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30 March, 2020 00:00 00 AM

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Withdrawal of AC land a prudent move

Withdrawal of AC land a prudent move

While the world is struggling to cope with the virulence of the Coronavirus, countless countries have gone into partial or full lockdown with Bangladesh falling into the former category. During this period, the law enforcers plus the authority are given orders to ensure that people are safe, secure and follow the rules although a high handed approach to enforcing the rule of wearing masks by AC land in Jessore triggered a social media storm. The AC in question, Sayeema Hassan, punished two elderly men by forcing them to hold their ears and took photos of the punishment that later went viral, triggering nationwide outrage. The image spoke of a tyrannical attitude devoid of humane values or respect for the elderly. In a time when the communities across the world are uniting to contain an almost intractable virus, such despotic acts by a civil servant only underlines the colonial era policy of using intimidation to make people follow safety guidelines. The AC in question could have sent the message for the need to wear masks by being compassionate. Using reason is far more effective than resorting to sheer force.

The action by the AC who was working as a magistrate indicates that at the grass root level administration, there needs to be a thorough restructuring of how laws should be implemented with special emphasis given to the employment of empathy and compassion in performing duties.  The ingrained belief that physical punishment is the right approach needs to be discarded without any ceremony. Civil servants at all levels have a duty to serve the people and when they find that the regulations are being breached, their task is to reason with people using logic.  The withdrawal of Sayeema is prudent and the immediate steps taken by the government to make amends to the two elderly men who were punished, laudable.

While this incident must work as an example for other government officials, the approach to magistracy duties also need radical overhauling. The imperial era concept that people need to be bludgeoned into adhering rules are outdated and only estrange the masses from the authority. Unaddressed, such callous actions have the potential to erupt into a nationwide movement.

The government certainly deserves credit for taking the matter seriously and for acting without delay. Hopefully, the incident will work as a warning for all civil servants, especially at the district and upazila levels. They are here to serve not scare.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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