Rule of law essential against growing violence, say citizens

Rule of law essential against growing violence, say citizens

Anisuzzaman, Serajul Islam Choudhury and Rasheda K Chowdhury | Prothom Alo  Jul 23, 2019
Escalating violence and brutality have created a sense of alarm in the country. People are taking the law into their own hands. The state must take action and bring the situation under control. Individual and social awareness must also be increased. Three eminent citizens speak about the recent spate of lynching, deaths, the disintegration of moral values and the need to establish the rule of law.

AnisuzzamanHuman values have degenerated
Anisuzzaman, national professor

We have always identified ourselves are peace-loving harmless Bangalis, but we are now forced to question that identity. We are alarmed by the streak of cruelty that is emerging every day in the society. Alongside rape and abduction, we know hear of people being beaten to death based on vague suspicions. It is invariably found out that the victims of such mob lynching are actually innocent. Even if the person is guilty, the law cannot be taken into one’s own hands. That is absolutely contrary to human values and democracy. We cannot be the complainant and the judge at the same time. It is not up to us to mete out justice.

Actually human values have seriously degenerated among the people of Bangladesh. A friend is killing a friend, people are being murdered over the slightest excuse, people are being killed on the basis of spurious rumours. At the slightest call, crowds surge forward to beat up anyone to death. This simply cannot happen in a civilised society.

We are failing to build up human values. There is no effort, no environment to build up such values at home, in the educational institutions or at the workplace. The parent and teachers look at the academic results of the children, not at all bothered as to whether the young ones are acquiring any human values. At the workplace every one is self-centred, not concerned about forging ties with their colleagues. Moral decay is inevitable in such circumstances.

We have to make an effort from the very roots. Focus must be placed on building and nurturing a sense of human values. There will always be conflict within families and society. But the aim should be to sort out these differences in a peaceful manner. One cannot succumb to rumours.

Unless confidence can be placed in the country’ administration and legal system, the social institution will crumble. We must retreat from that path of destruction.

Serajul Islam ChoudhuryPeople’s trust must be revived

Serajul Islam Choudhury, academic

Firstly, a sense of anger and frustration grows within people’s minds for various reasons. However, people cannot express that anger. This pent up frustration leads them to pounce upon anyone at the slightest chance. They vent their anger and resentment in this manner. But the manner in which mob lynching is taking place, is simply unacceptable. People are not coming forward to help others in distress.

Generally speaking, there seems to be a growing lack of trust among the people. They feel if criminals are handed over to the police, they will invariably be released. Justice is not availed in the courts. So there is anger and there is mistrust. That is why people are taking the law into their own hands. This is not acceptable.

Then again, people are also not getting credible news and so they run after rumours. At this juncture, it is most important to revive people’s sense of trust. Criminals must be punished. They must be confident that when a suspect is handed over to the police and the court, justice will be done.

Social interaction has decreased too. Social bonds are no longer effective. People live in isolation. In the past people would go to watch plays, listen to music and visit the library. There were all sorts of socio-cultural events. This created a sense of social harmony which is now absent.

In order to reverse such social isolation, interaction must be stepped up. Opportunities for such interaction must be expanded. Social and cultural activities must be revived.

My appeal to everyone is to grow tolerance. One must think. If this sense of creative thought is dissipated, then humans are no longer human. Such mindsets must be nurtured at a social level.

Rasheda K ChowdhurySocial unrest leads to such incidents
Rasheda K Chowdhury, former caretaker government advisor

Cruel incidents like mob lynching are totally unacceptable and unwarranted in any society. Such incidents occur in the absence of the rule of law. Eight years ago, back in 2011, there had been news reports of eight students being lynched to death in Savar on suspicion of being robbers. Despite eight years having passed since then, the case is yet to be settled.

When people lose their trust for various reasons and unrest enters society, people resort to such behaviour. Many simply join in the mob beatings on a whim. I feel the lack of justice is a significant reason for such incidents. The courts are often unable to settle cases speedily. The charges in the case are presented in such a manner, that the trial takes inordinately long and often justice is not ensured. We must overcome this lack of justice. This much be given due attention.

Whenever there is an increase in any crime, there is talk of social awareness. While that is valid, the state also must take responsibility. If the state takes responsibility, it is possible to bring crime under control. Acid violence has been brought under control in this manner.

We proudly speak about how Bangladesh had advanced in education. But somehow a gap had emerged between education and values. Education is now all about certificates. Education must impart values. Social institutions must come forward.

With the development of information and technology, many problems are even resolved through apps. Such facilities must also be utilised. Justice must be ensured in the case of any crime. People’s trust must be built up. The common people must be able to differentiate between right and wrong. A message must be delivered to the public that they cannot take the law into their own hands. Above all, the rule of law must be established.

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