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Let at least this One Institution Remain Neutral

Written By: Bengalist
15/03/2013 12:57 15/03/2013 12:07

Transparency International Bangladesh, known as TIB, has been playing a part since 1996 to eradicate corruption. Its main aim is to build a social campaign against corruption. At least this is what was recorded in its charter when it applied to the government for registration. However, the organisation has recently involved itself in political controversies. This has caused various [negative] reactions among informed populace. From 15th December until 13th March of this year, 19 statements were released on behalf of TIB. Only 5 of these are concerning about corruption. All the remaining ones are about unhealthy political controversies in Bangladesh. TIB has become even more [politically] vocal since the ‘Shahbag public uprising’. Their [over enthusiastic TIB leaders] rushing towards Shahbag could have been called a success have they managed to convince the [Shahbag] youths to raise their voice at least for once against corruption. [Instead] On 3rd March, they raised their voice together with 21 intellectuals from a specific [political] quarter to ban Jamaat and Shibir. In their very latest statement they have urged for dialogue between the two [top] leaders. One day before that they expressed deep concerns about political violence. Organising press conferences [specifically for this] on 27th and 28th February, they even raised questions about the army’s role and talked about corruptions that took place during the 1/11 [military-backed rule]. No one should have any problem with this [talking against corruption], but the problem is [about timing], why have they not said anything about this during the last 4 years? Finally, when they took to the streets [to protest against] a court’s verdict, many people [rightfully] questioned as to whether TIB bosses are acting outside their charter? What is the relation between a court’s verdict [in some war crimes case] and corruption?

There was no controversy [about TIB’s activities] when the late Prof Muzaffar Ahmed was its chairman. He was always vocal against corruption. He might have had some political inclination in his mind, but he never made it public. He carried out his duties in a completely neutral manner. Both Awamileague and BNP publicly criticised him many times. But now everyone knows identities [political inclination] of those who are currently in charge [of TIB]. This has been causing disappointment and disdain among the public day by day. Concerns have already been raised [about TIB’s politically motivated activities], and questions are bound to be raised about its credibility. The ordinary people expects that there should be at least one institution in the country that enjoys unquestionable credibility and that can be trusted for hundred percent. But if they get involved in continuing [political] controversies then inevitably they will have to choose a side. Let’s keep it in mind that, the country is in a serious political division. Choosing one side [of the political debate] would inevitably imply ignoring [the other] half of the population. This is not desirable in any way. The current leadership of the TIB can understand how risky this can be [for its reputation]. It would be really sad if this organisation is used for cheap popularity or for anyone’s personal political gains. If the divisive nature of politics reaches that level then where will ordinary people goes [for redress against corruption]? There are not that many institutions in Bangladesh which can be nominally trusted. In such a situation TIB has been a place of hope and expectation for mass public. Ex-chairman of TIB Mr Hafizuddin has said that the main aim of the TIB is to play active role against corruption. If they involve in anything apart from that, would they have their own ‘transparency’ intact?

The main news was in Bangla, in the most popular Bangla  Tabloid magazin Manabzamin

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About Bengalist

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  • Name: Bengalist
  • From: Dhaka
  • Nationality: Bangladesh
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    student, activist journalist.

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