, smoking, any kind of cheating and anything porn.
I believe in: God, Friendship, power of love.
Don’t believe in: Horoscopes (but sometimes enjoy it),
My inspiration: Too many inspirations to mention here.
Worst thing to do: Memorize, Doing what I don’t want to do.
When did you last cry?: I can’t remember. Sometimes I try to cry. But I can’t. Do you know why?


Friday, October 01, 2004

Madrasa System of Bangladesh: A deeper view

Recently arguments are going around between bloggers about Madrasa education and subsequent matters. Though I am late to join the argument, I am expressing my idea about this matter, correlating with others ideas.

Madrasa, what it is and history: The word "Madrasa" comes from the same arabic root as "dars" which means a lesson or a lecture. Madrasa, as traditionally constructed in Islam, is an institution where any one of the four schools of religion in Islam - the madhhab - along with Arabic grammar, the traditions of the Prophet -hadith, history, literature, rhetoric, mathematics, and astronomy are taught.
This depicts what madrasa is in a nutshell. I borrowed this definition from the post Madrasas by Chapati Mystery. He wrote a very informative article about madrasas and its history. If you are interested about the history please read it, I am not including it here to shorten my post.

Branches of Madrasa education: I agree with most of what Rezwan wrote. But sadly he wrote based on wrong information about classification of Madrasas. As long as I know - there are two basic branch of Madrasa education. One is called Alia and other is called Kowmi. Other than these two, Hafezia Madrasa is a kind of specialized Madrasa for only Hefz (memorize) the holly Quran fully. Forkania Madrasas are very primary level Madrasas where students learn about Namaz and other elementary matters.
Alia Madrasas are under Madrasa board, which is directly governed by education ministry of Bangladesh. Those Madrasas follow specific syllabus made by the board and they are bound to read subjects like Bangla, English, Math and Science. The degrees given by Alia Madrasas are Dakhil, Alim, Fazil and Kamil. Those are equivalent to SSC, HSC, Graduation and Masters. Students passing Alim can even apply of Medical and Engineering let alone other varsities.
On the other hand government have no control over Kawmi Madrasas. Three major Madrasas established in Patia, Hathazari and Halishahar of Chittagong governs all Kawmi Madrasas. Those Madrasas don’t teach anything not relating to Islam. Those Madrasas offer all courses in Arabic, Urdu and Farsi only. They don’t learn Bangla and English totally. Their steps of education are quite different from schools and Alia Madrasas.

Funds: Government doesn’t give any big fund to Madrasas. There are many government schools and colleges in Bangladesh. But only few of the Madrasas are government. Moreover, government pays Madrasa teachers, very little percentage of their salary while school teachers get almost half of their salary from government. On the other hand most of the Madrasa students are too poor to pay the monthly salary. So Madrasas relay on rich, industrialists and other organizations for donations. But Kawmi Madrasas often manage funds from Middle East. Alia Madrasas don’t get this kind of fund because the donors don’t grant the system of education they follow.

Terrorist activities: It is true that some Kawmi Madrasas has direct link with terrorist activities. Even they take training with arms. But that is not so common and a few of the Kawmi students go through this kind of activities. But going to Palestine for war is not a believable in any case, let alone the high amount payment of them what Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury said. About the terrorist activities done by Madrasa students I totally agree with Daniel Brett. Communist parties and Sarbohara are doing much more terrorist activities than those. But they are not came to lime light so badly. Why? Does anyone of you know?

Bad system: The experience of Gene expression is quite sad. He found a wired situation coming from abroad. But Madrasa students are definitely a bit Self-centered. They know only what they taught and they are expert to memorize. I can tell my experience here – When I was at school in class six we had an Arabic subject (along with Islamic studies). A Moulana used to teach me the holly Quran and the subject regularly at home. He was so rude to get the lesson done. When the result came out I got 97 out of 100 on that subject while many of the students simply failed. Our class teacher showed my exam paper to all and there was not even an extra scratch there. That’s how he made me memorize even a single punctuation. Alas! I can’t remember anything of that subject now. See, that is the impact of memorizing.
Madrasa teachers give emphasize to memorizing badly. Most often they don’t try to explain what the real fact is. Sometimes even they don’t know the facts well.

The deadly cycle: Almost all the Madrasa students are poor and most of them are orphan. They don’t have any good privilege for good education. On the other hand the institution cannot provide good facilities too as I stated earlier. So the students don’t get any better knowledge and comes out of the Madrasas inefficient only as Mullah. They again get job in Madrasas and mosques as teacher and Imam. And again they teach the adherents on the same way. And the cycle rotates again and again in the same way.

Cutting ears and the aftereffect: Little green football (Discipline, Islamic Style) wrote about the news of cutting hears of 17 students off. The post has 361 comments. I read some of them. Most of the comments are written by westerns. They expressed their grief on Islam badly there. But in the comments it became clear that the teacher didn’t cut the ears apart. 2 of the students needed stitches and other needed only first aid. In fact the merciless Maulana had done a so cruel deed, doesn’t matter he cut off the ear or just cut.
Don’t think that I am trying to defend the stupid teacher. I am just saying that there are lots of people who always remain eager to find fault with Madrasas and Islam. They made the news even worse to make a bad appearance of Islam.

Extremism and Fanaticism: What Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury wrote is nothing but a pure misinformation. His article is full of words like extremism and fanaticism. In fact as the dictionary says what he wrote is also pure extremism. He wrote: “The Daily Inqilab acts as a mouthpiece of the fundamentalists in Bangladesh. It is believed that Inqilab enjoys very close contact with Osama Bin Laden.” Huh!! Even the most leftist would not believe it and even they will understand that the article is nothing but a misguidance. From my view if you are a liberal person you should hate “Janakantho” at the same time with “Inquilab”. Because one of those is extremely leftist and the other is extremely rightist. Both of the newspapers write misguiding and controversial news and articles.

Conclusion: There are many leakages in madrasa education system. We can’t shut all the Madrasas down for this. But the system should be reformed to a proficient one so that Madrasa students can compete with school students after passing with same potential. Again the big gap between Alia and Kawmi Madrasa system must be removed for a good Madrasa system.

links I used in this article –
1. Madrassa Education - An Anachronism Or A Victim Of Exploitation by Rezwan (Third world view)
2. Madrasas by Chapati Mystery
3. The Madrasa & me by Gene expression
4. Discipline, Islamic Style by Little green football
5. In Defence Of The Madrassas by Daniel Brett
6. Incubating Ultra-Radicalism by Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

Other links related to madrasas –
1. The problem with Madrasa by Wamy (Moodlogic)
2. Madrasas And India by Niraj
3. Rumors of jihad by