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09th-Jul-2014

We can't allow the country to be owned by corrupt ones

By MAINUL HOSEIN

Police have to be saved from being politically and criminally used. If police are to be worthwhile for fighting crime and corruption, then their independence and public accountability must be secured. The criminalisation of politics and politicisation of police cannot be seen separately. It is not acceptable that the people must remain helpless to be robbed and misruled.Thousands of crores of takas are being looted away by government supporters and criminals working together like a joint venture. Police or Anti-Corruption Commission cannot be expected to be anxious to punish the culprits and recover the money.  Corruption unpunished begets corruption. No matter how bad is the economic management, corruption business is booming. The country has become a cesspool of crime and corruption.  Banks, particularly government banks, have turned into a safe haven for swindlers within and outside the banks.Public money amounting to Taka four thousand and five hundred crore has again been swindled from another government bank. This is just a lot of hot air to claim that the persons responsible will not escape punishment and the money will be recovered. Banking sector has suffered huge loss of trust, and those who can are laundering their money out of the country. One Adviser to the Prime Minister has said it very complacently at a television discussion the other night that we must concentrate on development activities rather than corruption, lest our attention is diverted from the real work. No useful purpose will be served by mentioning his name. All the bureaucratic Advisers to the Prime Minister think alike and leading country the wrong way for the benefit of the greedy and power hungry ones.   He will not say that unchecked corruption is no help for any honest development for the good of the people. Public sector development projects remain half done or wrongly done. What is rightly done is helping the money making business at various levels of the government.  This is why bureaucrats need political leadership to keep them on right course.  We have it the wrong way. Our political leadership is  advised by wise retired bureaucrat Advisers. That the chairman of the board of directors has resigned and the board of the Basic Bank has been reorganized means nothing as long as politics continues to be satisfying the acquisitive greed. Similar plundering of public money from other government banks took place with the help of political elements. The offenders are going about merrily and bank robbery is not be discouraged.The government banks are directly under the control of the central bank, namely, the Bangladesh Bank. The Boards of Directors of these banks are also filled with the government's favourite persons though the money the banks have are owned by the people.Why this has to be like this that the government's trusted persons are to constitute the Board of Directors of the government banks if not for facilitating stealing by the followers of the government? Bangladesh Bank finds it easy to harass loan defaulters but does nothing to protect public money from being stolen outright. The criminals, who have looted people's money in hundreds of crores, are getting political and police protection. Bangladesh Bank also looks the other way. Bangladesh Bank officials are not held accountable for their negligence. In our country, the government depends heavily on police for protecting not so much the people against crime but the government itself against the people.Our problems in public affairs arise mostly from the intellectual detachment of our intelligentsia. We are unable to live with our heads held high. We have no government elected by us, no police that can be called the people's police. Unless we can all wish to abandon the country to stay in other people's country safely, only then we can remain unconcerned and do nothing. But since it is not possible, we have to make our country worth living honourably and safely like people in any other free country where politics is not criminalized or police do not exist to assist criminalized politics. Sooner or later the country will be immersed in the anarchy of corruption and misrule.