The country is writhing under a spree of extreme forms of savagery, violence, vengeance and inhumanity right now. The news that a university student with top grade results at the JSC, SSC and HSC levels beat his school teacher father to death over a row over extra personal expenditure he demanded leaves readers shell-shocked. In another despicably nauseating incident where the roles are reversed a father becomes the murderer of his own innocent son. He finds, to most people's utter horror, equally fiendish accomplices in his younger brother and his elder son in the act of murder.
It is clear from the report that the killers did not commit the crime in these two incidents on the spur of the moment. In case of the university student now in 3rd year BA (Hons) in English at a private university, his father who with an amputated leg had to use an artificial leg for movement could never meet the increased demand for money from his son. This was a permanent source of family row and the son used to assault his parents from time to time over such rows. Unable to keep up with the violence, his mother left seeking shelter at her father's home. The helpless father had nowhere to go and he had to pay for the crime of begetting a son who was not ashamed of unleashing violence against his own parents.
The other incident involving the killing of a son by his own father throws some light into the abysmal darkness of human soul. This is an incident from Sunamganj's haor area where disputes over water bodies are perennial. In this case, the father and uncle conspire to implicate their rivals and do the most bizarre scheming. Thus they kill the boy and what they do next is mind-boggling. Not only did they leave the small body hanging from the branch of a tree but also had two knives pierced through the belly along with two ears and the genital cut off. The motive was clear: who else other than their enemies (rival claimants of the water body) could perpetrate such monstrosity? Where they erred, however, is the writing of two of their rivals' names on the handle of the knives stuck into the belly of the murdered boy.
Here is an added element of revenge motive that has prompted the father and uncle to go for this macabre murder. But what kind of dark passion can get over the sacred relationship between father and son? In case of the killing of father by his son in Sreepur, Gazipur it is clear that higher education for the adult son did not prove to be a deterrent to his killing instinct. Had it been a case of mental morbidity, he could not pursue his studies thus far.
These two incidents defy both rationality and the sacred bond that binds filial piety and a sense of security. By extension, though, each murder and incident of violence challenges the core of human relations. A popular perception is that the more educated a people becomes the higher its civilization. Unfortunately, this is not always true. Unlettered tribes living in near seclusion shudder at the thought of committing violence against a fellow human being let alone killing someone.
The fact is higher education is no longer synonymous with enlightenment. When students at the premier highest seats of learning rely on brawn rather than on brain power to get the better of their rivals, education becomes directionless. The first criterion of education ought to be enlightenment by which students learn how to become humane. If humanitarian causes and collective well-being disappear from university curricula and educated persons' vision, a chasm opens up to detract at least a few of the learners.
It is a dangerous situation because at this stage, the alternative option of creativity, generation of knowledge, will to do good for the humankind is dark mission. No wonder, radicalisation of youth is more common at this level. The saga of the rise of militants can be traced to the dominance of waywardness over academic scholarship in universities and colleges.
An undesirable legacy resurfaces now through the mindless mayhems reported on a regular basis from all corners of this land. At a time when non-violence should have been the nation's mantra, some detracted underground outfits and later on autocratic rulers introduced armed violence to the country's premier university. Soon other universities also took the cue and gradually the culture of violence gripped most public universities of the country.
Clearly, the current format of education is not only turning students -certainly not all but quite a good number - insensitive, brutal and inhuman but also corrupt and militant. Those who study at the prestigious universities of the country are highly talented, no doubt. But if they are selfish, brutal and rapacious, they set the vilest example before the nation. Inhumanity thus becomes the order of the day. It has to be curbed and reversed.
If teachers themselves shun politics on campus, half of the job is done. Then a respected academic must be given the charge of the vice-chancellor to clean the Augean stable. Notably, Khulna University is free of campus politics. If KU can, why should other universities not follow suit?If universities can get rid of violence, society will get a positive message. Then a social campaign should also be launched against violence and brutality with special focus on school students and younger generation.