In the post-truth age of politics across the world, where common people are fed up with barefaced untruths spouted by politicians, it is the mass media which, among many other pro-people organisations, take in hand the role of unmasking those lies and rip-offs. News items such as those relating to police awaiting the PM’s order to crack down on drug lords raise a number of questions. In line with the Prime Minister’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards militancy, terrorism and drugs, the national dailies have always tried to render their services to the people, which they are committed to, throughout the country.
Such reports are expressions of deep concern over serious issues like drug trade, by noting that the virus is in the antidote. According to intelligence agencies, almost 60 per cent of youths of the country are addicted to narcotics, the billion-dollar worth illegal business which is largely controlled by some politicians. An investigation not long ago found that drug smuggling in Bangladesh is run by over 1,200 godfathers, most of whom happen to be in politics.
After the Prime Minister received enormous local and international commendation for her ‘zero tolerance’ policy against militancy and terrorism, she declared an open war against the illegal trade and use of drugs. To become successful in this war too, she will have to initiate a parallel battle on sleaze and against self-serving politicians and legislators irrespective of their party identity. Whereas the incumbent government of Bangladesh has been widely praised for its assiduous support to the freedom of press and electronic media, certain lawmakers’ indecorous statements in the national parliament are an ostensible threat to the freedom of the media. While one has the scope of protesting or complaining to the Press Council against the media, one should not descend to the lowest point of indecency by displaying one’s ill manners so blatantly. At the end of the day, lawmakers represent the people who elect their role models from among many options after a certain period of time.
Let us not forget that Bangladesh is enjoying a demographic bonus, which comes but once in the lifetime of a nation, with 45 per cent of its working age population, of which mostly are youths. We must not let the youths waste away by reason of drug addiction. The Prime Minister has sensibly taken up the matter where the secure and healthy life of the young is sincerely concerned.
The media, on their part, play their role by exposing before the people the vicious hub of drug traffickers and traders. For that matter of course, the media must be kept free from the influence of vested interests in the interest of people’s rights and welfare.