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21st-Mar-2016

We can`t be so devoid of patriotism that anybody can do us any harm

By MAINUL HOSEIN

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has undertaken to investigating the stealing of $101 million from Bangladesh's account maintained with the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. The SWIFT, the system provider, has also started its own investigation to find how the system they installed in the Bangladesh Bank was tampered.This huge sum of money has been transferred to a bank in Philippines and the Government of Philippines is most anxious and worried to find out how such a big amount of dollars has found its way from Bangladesh through Federal Reserve Bank in New York.The Senate of Philippines had immediately started investigation into the money hacked from the Bangladesh Bank. The Senate finds that the whole thing was a well planned crime. What we find is that our central bank was oblivious.The government of Philippines seems to be more determined than us to dig out the involvement of those doing the wrong and punishing those deserve to be punished.On our part, the Governor of Bangladesh  Bank Mr Atiur Rahman left his job saying proudly and shamelessly that he was resigning in a heroic manner for  his achievements as the governor.He admitted that the bank was slow to react to the breach because it was a new and unexpected challenge. "It took a while to understand what hit us". Thus, the Governor expressed the unpreparedness of him and the bank.He does not have any regret for the financial loss he has caused to the country and bad name he has earned for the banking sector of Bangladesh.Mr Atiur Rahman, the Governor of Bangladesh Bank, has, in effect, told the whole world that he was not appointed to that high position for his competence but for his political loyalty and he has been politically saved also.For such indifference to the country's loss of foreign reserve his patriotism should be in doubt. It is quite likely that he thought he would be able to conceal the theft. Anything is possible for the present government.But the money was sent to Philippines and the Government of Philippines disclosed the whole heist in Bangladesh Bank. So it is suspected that the plan of the Governor of Bangladesh Bank to hide the truth was foiled.It must be admitted that he was not the only one, many like him are holding highly responsible positions who do not know anything what they are required to in the best interest of the country. The whole system of government suffers from inefficiency but the Prime Minister must not be told.The young man who claimed to know something about the bank robbery and was disclosing some information to the media has suddenly disappeared. His family members are not getting any assistance from the government agencies. It is a clear indication how insecure one's life is and how deficient is the people's confidence in the government's ability do the minimum by ensuring security of life.The question is how a free nation can be so helpless about the wrong done with no fear of being punished.Nothing could be more humiliating for us than to be seen by the world as a nation devoid of conviction of patriotism essential for making independence meaningful for the people. Independence without patriotism is no independence.In Bangladesh, robbing of thousands of crores taka  has been going on at regular intervals causing no real concern to the government despite the suspicion that such crimes were committed in cooperation with  politically powerful ones.Instead of allowing the banks to take steps for realising the money corruption cases were started posthaste as a way of creating confusion to help facilitate protecting the real thieves.Even some genuine business concerns were ruined denying the freedom to negotiate with the bank. So many were thrown out of jobs. The people lost their money and some lucky ones became rich overnight.In the case of genuine business to be a loan defaulter is not robbery. Defaults happen for ups and downs of business. It is different when banks exceed their power of granting loans and documents are fraudulently created with connivance of powerful political elements. But this distinction was not followed because the real political dacoits have to go scot-free. They are proudly showing their power of impunity.It is no exaggeration that corruption has all the protection because corruption cases are a subterfuge for saving the big embezzlers. It is famously called politics of corruption and not an offenceIt is not far from full truth that not only the politicians have been ripping the country. Corruption is free for all those who can be sure of political protection.Instead of politics of popular election we have politics of corruption and ruthless power struggle.As patriots, we have a responsibility to make the country safe for honest living. We are going through a dangerous time when we do not know who can help us best.