At one stage, both I and Naem Nizam were unable to look at the faces of the burn victims. Just a glance was enough to lead to the brink of suffocation. They were so seriously brunt. The line of arson victims started from the corridor of burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital. In the ward crossing the passage, in the ICU next to ward-everywhere the scenario is the same. Only burnt faces, burnt bodies. The whole body put under bandage. Some one’s two hands are covered by bandage, some ones chest, abdomen, face and head. The scream of victims, tears of the near one’s are simply unbearable.
What is the offence of these people? All are from the working class. They do not understand politics. They only realize how to give hard labour for survival with wife and children having three square mills a day under a safe shelter. Their main concern is to look after the children and arrange for their studies in schools. They have no scope to stay indoor during hartal and blockade. One day’s work stoppage will plunge the family in crisis. They do not understand the tricks of politics. But coming down to the streets, they are being the victims of politics.
Is it politics! Burning people, torching vehicles and killing common people- is it politics! A youth was returning home after SSC examination coaching, but one of his eyes was destroyed by a cocktail. Is it politics? A two and half years old child was traveling with his parents- a doctor couple. He also was burnt along with his father and mother. Both of them are unable to take him in lap to console. Is it politics?
A picture has appeared in Kaler Kantho. A little child is unable to recognize his father as his face has been burnt. What type of politics is this that makes the father beyond recognition to the child? 28 people were burned at the same time at Jatrabari. They all are in burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital now. The stink of burnt bodies has made the air heavy there. The air is heavier due to the scream of the victims and sigh of the relatives.
Can the burning of human beings in this way be considered as politics? If it is politics, then we reject it. We strongly condemn such politics.
The tall girl was moving with us. Her name is Shapla. The name of the national flower of Bangladesh is Shapla. The name of Shapla’s husband is Masud, her brother’s name is Jahangir. Masud is the driver of a truck and Jahangir is the helper. They hail from Kahalur Baluta village of Bogra district. They fell prey to petrol bomb in the charmatha area of Bogra on January 23. Both of them are now in the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital. 46 percent of the body of Jahangir and 17 parcent of Masud have been burnt. Shapla has been working relentlessly day and night for her husband and brother. Masud may recover, but nobody knows what will happen to Jahangir. Speaking about the husband and brother Shapla was weeping. Who can console crying Shapla and how? Is it any politics that brings down deep darkness to human life? We do not want this politics.
I and Bangladsh Pratidin editor Naem Nizam went to DMCH to stand by the burn victims with the good will and sympathy of Basundhara Group chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan. We came back with huge mountain of pains. As we were returning, a relative of a victim said, those who are doing politics of burning people, they are also human beings. Don’t they have any kind of feelings for the countrymen? Both the major parties are sticking to their guns. Will not anyone think about us? This brutality can be stopped if those who call hartal and blockade want so. Let them do their politics, but why will they kill us, burn us? If politics is for people, why are they not notice the cry of us- the burnt people? What is the reply of this question?
We find it difficult to express our gratitude to a number of devoted doctors who are beside the burn victims with deep affection. Partho Sankar Paul, Sajjad Khandaker, Lutfar Kader Lenin, Tanvir Ahmed and prof Abul Kalam are showing astonishing affectionate services to the burn patients. Like these doctors every sensible parson should stand beside the people with burn injuries. Fallowing the poem of Shakti Chattapadhay let us say, “people are crying verymuch, as a human being you stand beside them.”
It is useless to request the politicians. We pray to the Almighty; save us from the politics of burning the people.
— The writer is the editor of Kaler Kantho