POST TIME: 10 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
The curse of greed
There were some greedy people ever since human beings were created and the size of their presence in a society determined the health of that society from time to time

The curse of greed

All of us in Bangladesh now read in the newspapers and hear and see on TV screens numerous stories of raids by our law enforcing agencies at different clubs, casinos and such other places and finding mountains of bank notes, oceans of wine, and tons of gold and jewellery, all unlawfully hoarded at different parts of this city of Dhaka.

Some champions in this new field of loot have also been arrested, as we see their golden faces in the pictures.

There were some greedy people ever since human beings were created and the size of their presence in a society determined the health of that society from time to time. Unfortunately, at this time of our life we are in a very unhealthy social condition in this country. In the past we were a people comparatively poor in monetary wealth and there were thieves who used to steal coins. Now, after a lot of efforts over the past decades, we are about to attain the status of a ‘developing’ country and at this stage of our getting wealthy, our failure to guard our treasure vaults has landed us in a state of such insecurity that we are now in the hands of the ‘Union of Gamblers and Looters’.

And these gamblers and looters have their patrons too. A newspaper report reveals that a contractor paid eleven hundred crores of taka to a Chief Engineer and four hundred crore taka to an Additional Chief Engineer, to ensure the inflow of his larger earnings. In the recent past we learnt about findings of bamboo sticks instead of iron rods inside cracked down concrete structures at different places. Use of less cement than the required measure and more sand instead is a regular feature in government projects. Such cheatings are taking place almost everywhere and the moral structure of our nation is apparently in the brink of collapse. The ‘Pillows of Roopur’ story is so recent.

More than a century ago Leo Tolstoy, the Russian who was regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time, wrote a story titled ‘How much land does a man need’. In that story a peasant of a village was instigated by Devil to grab more land and in that race he lost his life without achieving his goal. The man named Pahom was buried on a piece of land only six feet in length ! In our Bangla literature there is a poem of the great poet Tagore, in which.

Upen the owner of a ‘Two Bigha’ plot of land was forced to sell it to a ruler of the village who needed to expand his property. Neither the descendents of Pahom of Russia or those of the ruler of the village of Bengal who grabbed the land of Upen, perhaps faced any criticism for the abnormal greed of their forefathers, as their greed did not drive them to crimes. But in the recent cases of loot happening in Bangladesh, the children of those arrested by the law enforcing agencies with pictures shown to the people of this country, will surely feel ashamed for the misdeeds of their fathers. This burden of shame may even prolong for generations. “His father did that” and then “his grandfather did that” and so on.

As for the ruling party of our country, the involvement of a large number of its different cadres in the happenings may remind the citizens of Bangladesh the Tagore’s saying ‘Rajar hosto kore shomosto kangaler dhon churi’ meaning the ruler’s hand is in every case of the thefts.

The writer  retired in 1987 from the

post of Chief Auditor of BCIC