The tyrannical patriarchy
One of the renowned English Daily in its first column of their first page mentioned that Afroza Khatun, 16 was reported dead after she was found hanging from the ceiling of her house at Sonabaria union in Sathkhira's Kolaroa Upazila.
It was known from the newspaper that she had gone to a local shop to recharge her mobile, where the two, Afroza and Palash were tied up with ropes and taken to the chairman's office. The girl was rebuked and the boy was beaten without any accusations. Now my question was why did it happen? Can't a girl be in need of recharging her mobile and go out and meet a known boy and talk as part of the courtesy.
The region the girl belongs consists of many fundamentalist people. They live in a society where women are always considered unequal to men. Hence, women should be staying in home and contribute in household works. The sun that day did not rise for Afroza. Sad but true that an English Daily of Bangladesh had to write their heading "Humiliated she took away her life." She could have shared the incident to others to reduce her sorrows. No, she did not do so as she is a girl and people regardless of gender will accuse of her for the incident. A minor girl could not fight back; she lost the battle against a group of uneducated and extreme religious people of her society. She could not blame anyone else but blame herself for being born as a girl. An innocent girl, not fully blossomed yet, out of embarrassment, despair, loneliness, being misunderstood and grief had to leave prematurely.
Khadija, another talented girl and on-going student of Sylhet Government Women's College while coming back was hacked badly by Badrul Alam. Another Bangla News Daily quoted Badrul's confessional statement given in court "In his confession, the sources said, Badrul claimed that he and Khadija were in a relationship."Loving a person wholeheartedly is no sin but trying to kill an innocent soul after being rejected of love is not the way a lover should behave. Love is warm, affectionate, care, unselfish and not arrogant, violent, or inhuman. Now, naturally the question arises who is Badrul Alam? He was a fourth-year student of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) and also a Senior Assistant Secretary of the BCL unit in SUST. His political position was in his mind and hence he did not even think twice while buying the machete and hacking Khadija in public.
Surprisingly, except one no other human souls came forward to help in her great despair. People around were busy taking pictures, shooting videos and gossiping about the incident with their batch mates. Moreover, Khadija's dream of higher education, being independent and earning by her own all went into vain. Her dreams of living the life of a dignified women and contributing in building the economy of the country with her family was a dream never coming true. Though she is luckily alive, but the trauma remains. She had fallen back in her education, which led to a delay in her career, and supporting her family would be a far race to win. In the meantime, the mental trauma would haunt her in days and nights. She would have fear against men who loves her wholeheartedly and can never trust any men sooner or later. The concept of romantic love even when truewould not create any emotional attachment but remind her of her helplessness, agony and obstruction in life to move ahead.
Napolean Bonaparte once said "Give me an educated mother, I shall promise you the birth of a civilized, educated nation." This quote is not merely a quote but has a deep-rooted meaning. Many years ago, at the time of his rule, Emperor Napolean realized that if a mother is educated she will educate the entire family as in her sons and daughters. When a man is educated himself and has an educated mother he will respect the opposite gender that is women. Similarly, an educated girl would know her true value and would fight to claim her rights in the game of the life.
Begum Rokeya can be a role model for girls as she has empowered women by motivating them to become educated and become independent. On the other hand, women oppressors, the real culprits should be brought under strong charges and given stern punishments.
Police, influential political leaders and judges should be given the autonomy to find out the real criminals who have oppressed women either physically or mentally or both and exemplary punishment be given so that it would create fear and sensibility amongst the wrongdoers of women in house and public in general.
The writer is a Sub-Editor (News Desk), the Daily Observer.