A few days ago I was going from Paltan to Shantinagar by bus.
The bus was fully crowded and as there were no seats available,
I had to stand. When someone touched me, I began looking around
to see who it was and focused on a man nearby. I was shocked
to see a pickpocketing taking place. There were four pickpockets.
Two were standing at the entrance of the bus while another was
cutting pockets and the other was talking to the victim. Once
the man who was cutting the pocket had finished, he transferred
the money to his accomplices at the door. As I watched, one
of the pickpockets looked at me and realised that I had seen
the whole incident. I had been looking all right but was unable
to do anything for fear as I was in a crime zone. Sometimes
we see crimes take place but are helpless to do anything.
Fattah, Bangabandhu Hall, Dhaka University
have trouble seeing and was going to Islamia Eye Hospital for
treatment. I was getting off the bus at the Farmgate turning
when I saw a man eating pineapple. Suddenly I heard a sound
and saw the man fall to the ground, unconscious. A hawker on
the roadside said the man had epilepsy. A large crowd gathered
around the man but no one offered to help him. They were like
an inactive audience enjoying a drama. I helped the man sit
up and after some time he regained consciousness. He told me
about his headaches and the illness. I thought about the people
in the crowd. The saying in Bangla goes, "Manush manusher
jonno" ("Man is for man"), but it hardly seems
that way. People are selfish and uncaring about others. How
do we expect to maintain law and order in a country where first
the hearts and minds of people need to be cleansed?
Mahbubur Rahman, BUET, Dhaka
A few days ago I went to the Secondary and Higher Education
Board to correct my date of birth which was wrong in my certificate.
Though it was the Board's fault, I had to go through a long
and difficult process of correcting the mistake, going from
person to person and table to table offering bribes and being
cheated. I was surprised at one of the section officers, however.
He gave me a blank paper and pen for my application and instructed
me on what to write and who to submit it to. He even checked
my records on the computer and addressed ma as "Baba".
I was astonished at a government officer being so helpful, kind
and cordial -- and without any "honorarium" -- as
they like to call it -- either. I was prepared for the corruption
of the officers, but not this. Now I'm more optimistic and believe
that there are some honest -- though struggling -- people in
society still willing to help.