Crazy Bangladeshi Laws
So you thought weird laws existed only in distant countries no one you know has ever set foot in, such as Papua New Guinea. Or maybe you think it's quite normal that in Alaska there could be a law declaring it illegal to wipe ones car with used underwear.
Little did you know that right here in Bangladesh, we have crazy laws like that too:
- There is an old law, that this writer believes was never implemented, saying that if a person gets run over by an ox-cart, or has a collision with an ox, he will be kicked out of the city's municipal corporation, because anyone who could collide with something as slow moving as an ox cart does not have the right to live in a city!
- Another law states that if someone gets run over by a wagon, or a 'thelagari', then he is the one who has to pay a fine of fifty taka to the wagon driver, as anyone dumb enough to walk into a wagon deserves to be fined, even though a few of his toenails could get skewered easily.
- Those of you who have problems remembering addresses, beware, because there is a Vagrancy Law in this land. If you're stopped on the road by a policeman, and he asks you where you're heading and if you cannot give them a definite address, then he has every right to arrest you and put you in a jail for vagrants where you'll be kept until someone from your family can come and free you!
- Any parent who forces their child to bet on anything, or encourages them to take loans can be fined Tk. 200, or jailed for six months. That's a relief, since there are loan sharks everywhere just waiting to lend money to little children.
- 'Till The Court Disposable' is an act under which the only punishment for a petty criminal is to remain standing throughout the time the case is being prosecuted in the court, from the morning till the evening, until the case is dismissed. We do not know what happens if the criminal is an old man in a wheelchair, since the law is the law.
- Some forty years back, in the public universities, if a guy wanted to talk to a girl in his class, he had to take permission from the proctor! If a guy was caught talking to a girl without permission, he could be suspended. This law still stands, though it is never implemented.
- This law is for those who spend sleepless nights on the phone with their so called 'soul mates', because there IS a mobile law that says it is illegal for children under 18 years of age to talk on the phone after twelve o'clock!
And those of you who are sneering at your teachers because of the latest law making it illegal for teachers to hit students, you should know that under the Bangladeshi law, children over 15 years of age can be jailed for cheating in a final examination!
They say the right situations bring out the man inside you. And in Bangladesh, you get to know your men when you are stuck in a traffic jam. Stuck for hours sitting idly, a sliver of the mentalities that our diverse population bears comes to light.
The angry ones comprise the majority of people stuck in jams. They grumble, scream, make obscene hand gestures and indulge in profanity that will make your ears wilt. They quarrel without any reason and seem to take great pleasure in annoying everyone within their reach. Foremost in blaming the government and its choddo gushti, they also like to put the blame on everybody around them excluding their own selves.
Then there are the people who can't keep their behinds on the seats for any long stretch of time. They stand up after every few minutes, craning their necks and trying to see ahead only to sit down again. They can't seem to grasp the point that no matter how much they stretch their body, the procession of vehicles won't move an inch. They have a strong will and quick reflexes and quite an insistent tendency to indulge in pointless activities.
Traffic jams also bring about a flurry of activity in some of the people. Whether they are inside a car or on a motorbike, whenever they get the slightest whiff of having to spend half of the day on the streets, they set their minds to work. A laptop will emerge from nowhere or perhaps a cell phone and the rest of the time you will find them busy as bees. The nerds also fall into this group, because a book is never far from them. They are the calculating ones - they know how to make the best of anything.
Some people stuck in the grid-lock also manage to sleep the whole time through it. It doesn't matter to them that at least fifty horns are blaring and the air is as dense as Auschwitz gas chamber, they are capable of putting Somnus himself to shame. In this writer's opinion, they fall under the most intelligent group. Sleep is hard to come by and even harder to find time for.
You will also get the thinkers. You are bound to notice them, the ones with the dreamy eyes and vacant expressions. Occasionally you will see them smiling without any reason. They are prone to disregard other passersby. A chance meeting with anyone on the streets goes unnoticed by them since they are too busy delving into deep thoughts. Mostly these people stay inside the comforts of air-conditioned cars. After all, thinking is a profession that requires the best of situations.
There are also the starers. Mostly, they are the bus passengers because they get quite a vantage point for their incessant staring. People, mostly from the male population, are the ones actually in this group (no offence, but sadly, that's the truth). Traffic jams can mean a whole lot to them, since it gives them ample opportunity to ogle as much as possible. We think they are the happiest lot. Maybe they even wait for the jams to occur.
A small group of people are the courageous and reckless ones. They can't afford to lose their precious time in traffic jams, so nothing can stand in their way of getting out of them. They use the wrong side of the road and sometimes even the pedestrian pavements. The traffic police are helpless in the face of such bold men; they have to remain satisfied by watching them following their own sweet rules. Drivers with flag stands upon their cars and bikers are prominent members of this group.
Traffic jams can be cited as one of the topmost pressing problems of our country, but there's no denying that they can sometimes be quite entertaining. Proper observation can help us nick a lot of information from these 'jam' sessions.
By Shamsil Kamal
The month of May had the readers expressing differing opinions throughout and hence kept the RS inbox and Fan Page buzzing. Here's where we sample the best of what we were told. Send us your opinions, ideas and queries to email@example.com or leave a comment on our Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/DSRisingStars.
Thanks for the "Guerilla" review. It has been grossly underrated in my opinion---- Prithvi Shams, May 12, 2011
The issue was really good. I loved Tareq, Sifana, Grasshopper, Orochimaru, Shaer, and of course, Musarrat and Osama. Although, the absence of SN Rasul, Shehtaz and Lovelove was a huge disappointment. ------ Adeeba Rahman Risha, May 15th, 2011
The 'Fuzzy Diaries' was good! But disappointment to see lack of sports! What happened? RS was on a roll with the back to back cricket-tennis-basketball-football-swimming. CONTINUE Please! ---- El Kun, May 19th, 2011
The cover story hit a bit of a nerve...growing up reading RS, and being a medical student now - somehow the write-up seemed a very harsh generalization today. Perhaps Lady Orochimaru has based it on the medical students she knows. While it's a bit of an eye-opener to find out what people seem to think of "us", I think the cover story would've been more acceptable if it was in one of those two-article debates with both points of view. ----- Tania Hossain Firoz, May 19th, 2011
Kudos to Lady Orochimaru! The cover story was great and was exactly how med students are like (no offence meant). Overall, it was a good issue. RS is definitely getting a lot better. ----- Katerina Petrova, May 20th, 2011
The cover was good although more facts would have helped to convey the actual plight of the people in those enclaves. The 'laziness scale' was something that the RS was missing for a while now. So cheers to that. ---- Rojin Ammar, 26th May, 2011
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