We have a new hero
The unprecedented Gulshan café attack that claimed lives of 20 hostages, most of them foreigners, seems to have compelled Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia to refrain from accusing each other of patronising terrorists and carrying out attacks by their party men.
In her brief televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday evening urged countrymen to get united to fight militancy. She did not use any word pointing finger to the BNP for masterminding the attack.
Khaleda on the next day at a press conference also refrained from blaming the Awami League and the government for the situation. She called for national unity to fight militancy.
The way both leaders have spoken does not reflect the true picture of our political culture.
The political culture in Bangladesh is really worrisome. Country's politics has gone so wrong that an atmosphere of fair competition is totally bsent here. Political parties want to win anyhow even by eliminating others. And for anything wrong, they accuse their opponents no matter whether they are responsible for it or not.
This culture has been blamed for the state’s failure to take actions against criminals. Major political parties are also blamed for patronising the criminals and their godfathers, letting the politics be criminalised. Rise of the militancy is linked to this political culture.
Some newspapers and the state-run television channel of Italy have criticised the political culture and observed that the Gulshan attack is a manifestation of mud slinging politics in Bangladesh.
However, the positive change that we have seen in the languages of the two top leaders can be a beginning for a change in the political culture to fight militancy.
A unity is a must for this. A divided polity will keep offering grounds for the rise of militants. For the sake of their own survival and national interests, they need to do it burying their differences.
It is for sure that the government alone cannot fight the monster effectively. Only empowering the law enforcement agencies with more sophisticated weapons will not work.
A Herculean task needs to be done. Why are our youth and brilliant students being attracted by the monster? The social and political reasons must be addressed. Those who are patronising militancy must be brought to the book. People need to be aware of everything and they must be engaged.
Politics must be for people and for our future generation. Combination of the efforts of law enforcement agencies, political parties and opinion builders is the best way to fight militancy.
Failure to do so will make us pay heavily. It will heavily damage our politics. Future of our children will become uncertain as they would turn vulnerable to be addicted to the drug of militancy. Our children may grow as Nibras, Rohan or as Mubasheer to kill many of our dearest sons like Faraaz who emerged as a hero sacrificing his life in an effort to save his friends at the café.
If we want to protect our Faraaz, a face of humanity, we must work out how to prevent our children from being grown as adventurers like the gunmen of Gulshan attack.
We have some young people who have acted like monsters. Yet we have Faraaz who set an example of humanity which should be followed by all including our youths.