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Audit of social psychology

October 11, 2019 00:00:00

In the context of cruelty shown in killing BUET student Abrar Farhad, the country needs a thorough analysis of people's psyche. A Bangladeshi economist who served the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has observed that Abrar is the victim of atrocities that have plagued entire society. "We've never thought that relations between teachers and students will turn into transaction of money... When personal interest -- be it political, financial and social -- is the driving force for individuals, no dissent affecting one's interest is tolerated," he notes in a social media post, adding that when selfish interest and money define the social order, there is no room for tolerance.

However, the right to express dissent is the essential ingredient of democracy. "If the people are scared of expressing their opinion, democracy will then be at stake," Dr Selim Jahan cautions. Proposing a social psychology audit, given the mob beating and killing of people, he has requested the country's psychologists to come forward with their findings to help society. Professor Wahiduddin Mahmud, a former caretaker government adviser, refers to correlation between selfishness and financial matters supported by findings of experimental psychology. "But why selfishness (add brutality, hatred etc.) is so pervasive among political elements in Bangladesh is a matter of great concern and needs explanation; is it because political management is now entirely driven by patronage (distributing and creating rents/illegal income)?" he has commented on Selim Jahan's post. We hope that corrective measures will be taken to create a peaceful and assuring future for our children.

Munira Sultana

Bashundhara, Dhaka

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