DOES a man in a motor car have greater right to cross Dhanmondi at night than a rickshaw-puller?
At 11:00pm, the barriers come down over the roads leading out of Dhanmondi, trapping the rickshaw-puller in a rat’s maze, desperately seeking a way out.
The man in the motor-car rides a machine which never tires of looking for an exit. ‘Not all roads are blocked,’ the duty officer at the Dhanmondi ‘model’ station told me.
It appears that a gaggle of crorepatis (billionaires) traipsed down to the ‘model’ station and demanded these barriers. One wonders if the transaction was entirely on the up-and-up.
Crorepatis against rickshaw-pullers: what chance do the latter stand? As one of them said, ‘All laws are made for me.’
And what security do these barriers provide? A mugger is either on wheels or not on wheels. If the former, then he has no trouble getting out of the place, having scouted it before. If the latter, then he’ll take to his heels through the nearest egress.
What we have is a case of civil society influencing (by whatever means) the executive. From this microcosm of civil society, the gaggle of Dhanmondi crorepatis, raise your eyes to perhaps the most sinister form of civil society known today: the AIPAC. This collection of people has completely taken over the American executive to protect Israel at all costs. This includes the dehumanisation and separation (you guessed it, by barriers) of the Palestinian people.
Then again, take the trade unions of Britain before Margaret Thatcher. Trade unions care for no one — not even the unemployed worker — except their own. They raise barriers against the less fortunate.
Civil society has been promoted by our intellectuals as a social panacea when, in fact, they are a scourge. One could go on and on with more examples. They set one group of people against another, the more fortunate against the less fortunate. Does anyone believe that if a group of rickshaw-pullers went down to the Dhanmondi ‘model’ police station, it would pull these obnoxious barriers away? And pigs will fly.
Meanwhile, spare a thought, readers, for the rickshaw-puller who finds himself in a maze in Dhanmondi by night. And urge the authorities to remove these wanton barriers.
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