Around 35 000 cyclists gathered in the streets of Cape Town in the early hours of Sunday morning to take part in the world’s biggest individually timed cycle race, the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.Click arrow to play video.Published on SouthAfrica.info on 16 March 2010.
Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad on Thursday accused the BJP-led Narendra Modi government at the Centre of being “anti-farmer.” “What’s happening in Madhya Pradesh? The Narendra Modi government is anti-farmer. Prime Minister Modi is deaf to their demands. The Opposition parties are uniting against the BJP and their anti-farmer policies”, said Mr. Lalu Prasad, before leaving for Ranchi to appear in a special CBI court on Friday in connection with a multi-crore fodder scam case. Rahul’s detentionIn a veiled reference to the detention of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on his way to Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh to meet the bereaved families of farmers killed in the police firing, the RJD chief said that “even the Opposition leaders are being arrested and not being allowed to visit the spot.”“But, his [PM Modi] Agriculture Minister is doing yoga in Motihari [Bihar] when farmers are being killed in Madhya Pradesh. This BJP-led NDA government owes answers,” Mr. Prasad said. In his home town, Motihari, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh is attending a three-day yoga camp organised by Baba Ramdev. “The BJP government has betrayed the farmers of the country,” Mr. Prasad said.
England’s Cricket World Cup triumph can be the perfect launch pad to complete a memorable double by winning the Ashes series against Australia this year, test skipper Joe Root has said.Hosts England ended a 44-year wait to win the World Cup as they beat New Zealand side on boundary count after a tied Super Over in a dramatic final on Sunday.Shifting focus to the five-match Ashes series, which begins on Aug. 1, the 28-year-old said England were full of confidence as they bid to reclaim the urn having already achieved one of their targets.”It’s what we set out to do two or three years ago and we’re halfway there,” Root told reporters.”This will give the guys confidence and we’ve talked about taking that forward into a series like that.”England beat Australia in the World Cup semi-finals at Edgbaston, the venue for the first Ashes test, and Root said they were looking forward to getting back there.”The way we played against Australia in that semi-final… the guys who were involved relished it and will want a bit more: the feeling of euphoria we felt at that ground,” Root added.”To potentially be able to experience all that again is very exciting. Ashes cricket always has a different edge to it so that in itself will get everyone going.”The atmosphere, the way it builds up and the way the guys get excited about it, it’s like no other series in test cricket.”However, England must ensure their ODI success does not affect preparations, all-rounder Ben Stokes said.advertisement”Everyone here deserves to feel like a champion because we’ve just won it, but when it comes to the Ashes it’s going to be heads on again because it has to be,” Stokes said.”Whether you’re winning or losing, you’ve just got to wipe the slate clean.”England warm up for the series with their first ever test against Ireland, a four-day contest, starting on July 24.Also Read | World Cup 2019: Diverse and talented, England cricket champs come from afarAlso Read | World Cup 2019 Final: Overjoyed for Ben but I am still a New Zealand supporter, says Stokes’s fatherAlso See:
Rashidul HasanMartyred intellectual Rashidul Hasan was picked up from his home 46 long years ago by the collaborators, the razakars, but the memory of that day remains fresh in the mind of his daughter Rokaiya Hasina. She was a student of class six then, in 1971. She is now in her fifties, but those last moments with her father seem just yesterday.Rokaiya had grasped her father’s right hand. One of the khaki-clad persons at the doorway had asked, “Are you Rashidul Hasan?” When he replied “yes”, they simply grabbed him and dragged him away.A pen and a signature seal of Rashidul Hasan remains preserved at the fourth gallery of the Liberation War Museum. Below these items it is written that this teacher of Dhaka University’s English Department was picked up by razakars and Al Badr from his home on 14 December 1971.Eldest daughter of Rashidul Hasan, Rokaiya Hasina, is a Rabindra Sangeet artiste. Speaking to Prothom Alo, she said, her father had been moved by the dream for freedom nourished by the Bangalis during the turbulent days of 1969. He was a great admirer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He was not directly involved in politics, but would join the public meetings and gatherings. He would inspire his students with the spirit of independence. He would keep in contact with the freedom fighters in