Prevent today’s child from becoming tomorrow’s ‘Murgi Milon’

Maswood Alam Khan from Maryland, USA
The very name of Murgi Milon used to strike terror into people’s hearts. Killing men was his passion and smuggling gold was his vocation. Murgi Milon was very moody; he was very chummy with his associates. But at times he was very calm and cold, calm like a meditator and cold like a snake, especially, when he would draw his plans before committing a horrific crime. He didn’t believe in attempting to murder. He was an ace murderer. By a strange twist of fate, murder was the cause of his own death. On May 18, 2000 Murgi Milon, the notorious terrorist whose real name was Humayun Kabir Milon, was killed in the court premises in Johnson Road in the old part of Dhaka city. Accomplices of Murgi Milon and the godfathers of the underworld were stunned and had kept mum like a stone on hearing the news that Murgi Milon was gunned down in a movie style by Kala Jahangir’s group in of all places the premises of a court of law.

Murgi Milon’s dead body was undoubtedly dissected and his skull was also perhaps sliced up to formally examine the cause of his death as a matter of legal routine, as usual, in order to prepare an autopsy report before police handed the body over to his relations for his burial. But, I am sure there was no examination of his cerebrum, the part of the brain where his thoughts, emotions and personality were nurtured, to determine the root cause of his becoming a criminal. Neither, I am confident, had been a get-together of psychologists after his death to analyse the pattern of Murgi Milon’s life—his infancy, his childhood and his adulthood.

Why did Humayun Kabir Milon, who was definitely innocuous when he was born, should turn into a killer when he became an adult? Wasn’t it our collective responsibility to deter him from becoming a criminal? Wasn’t it the responsibility of our society to train his parents, if they were ignorant, how to groom a child? Wasn’t it the government itself that was responsible? Wasn’t it the politicians and the opinion leaders who reared the likes of Murgi Milon to achieve their political goals are the real culprits?

I can bet my life or my bottom dollar that Humayun Kabir Milon, once an innocent child, would not have turned into a Murgi Milon, later a ring leader of terrorists, if only he was properly nurtured by his parents and teachers during his infancy and childhood, and if he was not used at the later stage of his life by the godfathers, the grand godfathers and the great grand godfathers in both the over-ground and the underground societies.

Rearing and raising a child is the cardinal responsibility of the parents and training the parents on how to groom their child is the cardinal responsibility of the opinion leaders in a society. And to guide the opinion leaders on the correct path is the cardinal responsibility of our political leaders. But, tragically our society is like a battalion without captain, like a vessel without radar.

If we really and deeply care about our future now is the time when we have to concentrate more on our children who are going to be molded than on our adults who are already molded. Isn’t it better to stop a nonsmoker from smoking than to try to persuade a chain smoker into quitting smoking? Isn’t it time to stop a today’s child from becoming a tomorrow’s Murgi Milon?

Young children should be watched carefully. When we find a child stealing or behaving very cruelly with a pet or an insect we need to approach the problem with wisdom. There are numerous different reasons a child might steal or behave cruelly with a living body and many different ways to deal with the problem.

Young children do not steal. Children below the age of four or five do not have a concept of ownership. They do not understand that it is wrong to take things that belong to others. Neither a young child should be cruel with another living being. Proper lessons from guardians in a friendly manner with total empathy can help such a child get rid of such bad habits.

Children are completely dependent on their parents for all of their needs. A kindergarten child who feels that his needs are not being met will eventually take the matter into his own hands. The easiest way for a child to do this is to take what he needs. For example, if the child’s school friends have pocket money, then our child could have a need for it. He will feel a lack if he doesn’t have it, even if we provide him with everything that he wants. This type of child may be tempted to steal money just to show he has money like everybody else.

But, by the time a child enters an elementary school, he should know that stealing is awfully wrong and behaving cruelly with a cat is a grave sin. That is the time guardians and teachers must be extra cautious when a child behaves abnormally irrationally and, if necessary, should consult with the physicians to diagnose such a child’s strange behaviour. A child not cared or treated at such a critical stage is doomed to a bleak future.

The most common reason that children behave abnormally is that they feel an emotional vacuum in their lives. A child, who does not have his emotional needs met, feels empty inside. He may steal things or kill insects in an attempt to fill the void. Often children who steal or are cruel to other living beings are lonely or having trouble in their school or with their friends. They lack the tools or the opportunity to express their feelings. Many children do not get the attention they need at those moments of loneliness. Such a child may feel unloved and uncared. These children may enjoy translating their emotional needs into material gains or sadistic desires. Stealing or sadism thus becomes their way to express their discontent and to seek their gratification.

Nobody in the know told me that Murgi Milon was not carefully groomed by his parents or not properly educated by his teachers. Nobody knows what really propelled him to the world of crime. Nobody can take it for granted that politicians verily used him for their political gains. But, every conscious citizen in Bangladesh knows that if the pattern of our bad leadership continues, if students are used as tools to gain political mileage, if forces are used to make one confess under duress a crime he or she, now under police remand, did not actually commit, if teachers are not trained to dedicate their life for the betterment of their students, if the nation does not find a statesman who instead of focusing his attention on the next election would train his vision 50 years ahead, today’s children will have to be tomorrow’s Murgi Milons for sure.

The writer can be reached at e-mail: maswood@hotmail.com

thefinancialexpress