Oishee's Story: A Wake-up Call
Oishee's story is about drugs and the media. It is not a story of decadence and self-indulgence, as some have made it out to be. Instead of focusing on the culture of drug abuse that has led a 17 year-old girl to murder her parents, the media has chosen to violate Bangladesh's child protection act by splattering her face across all the national papers and painting her as the “fast and loose” girl who didn't know her place.
In its haste to get a good scoop off this tragic story, the media has forgotten that Oishee is still a minor. The newspapers have gone into sordid details of her daily life, but the only truly shocking issue on the front page is the reek of misogyny and child sexualisation. The focus of almost every report is Oishee's English Medium background and her male friends. In the midst of all this sensationalism, the really worrisome aspect of her tale has gotten lost.
Oishee's schooling or social circle, in fact, had nothing to do with what she did, as any English Medium student with a friend from the opposite sex can guarantee. What led her to this extreme was a combination of hard drugs and psychological issues.
We need to trace back to the root of this problem -- a prevailing ignorance about drug abuse in our society. Addiction is a medical problem which causes severe breakdown of personality, as in the case of Oishee, and the only way to treat this is by sending the drug addict to rehab.
Even more terrifying is the role of the police force in dealing with a child criminal. Under the Children Act 2013, minors cannot be taken into remand, but Oishee was still granted a 5-day remand. The police have also filed a petition to take her aide, a girl thought to be around 10, in remand. These two girls have had their privacy violated repeatedly -- by having cameras shoved in their faces. According to the Police Joint Commissioner, Monirul Islam, the media has unnecessarily sensationalised Oishee's case. Yet it will go unscathed while the rest of the youth will have to take the generalised blame of growing up in a negligent, uncaring society.