Violence committed under the party’s name is violence nonetheless
Time and again, we have witnessed shocking incidents of violence and vandalism at our university campuses, used as a means for conflict resolution.
And so, it is good to see Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina make a strong statement at the inaugural session of the 29th council of the Bangladesh Chhatra League, making it clear that violence and vandalism by students will not be tolerated in any shape or form.
Student groups have repeatedly, in the name of politics, wreaked havoc on otherwise peaceful areas, hurting countless innocents.
Recently, the Dhaka University vice chancellor’s residence was vandalized and looted during the protests for quota reform, and such disgraceful actions cannot be tolerated no matter what the provocation.
Ransacking a VC’s house does not count as protest, politics, or education -- it is hooliganism, plain and simple.
Back in January, we also saw students besiege the VC’s office, issuing threats, and physically blocking his path, as well as inflicting physical harm upon students under the pretense of rescuing the VC.
It is a shame -- student groups have a rich history of bringing about meaningful change to Bangladesh, but recently, they have become associated, in people’s minds, with violence and hooliganism.
The prime minister has sent a particularly clear message to the BCL in particular -- violence committed under the party’s name is violence nonetheless.
The PM did not mince words: “No one will be spared, no matter what organization they belong to.”
We hope the PM’s warning will be heeded, and the toxic political culture in our public educational institutions will see some much-needed change.