We are all caught in the grip of indiscipline in nearly every area of social life in the country. Here is an instance: the other day the students of Tairunnessa Memorial Medical College put up barricades on the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway to register their protest against the death of a doctor. The doctor was killed when a BRTC bus knocked him down on the highway. That is yet another instance of the rash driving our bus and truck drivers resort to, especially on long distance routes. The irony is that despite all these accidents caused by careless and insensitive drivers, there are powerful elements within the government --- and they include ministers --- who with regularity spring to their defence and so prevent justice being done in the face of the calamity they cause.

Having said that, we believe there can be no reason for people to take to the streets and push the country into an impossible situation by blocking off roads and highways to the public. This is not the first time that highways have been commandeered by protesters. There have been the many times when students, workers and others have found it convenient to put up hurdles on the highways and roads every time a tragedy has taken place and not necessarily on the roads. The concept of discipline, of a system of the law operating in dealing with disasters has somehow been going missing in the country and what we now have can safely be described as behaviour that is dismissive of civilized norms.

We have also observed bank unions holding rallies within the precincts of the central bank without any care being given to the disturbance such meetings cause to the normal functioning of the administration. The more terrible aspect of such situations is that some ministers, whose portfolio does not give them any authority to supervise such rallies, turn up as a way of intimidating the administration. Is it any wonder then that indiscipline will percolate down to the level of the masses? In recent days, we have all observed with growing dismay the sheer indiscipline which has defiled the academic atmosphere at Dhaka University when young people asking for reforms of the quota system were attacked repeatedly on the campus. The university authorities stayed mysteriously silent.

Such a situation must not be allowed to get out of hand. Unless purposeful measures are taken by the government to enforce discipline in every area of life, the future will go on looking bleak.

By Editor-in-Chief -Enayetullah Khan

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