• Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018
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Not all heroes wear capes

  • Published at 08:17 pm August 5th, 2018
Hold your heads high
Hold your heads high Photo: MEHEDI HASAN

These are the rising leaders of Bangladesh

We see them running, fighting in broad daylight, scaring off villains, and acting as proper protectors of the law.

No, they are neither policemen nor the army. They are not even adults.

These are the bright, brave, and dedicated school students aged as young as 12. Imagine how much pent up frustration these young kids must have had, who are supposed to be carrying books and pens, not protesting slogans. 

Despite all the hardship and the horror, which we anticipated, there was something which emerged and changed the entire atmosphere of Bangladesh, in a scene that has never been seen before.

Over the last few days, social media has been flooded with inspiring images and videos of children, teaching people how to follow traffic laws, in order to prevent another case of meaningless death. 

Pictures spread of children courageously stopping and asking for driver’s licenses, regardless of who the owner of the car is, whether it be a police DIG, a senior minister, or even army officers. 

These children have taught us adults how to fight without violence, how to be compassionate, how to be inclusive, and how to be united in times of crisis and agony. 

There were various emotionally gripping and stimulating stories of student protesters lining up traffic and creating emergency lanes for ambulances or urgent transport. 

These are not just moments, these are miracles and a blatant slap on the faces of the officials who could not perform these duties in so many years of their rule.

An engineer knows the best way to construct a road, a doctor knows the best benefits for healthcare.

So why is it a surprise that nothing works when we have uneducated and incompetent people assigned to these responsibilities?

I remember the first day watching a few students marching against the insensitive comments of the minister who triggered this, and saying: “Oh, this will not last …”

I wish I could go back and eat my words, for I now know how wrong I was.

I, along with many, should have pictured them as the future leaders of our nation.

Amongst those courageous and valiant warriors are rising leaders of Bangladesh, the hidden engineer we have been searching to fix our roads, the forestalling doctor we have been wanting. 

The generation our country can safely and happily rest assured in the dream of a true “Digital Bangladesh.”

We seem to forget that a nation’s foundation of growth is its youth, and if we as adults cannot safeguard them, how can we live with this for the rest of our lives?

So, children, do not feel disheartened. You have held our heads high, higher than we could ever have imagined. 

Montaha Chowdhury is a freelance contributor.