October 19, 2005


It's not a surprise anymore as for the fifth year in a row Bangladesh has achieved the lowest position in Transparency International (TI)'s corruption perception index (CPI). The government has as usual refuted the report saying:

"The level of corruption had come down, but progress was not so visible because of a media campaign and deliberate rumours."

Two years ago I was apprehensive about the methodology and the context of generalization in the report. But as the same result is happening again and again it points to lack of improvement of the situation and accountability on the part of the ruling government and the lack of support from the other political parties in the cause.

However, does this mean you can call a nation corrupt? Not quite. Read what TI Bangladesh head says (via Unheard voices):

CPI is a measure of perceptions about the level of corruption - it does not and cannot brand a country or nation as corrupt. Corruption has been perceived to be highest in Bangladesh, which does not, however, justify that Bangladesh or for that matter any other country at the bottom end of the list is a "most corrupt country" or "most corrupt nation". While corruption is indeed the most formidable challenge against governance, development and poverty reduction in Bangladesh as well as in most other developing countries, abuse of power of a limited number of corrupt people and failure of leaderships and institutions to control and prevent corruption cannot justify that the country or nation or the people are the most corrupt.

Indeed. He also said:

Corruption has also become a key political issue. CPI even shaped the national election results in 2001, when by using CPI ranking against the incumbent government, the opposition party succeeded to come to power.

It remains to be seen how this index shapes the upcoming election in 2006. Sadly the TI index is being used for animosity by the political parties rather than trying to improve the situation with concerted efforts. Would we be able to tear the web of the limited number of corrupt people and failure of leaderships, that we are engulfed in?


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