Tuesday, April 16, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Have they ever had any reason to care?

Update : 26 Apr 2013, 07:27 PM

The building collapse at Savar, and the following why and how of the incident in the various media, only raised one question in my mind. Why should a person like Sohel Rana bother with building regulations, quality of materials used and such? He is a Jubo League leader in the area and that title exempts him from certain laws and regulations.

At this point, people might object to my line of thought, saying that laws of a nation apply to everyone. But in reality they do not. How many times have we, in personal interactions with our peers, said that a particular person cannot be held responsible because he is well connected? Whether we admit it or not, the truth is we have accepted the fact that laws are not equal for everyone.

Where is the proof in that statement, you say? I ask you in response, how many of the buildings that we live or work in have followed the related building codes to the letter? We break traffic laws everyday without even thinking about it. We do not care if our actions cause inconvenience to others; at least not at the moment when we are breaking the law.

These are only two simple examples of how we, the not-so-well-connected civillians without any political backing, disregard the law everyday. Just for convenience’s sake we forsake rules and regulations all the time, and often, just because we can.

Starting from 2005, there have been 10 major incidents of building collapse, most of which resulted in loss of many lives. The collapse of Rana Plaza resulted in the death of at least 200 people and over 1,000 injured – by far the worst in terms of loss of lives.

Now let us get back to Sohel Rana. He is a Jubo League leader, which is the youth unit of the Awami League – the party in power.

The Jubo League, which in public opinion is currently the most uncontrollable youth wing of any political party, has managed to remain as headstrong as ever.

Is it not obvious then, that a leader of such a political wing would give his own wishes priority, if the price were some measly rules, and consequently the loss of hundreds of lives? Why should we even expect people like him to think of others’ well being?

When this is the apparent mindset of everyone who has influence or power over the government and its administration, this Savar incident should not shock us. Once we factor in all our intellect and “morality,” we should just be ashamed. 

Towsif Osman is Editorial Coordinator, Dhaka Tribune.  

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