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Monday, December 3, 2007

Corporate, corruption, bribe and my dulabhai

I suspect that my Dulabhai is a ghushkhor. I remember my cousin depressingly wording out a couple of months ago that things have become tougher these days, especially after the arrival of this government. Erstwhile, it was easier to ensure income from ‘different’ sources. Now it has become really difficult. Sending two kids to Scholastica, staying in an apartment in Uttara, planning to buy a car in near future, all this have become really constrained due to the lack of supply of income from ‘other’ sources. Well I still understand that government offices such as PDB (Power Development Board) (where my Dulabhai works) used to be one of the hotbeds of power misuse and corruption. I wonder still, what are the needs of a common man in Bangladesh that would compel him to take/give bribes. This brother-in-law of mine has nearly cracked his forehead along with evident cracks on the floor by saying regular prayers and confessing to God almighty perhaps, of his wrongdoings. He wears an innocent look with a pot-belly and bald head. He must be saying that he is doing all this to be able to provide ‘good education’ for his children (by sending them to an English medium school like Scholastica). He must be arguing with God that he is taking bribe because ‘that’s the way things are here in Bangladesh…join in or be left out’. So if you want to be with the flow, join the tribe of the bribesmen. Government offices have always been like this perhaps, many might argue, but what about the private sector?

Starting from Lockheed Martin’s lobbying in the US government during various wars to corruption in countries like China, ‘speedmoney’ seems to be a term we all live with and tend to take easily. But how severe or how essential is it in the context of Bangladesh? I have heard that many telcos, banks, development agencies happily nurture the culture of ‘speedmoney’ while awarding any jobs to third-parties. Event management companies in Bangladesh will know better how much they have to pay to which officers and managers in those telecom companies and banks to get that big deal of country-wide activation or promotional campaigns, or for that company merchandize manufacturing deals etc. May be this is the way things are, the way they are supposed to be or are they really? Greed knows no need, no limits…as long as there is a chance of getting free money, we are all up for it. But could be there a hierarchy of bribes need? I mean very much like the Maslow’s hierarchy needs, can we classify the need to take bribes in terms of their relevance with real life and its needs. For example, a young executive in a Bangladeshi company might not need to take any bribe during early years of working life, but as he starts a family, becomes more ambitious, and prices of daily necessities shoot through the roof in Bangladesh, may be he will be allured to start unwanted practices at work. However when someone reaches mid-age, when basic needs are met, future of children are ensured (higher studies in US, UK etc.) even then what can drive people in Bangladeshi companies to keep on taking bribes? Does it become a mere habit issue, ‘khaite bhallage tai khai’, types justifications….? Who knows.

1 comment:

CresceNet said...
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