MAILBOX | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 15, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 15, 2018

MAILBOX

Minorities are being attacked: Where are our leaders?

Practically every day you open your morning newspaper, go through your social media account or catch up on a news portal, chances are that you will read about an attack on a minority group by extremists. These minorities tend to be religious ones with Hindu families being the primary target. Attacks at Nasirnagar in Brahmanbaria in October 2016 and Thakurbari in Rangpur in November 2017 are recent examples. These incidents keep on repeating themselves because of the lack of punishment for the people involved.

Misunderstanding of religious duties lead to hatred towards other religions; this, along with a lack of social and political capital for these minorities have made the situation even worse. So, I think it is high time our leaders should come forward and take necessary steps for preventing a sectarian crisis. Our leaders need to ensure that the people involved in planning these attacks get their deserved punishment. A lot of the time, these people are powerful and misuse their position to avoid jailtime.

Our leaders should also ensure increased engagement for minorities in our social and political system. Too often, their voice is ignored because of a lack of representation and exposure. But above all, the root cause of this violence must be addressed. We, as a country, have lived harmoniously for decades despite our race, gender, and religion but this sudden uprising of violence towards minorities comes from a religious bigotry that needs to be eradicated. For this, our leaders need to focus on restructuring the education system and have more platforms for engagement on understanding different religions. It's time our leaders fulfill their duties and make society peaceful and just for all.

Samiha Hoque

Department of Business Administration

East West University

 

Photo: Kongkon Karmaker

Jailed and Forgotten

The Star Weekend report titled 'Jailed and Forgotten' published on June 1 is a realistic reflection of how justice is denied to the common man in Bangladesh. The sufferings of Azaher Ali and Zobed Ali Biswas—both had to languish behind bars for years after acquittal—strike a chord.

The big question is who will give them back these golden years of their lives that they lost for no fault of their own? Be that as it may, justified compensation which they both very rightly deserve, will at least give them some means to strive to sustain their remaining years with human dignity. Now, not only have Azaher and Zobed endured suffering in prison but are yet to be compensated. One is reminded of the golden phrase, “justice delayed is justice denied”. 

Let's hope that the write-up will prick the conscience of the concerned authorities who should take concrete steps at the earliest to relieve the agony of Azhar and Zobed.

Dr Md Tawfiqul Haider

Professor and former Chairman

IHC Department

University of Dhaka

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