Not So Powerful

Be that A VC Or A Principal

There is nothing to be surprised or to be ashamed of that a newly-wed girl was raped on an education premises in Sylhet as we are routinely accustomed with such shyness. The principal of that college in an interview with a daily on Saturday said, ‘he was helpless’.  This is nothing new to be helpless in a lawless situation in the country due to lack of democratic norms in the government, writes Farrukh Khosru .

Earlier, we saw such heinous incidents performed by the Chhatra League, the students’ wing of the ruling party. The chariot of Victory of Chhatra League has been unabated since Awami League assumed power in 2009. Chhatra League has now successfully become the brand of shame, murders, brutality, arson and controversies.

Killing of Abrar, a meritorious Buet student still haunts in our minds as nightmare. Honourable Buet Vice Chancellor was also helpless and shameless on that occasion as he thought himself so powerful that nobody can’t remove him from theVC chair, as he was chosen by the government. In this regard, we can also recall another Principal of a technical college in Rajshahi, the most powerful Chhatra League men were made strong enough to throw him into a pond on the college campus. That principal was also so powerful in doing nothing against the Chhatra League men.

There are also more incidents to say about the glorified activities of the students’ wing of the ruling party that they earned through bloodshed during the time their parent party in power. An ordinary tailor Biswajit was brutally killed by the ruling elites in Old Dhaka as the Hindu youth was recognized as Jamat-Shibir supporters by Chhatra League. The then Honourable VC of Jagannath University was also speechless and shameless as his students were also included in Biswajit murder.

Over a calculator, a number of Chhatra League goons beat Ehsan Rafiq, a second year student of DU’s Disaster Management and Science department, with metal rods and sticks till he lost consciousness. Ehsan dared ask a Chhatra League leader to return a calculator which the leader borrowed from him. Another Dhaka University student Abu Bakar Siddique was killed during a fierce clash between two groups of Chhatra League activists of Sir AF Rahman Hall in February, 2010.

Zubair Ahmed, an honours final-year student of English department at Jahangirnagar University, was tortured and stabbed by some Chhatra League activists on January 8, 2012, though Zubair himself was a Chhatra League activist. He succumbed to his injuries in a Dhaka hospital the following day.

The former joint secretary of Chittagong University (CU) Chhatra League unit, and also assistant secretary of central unit, Diaz Irfan Chowdhury was allegedly murdered as a consequence of rivalry among BCL leaders centering a tender of the university.

Badrul Alam, a Chhatra League leader of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology attempted to murder college girl Khadiza Akter Nargis of Sylhet MC College, using a machete in October 2016, after the girl ignored his relationship proposal.

Toriqul Islam, a master’s student of Rajshahi University and joint convenor of the local quota reform movement, was beaten badly by several Chhatra League men on July 2018 in front of the university’s main gate.The victim’s back and legs were pounded with hammer by Abdullah Al Mamun, then an assistant secretary of RU Chhatra League unit.

During a road safety movement in the first week of August 2018, several students and journalists were injured when rowdy members of Chhatra League, wearing helmets and wielding blunt and sharp weapons, attacked them in Jigatola and Dhanmondi areas in Dhaka.

Again need to mention, the hostel of MC College in Sylhet was torched in July 2012 by the activists of ruling party-backed Bangladesh Chhatra League and Jubo League after clashing with Islami Chhatra Shibir activists.

In all those cases, one may easily point out his finger to the rogue Chhatra League, but one may more easily set his eyes closed to find out the authorities who are in charge of maintaining harmony on the campus and ensure a safe environment for the students. But unfortunately the mighty office of the campus failed to do so, be that a vice-chancellor or a principal.  It is more evident when I go through the interview of Professor Md. Saleh Ahmed, Principal of MC College of Sylhet who expressed his limitations as said, ‘I am helpless’.  

Also need to mention very hopefully that, Mr Saleh Ahmed has courage to very honestly admit his powerlessness. But he is not so honestly powerful to resign from his post acknowledging the failure of protecting the campus from the brutality in the name of students’ politics.

However, this is the political culture of Bangladesh not to resign in failure. Our honorable vice chancellors or principals are also much enthusiastic to follow the path that the politicians left for them. If not so, a VC can never want to be the President of Jubo League as the more lucrative post than VC.

Mr Saleh, Principal of the MC College, is also entitled to get thanks for his simplicity of talking some complicated issues regarding the crimes happened on the campus. He unequivocally admits that lawlessness is the prime offender that helps to occur the criminalities in campus repeatedly. Also Mr. Saleh said, no exemplary punishment or want of justice for previous brutal activities occurred on the campus leads the campus to further brutalities. He referred to the arson attack on hostel of the college in 2012. Chhatra League just leads the way to be champion in creating horror on our ever-youth campus of MC College.

We are helpless followers of the terror leadership in our educational institutions, though we claim us enlightened. We can frequently teach anyone but in case of Chhatra League, we lost our courage to say — ‘You boys are our sons, our students and you are following the wrong’. Therefore, as a teacher, administrator, you, VC or principal, are also accountable for the occurrences on the campus that your sons commit heroically. Therefore, you should resign. Otherwise, it will remain as it is today.

(Mr. Farrukh is a PhD researcher, Begum Rokeya University. Email: