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Volume 2 Issue 9 | November 2007



Original Forum Editorial

Month in Review: Bangladesh
Month in Review: International
The dilemmas of rural finance- - Akbar Ali Khan
On agflation--Jyoti Rahman
Political failure of the state as a chronic infection-- Afsan Chowdhury
Trying to remember, refusing to forget-- Tazreena Sajjad
Of coups and killings, of hope and despair-- Syed Badrul Ahsan
Aristocracy versus meritocracy-- Akhter M. Choudhury
Photo Feature Poverty amidst plenty-- GMB Akash
Inner wheels-- Gazi Nafis Ahmed
Pakistan's mercenary elites -- M. Shahid Alam
Reforming the political parties--A.T. Rafiqur Rahman
Responsible tourism-- Md. Anwarul Islam
Writing Pakistan-- Kamila Shamsie
Long summer nights-- Rumi Ahmed
Science Forum
It's No Joke


Forum Home


It's No Joke

Have you ever noticed that an alarming number of crimes in the country, large and small, are executed by unknown "miscreants," "hooligans" and "terrorists"? And they are more than likely to be "fleeing" or "absconding" after the fact?

Is it a cover up?
Is it some sort of smokescreen by police and crime reporters, in collusion throughout the land, to protect the public from the gruesome reality of true crime?

Or is it the same band of unnamed miscreants, hooligans and terrorists that are marauding up and down the country, and fleeing or absconding from the clutches of our esteemed police officers every time?

This could very well be the case, given the dearth of facts we may glean from some published crime reports.

Sometimes we do receive a crucial piece of information -- that "Sabuj" (26), from Belabo village of Deputy Bari in Narsindi upazila in Narsindi district, was involved in an incident. Though the what, when, why and how of the actual incident tend to lack the same attention to detail.

Some months ago, my partner and I came across a story about a whale that had been stranded on the sand at Cox's Bazar, and were somewhat rattled on reading the words: "Miscreants absconded with the whale's ears."

Until we read on, that is, and realised it was a dead whale that had beached up on the shore. Why miscreants would abscond with a dead whale's ears, however, was never clarified.

Nor is it ever made clear why every mugger, robber or chancer with a gun or a knife is automatically termed a "terrorist." Any gun toting, knife wielding petty criminal becomes an apparent threat to national security, by somehow being bestowed with an indeterminate political motive for their crimes.

As in, for example, a case I dimly recall where armed "terrorists" stole a truck full of bottled mineral water. A shoot out with police on the Dhaka-Aricha highway ensued. But, of course, the "terrorists" absconded.

It was never explained who these "terrorists" were, what were their political aims, or even what their demands might have been in return for the hijacked truck and 1,000 bottles of Mum.

But presumably they were on their way to a safe-house, in a covert operation to empty the 1,000 bottles of mineral water, make petrol bombs out of them, and provide reinforcements to fellow insurgents on the front lines of some clandestine conflict.

As for these so-called "hooligans" who keep cutting the BTTB submarine cable line within a 50 km radius of Chittagong. Who are these nameless yobs? Are they members of some local club? Have these ruffians and louts nothing better to do on a rowdy evening out with their mates than cutting off the country's internet and telephone connections to the rest of the world?

Of course, I don't mean to make fun of crime reports or our Banglish language dailies (as distinct from our English language dailies, just to be clear!). Some of the abovementioned are serious criminal acts, after all.

Nevertheless, just occasionally, instead of being dejected by a crime report, it's no bad thing perhaps that the odd one may brightens our day by bringing a smile to our faces.

So, please: no thieves, pickpockets, burglars or muggers; no armed robbers or hijackers; no vandals or boot-leggers; no extortionists or blackmailers. No felons, lawbreakers, convicts or suspects.

And above all, no "criminals" please. That's just boring.

We want our offenders to be miscreants, hooligans and terrorists -- most of the time.

As long as there's no serious damage done!

- Bandicoot


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