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|Volume 12 |Issue 08| February 22, 2013 ||
TO THE HATERS
Last month at a relative's house abroad, I had the unfortunate incident of meeting quite a despicable man. His officious personal remarks about how he couldn't stand fat people (almost as if they weren't humans) though ridiculous, silly and ill-mannered, can be laughed off but not his constant jabbering about his hatred of Bangladesh which made the impression long-lasting. He incessantly talked about how all the people here are corrupted, uneducated, thieves, burglars and how glad he is that he has left it and is never going to come back again. My mother who is usually quite soft-spoken, asked him rather loudly about how he could utter such vile and negative things about one's own country to which he merely shrugged his shoulders and tried to laugh it off. I would like to address this issue, because we should realise that no matter how much we boast of hating Bangladesh and loving some other place and doing our best to copy their lifestyles, people there would never accept us as one of them. It's natural to blame the politicians, but we need to realise that we haven't been much better either, by abandoning the country and doing nothing to improve it.
On the 14th of February, my friend and I went to the Press Club in order to participate in the OBR (One Billion Rising) human chain protesting violence against women. While we stood in front of the club we noticed there were several police officers standing around us and we assumed they were there for our protection. At one point, one of the officers, by the look of him a senior one, walked over to us and asked us which “political party” we belonged to. When we said none, he asked what our protest was about. When we explained, he asked one of the people there where he was from to which he replied he was from an NGO. At this the policeman scoffed and sneered at us, saying all sorts of derogatory things about women and how they are tired of protecting them. He continued to speak in this manner until my friend and I got so upset we started to leave. Before we walked away however we asked him if he had any women in his family, and what they would think of him saying such things. He backed off after that and reluctantly apologised still clearly sneering. I was left seething as I realised, why crimes against women go unreported every day. If this is the attitude of the police, I would certainly not want to go to them with my complaints. I sincerely hope the government will take measures to sensitise their law enforcement officers to such issues so that they don't go around with this offensive attitude.
I was with a colleague at Shahbagh Projonmo Chottor on the 15th of this month for the Mohashomabesh, waiting to sing the national anthem with our fellow protesters. When the anthem started, we noticed that everyone stood up except the police officers who were sitting decidedly in one corner, refusing to budge. We were extremely surprised by this blatant lack of respect and stared at them in shock. Then a senior officer showed up and asked them to stand up. They followed this order extremely reluctantly and barely stood up straight when the anthem ended. If this is their level of patriotism, I am scared that these are the people who have been sent to defend us.
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