Can BD mil­i­tants be de­terred by bam­boos?

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

ABangladesh TTACKS on mi­nori­ties and sec­u­lar ac­tivists are on the rise in

so much so that hardly any day passes when the me­dia does not re­port about the mur­der of any Chris­tian, Hindu or the sec­u­lar cam­paigner. In a bid to de­ter mil­i­tants from at­tack­ing peo­ple of mi­nor­ity faiths, po­lice in western parts of the coun­try has started equip­ping the peo­ple with bam­boo sticks and whis­tles. The move comes af­ter a Hindu priest was found slaugh­tered in Western Bangladesh.

Though the idea of arm­ing the lo­cal peo­ple with sticks and whis­tles is an in­no­va­tive and novel one, but the ques­tion re­mains whether a mat­ter of such big pro­por­tion could be over­come this way. We un­der­stand it will not con­trib­ute much but take the so­ci­ety fur­ther to­wards vi­o­lence and an­tag­o­nism. The Mus­lim ma­jor­ity Bangladesh used to be a peace lov­ing and harmonious so­ci­ety where peo­ple be­long­ing to all faiths were liv­ing in co­he­sion and play­ing their part for the progress and de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try. Re­gret­tably, the con­tro­ver­sial and vengeance based poli­cies of the in­cum­bent PM Sheikh Hasina Wa­jid re­versed that pos­i­tive course and has torn the so­ci­ety so much apart that in­tol­er­ance and fa­nati­cism have per­me­ated ev­ery sec­tion of the so­ci­ety to­day. Given the vic­tim­iza­tion and ex­e­cu­tion of po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents, es­pe­cially of Ja­maat-e-Is­lami lead­ers in one sided and fake tri­als, the vi­o­lent re­ac­tion, deeper di­vi­sions and tur­moil in the so­ci­ety were very much in­evitable. In­stead of arm­ing the com­mon man with sticks and whis­tles, it will be bet­ter for Hasina gov­ern­ment to do some soul search­ing, dis­card the pol­i­tics of vendetta and tread the path of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion to do away with the cur­rent woes and banes which will con­tinue to haunt the peo­ple as long as the deep po­lar­iza­tion per­sists. Cul­ti­vat­ing the seeds of po­lit­i­cal and so­cial ha­tred will not serve any pur­pose but al­low the ex­trem­ist and an­te­dilu­vian forces to take over, which would not be de­terred with mere sticks.

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