Corruption in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is a developing and democratic country plagued with corruption at every level of the state and society. The sad reality is that corruption has been so incessant that it has been accepted as the status-quo. The power structure or hierarchy of the country could be comparable to an oligopoly. The rich and the influential, and there are many, have a lot of say on how things work. In late 2006 Bangladesh reached a tipping point of sorts when everything got out of hand when an incompitent caretaker government was sworn in while the national elections would take place. A state of emergency was declared by the army and a new caretaker government was appointed by the army. They started an anti-corrution drive and started making arrests, this had enormous public support. People were being detained who no one even dreamed would or could be touched because of their money or influence. Although everyone agrees to this anti-corruption drive in principle, the rich and influential who are basically the ones that can make the country a better place are unwilling to help or change their practices. And after the recent floods ,the devastating cyclone Sydir, and inflation the steadfast public support is wavering and the army lead coalition with the caretaker government is slowly but surely losing its grip on the situation. And unsurprisingly the major political parties are not helping at all. Pressuring the caretaker government to hold elections as soon as possible so they can come back to power again. The caretaker government have set an exit date in late 2008. It seems unlikely that most of the people caught in the net of the anti-corruption drive will be prosecuted before the caretaker government leaves. And chances are when the elected party comes to power most of these people will simply avoid going to jail and get a simple slap in the wrist instead. The army and the heads of the caretaker government have given their word that they will not stand for power in the next election, and it is unlikely that they will break their word.
But there is still some hope as the economy in general isn't doing too badly and people have become more aware but still unwilling to change. The press and the media could be considered more or less free. Bangladesh is clearly at a crossroads but isn't sure which road it will choose.
Ofcourse this is merely a snapshot of the current situation in Bangladesh. Nothing in reality is in black and white as it seems. Even the well intentioned coalition government isn't without faults and some of the rich and influential are helping. My question to the community is that what advice would you give to the caretaker government. What policy should they adopt? Should they stay longer than promised and get the job done for the greater good? How can the government get the private sector, which is mostly owned by the corrupt, to work and cooperate with them? Should they choose who can and cannot stand for the next election, so as to prevent nefarious men from getting into public office as much as possible? How can they help stabilise rising prices? How can the media help? How can the judiciary be strengthened and made independent from influences of the government. Any and all advice would be very appreciated.
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