Tuesday, June 25, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

ED: Why the double standard?


The rules tend to be different for different classes of people

Update : 15 Jul 2021, 03:09 AM

The strict lockdown that had been imposed across Bangladesh saw the police and other law enforcement personnel being swift to fine people who were flouting lockdown rules. This is a good thing -- in order to curb the spread of the virus, we need people to remain at home. 

And yet, there have been numerous stories of people being harassed and arrested by law enforcement, even when facing emergencies, such as the incident in Satkhira where the police detained a man carrying an oxygen cylinder, resulting in the death of his father. 

However, what has been problematic to notice is that such arrests and detainments have disproportionately been among the poor in society, who are often left with little choice but to take to the streets to make ends meet. 

Meanwhile, with numerous reports of traffic jams around Dhaka, it is evident that, as the poor risk being arrested due to their desperation and hunger, the wealthy and privileged in society continue to flout the rules, with almost no repercussions.  

Once again, we are presented with the unfortunate reality in our society, and the widening divide between the privileged and the poor. While it is easy to blame law enforcement for failing to do their jobs properly, we have seen previously that the rules tend to be different for different classes of people, and they are able to use their power and influence to not only bend the law, but make life difficult for whoever attempted to impose the law upon them in the first place. 

We must approach lockdown and Covid protocols with fairness and compassion. There is no need to be stern with those who are only trying to feed themselves at a time of crisis. A glaring double standard has been exposed this lockdown, and this must be corrected.

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