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     Volume 8 Issue 85 | September 4, 2009 |

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The Nation's Abyss of Moral Degradation


Allow me to begin by questioning the relevant authorities, and are they not all? The health ministry, the industries ministry, the home, the women's ministry, the local government...

How many more murders of the most innocent children before you put behind bars those associated with Rid Pharmaceuticals, even if only as exemplary measures? To prevent others from repeating such senseless acts! We are talking of three-year olds, four perhaps. We already have about 30 children dead, and we do not have even a relative/associate arrested to mount pressure on those directly involved, and now absconding. Can the authority not arrest the doctors who are STILL prescribing the poison drugs? The poor illiterate parents of these children may not have television and radio, and therefore are unaware of the deadliness of the Temset suspension and Ridaplex syrup, manufactured with inferior, unsuitable-for-human-consumption chemicals. But the doctors (shame on you) should be updated with developments in the profession.

Where, lo where, is the journalist community? How much effort has it made to focus on the persons responsible for this ongoing tragedy? This heartbreaking disaster cannot be allowed to be repeated. And therefore, their responsibility cannot end by merely reporting on the dead. They should have most seriously mounted the highest form of pressure on law-enforcers to bring to task those responsible for taking away the life of children, for absolutely no fault of theirs, who were so much of a joy for their parents, and near and dear ones.

Should not the government have embarked on a massive campaign through masjids and mandirs, churches and channels, radio and roadshows, through miking and posters, by involving the NGOs in rural areas and in markets, in urban slums, at launch ghats and railway stations, about the death of children by taking the lethal medication? The government ban effective 22 July on Rid pharma's suspension and syrup should have been followed up with an action plan to totally empty the market of the toxic product. A four-year-old child, Eva was her name, died end August.

Are these children not citizens of this country? Have we become such low humans that we allow a few greedy adults to use cheaper chemicals than the one allowed for making the medicines to kill innocent children? Should they on their own not have come forward and admitted their guilt? Or are they hiding in some relatives' or friends' house to hear about more deaths of children? Should not those friends and relatives expose those offenders?

The answers, my friends, lie in the abyss of our nation's moral degradation.

Yet another group of wrong doers being allowed to enact their criminal activities are business persons hiking the price of essentials. We all understand that price is based on supply and demand, but the food minister is on record (not verbatim) that the price is somewhat enhanced because of 'tips' having to be paid to illegal toll collectors en route to the city and other markets. While the shops are stacked to the brim with merchandise, a healthy supply, no one is interested about such reasoning, especially because it is true. People expect the government to send forces, scare those culpable, arrest them, and bring them to task. Or will the people assume that the law enforcers are working against the system? That is so because they were recruited during the tenure of the last political government, a government source may volunteer, but such statements are no longer tenable, even if they hold water.

Our commerce minister had been consistently saying before Ramzan and during on TV and to the print media that measures WILL be taken (when, sir, when?) against hoarders, and against business people. That's about the only thing that is consistent in the market. But these threats, however sincerely delivered, are proving to be empty, and greatly encouraging the corrupt importers and traders. The government must go for action, and rapidly. We have raised battalions for these tasks.

And yet another band of criminals being allowed to get away are those who show us politics in everything. A person, say, is arrested for or charged with misusing government fund. His first defence is the case is politically motivated, and it is being hatched to bring on humiliation and harassment to the nishpaap person and the pobitro flower's family. Some of them have even shown the 'V' sign while being taken away by police or RAB. Worst still, the media has shown such mortifying pictures on TV and newspapers. And so the bhadrolok (what else can we say?) sticks to his story, the case is filed on shaky grounds, and one (for the chap) fine day he walks out of jail as a laundered tulsi pata, and this time showing the vee with venom and both hands upwards.

Say again for example, one is shown arrested for keeping bottles of wine and the like in his house. That too becomes a 'politically motivated' case. No Bangladeshi citizen is allowed to take liquor without a medical prescription; every barrister needen pokkhe knows that by heart. So, we bring out someone living in that house, and guess what? He holds a foreign passport, and therefore is a foreigner, and therefore can legally keep bottles. Or he can easily get a medical certificate to legalise on earth the felony.

Do we have to prove so blatantly that we care naught for the hereafter? Our Ramzan festivity and Tarabi prayers attendance indicates otherwise. At least in this holiest of months, we should comprehend that winning a legal battle in a court of mortals is not the end of story. Lies can sometimes help us win an election. But, sadly and surely, we often enough pursue politics using Islamic ideals (where there is no room for lies) as a shield, and as a contrivance to win cheap popularity. Where, pray where, are our morals and ethics?

The answer, my friends, lie in the abyss of our nation's moral degradation.



Cartoon by Tanmoy


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