Truly yours IT’S TIME TO BE SERIOUS : Save your kids, save the nation
Mohammad Ali Sattar
These are trying times for us. Tragedies that befell us in the past were of different nature. Degree of loss and grief were measured on different scales. Hurricanes and deluge, mountain slides, road accidents, river mishaps, death in inferno, building collapses – all has been incidents of regular composition, although many of these incidents were not inevitable.
But the events that we witnessed in the late evening of July 1, was something which caught us utterly unaware and plunged the society into the gulf of fright and despair. The nation still reels in utter shock and grief.
What implications will it bear on our individual and national psyche?
The country has been the victim (and witness) of killings of individuals on various pretext. From personal enmity to group struggle in the rural areas it has been the sad tale of killings.
Petty dispute and large scale battle for supremacy has taken heavy toll of lives across the country. The local government elections also saw mindless slaughtering of fellow beings.
To our horror we saw people from the same village fighting each other and slitting throat of his mate or rival from the same neighborhood. It was no festive mood of the contestants. This time around the mood of the local goons was spiteful. The beastly instinct to kill prevailed all around. The air was thick with stench of blood and vengeance.
In Dhaka and other towns, the ferocity of slaying of individuals who thought and wrote differently increased at a faster rate. The popular bloggers on religion and liberalism were brought down one by one. However these free thinkers were not above controversy. Not all their pieces on religion and secularism were liberal.
There was the interesting rise in the number of bloggers (anti religion, anti Islam) over the last few years. A young man, who worked with the American embassy, upheld the rights of the gays and lesbians in Bangladesh. He daringly edited a gay magazine called ‘roopban’. One evening he was slaughtered along with his friend in his apartment.
Foreign nationals were also brought down in most brutal way in faraway places of the country. Priests and care takers of temples and churches were hunted down. So the killings went on and on. A new and dangerous trend has set in.
Then to add salt to the wound we saw a pathetic murder – this time of the wife of a senior police officer (Mitu) in broad day light in Chittagong. As a natural reaction the police force swung into action in no time and brought the culprits to book, and quickly did the main suspect got killed in cross fire. The senior police officer is reportedly not outside the suspicion net. He was asked to resign or face the music.
Along with these we have witnessed the recovery of huge arm and ammunition from different parts of the country, especially the big haul from Uttara in Dhaka. The cache of arms and ammunition were discovered from a pond in the area.
So matter of concern was there in the air. That things were not good was felt alright by almost all. The Home Ministry has been telling us that we don’t have IS presence in the country and the terror acts are being carried out by our local JMB militants. If that is to be trusted then I guess it should not be a tough job to rein in the local terror outfits.
The Gulshan massacre early this month (July) was the most horrifying act that we hardly expected to brace. Although a large section of the populace believes that it was not entirely an unexpected incident. If we follow the events that unfolded over the last one year, this type of attack was not very surprising.
Immediately following the Gulshan tragedy, came the Sholakia attack on police on the Eid day., then the cops raid in Kalyanpur killing more militants and we expect more to surface , more to die.Now the social concern has taken a different hue. So far we were involved in debates over various other problems, like bank heist, corruptions by bank officials, money flight, road accidents, personal grudges followed by murders and so on. However after these incidents we shall have to bring about comprehensive change in our thoughts, deliberation and actions. The whole nation ought to come forward with all wits and guts to stop this rot. ‘Getting lost’ from the family is now the most perturbing trend.
The families need to be extremely vigilant regarding their young members; the schools and universities need to come up with fool proof system of monitoring moves of the students. A strong scanning system needs to be in place immediately. Especially for students who have developed suspicious mannerisms.
The home ministry and its law enforcers, the educationists, teachers and social thinkers, the family members and people from all walk of life – need to comprehend the enormity of the circumstances. The youthful kid of a rickshaw puller, of a farmer, of a driver, of the middle class service holder, and of a millionaire – all are now susceptible.
The young ones from any family are the targets of this imperceptible enemy. They don’t appear in day lights but we know that they are there in the dark world. They will pick any one from anywhere to use them for heinous intention to create anarchy in the society and upset peace. They will do so not by way of civilized acts; rather by macabre slaughtering and playing with blood, flesh and our gullible minds.
Although Islam is still their trump card they are not the Muslims that our prophet wanted them to be. It’s time for a red alert.
Mohammad Ali Sattar is a journalist, columnist and policy advocate. Email: [email protected]