Trademark of honesty!
"Remark all these roughnesses, pimples, warts and everything as you see me; otherwise. I will never pay a farthing for it"
Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658)
Legend has it; Jesus Christ was once passing through a market place and noticed that a man was half stamped on earth to be stoned to death soon amid cheering crowd. Jesus asked the crowd about the man's sin for which he was to face such a cruel punishment. The crowd explained, Jesus listened and paused, and asked the crowd to start stoning the man by someone who never committed any sin in his life time. Deeply confused and flabbergasted, the crowd looked at each other's face to see who starts stoning first.
Each investigated and browsed his mind with the call of conscious to confirm that he was the one who never did any sin in his life time. Moments after their state of ambivalence was over with self-realization working, none of them came forward to start stoning. The crowd dispersed and vacated the place one after another with leaving Jesus stood in prayer for mankind. This episode is not, of course, intended to give a subtle legitimacy to sins or crimes that men do and walk away from the doors of justice on many pretexts. Rather it is intended to act as a shrill clarion toward plunging deep into the core of men's own mind before mulling over others' faults and follies.
The above prelude is further intended to relate episodes of our TV talk shows which are very popular, these days, for those who prefer to be glued in front of the TV. Set for night long to enlighten them from the scholarly word gushing continuously from the mouth of learned talk-show hosts every night. On many occasion it has been observed that talk-show hosts mainly coming from civil society members, journalists, professionals, academies and retired civil and military high-ups are critical on government's activities and by doing so, pertinently, jump over government machineries, for example, the civil servants who act as machinery in making the wheels of government rolled in a given pace and rhythm.
In a democratic dispensation, civil servants, are of course, the servants of the State and thus servants of the people on whose taxes, State apparatuses function. Regrettably, some talk show enthusiasts displays their undue acrimony and sarcasm brewed in their obtuse mind and go to the extent, by their belief and drawing inference, that civil servants are no better than the domestic servants or house-maids of the people. These talk-show hosts often delivers concocted and fabricated facts to the viewers to consume that civil servant think themselves of Raja or Maharaja of the country with undermining the people and viewing them as their subjects.
Civil servants are not a Raja or Maharaja of the country nor domestic servants or house-maids of the people as some talk-show hosts think. Civil servants are none other than proud citizens of this country and Sushil Sevak of the people and of the State. Some of them had had the rare opportunity to participate in our great Liberation War and made their supreme sacrifices in shaping independent Bangladesh. They are in no way to be viewed as floating straw in flood-water.
Passing through the different phases of examination and hard gazes of scrutiny only a handful few with bright academic records qualify to be appointed by no less than the President of the Republic. It has been a popular trend in our society for long that Graduates and Masters, fresh from the Universities give their first choice to enrol in the civil service. Too many university graduates and masters chase after too few posts available in every year in the civil service. Anti-quota agitation in last year testifies the veracity of facts how an object of cherished desire a civil service is, for passed out Graduates and Masters of the Universities.
Soon after their appointments they undergo rigorous training course at home and abroad to learn and be attuned that they are the Shushil Sevak (Civil Servant) of the people, not the masters or metaphorical Raja-Maharaja. Code of conducts for civil servants demand -- they work strictly under the framework of laws and regulations framed by the people's representatives in the parliament -- in a democratic dispensation. Rendering services to the State and its people with honesty and integrity, as they are taught, is the motto of dedicated civil servants, with which they live in dignity and pride even after retirements.
Walking through the difficult path of life some of the members of the civil service, of course, fall under the spell leading them to indulging in dishonesty and corruption. With such variations and moral turpitude of a segments of civil servants, a wholesale allegations cannot be brought that all civil servants are dishonest and corrupt by some TV talk-show hosts, suffering from megalomaniac frenzy, without first viewing their own images in the mirror as to what extent they could remain honest in their own professions.
Dishonesty and corruption in wholesale proportion is not the trademark of the civil servants. Dishonesty and corruption is ubiquitous in any developing countries of the world. Even the developed countries of the world are not absolutely free from curses of dishonesty and corruption. Dishonesty and corruption equally weaves its vile and cancerous nests in all other people of discipline; like politician, businessman, professionals, journalist, academics and researches in different twists and turns of their lives.
People of this country have ruefully witnessed how military dictators in uniforms came to national Radio/TV hook-up with words saying: "Assalamualaikum, my dear countrymen ........." to usurp the State power by undemocratic means through the barrels of guns. At the time of grabbing power, they vowed to weed out corruption from the country and become the saviour of the people.
Alas! At the passage of time they had to equally sink in the quagmire of corruption and had to relinquish power in great humiliation amidst public wrath. Any other government other than a democratic government can seldom do any good or bring prosperity to the country. On democracy, Sir Winston Churchill said: "No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those others that have been tried from time to time."
Coming back to discussions on captioned subject, I write to emphasize that time has come for our collective realization that before we become harshly critical with acrimonious and belligerent words in evaluating others' conduct and performance, we must ask our conscious as to what extent we could be honest to our cause in our life time in delivering goods to the service of our people and the country.
Only gushing vitriol and sarcasm on other works in TV talk-show with pre-meditated belief that honesty is the trademark of a particular segment of people, is not the solution to problem. Let the Jesus Christ's teachings instil in our collective psyche and see our own image in the mirror to testify the degree of honesty in the cauldron of moral standard before lobbing volleys of attacks on others and branding civil servants as Raja-Maharaja or on some occasions equating them with the domestic servants or house-maids of the people on whose tax money State machineries work. God help us prevailing good sense in our collective psyche.
The writer is a former civil servant