Rape incidents and conscience call
On January 5, a student of Dhaka University became a victim of rape at Kurmitola of the capital. It roused the rage of students who took to streets countrywide and raised strong voice of protest with meaningful placards at Dhaka University premises and elsewhere that call for an in depth study, not only to catch the real culprit and give deterrent punishment quickly but also to find out the deep rooted cause and eradicate the same with strong hand. In this case, one rapist has been arrested, taken to the Court and taken to remand for seven days.
It is stated that the culprit is a serial rapist who used to rape handicapped and beggar women, lived as vagrant at Kurmitola and Banani Rail stations. It means he remained unnoticed so long in this busy area. However, as the Court proceedings advance doubts will be dispelled and truth will be revealed and justice will be meted out without delay.
It is not enough to say it is law and order question, but to step further investigate self and collectivity why moral values stopped so low and education system has failed to create enabling environment that would instill hatred to this vice amongst all. The Ministry of Education, Social Welfare and Religion should be made accountable and not shift all responsibility to the Head of the Government.
Press has raised the question where is the end of this crime, to which the ministries are bound to reply assuring measures, taken to rectify practically. It is said by political quarters that from garment worker to University student- nobody is safe now; rape has taken epidemic proportions. It is increasing for lack of punishment to the rapists. In 2019 number of rape victims in this country was 1 thousand 413. People expect parties in the Parliament should take up the issue, not holding human chain before Press Club only.
Let us not forget the protests of University students with placards from January 6 to 8, 2020 displayed in the media, expressed their concern and put forward questions seeking answers. Some of these are quoted below, which might have been kept as press clippings by the concerned ministries and University Departments countrywide for doing the needful.
'SECURITY??? WHERE THE HELL IT IS???
WE ARE LIVING IN REPUBLIC NOT IN RAPE PUBLIC
HOW MUCH MORE IN INDEPENDENT COUNTRY
It is our day to day experiences these questions and concerns torment the minds of their guardians in sending their children to School, College and University countrywide as the case may be. There were various media and NGO reports and surveys that produced no effect to make the life of women and children safe and secured in reality. While on it the concerns of my elder brother Ziaul Islam passed away on December23, 2019 aged 86 at 11.45 am (Innalillahe��. Rajeun) appeared in my mind who was family man, socially sensitive, very much perturbed at the gradual decline of security and morality in this country made the lives of citizens unbearable but they had to bear. Now his sons and daughters fighting for their sons and daughters that became the cycle commenced in Bangladesh emerged independent in erstwhile East Pakistan.
Everybody will have to live within this country, need to break this vicious cycle except neo wealthy and powerful who might have left this country became citizens of developed countries for luxurious safe livings. True, some have left this country under compelling circumstances who also feel similar to us. It is felt fourth generation will lose contact with country of origin for gradual adaptation of culture of adopted country and the sentiments of Bengali expatriates settled in West will not remain. It is a sordid point should not be missed by the current aspirants for immigration to West for settlements. More so, there is rising trend of nationalism in the West. We will have to be mindful about Bengali nationalism.
In the midst of this declining trend, the speech of Honorable President and Chancellor of Universities M Abdul Hamid at the first convocation of Jagannath University in the public sector after 14 years of its establishment on January 11 came as solace and reassuring. He asked Vice- Chancellors of Universities of the country to be conscious about irregularities-corruptions. If they involve in these what will happen to University?
VCs are chief executive who are to be honest, efficient and person of integrity in discharge of duties. He cautioned there is a section of teachers who use their service in University as shield, engage in evening courses and take classes in private Universities. He reminded funds come from Government exchequer which is public money. We hope his words will not fall in deaf ears in Mujib Year.
The writer is economist,
advocate and columnist