Sunday marks the first day of the week for me and my fellow Bangladeshis, and I figured I’d do a weekly wrap every Sunday to take a look back on everything book-related and non-book related things that have been happening in my life. Here’s a short recap of the past week.
Considering how slowly I have been reading the past four months I’m pretty happy that I finished one book in a week, and that book is The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet (link to review posted above). I started it in 2nd August and finished it on 5th August–it was so much fun to read, and so light and easy that I managed to complete it in 3 days without even needing to pull all-nighters. I started reading The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken this Wednesday, and I think I will be able to finish it by the end of next week even though I have my midterms coming up from Monday.
Managed to squeeze in the time to write 3 chapters of my WIP, and even posted three new chapters of my poetry book on Wattpad. I also wrote 4 new poems this month, and I am really happy with how they turned out.
Erm…I took some photos but forgot to post them. You’ll find out why in a bit.
And now I am going to share something that I have been wanting to share, but was in too much pain to do so. Recently there has been a tragedy in my country. Two weeks ago, three children in my city were killed by a reckless bus driver who was never apprehended for his crimes. In Bangladesh, more than 4000 people die every year because our roads are so unsafe, and because the drivers do not even pass the required fitness certification (forget having a licence to drive). To protest this, the children in my country, 13-year-olds to 16-year-olds boycotted their classes and exams and rallied on the streets to demand safer roads.
They did not stop there.
These children, these minors, stopped every vehicle on every road in every city in the country to check whether the drivers had legitimate licence and fitness certificates to drive–whenever they found drivers who did not have the necessary papers they politely turned them away.
They did not stop there.
There has never been any order to the traffic in our country, so these kids took matters in their own hands and brought order to the roads. The image given below shows what the roads looked like in my country under the control of traffic police and the government.
And this next image below is what the roads looked like when the children of my country decided they would control traffic. They ensured that every vehicle used appropriate lanes and even maintained an emergency lane to allow ambulances, fire services and other emergency vehicles to travel quickly.
They did not stop here.
They cleaned the roads, and they fixed broken roads wherever they found them. I repeat, these are children, and they showed the government how to do its job right.
All they wanted in return was for the government to accept their 9-points demand that would ensure our roads would be safer. Instead of listening to them however, on the third day of these peaceful protests, the government retaliated violently. Police and BCL members attacked these children, but to this day, the government still denies it, and all the national media except The Daily Star refuses to cover these brutal events. You can read the details of the attacks from the articles by The Daily Star here–I am afraid I cannot reveal too much of what had happened because the government is arresting anyone who is speaking out by accusing them of spreading rumors and anti-government propaganda. (My blog is too small to get their notice, but I am trying to be as careful as I can be).
This was followed by more unrest and violence. To protest against these attacks on our children, students from every university in the country rallied on the streets and protested only to be attacked by law enforcers whose job was to protect us. These law enforcers were aided by BCL who are youth who represent the government, but have no right to take the law into their own hands. Yet they did exactly that, attacking students wherever they found them, invading university campuses, and instead of stopping them our police took their side. Instead of apologizing to the nation and making amends to the innocents who were injured, the government continues to deny all of these atrocities and is arresting anyone who says otherwise.
I have been seeing so much violence in my country growing up that I feel as though I have been desensitized to it all. But last week was different. Last week broke our spirits, broke our hearts, but it also made gave me hope: hope that the children in my country will do great things in their lives even if it is not in their own motherland. Last week made my generation and every generation that will come afterwards hate the ruling government with every fibre of our being. They can try to pretend that nothing had happened, they can lie to us through gritted teeth, but we know the truth and we will never, ever forget.
I hope that wherever you are and whoever you are, if you are reading this, I hope that you never have to suffer the pain of knowing that you are not safe in your own home.