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The Financial Express

Adjusting to rhythm in chaos


File photo used for representation purpose (Collected) File photo used for representation purpose (Collected)

Though no country is entirely free from chaos, Bangladesh simply excels in this particular habit of bedlam. Now, most people seem to have resigned to anarchy! Chaos has apparently been a product of rapid economic growth that has catapulted millions out of extreme poverty. Chaotic behaviour has become a brand of the country. Anyone coming from abroad becomes astonished to see the prevalent disorder all around.  

If going by the standard dictionary meaning of chaos, the above statement may sound harsh. According to Britannica, Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries, chaos means 'complete confusion and disorder: a state in which behaviour and events are not controlled by anything'; a complete lack of order'; and a state of total confusion with no order', respectively. Of course, not everything is confused with a complete lack of order in this country. This is reflected in vibrant activities in many areas. Moreover, there are sufficient controls on various things and events. Otherwise, it would be impossible to make remarkable advancements in many areas. For these reasons, some argue that behind the apparent chaos, there is a harmony of things and a rhythm of life in this society. In other words, people have adjusted to a chaotic situation and are moving ahead.  

Nevertheless, there is no scope to deny the proliferation of chaos in daily life in Bangladesh and its negative consequences. The most visible chaotic thing is how people move and behave on roads and streets. People would clean their homes, but they don't care about the streets or anything other than their residences. Spitting on roads and littering public places are common. Most people do these because others also do the same! Urinating beside streets and roads without caring the hygiene is also there.    

Frequent violations of traffic rules by all kinds of vehicles and indiscriminate enforcement of penalties only enhance road chaos. Again, almost everyone is in a hurry to reach their destination. So instead of maintaining required queues in any intersection, level crossing or traffic signal, motorcycles and rickshaws create several lines abruptly blocking the way for other vehicles to come from the opposite direction. The net result is an unnecessary delay for all waiting when the signal is green. Irritant honking is another sign of disorder. 

Walking is quite difficult as makeshift shops and illegally parked motorcycles occupy footpaths. Motorcyclists also shamelessly drive on footpaths whenever they get the chance. These compel pedestrians to walk on roads. Different intersections are also congested by illegal parking of motorcycles and rickshaws, narrowing the space for other vehicles to move smoothly. Vendors and hawkers illegally occupied a significant part of the streets only to make mobility slower. Public buses stop abruptly on roads, and their reckless competition to overtake others is common practice.   

All these are a short list of chaotic behaviours people are habituated to.   

What is now necessary is to encourage people to gradually come out of a chaotic attitude. It is tough to do and link with various socio-cultural and political outfits. The beneficiaries of chaos will also put their efforts into continuing the messy situation. Allowing them to do so will bring further chaos in the long run.  


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