Cold-shouldering it is not the remedy
It appears that the Awami League has come to the end of its tether as far as the Chattra League is concerned, and, being able to do nothing to rein it in, has chosen the easiest and the least unpleasant option, to ignore the student body. This is of course not the official position of the party, but certain postures of some senior AL leaders in respect of the Chattra League reflect the advice of the party president and the PM to them to shun it.
Well, this may be an action out of exasperation of the party leaders at their utter failure to check the unruly members of its student wing, and they may even consider it a safe option, but giving cold-shoulder to its student body is hardly the response one expects from the AL. Given the litany of criminal activities of the Chattra League ever since the AL has come to power, the reaction is not only inappropriate, it is also inadequate.
There are two sets of issues that have tarnished AL's image in the 16 months that it has been in office. One of it is inherited in the form of the ailment of the power and gas sector. And although the problem is not of its making, the situation may not have assumed a crisis level had the AL acted at a faster pace than it has done so far.
The other issue, the situation created by the activity of its student wing, is the result of the AL's neglect, and it must not fail to see its gravity. The unbridled criminality of the Chattra League is the major cause of the rapid erosion of public confidence in the party; and the fact that such activities are being carried out with total impunity has also turned popular sentiment against it. The grievances of the people are genuine, which the AL can overlook only at the risk of its political future.
The argument, offered by the AL, that the Chattra League is no longer linked to it is merely technical and does not hold any water. No one, not even the most politically uninitiated person on the street believes that to be the case.
It is time the party leadership put their heads together to find out how to handle the problem. They must understand that it is too late to hide behind inane arguments; they must not fail to see that every single action of the Chattra League, from tender scam to admission trade to violence on the campus, is providing fodder to the opposition, and unless something is done quickly, by way of punitive action against the errant Chattra League leaders, the situation may go beyond redemption.