3 months ago

Aggressive mob mentality taking hold

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A slew of events happening one after another in recent times is a clear indication of impatience and aggressive mob mentality to the extent of a kind of psychological disorder. When lawyers of the highest court engage in scuffles and physical aggression over holding the polls to the Supreme Court Bar Association, it is difficult to fathom the depth of social and institutional rot. Here are the people who are supposed to study cases or disputes most logically and argue for or against in the subtlest of didactic forms. They ought to be the last persons to use their physical power instead of legal means to settle any dispute. Practitioners of law are expected to maintain dignity and sanity in the face of worst provocation and, unlike ruffians, prove why reason prevails and intellect triumphs ultimately.

Sure enough, the matured and saner among them feel ashamed of the disgrace brought upon the profession by their colleagues. But the common perception will be that the lawyers are unable to maintain the dignity expected of them. This is how erosion of values and respect sets in. What is particularly worrying is the implication of such an ugly and undesirable incident. Thus the violent incidents like the clashes between students of two colleges in the capital city and those between villagers and students of Rajshahi University and the attacks on a particular religious sect followed by arson by the members of the majority community and still another incident of communal aggression on the minority community happening earlier lose their gravity. Aren't the lawyers of the High Court and Supreme Court going to argue in favour or against the merit of those cases when placed for legal proceedings?

It is sad that social norms, secular and liberal values and principles are increasingly coming under attacks and some vested quarters are stoking the feeling of 'hatred for others' by blowing up or misinterpreting small incidents and religious tenets respectively. If vested quarters have their own calculations to serve their narrow interests in case of communal violence, students of a college fighting pitch battles with their rivals of another college or university students and villagers engaging in a bloody confrontation over trivial issues are not driven by calculations of any gains. Mob mentality and partisan feeling trigger such clashes. Each side eyes the other over the dividing line in a perked up hostile mentality. No saner elements come forward to listen to both sides of the stories and diffuse the tension. Rather, hearsay and distorted gossip swirl around to trigger violence where there was no reason for any such confrontation. In case of communal and sectarian attacks, the same theory gets currency in a vicious manner.

Even the series of ragging incidents that made screaming headlines recently from dormitories of colleges ---including a women's college --- to those of universities, the perpetrators demonstrated the mental traits of cruelty, unfeeling and even sadism never taking into consideration the shame and humiliation suffered by their victims. It was sport to the perpetrators but death to the victims. It is often said that the victims of maltreatment often turn sadistic. So there is a need to look into the very system of equations that has prevailed so long between the juniors or seniors. If the aberrations are a recent phenomenon, it should be nipped in the bud. Such incidents simply do not go with the glorious tradition of college and university students.

It is against such rising incidents of hostility, brutality and violence, the SCBA ruckus should be brought under the scanner. The virtues of responsibility are as long sacrosanct as those involved in an incident can be reasonable and sane for timely restraint. With age and professional integrity, they mature but this does not mean hot blood of youth will fail to appreciate logic and sanity. 


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