Thursday, 23 March, 2023

Close the door on teen gang culture

The teen gang culture is increasing alarmingly across the country, despite action from law enforcement agencies against it. As part of its drive against juvenile delinquency, the elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested 16 members of a capital-based teenage gang, including its suspected ringleader, who were involved in different criminal activities like drug dealing, robbery, murder, eve-teasing and rape. Though a very small number is arrested; many more remain outside since media, quoting law enforcement agencies, earlier reported to have over 50 youth gangs in the capital, consisting of 10-15 members in each group, while the number of such gangs outside the capital is still unknown. That a section of teenagers is mastering the art of villainy, neglecting social norms and values at the age when they were supposed to be busy with studies, games and sports and cultural activities has turned out to be a serious concern.

The teenage mind is always enthusiastic and loves getting recognised by people around them. While some adolescents try to get it by doing something acceptable in our society, some others think differently. The latter group opts to declare their ‘strong existence’ by leading a carefree life, especially after closely observing our radically changed social environment: Increasing trends of violence, decaying morality, patronising wealth and muscle power, etc.

These youths are picked and backed in their choices by godfathers, drug dealers and political leaders as adolescents are easily convinced of doing any crime, and teens, if arrested, are granted bail easily in consideration of the crime as juvenile delinquency. Thus, it becomes the best investment for the godfathers that benefits them in the long run. On the other hand, while many affluent families spend less time and do not know about the activities of their children, the poor ones may be afraid of the wicked child or somehow enjoy the unexpected power and influence of their children.

Nevertheless, the problem is too little to be ignored, and the measures to tackle the youth gang culture require more comprehensive efforts rather than just bringing criminals to the book. The culprits who patronise these teens must also be punished. However, the most crucial part of helping a child to be a good adult lies with their family— the primary institution of all education. We must not let the youth gang culture flourish.