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Corruption is an unfortunate reality in many parts of the world, and Bangladesh is no exception. Over the years, the country has struggled with multiple instances of corruption in its government, civil service, and administrative bodies. And, one of the most recent examples of such corruption came to light through a viral video, which exposed Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha, commonly abbreviated as RAJUK, a Bangladeshi government agency responsible for urban planning and development, submitting misleading documents to the High Court.
The video, which was initially shared on social media platforms, shows several RAJUK officials signing blank sheets of paper, and in some cases, forging signatures on official documents. The video soon went viral across the country, leading to widespread outrage among the public. But just what does the video reveal about corruption in RAJUK, and what does it tell us about corruption in Bangladesh as a whole?
A Look at the Video
The video filmed in the office of the RAJUK chairman, shows three officials, Pranab Kumar Samaddar, Tariqul Islam, and Abdul Malek, signing several documents without reading them. When asked about the nature of the documents, the officials appear to be unclear about their contents. Later in the video, another person, who is not identified but claimed to be a bogus chairman, is seen sitting at the chairman’s desk with several other officials from the organization. The alleged chairman is heard issuing instructions to the officials to sign a set of documents which he claims to be orders of the High Court.
As the video continues, a person is seen signing documents even after a stamp pad runs out of ink, indicating that the officials involved are not concerned about the validity of the documents they are signing. The video also shows an official forging the signature of a High Court judge on an order related to the regularization of some house construction work. The incident in the video is a clear indication of how corruption has seeped into the bureaucratic and administrative structures of Bangladesh, which has led to the exploitation of public trust.
The Implications of the Video
The video has several implications for Bangladesh as a whole, and RAJUK, in particular. First and foremost, the video exposes the sorry state of corruption in the country’s administrative bodies and the total lack of accountability. All of the officials involved in the video appear to have little to no understanding of the documents they are signing, but they sign them anyway. This lack of accountability suggests that the officials do not consider the consequences of their actions, which can have serious implications for public safety and security.
Second, the video also provides insight into how powerful elements within the administrative system use their influence to bypass due process and enter into corrupt dealings. The unidentified man seen in the video, who claims to be the chairman of RAJUK, is an example of how corruption trickles down from the higher-ups within an organization. The fact that a person, who is not recognized by the Ministry of Housing and Public Works as the chairman of RAJUK, was able to wield such power raises serious questions about transparency and the rule of law in the country.
Third, the video underscores the need for systematic change in the management of government agencies like RAJUK. It is evident from the video that the prevailing system of recruitment and promotion in these agencies rewards compliance over competence. Officials who are willing to turn a blind eye to corrupt practices, or take advantage of their positions to exploit people, are often the ones who are promoted into senior positions. Therefore, the system has to be revamped to encourage merit-based selection and promotion processes, designed to promote accountability and ethical conduct.
Finally, the video also reveals the need for robust whistleblower protection laws in the country. The person who recorded and shared the video did so at great personal risk to themselves. However, they chose to do so as they knew that they would face severe consequences if they did not step forward. Having whistleblower protection laws can encourage more individuals to speak out against corruption and malpractice and can provide them with a semblance of legal protection against punitive measures.
The viral video of RAJUK officials is a sobering reminder of how deeply entrenched corruption has become in the administrative bodies of Bangladesh. The lack of accountability, transparency, and due process, which is evident in the video, is a clear indication of how the rule of law has been eroded in the country. The video underscores the need for systematic change in the management of government agencies like RAJUK to encourage merit-based selection and promotion processes. Moreover, greater accountability and transparency, as well as whistleblower protection laws, are the need of the hour in Bangladesh to curb corruption and promote ethical practices.
This article is compiled and compiled from multiple sources by KRUSH.
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