Short stories on Asian women launched
Thursday, 31 January 2008

Staff Correspondent

A group of writers, academics and journalists on Tuesday called for elimination of strong control over women in South Asian countries.

They made this call at the launching ceremony of Dakhin Asiar Naribadee Galpa, a collection of short stories of South Asia reflecting on women, organised at the Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium of National Museum in the city.

Bangladesh's writer Selina Hossain along with an Indian writer and translator Debjani Sengupta edited the book. The book has featured 51 short stories of different languages of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Somoy Prokashan has published the book in collaboration with the Faria Lara Foundation. Oxfam GB financed the publication. National Professor Kabir Chowdhury was chief guest at the function chaired by Professor Firdous Azim.

Ex-Jahangirnagar University vice-chancellor Zillur Rahman Siddiqui, ex-National Museum director general Shamsuzzaman Khan, New Age editor Nurul Kabir, Oxfam official MB Akhter and Somoy Prakashan publisher Farid Ahmed spoke on the occasion.

Writer Rashid Haider conducted the programme. 'Promotion of feminist ideas is necessary as we need a social balance and this book has addressed these issues', said Kabir Chowdhury.

'It is reasonable to see South Asia as a cultural unit', Zillur said, adding male writers cannot realise many things in life which female writers can materialise and some stories in the book have focused on this aspect.

Nurul Kabir stressed the need for elimination of patriarchal control over women in South Asia. 'For the existence of South Asia as a developing unit, its inhabitants living in different countries feel the necessity of a democratic society in the region.

This book will help bolster the spirit of freedom of expression', he said.

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