• Tuesday, Jun 26, 2018
  • Last Update : 01:21 am

Mind your language, or you could spend 2 years behind bars

  • Published at 06:45 pm February 16th, 2018
  • Last updated at 10:08 am February 21st, 2018
Mind your language, or you could spend 2 years behind bars
Using expletives to argue your way out of difficult situations may have never worked in anyone's favour, but most locals do not let that stop them from using the dirtiest words jotted down in their mental notebook of profanity when they need to win a verbal feud. You may be familiar with people who resort to cheap tactics, which include throwing around their father's names and titles to get their way. This practice is very common in Bangladesh, where altercations between people on public transportation are an everyday occurrence. After boarding a bus from Jatrabari to Farmgate, Hamidur Rahman was outraged by the price his ride would cost him. Hamidur began to curse and shout at the bus conductor. In a rare twist of events, the conductor kept his mouth shut while he was berated. When the situation escalated, passengers intervened and attempted to solve the problem, causing Hamidur to get off the bus in Motijheel instead of Farmgate. According to the penal code under section 500, a case may be filed against Hamidur on charges of defamation. If proven guilty, the culprit can be imprisoned for up to two years. This correspondent asked Hamidur, an employee of a private organization, whether he knew that using foul language in public is a crime, and that the conductor could have filed a lawsuit against him for being verbally attacked. A stunned Hamidur said he had no idea that such a law even exists. Regarding the matter, Lawyer Abdullah Al Mansur Ripon told the Dhaka Tribune that despite the fact that Bangladesh has a punitive law against profanity, it is scarcely implemented. Reporting such criminal offences is rare and Ripon has not seen any such cases filed yet. In conversation with the Dhaka Tribune, Nur Khan Liton, a human rights activist and former executive director of Ain O Salish Kendro, said that verbally abusing someone can harm them emotionally and some victims may even require psychological assistance. Even though it is a civilian’s right to file a case against verbal abuse, officers of the law usually discourage victims from reporting such incidents to the authorities. “An unlimited number of cases can pop up if people start filing complaints after every altercation. This can even cause citizens to take advantage of the legal system,” Mansur Ripon added.