Muhammad Quamrul Islam
There is no denying the fact that Bangladesh national print and electronic media carry news and views on the significance, spirit of fasting and prayer during the holy month of Ramzan, special programs in TV channels before Ifter which end with Azan for Maghreb prayer. The other breaking news items on the other hand are- rape has now taken‘epidemic’ form in Bangladesh, adulteration of food, spurious medicinesand non-compliance of good manufacturing practice as per guideline by World Health Organization, uneasy University campus and so on. These are against the spirit of holy Ramzan, which shatter the nerves of the multitude gullible Muslims who are pious in deeds and seek removal of this contradiction in no time. But would it be, Parliament and Government would respond at each level, to remove those vices, instead of shifting their responsibility, concerned Rozadars exclaim this year 1440 Hijri Muslim calendar/2019 English!
Thanks to media following up the horrendous rape and killing of Nusrat Jahan Rafi and countrywide protests, the Police investigation is now in the final stage to submit charge sheet, meanwhile departmental actions have been taken against those officials O.C and SP involved. It has been found Madrasa Principal SM Sirajuddaula was arrested by Police on the complaint of sexual harassment lodged by mother of Nusrat student of Feni Soonagazi Isalmia Fazil Madrasa. From the prison he continued pressing the family of Nusrat to withdraw the case. On April 6 the coalesce of criminal Principal in a trick took her to a place and poured Kerosene on her body and set on fireas Nusrat went to Madrasa. She died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital on April 10. The local Awami League leader Poura councilor and Awami League Secretary of Soonagazi Maksud Alam provided fund to Siraj to purchase materials used to kill her- Burka hijab, Kerosene and rope. It is irony even female student was in the criminal plot.
The High Court has given order on May 12 withdraw 52 food commodities of different companies from the market as these are substandard identified by BSTI, take action against those companies and stop production and sale of those items. The Court has also called on government declare war against Adulteration of food; if necessary PM may declare emergency. The list of companies, name of commodity, name of manufacturing company and brand appeared in national daily, issued as public notice by Bangladesh Food Safety Authority, Ministry of Food on May 15and Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection, Ministry of Commerce on May16. These companies are influential, enjoy name and fame thru aggressive advertisements in media and let us see what results Authority/ Directorate borne in the public exchequer can bring in reality for the public or they will succumb to manipulations and politicization. We request each level check on own accord and uphold the spirit of Holy Ramzan.
Simultaneously, the High Court bench has asked WASA supply safe water to general public. Earlier on May 8 another bench of High Court wanted to know in which areas of Dhaka WASA water is most Unsafe as there is presence of bacteria as per report. To stop or delay this process it is now said Tk.75 lakh will be needed to collect and examine 1065 sample water, which could have been solved internally by suitable re-appropriation if necessary! The World Bank in its report on October 11 has stated 7.5 crore people of this country drink water from unsafe sources which was brought to notice of High Court. We invoke the authorities do something in the spirit of Ramazan, instead of making shows of Ifter parties commenced from autocratic Ershad regime in 1980s and fund so saved may be used for safe water to Mussalis who fast in right earnest. Pipeline water contains maximum bacteria. Arsenicis in 13% water.
At the same time another report on May 15 shows spurious, expired medicines have engulfed the country including capital. According to the information available with National Consumer Rights protection Directorate, Drug Administration Directorate and RAB, expired medicines are sold by 93% pharmacy in the capital. And in the country percentage of such pharmacy will be higher. Patients are deceived by these pharmacies regularly and they fall in serious health risk. The above mentioned organizations conduct raids mobile Court against imitation medicines and fake doctors; impose fine and jail term as provided under law.
It is felt by elderly physicians of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University political decision is needed to stop adulteration and substandard medicines. Otherwise there is no way out. Due to political interference Drug Administration Directorate is helpless ineffective. Most of the companies do not follow guideline of good manufacturing practice by World Health organization in 1975. Prof AB M Faruq of Dhaka University Pharmacy Department questioned when we will be able to follow the guideline? He said in a small country like Bangladesh there are 850 companies; whereas in entire Europe there is no such number of Companies. Of course most of our companies are like cottage industry that have no capability, but receive approval! The civil society wants it is time to depoliticize the administration without further delay and take fresh vow in this holy month of Ramzan instead of holding Iftar Parties only.
There are many Islamic institutions in this country in private and public sector that are duty bound to spread moral values and instill that in the minds of all strata of society and individuals by effective programs, which are yet to be seen in reality in this holy month instead of limiting those in talks, seminars etc. Specially, the ministry of religious affairs, Islamic Foundation and Islamic University cannot evade this responsibility to ensure good governance, eradicate bribery and land grabbing, corruptions of all sorts, which are to be effective mean remove vices from heart. Otherwise, law will remain unimplemented and scholars ‘waz’ (deliberations) in congregations will fall flat as usual. The holy Ramzan calls for removal of evil instincts in mankind following Quran and Sunnah by each individual, interpretations in Bengali are abundantly available throughout this country to be assimilated for good herein and hereafter. Ramzan Mubarak.
[The writer is an economist, advocate
Muhammad Quamrul Islam