Humanity and conscience at stake
TODAY I feel extremely ashamed and so should our nation. Forty-two years after the liberation war, the needy and poor people are still subject to exploitation and torture by the rich and privileged. The poor are treated like stray animals on the streets, sometimes even worse. I feel the level of the torment of this particular group has reached a point where it makes the ‘independence’ of us Bangladeshis, meaningless and futile.
On September 28, most of the newspapers published the horrific story of the heinous torture of Aduri. She has been tormented by a couple living in the capital Dhaka. It has shocked and shaken all those who read about her ordeal.
Today humane conscience has ceased to hold very little value in our society. No one cares about it. We see that many human rights and social welfare organisations speak about human rights, against torture and injustices but they been unable to put a stop to such heinous crimes. These crimes of violence on domestic help are happening repeatedly in our society. The perpetrators are freed after the trial in most cases or not punished severely enough. The financially privileged criminals make use of their monetary power to buy their freedom and justice is denied to the poor. The leniency of our laws and by the judiciary system in this case encourages cruel people, lacking conscience to commit heinous crimes again and again. The victims are helpless and hapless.
Our nation is producing several beasts, a few of which are ‘educated’, but they feel no compassion for the needy and poor people who are crying out for help from regular torture and waiting to be saved from the shackles of this evil society. Having humane qualities like compassion and sympathy is becoming rare in this modern world.
We do not know the actual figure of the number of domestic help who works at residences and their stories of torture. It has turned into a culture to consider one’s domestic help as slaves, as private properties!
There has been an incident where domestic help at the residence of a judicial magistrate was tortured physically and mentally, which got published in the media. There must be many unreported cases. This recent incident should be thoroughly investigated and severe punishment must be doled out to the perpetrators.
It is common knowledge that the victims of domestic violence are neglected and deprived of a fair trial. Even in newspapers and mass media, after a few days of extensive coverage, this kind of incidents or the follow ups on trials are not published. We are informed about the incidents of torture, but we are not made aware of the trials and sentences.
There should also be some kind of psychological or social study regarding the factors leading to people, particularly home-makers engaging in violence on domestic help. The laws should be made more stringent so as to punish the criminals severely so that they refrain from committing such kind of crime.
I ask myself who will come forward to stand beside these victims and protect their rights. I am waiting for our society to rise in unity this time.
Hosain Md Sajibur Rahman
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