Grace of Security
was on Kamal Ataturk Avenue at eleven p.m. on a Tuesday night
when a microbus full of people overtook the rickshaw he was
riding on. As the rickshaw slowed down, about ten people got
out of the van and walked towards him. Realising what was
happening, Wahid jumped off the rickshaw and ran, to no avail.
The men quickly caught up with him and pinned him down on
the ground. One of them was carrying a knife and cut him in
his leg. The men robbed him of all his possessions and got
back in the van to drive off. Shaken and badly injured, Wahid
walked towards the rickshaw-wallah who took a puff of his
biri, saying in a cloud of smoke, "Bhaiya, ohon kothai
jaben?(Where do you want to go now?)" As Wahid looked
around he noticed various security guards and RAB (Rapid Action
Battalion) members standing around, all being witness to the
mugging. He took the rickshaw to a co-workers house, who then
took him to the hospital. Wahid had to get several stitches
on his leg.
for Wahid, Rab deigned this incident too insignificant to
take "action rapidly." These mysterious and feared
"men in black" prowl around the streets of Dhaka,
but never seem to help out when there is real danger. Perhaps
they are more efficient when dealing with real criminals,
the ones that kill in masses and give threats to people more
important than mere civilians. Though we are still waiting
to see evidence to prove that fact.
was walking to a friend's house at around 9 p.m, in Dhanmondi.
On his way over a car stopped in front of him. The driver
asked him for directions. Not hearing Monwar, leaned closer
to him. Before he knew what was happening, the driver grabbed
the collar of his shirt and took out a knife, ordering him
to give him all his money. Monwar looked around to call out
to someone for help but before he could make a sound the driver
of the car slapped him and pulled him further into the car.
Hastily Monwar took out his wallet and other belongings and
handed them to the driver of the car. The driver roughly pushed
him away and drove off, leaving Monwar lying on the ground.
Looking up he saw the guards from the house in front of which
he got mugged walking over to help him up. As he thanked them
and continued to walk towards his friends' house, one of the
guards asked him for bakshish (tip).
the guard had been quicker to aid Monwar while he was getting
mugged of all his possessions and money, maybe he would have
indeed received some bakshish. However, sadly enough
for the guard in question, Monwar did not have the money to
reward the man for his generous act of kindness, which came
a few minutes too late.
was an abstract drawing full of dots that was being passed
around via internet about Bangladeshis a few years ago. It
showed one dot in the middle and dozens of dots around it
in the shape of a ring. There was a huge gap between the lone
gap in the middle and the cluster of dots forming the ring.
On the bottom of the picture was a simple caption: Bangladeshi
civilians at the scene of an accident. It's that simple --
our inability and innate characteristic not to help anyone
in need is so simple that it can be drawn out in dots.
perhaps understandable, if not excusable, when civilians are
too afraid to lend a helping hand. No one really knows who
they are dealing with, and most of the people on the street
have their own problems -- civic sense, for them, may very
well not be on their list of priorities. However, what is
shocking is that law enforcing agents, even the so-called
elite forces and security guards, people who are paid to provide
security, are shirking on their duties and allowing people
to get away with crimes such as mugging and harassment. One
has to wonder at times, what are they really there for, if
not to protect us and provide for us a stable, crime-free
environment to live in?
(R) thedailystar.net 2004