various ways during the liberation war and extend his assistance in any way he could. The Al Badr members reported this to the Pakistani army officers.Rokaiya was sitting in her Dhanmondi residence, sharing memories of her father.Rashidul Hasan earned his BA (Hons) degree from the English department at Dhaka University in 1958. That same year he began teaching at Narsingdi College. Then he joined Edward College in Pabna. Next, in 1967, he joined Dhaka University as a lecturer.Rokaiya Hasina said that her paternal family roots were in the village Boroshija of Birbhum district in West Bengal, India. Rashidul’s education till the higher secondary school level was at Boroshija. His elder brother lived in Dhaka due to government service and so Rashidul was admitted to Dhaka University. He did not return to India after completing his education. He married Begum Rokaiya in Boroshija and they had three children – Mahmud Hasan, Rokaiya Hasina and Suraiya Amina.During the liberation war, Rashidul Hasan would live in the Dhaka University teachers’ quarters, at building no. 23, next to Sergeant Zahurul Huq Hall. There was a sprawling slum along the road next to that building. On 25 March the Pakistani armed force went on a killing spree at the slum. They also entered the teachers’ quarters and carried out killing and torture.Rokaiya Hasina said, the Pakistani soldiers broke down their door, entered their home and began breaking things in their drawing room. Everyone in the family was hiding under the beds. Many people that night were dragged from the slums and from the university and killed on the roof of that very building. The next morning 32 bodies were found on the roof.Rashidul Hasan and his family left that house two days later and went to stay with acquaintances in Rayer Bazar. They returned to the campus after a month. This time they moved to house no. 28 on Savage Road (now known as Isha Khan Road). Professor Anwar Pasha of the Bangla department lived in the house next door, no. 30. Anwar Pasha and Rashidul Hasan were both from the same area in Birbhum and so had developed a close friendship. Their families were close, too.Rokaiya Hasan related, on 20 September the Pakistani soldiers took her father way from the university and kept him in custody at the Ramna police station. He was accused of motivating students to join the liberation war. Rashidul Hasan’s family would visit him every day at the police station. He was released after 12 days.When air raids began in December, there were blackouts every night in Dhaka. Everyone was scared. Anwar Pasha told them to go to their house. Rokaiya recalls, “We would go to Anwar uncle’s house after dinner every night. Then every morning we would move back home after a cup of tea.” They were preparing to go back home on the morning of 12 December too when Anwar Pasha told them to have breakfast. Rashidul Hasan’s favourite meal of khichuri and omlettes was being prepared and hence the delay.Breakfast was almost ready when suddenly there was a loud knocking on the door. Anwar Pasha opened the door and about seven or eight men in khakhi oufits with their faces covered in black cloth burst in. They asked, who is Anwar Pasha? When he identified himself, they tried to push him towards the door. Rashidul Hasan went and stood in front of the door, trying to block the way.With a tremble in her voice, Rokaiya recalls, “I was so scared and I grasped abba’s hand tightly. Anwar kaka was staring at abba, as if pleading that he do something. Abba kept asking the men where they were taking Anwar Pasha. One of them was in the verandah with a paper in his hand. He asked abba’s name. When abba told them his name the man indicated the paper, telling the others, ‘His name is on the list too. Bring sir along.’ They took them both away. From the verandah we saw them being blindfolded and taken away in a minibus.”The bodies of Rashidul Hasan and Anwar Pasha were found 22 days later. The bodies of the intellectuals had been buried in two holes in a jungle area of Mirpur. Relations of the dead persons identified the bodies by their clothes. Rashidul Hasan and Anwar Pasha’s bodies were there too. After their janaza at the university central mosque, they were laid to rest by the mosque.Rashidul Hasan’s relations live in West Bengal and they wanted Rashidul Hasan’s wife and children to go back there. But they did not. “Mother would say, my husband gave his life for this land. I will not leave. She brought us up with great difficulty. We received no special help at all,” said Rokaiya.They had to leave the university quarters. When she first came to power in 1996, the prime minister Sheikh Hasina issued directives to allot a house for them, but that did not materialise. Rokaiya Hasina said they have no regrets. Their father gave his life for the country and that was their pride.*This piece, originally published in the Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabir.