The newly appointed home minister seems to have gone overboard. Is it his overenthusiasm to prove himself or simply injudiciousness we do not know? But his asking the Jubo League (JL) to put up resistance against JI elements on Friday is, perhaps, the most thoughtless, callow and indeed highly provocative statement to have come from the mouth of a minister. The statement has caused us surprise, horror and revulsion.
At a meeting organised on Friday by the Jubo Sangram Parishad to, according to the organisers, "resist the Jamat-e-Islami (JI) terror and disruptive behaviour" the home minister called upon the youth wing of the party to resist the JI cadres and the non-secular forces wherever they were found to be indulging in destructive activities, and to hand them over to the police.
A home minister calling upon his party's youth cadre to act as vigilantes is unprecedented, and coming from a bureaucrat-turned-minister who, we feel, has more between his ears than other citizens, his call is to take law in one's own hand and is a recipe for anarchy. In his rashness the home minister has failed to realise the grave consequences of his remarks if it is taken seriously. We are happy that it has not been.
We are relieved that his call was summarily dismissed by those it was meant for. If the minister's exhortations to his youth cadre to go after the JI caused us shock we are pleasantly surprised by the sane and rational reaction of the JL chairman. It is indeed not the job of party cadres to go after political opponents or the trouble makers and the disruptive elements. It is the job of the government agencies to anticipate and forestall potential trouble and troublemakers, without causing impediments to the life of peace-loving citizens. These agencies are being maintained with public money to do exactly these jobs to ensure public order and safety.
We abhor JI disruptive politics as much as of any other political party's. But the job of tackling these problems cannot be outsourced, even more so to a student affiliate of a political party, without serious misgivings. We expect ministers to display better political sense.