Insensitivity to deaths is mental aberration
IF politicians deliberately create a "situation" in the country,and if that situation incites a group of unruly elements of their party to go about murdering people on the roads, and if those politicians remain insensitive to such deaths and destruction, the state of their mental disposition would definitely come into question at one point of time. We question the level of sanity of the minds of the murderous hoards of Gengis Khan or Hulagu Khan, but they were foreign invaders having no compassion for the people of the countries they conquered. But we would definitely ask the question, what kind of sanity do the political leaders of the opposition party of this country possess as they let loose murderous goons on their own people? What kind of politics is this? Why are they doing this to their own people, to their own voters?
Any sane man would reply, what is happening in the name of politics in the country is deliberate orchestration of a man-made disaster of horrendous proportion, selecting soft targets like daily commuters, school-goers, truckers and private cars. It is a man-made disaster, indeed. Dozens of men, women and children have lost their lives on the roads from petrol bomb attacks by those unruly elements of the opposition political parties. But when confronted, their leaders conveniently remain on the denial mode. Rather they prefer to shift the blame on the ruling party for such attacks. They display no perceptible remorse for the dead and the injured who are groaning in the burn units of different hospitals. Such collective apathy of the leaders in the opposition is not a healthy reaction to the tragic events. Only people afflicted with some form of mental disorder can remain so insensitive and unresponsive to such human plight of colossal proportion. Needless to say, when rationality takes leave of politics, barbarism takes over. A political party that brackets itself as "democratic" cannot follow the examples set by the barbarians of the middle ages.
One wonders how these politicians in the opposition can look the other way when human blood spills on the roads, when human skin burns in petrol bomb fire, when bandaged children groan in hospital beds. Can anyone in their healthy state of mind do this? A senior member of BNP said the other day that they cannot stop imposing the programmes of hartals and blockades because if they do it now that would mean acceding defeat. Good Heavens! You call restraining your men from killing people on the roads "defeat"! Even the leader of the opposition alliance and chairperson of BNP in her latest press meet asked the people to endure the suffering for a little while longer! You call succumbing to first degree burn after suffering excruciating pain for weeks in a hospital mere "suffering"! What kind of leaders are they? Who are they doing politics for? Are they winning many hearts by killing people on the roads? Are they gaining ground in the race for the throne? Are they sure their popularity has gone one notch up in the last two months following the deaths and destruction of so many human lives and property? If they think they have gained anything, they must be out of their mind.
The opposition alliance is trying to stick the label of "democratic movement" on the violence and resulting deaths on the roads orchestrated by them. They say they are doing everything for the restoration of democracy. But we never knew throwing petrol bombs on passenger buses or on private cars was a democratic way of expressing one's voice. We have seen many democratically organised and steered demonstrations in the past, between 1968 and 1990. In no such movements were innocent public targeted and killed to gain points. It is definitely a pertinent point for the political historians to do research on.
The writer is Editor, Special Supplements, The Daily Star.