Ivy's Poison

Ivy's Poison

The pictures on the front page of practically every major newspaper on Wednesday, January 17, conjure an ugly image of Bangladesh's political scene. Frenzied men with weapons attacking each other, their faces in grotesque contortions representing rage, venom, aggression. This would not be anything out of the ordinary given the current trends of streets looking like battlefields after clashes between opposing political groups or more realistically, between factions of the same political group. Wednesday's images, however, have taken our political image to an all-time low. They are of a woman city mayor, the first of her kind to hold such a position, being shielded by her followers from being attacked by a mob of men—supporters of an MP known for his mysterious and tenacious grasp over Narayanganj.

Despite all their attempts to protect her, Mayor Ivy was injured—a brick hit her leg and in the jostling she fell. Newspapers say around 50 were hurt though none of them can quantify the terror and despair of the people of this city who had to witness these disturbing, shameful scenes. For it is indeed shameful that a city's mayor would be attacked by members of the ruling party because she was trying to do her job.

The entire fiasco centred on the issue of eviction of hawkers from footpaths so that pedestrians could use them. Seems like a regular duty of a diligent mayor. But in Narayanganj, as anywhere else in the country, politics is far from being regular. As expected, when the eviction drive was announced, the hawkers, through their association, protested—where would they go after all?

The mayor was given a memorandum, she announced her decision to free the footpaths, the hawkers staged demonstrations, the city corporation announced a few designated areas where the hawkers could sell their ware till February 27 from 5pm to 9pm, a lawmaker gave a 24-hour ultimatum to revoke the eviction drive and give the footpaths back to the hawkers, and finally in a bizarre confrontation, the mayor and her supporters were attacked by the said lawmaker's men.

If you were a stranger to our special brand of politics, the first logical question would be: Why is this lawmaker interfering with the mayor's work? The second one would be: If the lawmaker was so concerned about the hawkers' wellbeing, couldn't he have had a discussion with the mayor and work out a solution? Thirdly, why did it all turn so violent with someone even brandishing his gun and allegedly firing shots into the air? Fourthly, and most importantly, why would a lawmaker's followers attack the city's mayor? Are they not on the same side—same government, same party?

These questions may seem quite straightforward and resulting from pure common sense. But this is Narayanganj we are talking about—Bangladesh's Gotham City where the Joker reigns with full impunity and Batman is a simply attired woman who has taken on the task of trying to fix a city that seems almost unfixable, being in the grip of one of the most powerful political families in Bangladesh's history. This is the place of the famous “seven-murder case” that involved members of the RAB as well as influential people connected to the political elite. is is where Tanwir Muhammad Taqi, the son of cultural activist Rafiur Rabbi of Narayanganj, was abducted and killed on March 6, 2013. Even after more than three years, the law enforcers have yet to find his killer(s) although Taqi's father has filed cases against certain individuals including the nephew of the lawmaker involved in Tuesday's incident.

But to be fair, having Selina Hayat Ivy as a mayor has been a sliver of hope for this Gotham of a city. Ivy, despite her formidable opponents, has endured, perhaps because of being from a political family—her father, Ali Ahmed Chunka, was a former Narayanganj municipal chairman and an AL leader—and definitely because of sheer grit and determination. 2011, she won the mayoral elections after beating Shamim Osman by one lakh votes. In 2016, despite efforts by MP Shamim Osman to exclude her from nomination from the panel, the prime minister picked her to be mayor.

Tuesday's unsavoury incident in which a mayor and her supporters were attacked by goons of a lawmaker, gives an indication of the obstacles she faces. According to Mayor Ivy, she had come to Chashara to tell people that the footpaths would be free for pedestrians to walk on, that the displaced hawkers would be rehabilitated in a proper building, honouring the prime minister's directive. According to news reports, when some of Ivy's supporters tried to evict some hawkers, an altercation erupted. She was then attacked by supporters of the lawmaker.

After the incident a probe committee has been engaged and both the mayor and the lawmaker have been summoned by the PM—no doubt to express her disappointment in two important leaders and favourites from her own party.

