Abrar Fahad, a second year student of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), has been grilled to death in his own hall. He has been allegedly murdered due the opinions he shared on social media. The Business Standard spoke to Anu Muhammad and Tanzimuddin Khan about this issue.
Abrar murder is the consequence of dehumanizing different opinions
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) is considered as one of the highest echelon of educational excellence in Bangladesh. Lynching a student of this esteemed university to his death by the fellow 'learners' is outrageous.
Only a few best students of Bangladesh can avail the opportunity to study in this campus. Consequently, the parents, the society and the state have high expectations from the students of this institution.
This gruesome murder in the BUET campus has not only shattered the dreams of a helpless parents, it shocked the whole nation over the anarchy in our highest educational institutions.
This murder at the BUET campus is not like other regular murders. The way these so called 'students' killed their fellow brother just because of different opinions expose the practice of intolerance in our country.
This intolerance is practised from highest end of the government to almost every stage of the society. It is vicious culture that leads people to dehumanize 'other people' on the basis of difference in opinions.
When a person with different opinion gets dehumanized, he is disregarded as a human being. He is no longer seen as a friend or classmates. They begin to treat him as an enemy. As a result, his right to exist as a human being is denied.
The incident of BUET is not alien to what is happening in most other campuses. In the same way, campus politics and culture is a different mode of expression of the existing political situation of country.
If our political culture is not changed, many more incidents like Abrar murder at the BUET will continue to happen. I fear that we will find even more gruesome scenario in the future.
Our students study in universities to take higher education. But this education is largely about professional purposes. We cannot ignore the fact that our children learn the basic sense of morality and ethics from the family, society and the state.
When the state continues its practices of intolerance, it reflects on the society and the families. So, some of our students growing violent and intolerant are actually the consequence of what they learn from these institutions.
The ruling regime has not need to believe that this danger of intolerance and hatred will spare them. This danger may encompass the whole system to the extent that leaves no one untouched.
The politics of intolerance gradually turns everyone in the society intolerant at its course. At the end of the day, no one is spared from this danger.
Absence of justice and intolerance is the reason how some people can become so vicious. Many such people by dint of their connection with the power almost enjoy a kind of impunity.
The most tragic in all these is Abrar lost his life in the BUET hall which was supposed to be a very safe place in the presence of House Tutor, Provost and a Proctor in charge of ensuring security and order of the campus. What role they play in ensuring the security of their students is the question needs to be answered.
In the face of raging anarchy and absence of security of life in the universities, a big number of our students, who can afford, are leaving Bangladesh. On the other hand, the children of the people in power usually do not study in Bangladesh.
The people who do not have the ability to send their children away to foreign countries happen to be the victims of this systemic violence.
As long as our politician do not wake up in their conscientiousness that this country belongs to us all, this vicious circle of political anarchy will not end.
The politicians of our country are the people who have the appropriate command to control almost every affair. If they do not change their norms, change of the system is a dream never meant to come true. The Change has to begin from the top.
Mohammad Tanzimuddin Khan, Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka
Government should start controlling their thugs
We live as human beings and killing a fellow human is the most hateful event. No one has the right to kill anyone. Be it for a Facebook status or something else.
But it is a matter of sorrow that the environments of the universities are in such state that Bangladesh Chhatra League has become the thugs of government. They can do anything as they please in the university campuses and the government backs them up.
This over excited student wing of the ruling regime is trained in a way that if anyone says anything against the government, they regard it as a 'responsibility' to stop that person.
And for this reason they have turned the halls into a torture cell. They are always in a mission to control the halls and always keep the students under surveillance.
They want the students to live by their rules. Abrar Fahad as a citizen of a free nation expressed his opinions. But these goons could not accept. They killed him.
As a free country everyone has constitutional rights express their opinions. But, the constitution here is not working properly. If the government had followed the constitution they would have never come to power this time. They are ruling the country through muscle power and when a country is run this way, this type of incidents are not unusual.
It is happening everywhere all across the country. Whenever anyone says anything against the government they come under attacks.
No one has given Chhatra League any right to kill anyone or torture anyone. Even the law enforcers do not have this right. A judiciary process exists in the country and everything has to go through that process.
If somebody does not like any particular opinion, he can express his own point of view and there can be a debate on the topic. But it is not justified to beat or kill the person.
We have seen violence in the universities from time to time. But, to stop this, it totally depends on the willingness of the government as they control these thugs.
Everyone, including the law enforcers and the judiciary systems are on their side. They do not listen to anyone except the government itself.
The universities may attempt to get rid of this crisis by cancelling the academic activities for a time being and shutting down the residential halls.
But this is not a sustainable solution. The government should take step against its thugs so that they change their course of actions.
Anu Muhammad, Professor, Deapartment of Economics, Jahangirnagar University