Why does campaign against yaba falter?  

Neil Ray     | Published: March 03, 2019 22:11:03 | Updated: March 23, 2019 12:51:56

Hardly a day passes without the news of death of drug peddlers -mostly yaba pushers -getting killed in shootouts with law enforcement agencies. The immediate impression is that a zero tolerance policy of the authorities has approved some legal transgression in the interest of saving the young generation from the deadly addiction. Along this line of intimidation, a cajoling strategy has been adopted too. Yaba traders have been given the opportunity to give up the pernicious trade and receive amnesty. The latest offer is of some financial assistance for honest livelihoods and rehabilitation in society.

Yet, the fact remains that the supply route is yet to be plugged. Somehow or other, yaba manufactured on the other side of the Bangladesh-Myanmar border finds its way on a massive scale. The rogue nation that has shifted its own burden of about a million-strong Rohingya people on to this country is definitely doing more harm by infiltration of its most vicious drug into Bangladesh and poisoning the young generations here. That the Burmese producers of this drug in the shape of tablets could create such a large market here is puzzling.

Is Myanmar doing the same to its other neighbours like China, Cambodia and Vietnam? Reports have it that yaba plants have been set up inside Myanmar close to its border with Bangladesh. If that country's security forces in the border areas can torch houses of the Rohingya people and then stop them from returning to their homes, why cannot they destroy the yaba factories? They turn a blind eye to the drug business because it brings them fat amount of money -no matter if it is black money.

If the two nations could cooperate at the government level with each other to root out the source and supply line, the entrance of this substance into this country would be impossible. Instead, powerful drug barons or godfathers emerged over the years in the absence of any strong measure against smuggling of the drug into the country. Allegedly, the most infamous of the lot could even snatch a seat in parliament and ironically he has been made the head of a committee assigned to fight yaba invasion in the country.

A Bangla adage has it that poison kills or negates poison. Not an absolutely ludicrous hypothesis. It really happens. Whether the same principle will work in case of the yaba campaign only time can tell. But the common people remain unconvinced because rewarding the guiltiest does not pay. If small fries continue to fall in what is called shootout or encounter with law enforcement agencies and still the drug's entry does not cease to be, there is something wrong in the approach. Is not another Bangla adage, 'if ears are pulled, head also comes along' appropriate here?

The tragic fact is that the country's young generations -because of yaba's infiltration into remote villages -are on the verge of ruination. A nation-wide study should be conducted to identify the addicts of this substance. What percentage of the youths has fallen prey to it? Its noxious sway over the youths and even teenagers ranges from the upper class of society down to the bottom rungs in villages. The pains and travails of families with one such addict beggar description. Zero tolerance to yaba trade is fine but there is more to do. Social campaigns backed by political measures have to be launched all across the country to make people aware of the threat posed to the nation's future. The nation must stand united on the realisation that the drug is all set to destroy the youths, the country's most potent assets and resist all who are involved in its pushing and addiction.    

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