<%-- Page Title--%> Dhaka Diary <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 152 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

April 30, 2004

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United we stand

I was on my way to university in the morning. I was at a Kallyanpur bus stand trying to catch a ride when I noticed a huge crowd of people, engaged in a ruckus. I was inquisitive, eager to quench my curiosity about what was going on. I zeroed in on them. As I got closer to the crowd, I felt that something was amiss. I realised that I was looking at a scene of a struggle that broke from maltreatment meted out to a rikshawwalla. As I asked other eager bystanders what had happened, I came to know that a traffic police, without any signs of warning, charged his baton on an old rickshaw puller whose only crime was that he was parked on the wrong side of the street. Although he was old, he protested and started hurling accusations back at the traffic police. Meanwhile, a traffic sergeant came to the scene and joined force with the traffic police, asking the poor rickshaw puller to quickly vacate the scene. Within a short time, the news about the rickshaw puller being beaten got around and many rickshaw pullers and labourers rushed to the scene, to get a bit of the action. The old rickshaw puller's resilience paid off. Within moments, there was a mass of people, all of them siding with the rickshaw walla. Finally, the Ansar was forced to beg forgiveness from the poor old man for his misbehaviour and then, the crowd dispersed. I guess sometimes, it does pay to be united to stand against injustice.

Md. Aktaruzzaman Dipu, MSS, Sociology, DU

Illegal mobile market

A few days ago, I went to Stadium market with one of my friends to buy a scientific calculator. When we were doing our rounds from one shop to another to get my desirable model of calculator, at one point, a person came to me and offered me a mobile set asking for a very low price. He accosted me, “Mobile lagbo bhai, half dame baicha dimu?” Then he showed me a Siemens mobile set and demanded only Tk 1500 for it. I was very surprised but my friend took me away from there. Later I realised that he was one of those men who operates as sellers of stolen appliances. The sets do not have any legal papers and as a rule they hunt for prospective buyers in front of the electronic shops.

Kushal, Kamalapur, Dhaka

Where is our humanity?

Last week, I was travelling with my friend from Farmgate to Gulistan. We were seated near the rear of a 'Number 6' bus and an elderly man was seated behind us, quite close to the door with an umbrella in his hand. After passing by the Engineering Institute area, we went over a speed- breaker and since 'slowing down' is not a phrase in the driver's vocabulary, he made no attempt to brake. The jerk made the old man lose his grip on the umbrella and it flew out of the vehicle. The poor old man started to shout, telling the driver to stop but the driver ignored his cries. The incident occurred right in front of the fair collector but, he too did not react in any way to the old man's demands. It was almost as if no one was bothered about the man's umbrella. When we saw his disappointed face, we knew that we had to do something to help. We tried to tell the driver to stop but to no use. Pretty soon, all of the passengers started to shout at the driver who finally, brought the vehicle to a halt. The old man hurried out to find his umbrella. I am not sure if he could retrieve his belonging but it was really sad to see the cold nature of some of our fellow countrymen.

Masum, JU



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