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       Volume 11 |Issue 14| April 06, 2012 |


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The other side of terrorism


Now you may have already heard this one: A girl very shyly admitted to her religious teacher. 'Moulvi Shaheb, I am in love.' To which 'outrageous' statement, the moulavi responded with, 'Naoozubilla, Astagfirulla, Lahaola wala, Tauba,Tauba ....'

'No, no, you don't understand', interrupted the girl, 'I am in love with you'. Response from the moulvi: 'MashaAllah, JazakAllah, SubhanAllah, Wah! Waah!'

Somebody may have concocted that in jest. But it definitely highlights the current frame of mind among the many selfish amongst us. That whatever 'wrong' I do for my benefit is right. That I shall criticize others for doing the same wrong if it does not benefit me. That sort of condemnable gibberish passes almost as law in our country.

Someone took a lot of pain to climb five metres up a Shantinagar building to write in foot-long Bangla font, translated here as, 'Taking money by sticking a gun and asking for bribe to release a file is the same act of terrorism'.

Those of you reading this could be separated into four groups, albeit unequal. One, those who stick guns on people to rob them; two, those who have guns pointed at them to give money, ornaments, mobile sets, etc.; three, those who have to go to a government office ten, twenty and more times to get a rightful document that is a citizen's right, to release a fair order that is a citizen's right, to get a due payment that is a citizen's right, etc.; and four, those who sit on a heap of files because they think they are four feet four inches tall and would like to appear taller. Lesson: corruption makes one stoop low.

You guessed right. Groups one and four are terrorists of the same feather.

Only last Monday after five at the Shahbagh crossing, I saw a university bus plying on the wrong side of the road apparently to beat the traffic jam on the proper side, and then the bus violated the red light to bully itself through the thick of the traffic coming from the opposite direction, missing a private car and scaring the daylights out of the terrified passengers of a CNG; all because the bus was full of students and they have many urgent matters to attend to. Those on the proper side of the road have all the time in the world to fry bhavenda, and also included students in rickshaws, CNGs and cars.

Being a university students' bus driver, the driver suffers from a sense of indemnity and so he transforms into a daredevil. Now one may argue that this was a driver's doing and they usually do not know the difference between a truck and a launch. But this showing of thumb (read bura angool) to the law enforcers and the people in general has been going on for years, to it almost becoming a 'law'. Seldom have the students inside the bus stopped the driver. Almost never have the students reprimanded the driver for driving on the wrong side. They can read and write. They know the law. They browse the Internet. I mean the students.

Some of us employ people to work in our company or even privately, but we do not pay them on time. Or, we pay partly, as if we are giving away alms. Often we delay the payment by two months or more. We think nothing of it because our lifestyle continues and we are just off to the airport to receive my son who studies abroad. With whose money, some beyadab inquires.

Some of us loan money from a friend or relative or even a half-witted acquaintance, but when the time comes to return the money, we delay and delay till it becomes never. Some of us live with that burden and also talk big.

Some of us will soon accumulate enough degrees (not necessarily education), especially those from those buses, to become an important government official. How uncomfortable we shall be in our vehicle on the proper lane of the road to see a university bus speed by on the wrong side. We may then say, nothing shall come of this country (Ai deshtar kissu hobe na)

Some of us shall also make enough money (not necessarily cleanly) and then out of the blue seek the ticket of a political party. Sitting in the sacred house we shall lament why the people of this country cannot abide by the law, forgetting that we too were once upon a time a people who thought rules were for fools.

To build this country, we have to abide by rules at all levels, and at all ages, and from all strata of economic standing.

There is no such thing as a right doing by the educated that becomes wrong if done by the illiterate. The young and the elderly are both punishable. There is no discrimination between the rich and the poor, the male and the female, the connected and the not-connected in those countries that have developed. We have not.



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