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16 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 15 November, 2019 11:30:14 PM
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The urgency of an all-out war against corruption

Because of the absence of the strong institutional grip of accountability, a culture of impunity has gradually developed over the years
Sakib Hasan
The urgency of an all-out war against corruption

It is really shocking for the whole nation that corruption has engulfed every sector of Bangladesh in a way that can only be compared to a beautiful building in flames. Now just a single sector can hardly be found where corruption is yet to spread its tentacles. However, this condition has not been created overnight. A number of socio-economic factors are responsible for making corruption rampant in the society. Inversely proportional ratio between population and resources, morbid materialistic mindset of the privileged people, loosening grip of the institution of accountability, lack of patriotic commitment, decadence of ethical norms and values are the most prominent factors among all other back-paddling affiliations of all-engulfing corruption.

Because of the absence of the strong institutional grip of accountability, a culture of impunity has gradually developed over the years. Since propensity towards corruption is an undeniable human instinct along with the altruistic instinct and this latent self-appeasement instinct is basically subject to situations and circumstances, people with corrupt potentials have been convinced that they will get scot-free in a rather free-wheeling social climate even if they use corrupt means and devices in amassing illegitimately got money.

The frantic rat-race of making quick money is the spin-off effect of materialistic mindset and is the beginning of the corrupting process. Since the common or average-educated people are not placed in the responsible positions, they do not have the optimum opportunity to earn money through corruption. It is evidently the highly-educated talented elite who are the real chaser after corrupt and illegal money and it is again they who use their subordinates as weapons for earning money. So when we see that an office assistant has become a billionaire, we must believe that his controlling authority is the recipients of the kickbacks. This practice of percentage exchange has long been in use despite the change of the political regimes.

The political chemistry of our country has long been vitiated by the cancerous elements. Instead of altruistic motivations, today’s politics is clearly the easiest and safest way of making quick coffers. Truly committed politicians have been reduced to a minuscule minority and the remnants are being continually marginalized and have been placed under tremendous pressure. It is the reality of today though sounds bitter to all that most of the underhand transactions are in some way or the other and directly or indirectly sponsored by the political blessing. In no way we can hold any political party solely responsible for this diseased cell. In fact, any organisation is just an umbrella and the manifestoes of the political parties more or less proclaim the welfare of the people. The Father of the Nation once ruefully said that he had got the land of thieves while the others got the bonanzas of gold.

The wise words of Bangabandhu and his practical realization of his people have been proved correct today. People, no all, making up the political parties are corrupted and sponsors of corruption and malpractices. When the majority section of the party men especially the top brasses become corrupted, it becomes increasingly difficult for the head to sterilize them. Every human being has a common Achilles heel that he/she is vulnerable to succumb to flattery and the corrupt people use this near fool-proof weapon to do brisk business in the shortest possible time.

We must welcome the on-going anti-corruption and anti-casino drives under the direct supervision of the honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. It is always better late than never. It has been time and again proved that the miscreants and the criminals do not have any political party as such. So it is our earnest expectation that zero tolerance will be shown against the corrupt people irrespective of their political affiliations. The police have already stormed quite a number of casinos which were run under the cover of clubs and sporting houses and arrested some gambling kingpins many of them belonged to the ruling party. G.K Shamim and Ismail Hossain Samrat are the top brasses of the Jubo League. The Prime Minister has said that it is time to root out corruption and she would like to begin from her own home. Her message is quite clear to us. We welcome the bold decision of the Prime Minister.

It is the very scheme of things that everything moves back in a reverse pattern in the cycle the moment it reaches the zenith. When the adaptation of corrupt practices happens to be the easiest way of earning money and giving bribes for getting a legal and a fair thing become an inescapable reality for the people then no other option is left than to go for an all-out crash action for making a new breakthrough. The gravity and extremity of the money extortion practice can genuinely be guessed from a recent remark of the honourable Prime Minister herself. The Prime Minister alleged that Samrat claimed money from Anjumane-E-Mofidul Islam where she and her younger sister Rehana donated regularly.

Both G.K Shamim and Samrat were the gambling kingpins and used to run casinos of Dhaka for the last couple of years. In addition, they were directly involved in money extortion and percentage culture. G.K Shamim used to control the tenders of the PWD and Samrat didn’t have any specific area of extortion but did control all possible underworld activities and underhand deals. The hundred of crores of taka, FDR and expensive foreign wines recovered from the casino dens and clubs of Dhaka are the practical evidences speak the rampant presence of illegal money across the capital. But this is not whole story but just the visible tip of the big hidden iceberg where the remaining story is pasted.

The hidden story of the thousands crores taka handled illegally within the walking distance of the Police, Intelligence and the press will never be retrieved unless and until the godfathers who have made Shamims and Samrats are arrested. We do hope that in the second phase these kingpin-makers will be netted very soon.  

The writer, an Assistant Professor of English, Bogura Cantonment Public School & College, is a contributor

to The Independent

 E-mail:shasanbogra1@gmail.com

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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