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Monday, November 18, 2019 09:40:59 PM
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Sticking to Honesty

For Individual, Social And National Emancipation

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Muhammad Quamrul Islam :
Looking at current positions around our respective place and reports in Bangladesh media, people wonder why the Parliament is not taking serious  steps against those wrong-doers inflicting injuries on the life of ordinary citizenry in their drive for money and power at home and abroad by any means however inhumane and immoral it might be. It made the vast multitude fearful and concerned as to what would happen to them as they find 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 loud about honesty but derailment continues no quality standard in works and corruptions in different sectors unabated!    
The loan defaulters' issues recurrently discussed but no solution over decades and whitening of black money by every government, party or non-party caretaker, thru budgetary measures in each fiscal year are eroding the moral base of the society and nation cannot be ignored for satisfying the so-called stakeholders, often pointed out as justification for stability and growth. Alongside Syndicates are looting about one lakh crore taka every year under the cover of bonded warehouse facilities, smuggling and money laundering, affecting directly Bangladesh and bordering Indian state of West Bengal adversely. The Border Haats along the porous borders 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 it be so considered.
First page report 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 and names are rampant reported regularly but to no affect which tantamount to making the society tolerant to corruption in spite of moral voices of well-meaning few braving those immoralities come what may. There are nominations businesses in politics, appointment, transfer and promotion businesses in employment, bribes one forced to pay for services which the officials are obliged to provide borne in the public exchequer or face harassment or injustice. It has been reported by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on June 23, 2019 though salaries of officers and staff have been increased there is no decrease in corruption. The sufferers feel this oppressive burden, which can only be combated by reviving moral values inherited from the past, the way out to be found out 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, Kallyanpur 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 daylight. Wife of Rifat Sharif tried 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 is lost by now, then what's the 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 Khatib of 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 previous Jumma prayer on June 21 a Mussalli asked one beside him, a retired government high official, to close his mobile phone and listen, which was not taken gracefully. It is learnt he does so. Khatib reminded before prayer led by him on June 28 to keep the mobile closed in Masjid and say some Sunnat Namaj before leaving Masjid. Everybody will listen, Insha'Allah.  

(Muhammad Quamrul Islam, an economist, advocate and columnist; e-mail:mqislambd@hotmail.com)

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