Children exposed to violence
Stop holding their future to ransom
VIOLENT political programmes like hartal and blockade are not only causing enormous suffering in public life, but also traumatising the children who are directly or indirectly exposed to these incidents. What is of greater concern is that the adult world of irresponsible politics is gradually sucking into its maw the innocence of children who are being forced to witness, even made to take part in violence.
It is unfortunate that at the critical phase of character formation in the lives of children, they cannot be kept safe and sane even within the four walls of their homes. Sickening sights of mutilated, burnt and blood-stained bodies are screaming out at them from TV screens and newspaper pages. More unfortunate are those whose parents, their near and dear ones, or even themselves are becoming the direct victims of violence. Worse still are the cases where children of poor households, especially of slums and shanties on pavement are being recruited by the political operatives and used as shields to engage in arson attacks on vehicles or pelting stones and explosive devices at buses, cars, trains, or law-enforcers or rival political groups.
Little do these young victims know that their childhood is being thus stolen to fulfil some adults’ selfish and mean ends. The children being put through such experience are undergoing a violent psychological transformation gradually turning them into virtual monsters. If it is not our politicians, who are then to answer for this crime of holding our future generation their political hostage?
Political parties and their leadership, in particular, must come to their senses and stop making children the pawns of their cruel political game.
The Daily Star, Wednesday, December 4, 2013