Bangladesh is host to a culture of corruption and impunity
With the world having observed International Anti-Corruption Day yesterday, now is a great opportunity for us to reflect on how corruption continues to stand as a significant obstacle to the continued progress of our own nation.
Few would deny the veracity of the claim that corruption lies at the root of Bangladesh’s problems -- whether it be in our bureaucracy or governance at large.
It is exactly for this reason that corruption also remains the primary obstacle to our progress, with some sources citing that as much as 5% of our GDP is lost to corrupt practices. This should serve to remind us to what extent our progress is stunted by corruption and its effects and how much further we could go if we focus on rooting out corruption from within our midst.
This year’s theme was spot on in understanding that corruption cannot be fought alone, that it must be done through standing united against it.
Because, while it is crucial that the government take steps to ensure that they have a zero-tolerance policy for public officials engaging in corrupt practices, it is just as important for the general public to not give in to demands borne out of corruption.
As it stands, Bangladesh is host to a culture of corruption and impunity so widespread that it is taken for granted that the more wealth an individual has, the easier the access he or she will get to administrative services.
This must change, and one of the steps towards that is for us as citizens to say no and take the road less travelled.
It is only through making corruption severely punishable by law and turning it into an unprofitable practice that we can root it out of our system.