A female student of a private university along with her two friends who were waiting at Norshingdi Railway Station for a Dhaka-bound train on May 18, was subjected to physically assault and abusive words for wearing a sleeveless T-shirt. The attackers termed the dress code “vulgar / obscene clothing”. A middle-aged woman, later law enforcers arrested her and her name was known – Shila Akhter alias Marzia Akhter Shila alias Saima first started hurling abusive words at the victim and then some male joined her and started assaulting the girl. The terrified women ran and took shelter in the station master’s room to save herself from the angry mob. Receiving the call at 999 from the victim, the law enforcers rescued them and helped them board a Dhaka-bound train. From the following day, a video of the incident went viral on social media where netizens expressed anger and women’s rights organizations protested over the harassment and demanded the attackers be arrested. Finally, law enforcers arrested Shila Akhter at the end of the month of May.
A bench of the High Court on August 16, questioned whether anyone wearing such a dress could go to the railway station in a civilized country while granting bail to Marzia Akhter Shila. The netizens started to criticize and women’s organizations also protested at the uncivilized remarks of the high court. Later, the appellate division of the Supreme Court issued a stay order granting bail to Marzia Akhter Shila after hearing an application filed by the government challenging the bail granted to Shila on August 16.
It is found that a very poor section of students of Dhaka University, Jahangirnagar University, North-South University, Jagannath University and Islamic University, Kushtia started to congratulate the high court remarks on the dress code and demanded to restrict women’s clothing on the promises of these universities by organizing human chain. They carried placards – “Short clothes are sexually stimulating, these are emotional rapes”, “Western dresses of girls stimulates them mentally, trickle them sexually”, “The dresses of public place and private never the same”. This section is also active on social media and spreading propaganda to restrict women’s clothing smartly and sensitively in the name of the culture of the country. Who are they?
They are the successors of the fanatic and extremist section of militant fundamentalists who were against the independence of the country. They are descendants of conspirators who tried to demystify the principles – democracy, socialism, secularism and nationalism of the country. They are working for fanatic and extremist communalism. They are working to generate their energy and strength to act against the country which the nation found earlier during 2001-2006, particularly and its aftermath.
Women are becoming empowered in the country. They want them backward as per their communal ideology. So, they are making their actions visible to re-shape the public perception and behaviors based on communalism. They want to pull the wires which controls the public mind who are harnessing their old and backward ideologies and contriving new ways to bind and guide the public to run through the communal fanatism.
The poor sections are backed by the invisible larger group who are preparing for the next game through these actions. The country should be alert about these signs and symptoms of the fundamental extremists and save the nation from their ill-motive and larger disruption.