Published by Seth Oldmixon on February 5, 2018

Bangladesh RAB Unleashes New Weapon Against Militancy: Love

Long criticized by human rights organizations for using excessive and extra-legal use of force in its efforts to combat violent extremism, Bangladesh’s premier paramilitary force, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), is trying a new tactic in its fight against militancy: Targeting potential militants’ heartstrings.

Last week, RAB released a new TV advertisement that highlights the painful consequences of  militancy. But the ad does not glorify RAB’s superior tactical strength, or showcase the militants intended victims. Instead, it reminds viewers of the most personal consequences of involvement in militancy: The pain and suffering of the militant’s own mother.

Below is an English translation of the Mother’s words:

I come here for my son [ami ekhani ashi amar chaler jonno],
come very often [prai ashi],
my son [amar cheleta]……,
he had lots of dreams, hadn’t he [koto e na shopno chilo or]
But the boy is dead [othosho cheleta mara gelo],
died for killing people [manosh marte gia mara galo],
and I [ar ami]…
come here [ekhane ashi]….
not for my son [amar cheler jonno noy],
repent for his faults [or bloler praechito korte]
making free from feelings of guilt [oporadbod theke nigeke mokto korte]
dear son if you have known how much painful to survive as a killer militant’s mother [Ek jon khonir jongir maa hoye bechi takata koto koster ta Jodi jantire baba]

The ad concludes with a voice over that appeals to viewers not to engage in militancy for political or ideological reasons, nor out of fear for their own safety, but out of love for their parents.

The dream that my parents see about me [Amake nie baba maa je shopno dhekhen]
To make that dream true and bring smile on their face it is my duty [shi shopnno ke shoti kore thader mokhe hashi fotanor daetto amar]
As a result, I will not join with militancy by anybody’s encouragement [tai karor porochonai jongibade jorabona]
This should be your oath, like me [amar moto eta hok tomaro shopot]
Do not disregard it: Survive with love. [Grina e noy bacho bhalobashey]

In this new effort, RAB has taken up the greatest weapon of all against hatred and violence: Love.