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2 February, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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The making of tolerance and zero-tolerance

It is extremely outrageous that in independent Bangladesh today people’s harassment and monetary exploitation in many government offices still go unabated in a more free-wheeling style
Sakib Hasan
The making of tolerance and zero-tolerance

When things go beyond the controlling limit of the individual, the person concerned either tolerates them repressing dissatisfaction within or raises protesting voice in proportion to his/her strength and capability. Very often thousands of such feeble mumbles of innumerable aggrieved people fizzle out in the half way through. Even then, it is an innate human nature to voice disaffection whenever and wherever the scheme of things around runs contrary to the ethical standard and interest pattern of the person in question. A human being’s primary urge is to disagree with what s/he does not like. This is why success or failure of human endeavour always follows primary human instinct and never precedes his urge to dissent and differ.  

People actually protest always not for bringing about a change to the standing order but people, in fact, protest to purge out their pent-up emotions and here is where protest works as a sort of surgery for keeping them clinically fit. When people lose the power and the platform in voicing their concerns, they virtually head towards clinical insanity leaving on their psyche extra strain and stress. For a passion-packed and emotionally driven living human being, it is just impossible to behave like a robot.

Tolerance happens to be the surest assurance for the peace-loving and docile people for dragging life on in the face of mounting oddities and absurdities unfolding before them every day. Stoic acceptance of life through the strenuous sessions of tolerance is categorical negation of real life with its vigour and verve. Tolerance manifestly reveals the sheer helplessness of a people left marginalized politically, economically and it is tolerance that cut their basic rights to the minimum. People tolerate all suppressions, oppressions and injustices just the moment when all required outlets to channelize their grievances and inconveniences are sealed in some way or the other.

What can be a more dangerously alarming phenomenon other than the one when people of a civilized society are barred from believing what they have seen with their own eyes? It seems that the ghosts of the Josef Goebles loom in the horizon when people are made to see and believe what they haven’t seen at all. What is more dangerous symptom for an open-ended democratic society to take an erratic turn for authoritarian dictatorship is stifling people’s voice in expressing what they have actually witnessed.

Within this heinous format of ill-motivated perversion of facts and figures, slightest chance is left for anybody to feel complacent. If this perverted trend of deliberately distorting truths goes unabated for a longer period, it will obviously leave an extremely negative message to the generations to come about us especially those at the helm of affairs since truth will eventually triumph in all circumstances. Deliberately orchestrated culture of selling lies as authentic data will surely lead us to the claustrophobic chamber where only a privileged few will find a fortune-making bonanza while the overwhelming majority making up the whole Bangladesh will be reduced to margin.

Zero tolerance is a two-winged monster worked as an apparatus for repressing political dissidents. These two deadly wings are respectively fear and panic. The apparently catchy term zero-tolerance has a huge surface appeal to the common masses. Launching this full-proof weapon of mass destruction, the potential dictators destroy the natural breeding grounds of free speech and independent views. For example, when an authoritarian government goes into action with zero-tolerance war gear on any particular issue, an environment of fear and panic is automatically created across the country since it is time and again seen that the god fathers and the dons of the underworld for who the crash action is meant safely flee the so-called operations. Unfortunately it is true that many innocent people are killed in such operations. Doesn’t thus zero-tolerance convey a clear message of panic to the whole country?

Once carried out in right earnest in Bangladesh, zero-tolerance operations could earn laurels of the mass people instead of spreading panic among the mass people.

These horrifying operations actually strike terror in our minds reminding us the dissident eliminating operations of the Khemar Rouge fashion under the label of farm revolution. Stalinist era of concentration camps also brings to our minds the ghastly pictures of millions of free-thinking people being slowly laid to cruel deaths. The ruthless killing of 60 lakhs innocent Jews in the Auchwitch Gas Chamber is a solid evidence of Hitler’s extreme hatred towards the Jews. In any of these mentioned operations, there was clearly no noble mission behind. Zero-tolerance is actually the extreme manifestation of increasingly powerful authoritarianism.

The basic guidelines for running Bangladesh is unquestionably the constitution of 1972 basing on the hopes and aspirations of the Bangladeshi people participated in our great War of Liberation in 1971. Democracy has clearly been spelt in this constitution as one of the four basic principles to be followed in the running of state affairs.

Unfortunately, this universally accepted people’s participatory governance has evidently reduced to the structure of a skeleton. Showcasing dummy and concealing real democracy, we have now practically introduced a political system where mass people’s voice finds a feeble echo. It is extremely outrageous that in independent Bangladesh today people’s harassment and monetary exploitation in many government offices still go unabated in a more free-wheeling style.

Since it is the genuinely inner urge of the human beings to unfold them in their diverse genetic pattern and make their own individual choices free from any coercion and intimidation, the forceful feeding process of any doctrine must not go for a long mileage. Bubbles in the corner may one day form a surging wave of people’s democracy.      

The writer, an Assistant Professor of English at Bogra Cantonment Public School & College, is a contributor to

The Independent.

E-mail:shasanbogra1@gmail.com

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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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