The murder of Abrar Fahad, a second year student of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, refreshes the scopes to raise voice against violence and terror on campus. Bangladesh Student Federation organised an oath taking programme against terrorism, corruption, violence and rape in the campus. Sazid Ahamed Dipto reports from the event
THE murder of Abrar Fahad, a second year student of electrical and electronic engineering at Bangladesh, University of Engineering and Technology, during an incident of ragging at a residential hall has shocked the concerned citizens of the country. The incident drew protests in different educational institutes.
Likewise, Bangladesh Student Federation called on a student assembly for taking an oath against terrorism, corruption and rape on October 28, 2019, Monday at the University of Dhaka campus. The assembly was led by Abu Rayhan khan, a leader of Student Federation’s DU unit. Rafiur Rabbi, the convener of Shantrash Nirmul Toki Mancha, was the chief guest of the programme. Feroj Ahmed, member of Ganasamhati Andolon, Golam Mustafa, president of Student Federation central committee, Shuvo Dev, Student Federation’s Narayanganj unit president and Fatema Rahman Bithi, convenor of Tangail Student Federation among others attended the assembly.
In his speech during the assembly Rafiur Rabbi said, ‘We are passing the worse time ever. On the one hand, heinous crimes such as assassination and forced disappearance are happening every now and then and on the other hand the government fails to serve its citizens. If we send our children to an insecure or unsafe educational institution, then why should we have such an education system? What purpose does it serve to the future generation?’
If we go through the history of Bangladesh, we will find out the students politics have serves as a great vessels for the politics which used to talk about in favour of general people. Against the backdrop of such glorious past, public university halls and campuses have turned into torture cells. Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student wing of ruling party Bangladesh Awami League has become absolutely instrumental in maintaining these torture cells.
A fresher at any given public university are confronted with a number of issues starting from seat allotment to guest room culture — by controlling the seats, instead of the university authorities, Chhatra League ensures their absolute control over the university halls. Abrar Fahad murder was an eye-opener for these realities in campuses.
Amidst such grim times, Bangladesh Students’ Federation, however, still believes that such culture of violence and political dominance in the campuses will come to an end. They are hoping that students’ politics have, in the past, fought for general students and ordinary people against any oppressive forces; present students will continue to oppose any force that try to dominate and control.
Speakers in the assembly urge the government to consider the current crisis in education sector. They also mention a number of other issues which are impeding our students from having a safe and free academic career. They have mentioned about the insignificant number of researchers in different fields where researches are absolutely necessary, rampant question paper leaks in different admission tests, the widespread corruption in different educational institutes and over dependency of the students on coaching centres for good grades. Overall, the speakers urge the authorities to take effective and necessary measures to restore balance in the education sector for the betterment of the future generations.
During the assembly, Bangladesh Students’ Federation placed five major demands. The first, escapement of recent treaties with India; the second, a complete end to student torture in guestrooms; the third, effective actions to end rape and sexual harassments across the country; the fourth, ensuring nutritious food in all schools across the country and the fifth, a complete end to question paper leaks in admission tests and fair process in teachers’ recruitment.
The brutal assassination of Abrar Fahad tosses a question on to the mass people whether there should have a space for student politics in educational institutions. We should put a full-stop on the campus based violence as we have lost several innocents lives for these kinds of unforeseen circumstances. While speaking about Abrar’s murder, Abu Rayhan, Student Federation’s DU unit member said, ‘Chhatra league has turned every institution across the country into a torture cell. Their illicit activities and unendurable demeanours have always been on the rise since the independence of Bangladesh. Even Abu Bakar and Hafiz, two victims of Chhatra League’s atrocities on campus, did not survive from their ferocious acts. Moreover, Chhatra League still has the key to control teachers’ recruitment process in various universities and it is said teachers are supposed to act as a slave for Chhatra League. If we do not resist this by protesting, we will continue to lose one after another innocent like them.’
Indicating the uprising of 1969, Golam Mostofa said, we live in such a dangerous world where ruling party is playing a role of dictatorship which is very much akin to Ayub khan’s ideologies and Chhatra League represents the Pakistani military Force. But you should never forget to mention that we still have valiant heroes who can bring back light to this darker world. Our youths can recognise the wrongdoings of ruling party and they will prevent government’s propaganda from spreading across the country.’
Despite showing their brilliance and commitment in different significant positions of the country, women in Bangladesh are still not safe and their insecurity persists even in university campuses. Indicating the situation, Fatema Bithi, a member of Bangladesh Student Federation’s Tangail unit, said during her speech, ‘From mountains to plain land, women are being sexually harassed everywhere. And the situation is getting gruesome with each passing day. Besides the authorities, students should come forward to raise their voices against such crimes at least to make their campuses safe.’
Feroz Ahmed, a member of Ganasamhati Andolon, after pointing out a number of current issues of Bangladesh said while addressing the assembly, ‘Even though the situation is nowhere hopeful but we still have scopes to hope because majority of the people of Bangladesh are youth now. Throughout the ages, youth have paved the way to a better life and future for the entire country and people of Bangladesh still believe that youth will come forward to rescue the entire nation in this dark situation’.
Sazid Ahamed Dipto is an intern with New Age Youth
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