Do we cry and throw tantrums? Or do we work towards the overall development of the country? What do we do now?
For once, we need to contemplate this.
Is this a problem of the government? Is this an administrative problem? Are these terrorists a by-product of Madrasas (colleges of Islamic instruction)? Or are English medium institutions the ones harboring terrorists? Are the victims from affluent or needy families? Are the terrorists from affluent or needy families? Should we focus on these particular topics or do we need to discuss more about what’s happening during the main procedure? We need to consider this as well. This is acceptable if we’re just discussing for the sake of gossiping. But if we are discussing these things for the sake of economic development, or for our love towards Bangladesh and its people, then we should thoroughly contemplate the topic of our discussion. If we have the right to criticism, then the responsibility of relaying the right message also falls on our shoulders. We cannot blame one particular person or authoritative body for Bangladesh’s current situation. Furthermore, we’re not supposed to have the ethos to do so.
Conversations regarding what could’ve been done to save all the hostages should be taken as seriously as criticism about whether the hostage rescue mission can be considered successful at all. The Islamic State may or may not be present in Bangladesh. Whether this is an Israeli plan, or whether the U.S. had been targeting Bangladesh since the 1980’s; should we just keep these discussions going in circles? Or should we move on to think about more important things: such as the wellbeing of our people?
Have we even once thought about how these young boys became mentally sick? Enough to murder so many people in cold blood? Do we not even once think about the person who turned them into such monsters? All of these boys were raised in affluent families. They’ve studied in renowned schools. How can they become blood thirsty terrorists all of a sudden? Won’t either their families, our national education system, or the general public take responsibility for this?
No man is born a terrorist. It’s his family, his institution, or his surroundings that slowly instill such thoughts into his mind.
If we’re talking about the family aspect of this, then can we cross our hearts and wholeheartedly say that we raise our children on the right values? What exactly are the right values? Do we only consider a religious education to be valuable? All families need to seriously reflect upon this. Secondly, if we’re talking about the state education system, then do we believe that the Bangladeshi education system is proper? I do not think so. We coexist with a tainted education system. The sheer fact that I live in a country without a basic education system amazes me to no extent. We have three basic education systems, and several branches within these three basics. Our children are growing up with these various educational facilities. There is an ever-growing gap between these students and proper education. We are unknowingly causing a divide among our citizens and society. We’ve unconsciously created a partition within ourselves; our thoughts and ideas. How are we creating individuals who murder people in the name of religion? It is time to seriously think about these things.
During my childhood there was a man in our neighborhood. We all used to call him “Noakhailla khalu” (Noakhailla uncle). He was a poison to our eyes. The reason for this was because he used to lecture us all the time. For instance: Why aren’t you greeting me properly? Why are your clothes dirty? Why is your hair unkempt? Why are you out at this hour? …and so on.
The question is: what are we doing about this as citizens? If we see a teenager on the streets doing something suspicious, will any of us call him out and ask him what he’s doing at that hour? Or if we see someone in trouble do we come forward to protest or help him out? No we don’t. We don’t protest because we think of it as a nuisance. This culture of saving our own skins…do we not play a part in creating this culture? If not, then think again. If the government, administration, and the media have to take responsibility for their failures, then aren’t we as citizens responsible for turning a blind eye to things..just to save our own skin?
We, the general public, want to end our responsibilities with voting every five years. But we become aggressive during a conversation over tea. We sit with our family on a cozy sofa and watch the news on a high resolution TV, all the while criticizing the situation of the country. All political folks are fake. All bureaucrats are thieves. The administrative bitches are all useless. We are paying VAT for no reason, while rotting away in this damned country.Then the question is: who are the good guys? Is it us? Or the public? Let’s say that it is us. Then are we the ones indulging in good deeds? We’ve spent a lot of time giving out colourful opinions. It is now time to do some real work. Hopefully this can lead to some change.
These wounded and dead hostages were friends, family or significant others. They were citizens of our country. In the same way these terrorists, even if they aren’t our loved ones, are citizens of this country. We need to face this fact. Whether we choose to believe it or not, we are also involved in some way. If we can take pride whenever something good happens to our nation, then we should also take some responsibility for what happened at Holey Artisan Bakery on July 2nd. We can’t just push all the blame on international terrorist organizations and our local government. We need to look after our children in the same way the government is punishing those involved in the incident. Blatantly viewing your own religion to be valid, not being there for others at times of need, taking advantage of the weak, and always considering life to be the most important… we’ve always experienced such familial and social pressures. And we pass these ideologies down to our students. Only a proper education system can free us from this horrible situation. An education system that will be about familial values, the current societal system, and the one-side state education. Only then can we move closer to reaching our dreams.
Translated by Nobonita Chowdhury