The Financial Express

There are protests galore

| Updated: October 21, 2017 06:15:51

There are protests galore

This country is no stranger to the queerest of oddities. Here anything and everything is possible. Oddities certainly have strong bonds with fickleness of mind. Here all professionals starting from garments workers to university teachers --let alone students --have to tender their protests in varying ways and manners. Some are definitely rowdy and violent --political ones are more so. Only a few are sombre and sober bt their moral standpoints hardly succeed to score enough points for their sponsors or organisers.
Admittedly, this country has a powerful legacy of protest. Without mass protest and participation of the majority of its people, the making of this nation would not even have been possible. So, it is only natural for people here to have an obsession for protest. One of the weirdest of protests organised in Dhaka a few years back perhaps was the attempt by a few men who felt they were subjected to tortures by their spouses --wives that is. Sounds crazy. But there are better halves of the fair sex who can oppressively be dominating and demanding.
In any relationship, irrationality exacts a heavy price. No matter which of the partners falls foul, the house is a cursed abode. Leo Tolstoy and Jibanananda Das  two stalwarts of Russian novel and precursor of modern Bangla poetry respectively, endured the deepest of pain an accursed married life can present to a highly sensitive soul.
So much for personal life of man and wife. The queerest of protests may not be always what it apparently looks like. Take for example, the recent demonstrations by students of Dhaka City College. Perhaps never before did students of a college or school come to the street demanding shifting of an exam centre. The City College students surely have a point when they argue that the Residential Model College at Mohammadpur where they will have to appear for exam is at a considerably long distance from Road No.2, Dhanmondi.
However, the argument is flawed in that no student or candidate of the City College reside there. They come from different parts of the city, some of them from Mohammadpur close to the Residential Model College. Of course, those who come to study there from as far away as Sutrapur, Laxmi Bazar, Gendaria are always at a disadvantage --be the centre at Government Laboratory School or Dhaka College. How they negotiate the Dhaka traffic to attend classes is one of the seven wonders of the world. But in most cases they manage to do it. If they can do so, others should as well travel to Mohammadpur from Dhanmondi or other areas.
Is there any statistics of students of any college or school in the city? In some of the highly organised cities in the world such as Paris, students of the local boroughs have no option but to study in the nearest school. This is possible because educational institutions there are more or less of the same standard. This year, the introduction of the system of preference for local nursery or kindergarten students in case of admission to schools has followed such a guideline. Its merit need not be explained.
Even then if it could be known from which area the majority of students come to study at a particular college or school, their exam centre could be decided on that basis. But then this is not a responsibility with the college authority. How could students pressurise the college authority to concede to their demand when it is not within its power? At best, the college authority could request or negotiate with the board concerned for changing the centre. But the uninformed examinees went violent and destroyed college property in their so-called protest. The college authority had no option but to close it sine die.
As a result of the sit-in protest on the busy roads near the college, transports had to use lanes and by lanes and other alternative roads. Traffic came to a standstill in the city. This is how public suffering increases manifold when irrationality gets the better of sanity and reason.

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