A Break in hartal for cricket?
THE BNP- led 20 party alliance's announcement of a 12 hour 'break' in hartal to allow for people to celebrate the Bangladesh Cricket team's victory over England for the World Cup quarterfinals is a contrived attempt to gain public sympathy. There are innumerable reasons to feel outraged and disgusted by this announcement.
One has to only remember the images of arson victims writhing in excruciating pain in hospitals, many of them dying an agonizing death – the tragic consequence of the ongoing blockade-hartal. For them the announcement of such a 'repreive' from hartal is a cruel, callous joke.
Hartal and blockade centred violence has taken over 83 lives, destroyed hundreds of vehicles and robbed the livelihood of thousands of people. It has also disrupted the academic future of our young people. Why weren't such 'breaks' announced for our close to 15 lakh SSC and other equivalent board exam candidates who are not sure when certain exams will still be postponed, cancelled or completed? Why are there no breaks for all the other students of schools, colleges and universities – the academic calendars of which have gone haywire, thanks to the constant danger of being petrol bombed? Students at all levels are frustrated with the continuous interruption in their studies and are worried that they will not be prepared for upcoming exams. The HSC exams for more than 10 lakh examinees, scheduled for April, may also be affected if the blockades and hartals continue. Will the BNP and its alliance concede to give a respite to these candidates in the interest of the students whose futures are determined by the successful completion of these board exams? Or will they only reserve these 'breaks' for a victory in cricket?