Avi’s father is an egg seller. He has one son and one daughter. The lone daughter died three months ago during delivery of child. Avi is a student of of Kabi Nazrul College. His dream was to stand by the parents on conclusion of his studies. But politics of violence did not allow the dream to be materialised. Petrol bomb snatched away poor, meritorious Avi.
I came across Avis’s mother in front of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital burn unit on Friday. Accompanied by businessman and political friend Nur Mohammad, I had gone to the burn unit to provide help to the victims. Avi’s name was in our list. But we did not find Avi. Cruel, ailing politics has snatched away him. Avi’s mother came before me from old Dhaka. She burst into tears. Embracing me she said. They did not allow my son to live…. they did not let my son survive. You tell me, with what I shall live. My son used to say, Mother, wait for some more days. As soon as my studies will conclude you would not have any sufferings. My son could not return home from college. Whom should I blame for this?’’
We had no language to console Avi’s mother. We became speechless. I had also come across other innocent people with burn injuries. By profession, someone drives Leguna, someone is helper or driver. I found some women also who are completely innocent, but victims of petrol bomb attacks. These people do not understand politics. They do not realise what is power. They do not recognise me, do not know any politician. They do not know who Mahbubul Alam Hanif is. They do not know the name of Shimul Biswas. They do not know what does the newspaper men imply. After receiving financial help they looked at me with gratitude. They have no language to speak. With silent cry they asked, “What is our offence? Why our bodies were set ablaze?” We failed to give any reply. We returned back from the burn unit with a heavy heart.
One day after this, innocent passengers of a bus were set ablaze. The working class people were returning home after work. I informed Bashundhara Group Chairman, who was abroad, of the incidents. He said, “Not only Bangladesh Pratidin, stand beside humanity along with Kaler Kantho. Continue providing help to the victims at the burn unit. Not only Dhaka, extend your hands to the rural hospitals also. We must stand by those poor people.”
With the donation from his personal funds, I and Kaler Kantho editor Imdadul Haq Milan went to the burn unit. We stood beside 30 burn victims who came last. Our representatives will also go to the hospitals in Chittagong Rangpur and Rajshahi.
Prof Samanta Lal Sen told me “We have given treatment to the innocent burn victims. But they need long-term support after getting released from the hospital. The persons who used to earn money to support the family have been burnt. Our assistance will help a great deal for their survival.”
I was shocked again after going to burn unit on Wednesday again. The innocent people of Bangladesh have been receiving burn injury for 23 days. The faulty politics is responsible for the situation. The arsonists not only burnt people but also country’s economy. The potential tourism sector is also facing debacle. Image of the country is being tarnished. The businessmen are worried over the situation. Low income and marginal class of people are perplexed. Uncertainty gripped everywhere. There is pain, confusion and anxiety in the minds of commoners. Nobody knows as to how the crisis will be solved. In the past, the political activists used to sacrifice their lives in the critical situation. But the common people are embracing a tragic end of their lives now. When a member of family goes out of home, parents and other family members are praying to Allah so that he/she may return well without being victimized by the violent politics. Wife is making the same prayer for her husband. The businessmen cannot understand as to how they will pay salaries to their employees in the next month. The export and import are being halted with ports dysfunctional. The farmers are hopeless. But the politicians have no time to think about these issues. They are doing politics holding the common people hostage. What is the justification of blockade and hartal on Friday? I cannot understand. It was for the first time that the day of akheri munajat of Tablig Jamaat was not kept beyond the blockade. The vehicles for newspaper were set ablaze. Even the day of janaza and burial of younger son of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia saw grim picture of blockade. It is astonishing politics. I am reiterating my claim again that the government’s decision not allowing BNP to hold rally in Gazipur and Suhrawardy Udyan was a wrong decision. The policymakers should not have taken such decision on the basis of intelligence report. The comment made by Tarique Rahman in Londin is material to the people of Bangladesh. Bangladesh means Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The history will take its own course. After 100 years, the statement of Tarique Rahman and daughter of Tajuddin Ahmed will cease to exist. The politics should be allowed to move forward as usual without any engineering. BNP made a great mistake by not allowing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to meet Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan party office to console her following death of her younger son Koko. She went there as a mother, not as a premier. In 2009, Khaleda Zia went to Sudhasadan to console PM Sheikh Hasina on the death of her husband. But the premier was not allowed to express consolation.
Politics faced crisis again through Prime Minister’s return. BNP spoiled the light of hope. I am saying that dialogue would have been started if the gate was opened for the Prime Minister. Leaders and activities would also have seen the light of hope. The countrymen would have seen new dream. But BNP is doing mistakes repeatedly. There are conflicts among the two families in villages. But birth, death and marriage bring them together. Even enemies are not offended when they go for consoling neighbours during neighbour’s death. There was no problem that BNP Chairperson was in sleep. But what the leaders and office staffs were doing then? They should have opened the door of the office. Also they should have taken Prime Minister inside the office and make sitting arrangement for the Prime Minister. Later, it should have been told to PM that Madam is now in sleep. We are grateful that you have come here. Either there should have been an opportunity to observe sleeping Khaleda Zia for a while. This is courtesy. But we are now forgetting decency. There is no decorum in politics. Now we see violence instead of politeness. People of the country are panicked due to violence. Also, the question has been raised that where is the end of it? Countrymen do not want to see politics at the burn unit of hospitals. Rather, they (people) want to see dialogue in the table.
Killing people by arson attack would not be a form of politics. Civilised people cannot do the acts of setting fire to vehicles, hurling petrol bombs at buses. Please stop such brutality in the name of politics. Stand by the burn injured people. And rehabilitate them as the poor and helpless people are suffering immensely. I have seen the peoples’ crying at the burn unit of the hospital. But they do not know what their offence is. They only know that cruel politics is killing and burning them.