But even for the ordinary citizens who have witnessed all kinds of violence in the name of politics over the last few decades, the idea that a mayor—a woman politician who has braved the patriarchal system to attain the trust of the public and the support of the prime minister who happens to be a woman—can be physically attacked and blatantly intimidated by a lawmaker, is shocking. this is a preview of what is to come as we get closer to our national elections, there is little to feel optimistic about.


Aasha Mehreen Amin is Deputy Editor, Editorial and Opinion, The Daily Star.


on Facebook for the latest opinions, commentaries and analyses by experts and professionals.


Read more...

Obesity multiplies risk of cancer disease, especially in women

Obesity multiplies risk of cancer disease, especially in women

New European research has found that being overweight or obese exponentially increases the chance of suffering from heart disease or cancer, with the risk even greater for women than men.

The findings come from the Spanish Risk Function of Coronary and Other Events (FRESCO) study led by researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and doctors from Hospital del Mar, who analyzed 54,446 people over a 10-year period.

Participants were men and women aged 35 to 79, with 46. 5% of participants classed as overweight and 27. 8% classed as obese.

Only 26 percent of the participants were considered to be a normal weight, with a body mass index (BMI) below 25.

The team found that being obese posed the greatest health risks for women, who were five times more likely to suffer a cardiovascular disease, and 12 times more likely to develop cancer than women who were a normal weight.

Women who were classed as overweight but not obese still had twice the risk of heart disease and four times the risk of cancer than those who were normal weight.

Although obesity was found to double a man's likelihood of developing some type of cancer, unlike women it did not appear to have a significant influence on cardiovascular diseases.

proportional increase in the risk of adverse health events," with the team describing the results of the study as "concerning.

It is necessary to find strategies for promoting a healthy diet, doing physical activity, screening for diseases, and establishing prevention policies that affect the entire population in order to decrease the prevalence of obesity," commented Dr. Jaume Marrugat, principal investigator of the study. The improvements in cardiovascular risk factors achieved over the last 20 years are dramatically neutralized by the obesity epidemic.

The researchers added that even small weight reductions can bring huge health benefits. In a country where the average life expectancy is 80 for example, overweight people who lose 5 kilos in their 40s and do not put the weight back on can reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 percent. Women would also benefit from a 20 percent reduction in the risk of cancer.

The World Health Organization estimates that obesity affects more than 650 million people across the globe, a number which has tripled since 1975.

As well as cardiovascular disease and cancer obesity is also linked to a variety of other health conditions including diabetes and musculoskeletal disorders.

The findings can be found published online in the journal Preventive Medicine.

Read more...

Akshay said this about Rajinikanth

Authors: Ecroaker. com Boosters.

Bollywood star Akshay Kumar is a big fan of Rajinikanth, just like the rest of the country. The two stars of Indian cinema will be sharing screen space for the first time in Shankar's science-fiction drama 2. 0.

Akshay, in a recent interview with Mid-day, said that the South Indian superstar is the only one in showbiz who has got swag. In fact, the actor enjoyed being on the sets of the movie so much that he claimed that he even had a blast in the scenes where Rajinikanth was bashing him up.

Once, we were just sitting on the set, waiting for the next shot and he (Rajinikanth) brushed some dirt off his pants. The entire unit was awestruck by how stylishly he did it. Everything he does is so stylish. I even enjoyed getting punched by him," Akshay said.

Akshay, who will be seen as the primary antagonist of the movie, said that he has thoroughly enjoyed being the bad guy for the camera.

Many people asked me why I wanted to play a villain and I told them, 'Why not? A hero exists only when there's a villain. I had never imagined that I would be part of the costliest Indian film.

There are numerous rumours doing the rounds about the actor's character, one of them being that his character turns into a crow after an experiment goes horribly wrong.

However, Akshay has himself made light of them and denied that his character is even similar to the one being described by fans.

Whatever you hear about 2. 0 is all a lie as no one knows anything about it and we are not allowed to talk about it. In fact, I'm glad such rumours are doing the rounds because people will be in for a surprise when they watch the film," Mid-day quoted Akshay as saying.

