Corruption: The institutionalised evil
Looking at current situations around our respective place and reports in Bangladesh media, people wonder why the Parliament is not taking serious steps against the wrong doers inflicting public life negatively. Because the way they are influencing is amoral and heinous: loan defaulting.
What would happen to the banking sector as to them there is no value of honesty, which traditionally bound our society, family and individual. Can dishonesty be the way of life, saying one thing and doing the opposite, as if double dealing is no crime or vice? Everybody in authority is talking about honesty but derailment continues. At the same time there is no quality standard in government works and corruption in different government sectors is rampant.
The loan defaulters' issues recurrently discussed but no solution over decades we have seen. And whitening of black money by every government, through budgetary measures in each fiscal year are eroding the moral base of the society of earning. A nation cannot be ignored at the cost of satisfying the so called stake holders, often pointed out as justification for stability and growth. Alongside syndicates are looting around one lakh crore taka every year under the cover of bonded warehouse facilities, smuggling and money laundering. All these activities are affecting directly Bangladesh economy.
The border of Bangladesh with Indian seven sister states have become routes of money laundering and other crimes reported in media. Who're then beneficiaries of illegal transactions; surely not the people of bordering states on both sides of the divide but the rings operating from distances and harvesting the illegal gains with local accomplices. Let's explore the matter.
First page report of newspaper on June 28, 2019 shows in detail that in banks of Switzerland money deposited by Bangladeshis in 2018 have increased. It is attributed to election year in Bangladesh as usual and increasing imports. On the other hand, deposits from citizens of big India and Pakistan have decreased. Indian Government has an arrangement to exchange data in this regard with Switzerland, which has not happened so in Bangladesh. Can't we be equal to our friendly neighbour instead of looking for excuses?
Domestically, bribery of different types is rampant which are being reported regularly. There are nominations businesses in politics, appointment, transfer and promotion businesses in government sectors. If an employee is forced to give bribe for services he later become a corrupted official in turn. It has been reported by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on June 23, this year that, though salaries of government officials and staffs have been increased, there is no any sign of decreasing corruption. Common people become sufferer due to rampant corruption in government institutions. It is believed that this evil can only be beat by reviving moral values inherited from the past. The way may be found by religion affairs ministry and education ministry who cannot escape responsibility.
Look, how a centurion woman loiters in the corridor of Courts waiting to get justice before going to grave and students are incurring costs in attending Court proceedings. Land grabbing led to land dispute cases made the lives of innocent actual owners' miserable that may not get the justice in their life time. Say, Kalayanpur case in capital at stone's throw from Sangsad Bhavan lying from 1996 for 23 years now at Supreme Court in which a co-plaintiff is Advocate Abdul Hakim since elevated to High Court Justice.
A veteran Journalist cum politician Nirmal Sen said innocent Bengali Muslims are 'minority' after the lands of Hindus and non-Bengali Muslims have been grabbed they're the victims. The political muscle and divisive politics of the day in Bangladesh behind this grabbing may be probed by various Commissions of the State and active civil societies including TIB and CPD to alleviate sufferings of the people.
Likewise pitiable conditions of non-Bengali Muslims still called 'Bihari' in camps most of whom have received Bangladeshi citizenship in due process of law and voting right, should not be missed and left to the hands of greedy local lords. Otherwise social stability of the country would be at stake. Even students could not be brought to discipline by the party high commands in their respective students' front, as controversy over Chhatra League committee is ongoing and Chhatra Dal is pushing with unjust demands for lifting the age limit. But Teachers associations and their federations are silent about it. Similarly reports in the press identify some teachers are dangerous persons involved in money making and sexual harassment etc.
It led to barbaric Barguna killing before the government college in broad day light. Wife of Rifat Shariftried her best to save him but all others were onlookers did not come up in human sensibility to rescue him, flashed in the newspapers. It cannot be deemed as isolated incident said civil and political activists. It raised questions countrywide where the family, society and state are going, if human sensibility lost by now, then what next. Where were the college students and teachers and what values are imparted in education system? Why everybody is fearful even to resist, seek justice is known to all but do not dare to speak out.
Thankfully respected Khatibof Central Jame Masjid where we assembled as usual to say prayer on June 28 delved this matter and harped to clean the conscience as ordained in Holy Quran and Sunnah in his impressive deliberations before Jumma prayer.It was heard hopefully by everybody with rapt attention to identify individual responsibility and move on.
In Jumma prayer on June 21 a Mussalli asked a retired government high official to switch his mobile phone off and listen to the Khatib, which was not taken gracefully. It was learnt later that he does so. Khatib reminded before prayer led by him on June 28 keep the mobile phones switched off in Masjid and said to perform Sunnat Namaj before leaving Masjid. I hope that everybody will listen, Insha'Allah.
The writer is an economist,
advocate and columnist