Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Should A Corrupter be Punished or Discouraged through Social Boycott?

কোর্ট আপনাকে “দুর্নীতিবাজ” বলে ঘোষনা করেছে। সরকার আপনার সমস্ত সম্পত্তি (১০০%) কেড়ে নিয়েছে। ২ বছর এই সম্পত্তি সরকারের হাতে থাকবে। আপনার চাকরি হাতছাড়া হয়ে গেছে। সরকার আপনার চাকরি ও ব্যবসা করার অধিকার কেড়ে নিয়েছে।আপনার সন্তানরা ভবিষ্যত গড়ার প্রচেষ্ঠায়, পদে পদে সমস্যার সম্মুখিন হচ্ছে।এর কারনে বাধ্য হয়ে তারা আপনাকে “ত্যাজ্য পিতা” ঘোষণা করেছে। আপনার স্ত্রী ৪০% সম্পত্তি ফিরে পেতে পারে যদি সে আপনাকে তালাক দেয়। আপনার স্ত্রী আরো ২০% পারেন যদি আপনার সন্তানরা আগেই আপনাকে “ত্যাজ্য পিতা” ঘোষণা করে থাকে, তাদের ভবিষ্যতের খাতিরে। আবার, আপনার পরিবার ১০০% ফেরত পেতে পারে, যদি আপনি সম্পত্তি আটকের এই ২ বছরের ভেতরে মারা যান, তা যেকোনো ভাবেই হোক। আপনি কি করবেন?
Corruption is motivated from the aspirations for “better life”. Remove the “better” from “life” or both, you would never be motivated.
- Asif Anwar
Bangladesh is currently in a massive drive to wipe out corruption. The progress of this drive is visible socially as well as in the Transparency International Corruption Report. Bangladesh fell from the first position to the seventh in recent report. But, the government is still not satisfied with it, since the score that lists Bangladesh as the seventh country is still high.
I also believe that corruption should be fought at an ad hock basis. Corruption can’t totally be wiped out with hard drive or judiciary punishment, like: jail, fines or other penalties. Rather I think it should be discouraged. Discouragement does have more sustainable effect than handling situation after it has occurred. Prevention is always preferable than treatment. Law plays a great role in encouraging people to avoid undesired behavior.
First, we have to understand what are the motivations that encourage a person to go after or support corruption. As far as I can comprehend, the motivations for corruptions are:
  • Better Economic Status
  • Better Social Status
  • Better Future for Children
  • Better Conjugal Life
  • Better Future for Self
To eradicate corruption, we can target these motivational factors one by one. The government can also impose hard laws that keep a corrupter away from these motivational factors. Often you never need to put the corrupter in jail. Here are my suggestions on how it will work:
Better Economic Status
There are laws that protect Bankrupts, but make them ineligible to claim their property. After declaration from the court, a bankrupt person’s property is snatched and distributed equally to the creditors. That way the country relieves him from liability. Well, for a convicted corrupter, should we do that? Like “Bankrupt”, should we introduce another boycott status named, “Corrupter”?
I would say, yes. Once convicted snatch all his property, i.e. 100%. Handover the total amount to the government and have it locked for 2 years. However, the intensity of corruption should be defined first for such punishment. I’d like to keep that responsibility to the law makers.
In the meantime, the government should collect information about the outstanding liabilities of the Corrupter and pacify them after the property holding period. Once the liabilities are dealt, the fund should directly go to the Relief Fund of the Government after 2 years.
Even after this harsh act, for his livelihood, there are possibilities that the corrupter might start his career once again. But, there should be strong laws to force registered businesses to avoid these corrupters. There should be laws in the Corporate Registration Level, where each corporate entity oaths not to employ any corrupter. In case any company attempts or really employs a corrupter, the company should suffer a lot. That way, the corrupter will have no economic value, let alone status. All I am saying create another boycott status called “Corrupter”, which is more painful than any other boycott statuses.
Better Social Status
Once convicted, the government should force his employer to let him go. Once his job gone and working opportunity gone he has no other way but to rely on others for subsistence. Again, he can try to do business and be the owner of what he does. But, who would want to do business with him? Even if he wants to, should the government allow him to register any business or go into any contract with anyone? An insane person is not eligible for signing any contract. Can’t a corrupter be given the same status? At least for the sake of the innocent citizens.
With all gone, I don’t think the family would want to bear this worthless burden. And how much social status can you expect from him?
Better Future for Children
I am not in the favor of ensuring better future for any children of a corrupter, unless they morally remove their support from their corrupted parent. As a child of an honest government officer and freedom fighter, I could not get any benefit from the government. Actually, never needed the benefit. But, it was always a pain in the eye to see the children of a corrupter boasting their status while the others like us are compromising on every walk of life.
The government should be strict in punishing any school, college, and university if they have any corrupter’s children enrolled. That way, any educational institutes who are seeking to keep the reputation high, will try to avoid such problems. For overseas education, the child should not be provided with NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the government. Assuming they somehow manage the certificate, in such case, each embassy in Bangladesh should be provided with a list of children of the corrupters.
But, any children should not suffer for the evil deed of their corrupted parent. There should be some escape mechanism that clearly and formally states that the children don’t support their parent’s corruption activities. And this can be done by declaring the corrupted father as “Abandoned Father”. That way the children will lose the claim of their father’s properties. , but strongly move their support from their parent.
By doing so, the children can get rid of the problems they would face for building their future. But, their anger for their parents should be intensified by forcing them to submit “Abandoned Father” Declaration papers in every walks of life, like – getting enrolled into any educational institutes, acquiring NOC, collecting Visas, etc. They should be continuously reminded that their parent is responsible for their sufferings.
Better Conjugal Life
Now, the total property is locked by the government. However, there should be some way to return some portion of the property, but not without a cost. And the cost is the conjugal life of the corrupter. If the wife of the corrupter divorces her husband, the government should be generous enough to return 40% of the property for her subsistence. This will motivate the corrupter as well as his wife to go for divorce. And if the children have already declared “Abandoned Father”, then the government should release another 20% of the property for the sake of the future of the children.
So, for the 60% share of the property, the total family will abandon the Corrupter. And the corrupted person will be glad to accept it for the greed of 60% of the property. But, this 60% should not be relieved from any liabilities. But, the amount should be claimed from the family of the corrupter. In that case, the rest 40% should have first priority in pacifying outstanding liability.
Better Future for Self
Can we think of any other way to relieve this guy from this social, economic, conjugal, and life long anguish? Can we give back the 100% property? Yes, we can. Only if he dies within this property lock period of 2 years. Well, the death should not be defined by law. Any death will do, to get the whole property back. And the death should happen within these 2 years.
You have been given a new boycott status, called “The Corrupter” by court. Suddenly, your property went into the hands of the government and it will stay there for 2 years. Now look at these situations in the eye of the Corrupter:
  • Your wife can get 40% of it, if she divorces you
  • She can get additional 20% back, if your children declare you “Abandoned Father”
  • You can get 100% back if you die within these 2 years of property lock period and any sort of death can make that happen.

About the Blogger: Asif Anwar