We are truly on track to becoming a middle income nation, but to get there, the focus cannot be just on growth
Many Bangladeshis think of a little corruption as a regular part of life.
Reports tell us that public institutions of all kinds in the country -- government offices, police, law courts -- suffer from a culture of bribe-taking, which, though normalized in the minds of many citizens, compromises the strength of our rule of law.
But the time is now to take a firm stance against bribe-taking and all kinds of corrupt practices, big or small.
That is because Bangladesh, right now, is at a crucial juncture in its development story -- our economy is performing with greater dynamism than ever before, export and remittance numbers are formidable, large infrastructure development projects are underway, and predictions from the World Bank and ADB are making the world take notice of us.
We are truly on track to becoming a middle income nation, but to get there, the focus cannot just be on growth.
It is absolutely imperative that we fix and protect the integrity of our institutions, and that means rooting out corruption at all levels.
A small Tk100 bribe may not seem like a serious matter, to either the taker or the giver, but it is a symptom of a larger problem -- the problem of rule of law being flouted.
It is the sacred duty of law courts to ensure equal access to justice for all, and that justice system will be undermined if people working at law courts accept or demand bribes; this applies to all institutions across the board.
Making sure that the legal system -- and any other system -- works in a smooth, efficient, and corruption-free way is imperative for the development of any nation, and should be a priority for Bangladesh as it moves into the future.