Last week, my friend and I were returning to our homes from the Daily Prothom Alo office. It was almost evening when we entered the by-pass near Karwan Bazar and suddenly the electricity went off. It was dark and the two of us were somehow managing to reach the end of the tunnel. There were women and girls crossing the by-pass as well. Their presence was not a problem. But the problem started when few boys started passing obscene comments at those women and girls. The women were harassed openly. In the dark, we even heard the girls screaming which was very painful for me, as I could not do anything to protect them. I had never felt so guilty and helpless before. I request concerned authorities to seek out the roguish boys who are always disturbing female citizens in public places like the under-pass. It should not be a tough job because these barbarians are always out there to annoy and harass anyone and everyone and it is within the authority's grasp to apprehend them red handed.
DISRESPECT THE POOR AND FEAR THE RICH
We have always been taught to respect the elder and show kindness towards the younger. But regretfully, it seems these days we tend to show respect only to those who come from an elite society. A few days ago I was stuck on a rickshaw in a severe traffic jam near the Mirpur-10 bus stand. Suddenly, a young person collided with my rickshaw and immediately slapped the rickshaw-puller out of anger. It was surprising to me, not only because it was the passer-by's fault as he chose to cross the road unsafely regardless of the over-bridge, but mainly because the rickshaw-puller was much older than that guy. The young man didn't even hesitate to slap a senior citizen in public while the fault was his own. Was it because the elderly citizen was just a rickshaw-puller and not a wealthy, person? Would he have dared to hit a man if he was rich and powerful? Is our generation taught to brutally disrespect the poor and to flatter the rich and powerful, regardless of their age? If that's how it is, then I dread where our society is going to end up!
Kaiser Rajib Sherpa
University of Dhaka
The other day, I was talking to an uncle of mine about gender issues in Bangladesh and at one point he commented that women were like parasites, dependent on others all the time. I reacted to his comment because even though due to circumstances and socio-economic culture of Bangladesh some women are not self-dependent, many women are economically and socially self-dependent. I told my uncle not to generalise everything. But in a few days I realised, my uncle is not the only one stereotyping people. A female friend of mine, the other day, was complaining that all the guys were selfish and heartless; to which I thought that she didn't even know all the boys in the world, how could she even know whether they were all like that! And this kind of stereotyping is not always gender-based. I have heard people saying, “Never expect a Bangladeshi to be well mannered”, Even I am not immune to this genre of racism. I never give a single penny to a beggar because I believe all of them fake some kind of ailment to get easy money; but some of them might be really needy and unfortunate. It is true that many of our beliefs come from past experiences but generalising everything every time is not a very intelligent or mature thing to do. Every one is different in this world and everyone has a different story.
Jessica Allena Khan
Green Road, Dhaka
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