A few years ago police were baffled by a string of crimes perpetrated by juveniles in the city’s Uttara area that led to murder. As is the usual, the matter died down quietly with little made known to the public about the wherewithal of the case. It would be over simplistic to assume that the matter has gone away. Indeed it has resurfaced in the port city of Chattogram with police left scratching their heads after apprehending a group of such delinquent.
Sociological experts have since opined that there is a moral degeneration hyped by extreme violence available in gaming as well as movies and such available on YouTube.
Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission has clamped down on a number of porn sites to address part of the situation but not enough has been done to keep children away from violence in movies, some of which are extremely graphic. The government’s response has been lukewarm, suggesting more sports and cultural activity as a way of engaging idle minds. The options offered have been few and far between and certainly less than that required. School level sports and cultural activity have been in the doldrums for years and budgetary allocation for youth and sports support the development part rather than activity itself.
Occasional large scale cultural activity can’t take place over the more regular activity that is increasingly limited to schools that can afford budgets and more importantly have the yards and fields that should be mandatory for schools. But then we live in an age of a coaching syndrome where beyond classes children are left to the confines of social media that create more loners than groups. The occasional groups that crowd round a guitar and sing their blues away are today in the minority and traditional culture is losing out to the latest box office hits at the cineplexes.
There’s no single answer except to cultivate culture from an early age in schools and colleges and these are badly hit by the introduction of more politically based students union instead. That has been introduced by the ministry of education much to the chagrin of social scientists. Schools that used to offer a plethora of activities to stimulate the young minds and bodies through more intellectual pursuits such as debates, set speeches and such have lost out both because interest has waned and because they have not evolved. The culture of the past century has to change to be relevant and be of topical interest.
In terms of the delinquency, it is a more serious matter. Once more, the slowness of meting out justice for misdemeanours and a growing distance in families has led to the understanding that impunity prevails. To an extent it does.