The Financial Express
Swasti Lankabangla Swasti Lankabangla

Service of exemplary honesty  

| Updated: January 06, 2020 22:19:46

Service of exemplary honesty   

He is an assistant town sub-inspector working for the criminal branch of the Gazipur highway police super's office. Not a high ranking position but Mustafizur Rahman elevated his status to such an enviable level that no designation can earn. Yes, the man has embarked on a novel initiative to fight graft. According to a report carried in a leading Bangla contemporary, he has uploaded a number of video clips demonstrating how people approach him with bribe money in order to get their seized or dumped vehicles released. As many as 15 such video clips he has uploaded so far and at the end of each he has included a message as part of his anti-graft campaign.

In one such video clips of one minute 46 seconds, a man even claims his relationship with a higher police officer when he was rebuffed by Mustafizur at first. This time the sub-inspector becomes not only irritated but also threatens him with arrest. He had already informed the man that if his documents were genuine, he would get his job done. The threat worked and the man leaves without demur.

In a way the video clips are some of the case studies the low ranking police officer has selected from encounter with the public. Indeed, the popular belief is that in government offices and in police stations no file or document moves or is attended to unless the service providers' hands are greased. Mustafizur stands against the current and wants to serve the people as honestly, as humanly possible. At least that is what he has made his declared mission of service in the law enforcement agency. He admits that people cannot be blamed altogether for their negative attitudes towards law-enforcers but at the same time insists that they too must have to be aware of their rights.

Relating his experience with his dealing with people who get their vehicles released without any bribe money, he claims that a few even burst into tears as part of their expression of gratitude. This also moves Mustafizur. People are not accustomed to getting their jobs done without speed money but when they come across such an honest police officer, they are pleasantly surprised. And the tears they shed are not of sorrows but of happiness. What reward can be greater than this!

Since the uploading of the 1:46-minute video clip on the Facebook on January 22, 2019, it has 1,000,000 viewers with likes and comments. This may be considered a measure of people's preference for honest service. The sub-inspector has brought to the fore a hard fact that if one is determined to remain honest, it is possible on one's part. True, there are die-hard corrupt officials and even clerks who sometimes conspire against such honest people in service because their underhand deals suffer on account of the incorruptible. Because the honest are in the minority, they are sometimes made to pay for their uprightness and honesty. One hopes Mustafizur Rahman were not victimised in any way.

Mustafizur dared not upload his videos had it not been for the inspiration of a senior police officer, a former highway police super named Shafiul Islam now serving in the Bangladesh river police. Against frequent incidents of aberrations and moral turpitudes that have earned the police not so an enviable image, Mustafizur's is a shining example of devotion to duty and honesty. Let his attempt inspire others in the service to emulate his virtues and moral stand. Fighting graft cannot be a lone battle. Now that the pay package in the government service has been raised to a decent level, the people can reasonably hope for service without any speed money whatsoever.

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