We expect responsible comments from ministers
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid has been caught in a storm of protest and criticism after reportedly having said that education officials can take bribes but within a tolerable limit. He also said, at a recent official meeting in the capital, that he cannot advise against kickback because ministers also indulge in this practice.
We are not sure whether Nahid included himself in this category, deliberately spoke a hitherto untold truth or was caught off guard while uttering the words that some people say was audacious for a sitting minister holding the important portfolio of education. Others think his 'rowdy' remark was intended to ventilate corruption in top government levels.
Whatever may be, it was usually unexpected of a minister who was appointed to the cabinet by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina from outside her own political circle for his 'good boy' image. But Nahid eventually failed to perform his duties effectively, including failing to stop continuous leakage of exam questions at all academic levels -- that has put the quality of education face to face with severe criticism in Bangladesh.
Minister Nahid so far has remained calm over the growing criticism over his prescription of bribe taking but we hope he will soon come forth with an explanation and try to wither away the gathering moist. Whether his explanation would appease the critics or not is a matter to be seen but one thing is already confirmed that he has made an 'irresponsible' remark though its contention was true and reflected real picture in education and other sectors.
So what? In Bangladesh we cannot call a corrupt person corrupt nor can discredit people who hired and pay us. Instead, you are welcome to show the wicked jackals to the broken fence! Nahid probably was a bit whimsical or careless as he put forward the "suggestion of the year" and must face the consequences, many people say.
The storm he triggered is blowing strong and gaining strength every day. So we think it's high time the minister speak out his "actual" mind and save his ministry, himself and his colleagues from public anger. Minister Nahid is known as an outspoken person, but not that much shrewd like seasoned politicians. Rather, he is a technocrat and probably not an efficient crisis manager.
We hope if he succeeds in getting over the current 'crisis' he would learn how not to make any unsolicited suggestion, but instead try to hide the facts as long as he holds a ministerial position, like many of his colleagues do. "Go with the team" should be his lesson learned and is to be practiced rigorously.