• Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

A dead end

  • Published at 06:14 pm August 1st, 2017
A dead end

Earlier this month, a teenage boy was assaulted -- it was a means of punishment -- for talking to a girl. The form of punishment, if that’s what you want to call it, was sticking a nail into his genitals and beating him senseless.

A week ago, the city stood at a standstill for hours, as it does on the regular, because someone important from someplace more important than here was arriving.

The city stood, far from tall and proud, under sewage water as the rain attempted to wash away whatever resilience we had built as patient, abiding citizens.

Earlier this week, a university lecturer was assaulted by the registrar of the institution, with the help of a couple of other employees.

I get it, Dhaka is uninhabitable. It’s a hole of all kinds of our favorite nouns thrown before the word, but it’s also a place where no one can claim to have any rights, not if you’re a man, not if you’re a woman, let alone if you’re a child.

Our society is one that thrives on dynamics of power as archaic as they come, as regressive and despicable as they could possibly be. And what would be an acceptable response to this horror of a system that just keeps growing?

Education, of course.

Except, primary education is a joke.

So, higher education? What about these private institutes that keep sprouting in the capital? They should do.

Except, no. They don’t do, because the problems are too ingrained in our psyche. Every single one of us. Being excessively violent and unable to sort anything out in a remotely civil manner might just be the emblem of being Bangali.

Being excessively violent and unable to sort anything out in a remotely civil manner might just be the emblem of being Bangali

Under what circumstance can a registrar of a university be allowed to assault a lecturer in the university premises? What could make one so beside themselves, holding that kind of a position, running that sort of an institution, being in charge of the kind of things they are in charge of, that they had to resort to physically pinning the teacher down and use force against him?

What goes on in the city is no longer deeply saddening, it’s downright disgusting.

If education is what’s supposed to uphold the values of morals and ethics and growth and instill these in us, and it is at these educational establishments -- where the population goes to learn these values -- that things like this are happening, then there is no other way to say it: Our country has no hope. Where do we draw the line? When does someone say enough is enough?

When will we learn that educating ourselves is more than books and binders, more than grade point averages and certificates? When I have children, I can’t ever think of sending them to schools and universities, hoping they will ever learn how to be compassionate, respectful, and kind.

If there’s any way to see Bangladesh any different than the filth that it spews out, as policies and people, the change has to be from within. And what we have, within, is a sickness.

Luba Khalili is an Editorial Assistant at the Dhaka Tribune.

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