He is lean and thin, weighing just 44 kilograms. For a youth of his age, Imran Kabir, now preparing for admission to university, is certainly one of the rare lightweights in frame. In mental strength, though, the young man from Sylhet's Tilagahr is even rarer; a heavyweight -many times stronger than most of the muscular persons. The difference between him and the average citizen in today's Bangladesh is not only his courage that by any standard is enviable but also the human quality ingrained in his heart.
At the time Khadiza Akhter Nargis was being hacked by a machete in broad daylight in front of many people, no one dared come forward in the helpless victim's aid. Some of the bystanders were even busy video-recording the horrific scene on their cell phones. And this is not for the first time that a large number of people have played safe when such brutalities take place before them.
Called bystander apathy, this has now become a standard reaction for the people in Bangladesh. People in danger call for help and there is no response from all who are present there at the time. Even quite a few knocked-down victims lying on roads and highways following accidents received no immediate attention from passers-by or passing vehicles. Had the critically injured people in such cases been rushed to hospitals, some of them could survive the accidents.
There is a great difference between injuries involving road accidents and those inflicted by violent goons. With firearms or lethal weapons in their possession, the perpetrators of crimes like stabbing, hacking or shooting can surely turn on people who come forward in victims' aid. Yet there are a few souls who have the moral courage to confront the criminals. Some of them try to help at the cost of their own lives.
Imran did not have to sacrifice his life because by the time he came out from the Chemistry department of the MC College, on hearing the clamour, to watch what was happening, Badrul Alam, the attacker of Nargis had left. Yet people were fleeing the scene but Imran could not. Seeing the girl lying in a pool of blood, he immediately went there and fastened a scarf around her injured head in order to stop bleeding. He then asked people to call on an auto-rickshaw. Taking the girl in her lap, he rushed to Sylhet Medical College Hospital where not only did he buy medicine but also donated a bag of blood. Fortunately, his blood group matched the injured girl's.
Like Jharna Begum from Rajshahi's Shalban area, who responded to humanity's call when she saw a policeman lying unconscious following merciless beating by thugs in the shape of violent protesters on April 1, 2013, Imran has done what is expected of true human beings. When asked what prompted him to do the humanitarian service against the tide of time, the youth asserted that he received the lesson from his family. A young man of such a weak frame had the urgency to pick up the unconscious girl in his lap and even donate blood. His family takes pride in his humanitarian act.
Society needs young people like him. If people do not stand by fellow human beings in time of critical need, life is meaningless. Imran has not only tried his best to save life but also Bangladesh society from utter shame. Humanity in human beings is diminishing fast. Young men like Imran are there only to prove that this society has not become altogether barren and moribund.