We must fight this culture of violence
On Sunday night, a 63-year-old village head in Rangamati was gunned down by assailants. This was, of course, not an isolated incident, but part of a broader pattern of violence in the region. Incidents from last year include the murder of two UP members, and at least two others citizens in gang violence.
Such a descent into lawlessness is not a problem in Rangamati alone. CCTV footage has been found at the Pabna Office of the Public Works Department, where armed contractors can be seen spreading terror among workers. When the footage came to light, feeble excuses were of course given by those who entered the government offices with weapons, but the fact that intimidation of this level happens in the first place, and with such regularity, paints a sorry picture of the state of things, where lawlessness reigns supreme, and much business is conducted through intimidation or coercion.
From managing a devastating pandemic, to curing various social ills like violence against women and child labour, to various highly ambitious infrastructural projects, Bangladesh has on its plate, to say the least, many steep challenges. Tackling them will require coordination, organization, and transparency, and the political will to steadily work towards the common good. None of this will be accomplished if a culture of violence and thuggery is allowed to flourish. If the day-to-day work of a public office can be derailed through intimidation, we are doomed before we begin.
We must fight this culture of violence, and turn to the rule of law. Those who break the law, or use violence, coercion, or intimidation to achieve personal gain must be brought to book, and punished to the full extent of the law.