Yesterday you were a 13-year old boy, today you are a corpse, tomorrow you will be a hashtag. That is the ultimate reality.
The thing is, Rajon, in a country where millions of taka are siphoned off by the rich, and the state-supported extortionists receive crores of money from street side hawkers, yes, for you to have stolen something worth 10 taka is the actual crime. You have to know that, we have to know that. We will scream, we will cry, we will squeeze your entire existence into the length of a hashtagged-term, but through it all, we will continue to be a part of a system that drains the life of its common people on a daily basis, to the point that when they’re pushed to the wall, when they feel tricked even the slightest, their monstrous selves convince them it is okay to not only kill a 13 year old boy, but to videotape it and get sadistic pleasure from watching, sharing and spreading it.
Maybe you stole, maybe you didn’t. But that holds no significance next to the fact that you begged for mercy, and you got torture, that you begged for water, you got asked to drink your sweat, that you begged to live, and they played to make you die. You, Rajon – or, as is your new identity – were just a rolled dice, the one big problem in the lives of the people who engaged in the torture. You were an excuse, the punching bag that society taught them could be any human, could be any child – any 13 year old child.
Enough with my ramblings. I don’t know where to begin or where to end or where to pin point what it is that we’ve failed – or are failing – at but somewhere, somehow, there is a big, big void, a missing link, that we’re unable to put together. Because, you tell me, in a country that boasts its “digital culture”, how can an entire death that has been videotaped still not be enough to bring justice? But then again, justice isn’t for all. Fairness isn’t for all. After all, the most unfair thing about life is that it is not equally unfair to all. And you, unfortunately, fell on to the less equal side of the equation.
Oh well. The world has gotta move on, and so do I, so I’ll end here. But even then, if I may, I just want to say sorry. I am, we are. We belong to the minority group of people who were appalled by this. Maybe we are more in number against those who got a kick out of the video and the torture, but we are definitely not more in terms of our actions. Because, look what their actions did. It killed. And ours? It was to protest vehemently and move on. And I know from past experiences that is the only thing we know to do. In this land justice is such a far cry, so why try?
Anyway, Rajon, we are sorry. Sorry your cries weren’t loud enough for humans, sorry a 10 taka theft was so much worse than the millions being exchanged through corrupt hands, sorry we weren’t able to carry the burden of your death, sorry we will make poetry out of your death, and sorry we made a hashtag out of your corpse. Sorry that is the only language we knew to speak.
[This letter was written on the day the news of Rajon’s death broke, before any arrest were made]