It is encouraging to note that the government has begun the ‘second round’ of countrywide cleansing drive against the leaders and activists of the ruling Awami League and its associate bodies who are involved in crimes. Reportedly, intelligence agencies have already drawn up a list of around 200 leaders of the ruling party and its associate bodies who are involved in various crimes.
The ruling party has begun the second-phase cleansing operation nabbing expelled Jubo Mohila League leader Shamima Noor Papia Chowdhury and her husband Mofizur Rahman Sumon, a former Chhatra League leader. Papia is the latest subject of such crackdowns that are being tied to the government's ‘second round’ of countrywide cleansing drive.
The list of charges brought against Papia and her husband is shocking indeed. They reportedly ran a prostitution racket at a five-star hotel, lobbied for recruitments in government offices in exchange for money, supplied illegal gas connections, and issued licences of CNG pump stations. They were also involved in arms and drugs trades. They also have been accused of operating their own gang in their hometown in Narsingdi and running a torture cell there.
Government’s initiatives to detect the criminals from within the party certainly deserve kudos but at the same time there are more things that should have taken come into consideration before. No doubt the vast empire of crime Papia and her husband built couldn't be built overnight. Therefore, the questions that come into our mind are: why they have not been exposed before? How could they escape detection for so long? Who had protected them and enabled them to dodge scrutiny for so long and why is no action being taken against their enablers? No doubt addressing these questions is as important as wiping out these criminals if we do not want to see a replay of the familiar game.
Of late, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has been instructed to intensify its drives from next month against corrupt elements, focusing on the godfathers behind the scene. As reported by this daily on Tuesday, already ACC has embarked on a process to appoint 288 new officials for conducting critical investigation with extra efforts. We know that earlier ACC had launched a cleansing drive against money launderers, owners of illegal wealth, corrupt business persons and contractors, illegal casino business and other types of criminals.
Corruption has become all too ingrained into the Bangladeshi political and governmental process, sadly, but if we are to hold on to any dreams of sustainable progress, widespread changes must be made in our bureaucratic and political processes.
As corruption is a systemic problem,
any effort to combat it should be systemic too.
Hence, our efforts to curb corruption have to
be guided by a clear vision, a well-defined modus operandi
and of course a legal framework to ensure its durability.
This is no easy task for Awami League and in this regard,
the party has to be harsh towards some of its infamous
leaders in near future if it does not want
to let its sheer efforts live in infamy
It needs no emphasizing that the government is strongly determined to establish good governance and a graft-free administration, which will in turn ensure development and justice in society. In order to fulfill this mission authorities concerned should maintain a vigilant eye towards the wrongdoers and root out corruption from every corner of society.
In Bangladesh, corruption has been a very common disease prevailing in different forms since time immemorial. Most of the government offices, banks, corporations and semi-government offices reek of corruption of different dimensions from top to bottom. However, with the passage of time the definitions and doctrines of corruption have changed. People who work on right principles are unrecognized and considered to be foolish in the modern society. Earlier, bribes were paid for getting wrong things done, but now bribe is paid for getting right things done at right time.
However, while much progress has been made over the last years to address corruption, we still have a lot to learn from the past to fight corruption effectively. The one thing that needs to be ensured is proper, impartial, and unbiased use of various anti-social regulations to take strong, deterrent, and timely legal action against the offenders, irrespective of their political influences, money or power. Firm steps and concrete actions are required to curb the menace and create an atmosphere where the good, patriotic, intellectuals will come forward to serve the country with pride, virtue, and honesty for the welfare of the people of Bangladesh.
As corruption is a systemic problem, any effort to combat it should be systemic too. Hence, our efforts to curb corruption have to be guided by a clear vision, a well-defined modus operandi and of course a legal framework to ensure its durability. This is no easy task for Awami League and in this regard, the party has to be harsh towards some of its infamous leaders in near future if it does not want to let its sheer efforts live in infamy.
Sayeed Hossain Shuvro is Editorial Assistant,