Culture of chaos and national IQ An American expatriate friend of mine, who has been working for a long time in Bangladesh, once asked what he disliked about our country, told me that the Bangladeshis seemed to have this incorrigible affinity to chaos and disorder. A non-Bangladeshi user on youtube.com commented on the video of the tragic and bizarre train accident at the Mogbazar rail-crossing on 17 June 2009 that Bangladesh’s unique problem was the undisciplined, disorganised and ‘corrupted to the bone’ people and that it was the dirtiest city he had ever visited. Everything is truly unorganised, disordered and chaotic in Bangladesh. An unmistakable absence of sensibility is present everywhere. Childish enmity between the major political parties, being crowned as the most corrupted country in the world more than once, horrific instances of ruthless pollution, inexplicable and inexcusable losses of the national cricket team home and abroad – it is difficult to find a little order and a little sanity anywhere in anything in this country.
The government in our country is suffering from the disease of chaos horribly. A foreign study once attributed our government to be ‘unnecessarily large, inefficient and irrefutably corrupted’. Nothing happens normally in anything that is remotely connected to the government – whether you are trying to get a new passport or trying to get a train ticket. Political leaders abuse their privilege and power in encroaching land, oppressing the poor and accumulating illegal wealth. The police no longer have the respect of people; no one believes the police will save us from mugging because they are believed to be the muggers themselves. By the road, it is not rare to spot a police officer taking bribery from a driver who possesses no legal driving license. The newspapers are wasting paper and ink to try to better things but nothing works in this unbelievably odd country! The ruling party seems to have two doctrines in its religion – loot to accumulate wealth and make life difficult for the opposition party. Fighting, mudslinging, insulting, harassing – a bitter war continues between childish leaders and their followers follow blindly.
Chaos and disorder have become parts of our culture now. It is not unusual to see a political leader indifferently blocking the road to erect a stage for some cultural function to celebrate some occasion; I witnessed an example of this kind of depravity December last year. A few blocks away in Mirpur that day, I also found a road completely submerged under the reeking water leaked from the underground sewerage pipes. Go to any public toilet in the country, whether on a moving train or in a respectable and reputed university, you will hardly ever see it in a usable condition. But people seem to have attained immunity to all these adversities and they do not bother, really. From the inefficiency of public services to the shameless exploitation of power and privileges of the people in power, nothing seems to perturb the imperturbable public. So the reign of disorder continues and no one noticeably feels the urge to address this incontestably important issue.
Does this scenario have anything to do with the average IQ of a Bangladeshi? According to a study, the Bangladeshis ranked 23rd among 43 nations of the world (in the test, several countries ranked equally and Bangladesh shared the position with Zimbabwe, India, Lebanon etc.) in terms of average national IQ. All the countries ranking in the vicinity of Bangladesh in that list are, with few exceptions, suffering from corruption, moral depravity, disorder and chaos. So it will not be absolutely improper to infer that there is a connection between IQ and inability to comprehend the need of order and stability. While there is a clear genetic implication of this inference, which cannot be addressed, it is not entirely hopeless since it has been found that schooling can have salubrious effects on boosting IQ. Therefore, we are left with no other alternative other than concentrating really hard on ensuring that education becomes accessible easily and freely for every single person of this nation. Let us hope and pray our nation will truly go forward in the coming future by overcoming their horrendously chaotic sentiments.
The writer is an engineer and a columnist of daily sun.