a year ago

Indecent celebration, ominous future

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People across the world welcomed the New Year with joy and fanfare. Bangladesh was also not an exception. From five-star hotels to street-side tiny shops and luxury apartment buildings in posh areas to tin-shaded houses in villages, people gathered and celebrated the 31st night to welcome 2023. Parties were organised where invited people gathered and enjoyed food, drink, music, dance, fun and games. To prevent untoward and objectionable incidents, law enforcement agencies put some restrictions on the movement of people and open space gatherings. However, people were also encouraged to celebrate the New Year's eve in their homes.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating the event, provided the festivity is modest, and there is little disturbance to others. The parties inside hotels and resorts are usually confined to the premises where only the guests are allowed. Events organised in the residences are also mostly restrained. Nevertheless, in many cases, the celebration turned rowdy and devoid of common sense. High-beat music on loudspeakers rent the nightly silence creating extreme noise pollution well beyond the zero hour. So-called DJ parties on some rooftops were just torture for neighbouring residents. Those who organised and attended these parties either wilfully or ignorantly forgot that many children, older adults and patients live nearby. Due to high decibel sounds at midnight, they could not sleep, and some even became sick. The explosion of crackers, coupled with fireworks, intensified the sound and air pollution.

Another indifferent attitude is the careless ignition of sky lanterns which caused the breaking out of fires in many places and damaged property. The most visible damage is the suspension of the operations of the newly introduced metro rail for two hours on Sunday. As many doused sky lanterns that landed on the overhead electricity cables during the 31st night celebrations, the authorities suspended the operation and removed the entangled polythene covers of sky lanterns to avoid any possible accident.

This single incident shows that any nonsensical behaviour of a few could bring serious trouble for many. The ignition of sky lanterns, the explosion of crackers and any firework was banned by the police. Many, however, defied the ban without any difficulty. As the police couldn't reach every corner and monitor the ignition of the sky lantern, it is the responsibility of the citizens to follow the ban and discourage others from igniting it.

Unfortunately, most people do not want to do so for fear of backlash and harassment by the wrongdoers. They care little about the disturbance to others and become aggressive when someone protests any wrongdoing. Instead of acknowledging their faults, they want to justify their actions. The negative trend has been growing day by day. The rise of youth and juvenile gang culture, mainly due to political backing, reflects this negativity.

Moreover, a culture of impunity has developed in the country where political power coupled with money plays a vital role. The net result is the erosion of mutual respect and cooperation regarding social values. All these lead to a distorted social bonding and indicate an ominous future.

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