Please Forgive Us Rifat

A.K.M. Atiqur Rahman

5th July, 2019 04:12:31 printer

Please Forgive Us Rifat

A.K.M. Atiqur Rahman

Certainly there is a difference between a human and an animal, not only in their structures, but much when the question of humanity or human quality comes. The animalistic behaviour of animals is a very normal phenomenon. That does not create any pain or agony in our minds. But what can we say if a human being manifests an animal-like behaviour instead of humanity? Of course, no one can guarantee that there is no presence of people living in our society having animalism. We are already in such a situation that these people have to stay in this society, whether he roams on his own feet or maintains his existence by the grace of someone more powerful. However, it is true that nowadays we have no other choice but to live with those, our breathings depend on them.

We agree that our society was not stained with such incidents in the past days. There was no lack of love and affection among our peoples. One used to run in danger of another. There were quarrels or problems among different groups. But, the nature was different. What is happening now clearly indicates that the social environment of Bangladesh will never return to its previous position. We cannot solve all issues by enforcing our laws. When humanity disappears from a human being, he just becomes fierce like an animal; he does no longer remain as a human being. The degradation of humanity has made us stand in a difficult situation today. Maybe we know the answer, but the future will say whether any one among us has the courage to implement it or the environment will permit him or her to do that.

On 26 June 2019, in the presence of a hundred of onlookers near Barguna Government College, a youth named Rifat Sharif was brutally killed with sharp weapons infront of his wife. His wife Ayesha’s outcry and hundreds of her attempts could not save her beloved.  It had obviously crossed all limits of brutality. However, the assailants had easily succeeded to leave the spot like heroes once Rifat's body was severely wounded. Humanity did not get awake in anyone’s mind for a moment to come forward to save Rifat. The animal-like human beings standing around had only witnessed the joy of those killers. But, if those people would have come forward, the life of a young man, a husband, a son, or a brother of someone could survive. Oh man! Alas, our conscience! There is no enough water in the oceans of the world that can wash away this shame. In this era of civilization and modern excellence, is this our humanity or courage for justice? Are we so stony-hearted or indifferent? Will these people, who have witnessed this barbarity, be able to avoid their responsibility?

What was Rifat’s offence for which he had to be killed? If he has committed any crime then there are laws in the country, there is court. But so far we know, he has not committed any crime. Yet, an innocent lively young man was murdered publicly in the broad day light. And the people, who were around, had silently witnessed the killing, but none of them came forward to help. Consequently, they supported the killers. They should ask to their conscience, do not they have any liability for this killing? They were the local people, residents of that neighbourhood or even neighbours of Rifat. What were their fears that had turned those onlookers to be so inhuman and heartless? Surely, there was fear from any power, for which none of those people dared to take the risk of saving Rifat.

Hon’ble Prime Minister has already ordered to arrest the killers. Respected High Court has directed the police to issue a red alert in the border to prevent the killers from escaping from the country. Meanwhile, some of the assailants have been arrested. The leader of the killing, Nayan, has already been killed in a cross-fire. If he could have been caught alive, we could know details of the killing. But, that has not happened. Such cross-fire normally keeps the masterminds/godfathers behind the scene and it never makes the way to bring those culprits for trial. We know that if we cut the branches of a tree, it can grow new branches instead. If a tree is not uprooted, then the tree grows again and spreads its branches around it. Following this reality, so many Nayans will grow again and again, and people like Rifat have to sacrifice their lives in this way. We sincerely feel that we need to put our hands on that issue.

Our skin looks quite thick. Feelings are disappearing day after day, otherwise, how do we see this when it happens before of our eyes? Animals are also laughing at our pride as human beings. This silence of ours would pave the way of another murder, then another and another. Whenever someone will not come forward to stop them, they have no reason to fear. They will kill whom they like to kill and will walk away like heroes. There is none in the society to stop them. They will repeat such killings and others will only witness. This is our human society! And I am also a member of that society. The shame is not only on the people witnessed the icdident there on that day, but the shame is for all of us. Will we thus remain as a disgrace in the name of human?

Rifat, we are chicken-hearted, we are coward! That’s why we could not come forward in your help. We could not save you. Before our eyes, you had to leave the light and air of the beautiful earth and your beloved persons, whereas, we did not have the courage to do anything for you. Your helpless cries did not touch our heart. Are we so inhuman? On that day, perhaps you might have thought that someone around you would come forward to resist. But, the fact was so cruel that nobody responded.  Where is the courage of the people of Bangladesh who had earned this country on the blood of millions of martyrs? Is that now nothing but dust only?

Rifat, if you could, please forgive us, these inable coward people. You must understand that we have nothing else except asking your forgiveness.


The writer is a formar Ambassador and Secretary