2. 0 will have an April release. No official release date has been announced by the makers yet. Earlier, there were reports that the movie would release in December 2017, the date was then pushed to January 26.

Also watch: 2.

Read more...

When Sushmita and her 'former lover' came under one roof

Authors: Ecroaker. com Boosters.

It is a known fact that Sushmita Sen once dated Randeep Hooda when they got close on the sets of their 2009 film 'Karma, Confessions and Holi'. But their relationship was short-lived. It has almost been a decade now ever since they parted ways.

But recently, the two exes came under the same roof when they attended the birthday bash of Rizwan Sajan, founder chairman of Danube Group in Dubai on December 28, 2017.

According to a report in mid-day, Sushmita and Randeep, who still seemed to be carrying their discomfiture even almost 10 years after their break-up, were seen avoiding each other at the party. They even made sure not to get clicked together.

The birthday bash took place at Rizwan Sajan's residence in the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, which was attended by the who's who of Bollywood including Sunny Leone, Padmini Kolhapure, Poonam Dhillon, Madhur Bhandarkar, Annu Kapoor and others.

Interestingly, Sushmita happens to be the brand ambassador of Rizwan Sajan's company. So Sush's presence is quite comprehensible.

Does Randeep's attendance hint at a possible reconciliation? Only Sushmita and Randeep can tell.

Well, Sushmita Sen and her short-term relationships have always been the hot topics of discussion in the B-town. Last year in November, rumours did the rounds in the tinsel town that the former Miss Universe had broken up with her 10th boyfriend Ritik Bhasin, a restaurateur in Mumbai, after dating him for four years.

However, the two were spotted at Sagarika Ghatge and Zaheer Khan's wedding reception which was held at The Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai on November 27.

Read more...

Trump announces his 'fake news awards'

Screen Shot 2018 01 17 at 5. 10.

President Donald Trump teased a website announcing so-called "fake news winners," but the website, hosted by the Republican National Committee, went offline almost immediately and displayed several different errors.

And the FAKE NEWS winners are. Trump tweeted with a link to the website on Wednesday night.

The website displayed the following messages upon loading: "The site is temporarily offline, we are working to bring it back up. Please try back later," and "Don't worry, we're making it great again. Start here.

Trump previously said that he would be announcing "THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR," in a tweet earlier this month.

Links to cached versions of the website were shared on social media. Instead of announcing a pre-determined winner, the cached website appeared to be a poll asking "Who would you crown the ultimate KING OF FAKE NEWS of 2017.

Several news organizations, including National Public Radio (NPR), The New York Times, BuzzFeed, and Fox News, were listed on the poll.

The Republican National Committee appeared to address the errors in a statement on Wednesday night: "Tonight, [the GOP] saw more traffic than ever before," the committee's official account wrote in a tweet. Even though the servers were scaled up, the interest was even greater than anticipated. Traffic is off the charts. Come back soon.

After announcing the "awards," Trump later tweeted in support of what he called "great reporters" and "good news," without listing any examples.

Read more...

Narrow escape for DPS kids as bus catches fire

Over a dozen students of nursery to class 1 from Delhi Public School in Gurugram had a narrow escape after their school bus caught fire on Wednesday.

The 15 children were eventually pulled out by local residents after breaking the windows of the vehicle.

The CNG-run bus was engulfed by flames within minutes.

The incident took place on Wednesday afternoon when the vehicle was on its way to drop the kids back home.

The parents alleged that school authorities did not inform them about the massive fire even a day later.

A large number of parents assembled at the school and protested against the institute's "callous and negligent attitude that put the life of students in danger".

Vinay Pratap Singh, the deputy commissioner of Gurugram, has ordered a high-level inquiry into the matter.

Read more...

Why Did Rahul And Netanyahu Not Meet?

Why Did Rahul And Netanyahu Not Meet?

Though procedurally correct, this is a short-sighted strategic move and might dent the national consensus vis-à-vis Israel

by P.R. Kumaraswamy

In the closely scrutinised India-Israel relationship, there is little in the public domain that remains unknown, especially between the leaderships on both sides. But one such little-known and unpublicised

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed