Thugs of a Delta

Maskwaith Ahsan
Art & Literature, Story
Thugs of a Delta

A bus-like monster runs over school children. Others standing nearby exclaim: two of our friends are dead. They have seen many crushed under such serial killer buses and trucks. People protest but the thugs who run this business continue to thrive.

Children ask their parents: we die every day, can’t you save us.

Parents answer with sighs: we are all captives of these thugs, mere slaves.

So children take over the streets and start protesting against the killing of their friends.

Thugs feel no repentance, they say smilingly: many people are killed in our neighboring country, no one creates a farce.

Such protests against road deaths are a nuisance especially when the thugs are dreaming of going to the moon.

A mid-teen protestor shouts: they are planning to buy a spaceship for themselves when we don’t even have a school bus.

Another protestor explains: they don’t care because their own children live and study abroad.

Police, too, don’t show compassion to the kids, beating them mercilessly. School uniforms stained with the blood of children mirror the true faces of these thugs.

The under-18 revolt continues. Children take over the traffic control system, start patrolling blood-stained streets and demand to check driving licenses. They are shocked to see how ministers, judges, police and other VIPs blatantly violate traffic rules, and their chauffeurs move around without ever having a driving license.

Ruler tries to pacify these child rebels with old fashioned tactics, offering money to the families of dead children and assuring ‘strict’ road safety laws. But the rebels have wizened and are no longer interested in such primitive tricks of controlling the country by first killing and then pacifying.

Kids shout: if we are scared, we’ll be finished but if we protest we can free our delta from the clutches of these thugs.

An opinion poll shows that 96 percent of the people support this movement of courageous children. It stands to reason that the rest 4 percent are collaborators of the ruling thugs, requesting and even begging kids to go back home. When that fails these 4 percent start witch-hunting and snitching on those who support the movement.

Desperate for the approval of thugs, these collaborators try to declare common men as ‘enemy of the delta’. Collaborators have nothing new to their credit, they harp the same old tune of how they liberated the delta from the monstrous colonial rule: so you are either with us or against us, and if you don’t like us, you can leave the delta.

The elite force is also with thugs, threatening common people and coercing them not to support the movement. But they, too, fail to send the kids back home. So thugs dispatch a helmet-wearing gang of mercenaries to control young rebels.

Police provide backup to the hell-mate gang in beating up children. Many kids are wounded. Collaborators launch hideous propaganda denying attacks on the young and declaring all incidents of violence mere rumors. Common men are accused of using kids to conspire against the besotted ruler of thugs.

Hell-mate mercenaries attack journalists trying to bring to fore the reality of thug brutality against children under the age of 18, while elite force picks up a vocal journalist and tortures him to create fear. When he’s finally presented in court, the presiding judge cannot contain himself: thank God he’s alive.

To regain public support thugs claim smugfully: don’t forget that we are the pro-liberty force. And children injured by police and mercenaries smile: oh yes, now we know how much liberty we have, you were once part of the liberation war of our delta but that doesn’t give you the license to kill, your children live and study abroad but we live in our beloved delta.

Children go back to school but only to persist. They sit for their examination, write “we want justice” on answer sheets, put their pens down and leave.

Maskwaith Ahsan. Maskwaith Ahsan is an international journalist, educator and the author of over 14 books. His columns appear in several Bengali newspapers, magazines and websites across the globe. He also hosts his web TV show E-SouthAsia. With socio-political satire...

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