Whether we are saints or sinners. Whether we have children of our own or not, the effects of corporal punishment spreads like a virus and endangers all of us, individually and collectively.

It is an heinous, disgusting act that no human being should have to endure and it defies the morals and precepts of every known religion.

It can manifest years later in the form of violent acts, muggings, thefts, and home burglaries.

You won't find it recommended in any of the GOOD books like the Koran, the Bible, the Torah or any other you care to mention, yet it's practiced without apology by those who profess to have read these books and abide by their teachings. What hypocrites!

Even if only from a selfish, self-protection viewpoint corporal punishment is wrong and harmful.

If one sows carrots, they cannot expect a crop of turnips to result. If one grows violence, they can expect violence. If one grows love they can expect love.

You reap what you sow. If you want a sick, aggressive antisocial society, corporal punishment is an extremely cheap and effective way of achieving it.

Violence against children - boys and girls - is one of the gravest and most frequent violations of human rights.

Appalling as it is, while there's a modicum of understanding of why it occurs in the home and excused by the ignorance of parents, who know no better, there is absolutely NO excuse whatsoever for its practice in schools and madrassahs.

Parents send their children to these establishments to learn what's right from what's wrong, both in the eyes of Almighty Allah and what will eventually benefit the nation.

They do not send them to learn how to become violent, nasty, undesirable people and transforms them into potential monsters, wife-beaters and terrors of society who walk around with Might is Right and Violence is Good tattooed in their minds and printed on their tee-shirts with an evil horrific attitude to match.

All the world leaders - including our own Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina - frequently tell us that children are its greatest resource. They are the future. That much depends upon them.

Enlightened parents send their children to schools and madrassahs in the hope, belief, and trust it will be to their children's benefit; enrich their lives, and help mould them into becoming honorable, decent, respected members of society. They don't send them to learn violence, to become thugs, non-desirables and evil people with whom nobody wants to associate. Schools should be a place of fun, knowledge and learning and not a hell-hole.

Children are whom we will depend upon to do the right thing by us when we are old, feeble, and need attention and care.

How is it possible for children to demonstrate love, if they've never seen love, if they don't know what love is? And even if they do, why should they give it to those who never gave it to them?

Any form of corporal punishment is a mere tip of the iceberg as to the colossal damage that's occurring underneath.

It's impossible to show love, respect, and appreciation to anyone who slaps you on the face. The floodgates holding back despise, resentment, anger, hatred and disrespect are more likely to open in quick response.

Justice Md. Imman Ali and Justice Md. Sheikh Hasan Arif confronted the corporal punishment problem in Bangladesh schools and madrassas over a decade ago, but their proclamation remains to be affectively enacted.

On January 13, 2011... the noble justices defined the despicable act as 'cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and a clear violation of a child's fundamental right to life, liberty and freedom'.

One would have thought that would have been sufficient to bring about the necessary change, but ignorance is an almighty power in the hands of the ignorant and the injustice to children and society at large continues unabated.

The Constitution of Bangladesh guarantees equality between men and women. Somewhere in the hallowed wording you'll find: "All citizens are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection before the law".

Presumably where it says 'men and women' this also embraces children - boys and girls?

Child abuse

Corporal punishment, unquestionably, is CHILD ABUSE however light the act may be. There are no degrees of wrongness. Similarly, a woman cannot be a little bit pregnant. She's either pregnant or she's not. Calling abuse discipline doesn't excuse or alter the reality of the sordid fact.

Shakespeare once wrote, a rose is a rose and by giving it another name doesn't change that fact.

Ending corporal punishment is a human rights imperative, and essential if the world is to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #16.2 to end all violence against children by 2030.

The sooner the anti corporal punishment law is passed and enforced in Bangladesh, the sooner Bangabandhu can rest peacefully in his grave knowing his children are being offered protection; that Bangladesh is on the right road to Sonar Bangla and Bangladesh will comply with the human rights goal of 2030.

Shamefully, a monstrous 87 per cent of the world's children are are not protected from corporal punishment by law. Sadly, this also includes Bangladeshi children. This has to change.

Bangladesh may be 52 years old, but it's time it grew up; discarded it's old bad habits into the trash can, and every citizen played an active role in helping to create a tribute to those who gave their lives in 1971 that's worthy of their noble, patriotic sacrifice.

Sir Frank Peters is an anti corporal punishment crusader, a former newspaper and magazine publisher and editor, an award-winning writer, humanitarian, human rights activist, Honorary Member of the Bangladesh Freedom Fighters, and he successfully campaigned for a five-day school week in Bangladesh.

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