There must be a government and necessary laws for running a country. But it is also important that the society or the people of the country must play a dominant role in rooting out vices like corruption, misappropriation of funds from the state coffer, administrative mismanagement and other anomalies. Unfortunately, this is absent in Bangladesh to some extent. That is why the Transparency International (TI) ranked Bangladesh the top country on its corruption index for five consecutive times. However, in 2011 and 2012, Bangladesh bettered its position by securing the 13th place on the index. It is really a good news for the people of Bangladesh. But is it the time to heave a sigh of relief? The answer is 'no'. We still have a long way to go and the people have an important role to play to tide over the situation.
There are laws and the law enforcers are also there standing guard against all sorts of crimes. It is time that we have incorruptible law enforcers to curb corruption. Once we have them, laws are enough to serve the cause of reducing the incidence of corruption.
Corruption is a vice and it cannot be rooted out totally, unless the mindset of the people in the society is changed.
We speak against corruption at seminars, symposiums, conferences and workshops. But we do not take proper steps to prevent it, though we know many of the corrupt and unscrupulous people.
No religion in the world allows corruption and there are strict codes of conduct against it in every religion. So Imams, priests, fathers and such other religious leaders can preach the codes of conduct against corruption at any religious gathering. The people should be made aware about the specific restrictions in each religion aiding prevention of corruption. There is no alternative to raising awareness of the people against the social vice. Islam in particular shows us adequately how it curses the corrupt.
The media also has a big role to play in ensuring accountability of the persons holding different positions and improve transparency in their work. The media also can raise awareness of the people against corruption, misappropriation of public resources and mismanagement. Again, if the common people know about any act of corruption taking place around them, they can inform the media. The media then, based on proper evidences, can telecast or publish it so that the job of law enforcers becomes easy. It does not mean the media is not doing it, but there should be a more vigorous drive, that will ultimately help uphold the rights of many more people and the spirit of democracy.
Closer cooperation between the common people and the legislators, who are the real leaders, is also necessary for increasing the level of accountability and enhancing the capacity of law-makers in playing their role more effectively and confidently.
Transparency and accountability can diminish corruption to a certain degree. The right to information law should be enforced strictly so every office and every organisation maintain transparency in their activities. They must share information with the media and other relevant authorities.
The political parties can play their part in motivating the people by using their social networks comprising youths, adults, women and other political forces. But then parties themselves have to set examples of honesty for others to follow. If not, none will heed their strictures. Transparency and accountability in political parties can help in combating corruption.
Last but not the least, sharing information on the budgeting and planning process can equally help ensure accountability. In some countries, social organisations are experimenting with audit of service delivery, procurement, dissemination and follow-up of audit findings and receiving recommendations through direct citizen and media participation. For example, the 'Citizen Report Card System' in India has reportedly produced positive results in improving the quality of public services.