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A social prevention must be needed against bribe

A country or a nation goes into decline only when its conscience is destroyed. If honesty, morality and values rot, then bribe and corruption become rampant in society. Our national conscience is also rotting today. Honesty, justice, humanity, manners- everything seems to have gone into exile.
Monirul Haque Rony
A social prevention must be needed against bribe

Just as a disease or ailment weakens our body and impedes our ability to walk, so too a social ailment called bribe weakens our society and country, paralyses our national strength and numbs our way of life. But bribe is unrestricted in every sector of the state today. Where is the absence of bribe? Health, education, land, police and even administration or services - bribe is rampant everywhere. Are rickshaws banned on any roads? Give a little money to the hands of the traffic police.

Then there is no hesitation in continuing the movement. You can't manage a seat for a dying patient in a government hospital and even if you rush from one hospital to another hospital; give two to five hundred takas to the employees. You will see that the seat has been arranged quickly. Day after day, month after month, you go to the government office and ruin the shoelaces, but still unable to sign the pension file, fill the envelope in the file with some money and then submit it. You will see the work will be done at supersonic speed. What a magic of bribe! What an unseen power of it! Go to the job market and see what the unimaginable power of bribe. You have all the talents and abilities. But there is no ‘so called nepotism’ and no ability to give bribes. Then the talent and the qualifications will seem pale. From the lowest echelons of the state to the highest echelons, bribe exists everywhere. The extent to which bribe has engulfed our society can be surmised from a report by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB).  Although the figure is a few years old, it gives a clear idea of ​​the level of bribe. A report conducted by this agency shows that the total nationally estimated bribe in 2017 was about TK 10,688.9 crore, which is 3.4% of the national budget (revised) and 0.5% of GDP in the 2016-17 financial year.  In 2017, 66.5% of households in Bangladesh were victims of corruption and only 49.8% of households had to pay bribes, report also says.

Bribe has become so rampant in the society that even a minister himself once advised his officials and employees to take bribes in a moderate way and the ministers openly confessed that they are not exempt from it. Moreover, many people don't think bribe is an unethical one, rather they think of it as an 'other income'. In today's society, however, no one wants to lower their standard by calling it a 'bribe'.  That is why they want to justify bribes in the name of making them happy, sometimes in the name of reward, commissions, gifts or the cost of tea and breakfast. It is sometimes surprising to wonder how much the reward or tea consumption of unethical bribe-takers can be. This culture of making happy someone that has been introduced in the society is polluting the society.  It needs to be stopped now.

A country or a nation goes into decline only when its conscience is destroyed.  If honesty, morality and values ​​rot, then bribe and corruption are rampant in society.  Our national conscience is also rotting today.  Honesty, justice, humanity, manners- everything seems to have gone into exile.  It is said that "necessity knows no law". It is not known if that is true in all cases. There is no reason to think that people's nature will be ruined and they will get involved in bribe and corruption if there is a need. Because it is often seen that in spite of having a high salary, high status and all facilities given by the government, high level officials also get involved in bribe without any hesitation. 

In fact, it is not want, but only greed that drives people to bribe and makes them greedy. Needs or poverty is eradicated but if the mental needs are not satisfied then people easily get involved in evil deeds like bribe. And for mental satisfaction, it is necessary to be strong in the power of morality and values.  Otherwise, the erosion of values ​​binds the society on all sides in the circle of bribe and corruption. Therefore, one of the ways to prevent bribe is to practice ethics and values ​​properly.  And this practice must start from our family. Because the family is the most primitive and effective  institution of society, from which a child is initiated to be social; learn various behaviors, etiquette, virtue, justice etc. of individual and social life. Therefore, every child should be taught to be a humane and ideal human being from the family. Not only children but also ourselves need to be educated and initiated in morality. At the same time, just as wives must stand up against their husbands' illicit income, children must also be vocal against their father's immorality. If resistance against bribe can be built from the family, then that would be the best way to eliminate bribe.

Another reason for bribe is to engage in any means of acquiring wealth without any regard for halal or haram. That means, forgetting the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, and dreaming of owning abundant wealth by any means. That is why religion is an important issue in eliminating bribe. Because religious discipline teaches us to stay away from all immorality; helps us to purify ourselves. So, in order to eradicate bribe from society, there is no alternative but to follow religious discipline.

However, not only religious observance, but also social prevention against bribe must be built.  At one time bribe takers were looked upon with hatred in the society.  But in today's society that picture is completely opposite.  Far from hating them, they are seated in all respectable positions in society. Their triumphant condition is everywhere in society. So socially the bribe giver and the receiver should be boycotted and everyone should be vocal against it. Otherwise, bribe will continue to increase in society. The holy Hadith also hints at building social resistance against this type of injustices. The Prophet (SM) said, “If any one of you sees any wrongdoing, he will resist it with his own strength. If he is not able to do so, he should protest through words.  If he can’t do that, he should hate sincerely. And this is the sign of the weakest faith '(Sahih Muslim).  

With social resistance, mass awareness should be increased against bribe through dramas, movies, seminars, symposiums, social, electronic and print media. The identified bribe takers should be brought under the law and severe and exemplary punishment must be provided.  In this case, the authorities concerned including the anti-corruption commission should be stronger. In all cases, the tendency to bribe culture will be reduced if the right person is placed in the right place through proper evaluation of merit and qualifications. Ensuring digital access to government services and financial transactions can play an effective role in eliminating bribe. Just as government departments need to get out of the hustle and bustle of red tape, so too must change the culture of rotating files on different tables. Bribe is not a statutory issue that cannot be changed. If we can change our mindset, the eradication of bribe is only a matter of time. After all, if all forms of resistance against bribe can be developed from all levels of the individual, family and society, we will soon be able to break free from the shackles of bribe.

The writer is Lecturer, Department of Social Work, Savar Government College, Savar, Dhaka. Email: monirulhaque.du@gmail.com

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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