No more apathy to influential people breaking laws

TWO politicians, a jurist and a rights activist rightly pointed out in a New Age report on Wednesday that Bangladesh would not be developed if politicians and influential people continued to disobey laws. They came up with the observation in response to a statement made by the road transport and bridges minister at a meet-the-press programme, which the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity organised on Monday, that it was next to impossible to make politicians and influential people go by the law. It is pertinent to note that politicians and influential people, especially ministers and lawmakers, have unfortunately shown an increasing tendency in recent times to break traffic rules in the capital, in particular, by, among others, wrong-way driving, which is considered a major reason for the nagging traffic congestion that has already become a perennial problem for the city, causing immense sufferings to city dwellers and costing significantly the national economy by hampering smooth economic activities, on the one hand, and making vehicles consume additional fuels, on the other. What is more unfortunate is that they continue to do so in defiance of repeated government directives against the malpractice. Against the backdrop, apparently out of frustration, the road transport and bridges minister came up with the statement.
The development of a country requires, among others, the establishment of the rule of law there. Besides, the essence of the rule of law is that nobody among the citizens is above laws of the land. This is why the constitution has stipulated that all are equal in the eyes of law. Regrettably, however, there are many people, particularly those having political and financial clout, in the country who usually think that laws are not for them but for ordinary people. The violation of traffic rules, as mentioned above, by ministers and lawmakers is strongly connected to the flawed mindset. However, it cannot be denied that the culture of impunity that has been rampant here for long, particularly when it comes to dealing with crimes perpetrated by ruling party leaders and other influential quarters, has greatly contributed to the situation. It is important to note that ever since the Awami League-led government assumed office in 2009, there have been several incidents in which ruling party leaders, including lawmakers, and their relatives in different areas engaged in various criminal acts but the government has so far failed to ensure justice in most of the cases.
The government needs to realise that if the alarming situation is allowed to continue, it will encourage ordinary people to break laws, eventually, leading society into lawlessness. Hence, it immediately needs to streamline those who enjoy its blessings and have predilections for breaking laws, bringing an end to the impunity for them. Conscious sections of society also need to raise their voice in a sustained manner against the breaking of laws by politicians and influential persons, in particular.

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