Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Editorial

Punishing hartals

Disruption, insecurity and half-fed stomachs

Today, a majority of college going teenagers are sitting at home with open books and tired minds — HSC exams are again postponed due to the 36 hour hartals. The children of the slums are waiting for their fathers to come home with food but most likely they will not be satisfied when the parents return with empty hands, the young ones will go another day half-fed — their fathers, laborers by profession, do not have much work when strikes loom over this land.
In yesterday’s Daily Star the news of HSC exams being pushed to May 10-11 from April 23-24 was reported. In that same report, pre-hartal destruction of properties, fearful minds returning home amidst thin traffic the night before the 36-hour hartals, the decreasing incomes of laborers resulting them to go into deeper financial deprivation, were also covered. The echo of frustration from the different segments of the population, rich, poor and the ones in the middle, was voiced once again.
Those who have seen this land go through phases of political turmoil might still call this a bad time. But we think about the others, the youth, the generation to come who are growing up seeing vandalized properties, torched cars and buses, fear in their parents eyes, push back in major exams which hold the key to the next phase of their lives and there are the hungry little stomachs roaming around, perhaps trying to understand the meaning of it all. What could be so urgent with these hartals, violence and demands that has the power to stop the growth, physically and mentally, of the country’s youth?
Isn’t it time, to look at the future, to think about what we are teaching our children, what affect will this time leave on their minds? Isn’t it time that we measure the bitterness and digression and stop and consider, we think it is, it definitely is that time.