Vol. 5 Num 1137 Fri. August 10, 2007  
Front Page

Make young generation aware of graft effects
Call at Star Insight anniversary function

Anti-corruption officials and propagators yesterday stressed the need for the young generation to be made aware of the effects of corruption in society in order to make the ongoing fight against corruption sustainable.

The speakers made these comments at the first anniversary of The Daily Star's bi-weekly Star Insight and prize-giving ceremony for the Cartoon Contest Against Corruption at the Jatiya Press Club.

"The Anti Corruption Commission will never work for any group, any party, any organisation or vested quarter. At least, until we are at the helm," Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury said in his speech as the chief guest on the occasion.

"But we will be with any organisation, group or individual who fight corruption."

The fight against corruption is very important, Mashhud said, adding, "This is a struggle of life and death. Those who cannot be in the fight physically, can be part of it in spirit."

He said one easy way to help in the fight against corruption is to speak about it and raise awareness of the issues, for which, he said the Bangladeshi media remains at the forefront.

The former army chief lauded the initiative taken by The Daily Star to organise the cartoon contest, as he feels such steps are necessary to garner popular support.

Special guest renowned singer Kalim Sharafi also lauded the cartoon contest and said these initiatives are important to generate awareness against the scourge of corruption.

Award-winning author and long-time anti-corruption activist Selina Hossain said people must be made aware of the widespread and deep effects of corruption on day-to-day life.

She demanded exemplary punishment for those involved with corruption cases as she feels impunity in the past has led to such large-scale corruption in Bangladesh.

Renowned cartoonist Rafiqunnabi (popularly known as Ranabi) said cartoonists have always played a significant role in all social and political movements as they have the gift of capturing the gist of very difficult and varied messages in one single image.

Transparency International Bangladesh Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman also commended the initiative, and said he believes awareness among the younger generations in Bangladesh is imperative to sustaining a crackdown on corruption.

"The fight against corruption cannot be sustainable or acceptable if it is not supported by the people," he said, adding that the cartoon contest helps generate support for wider efforts to eliminate corruption.

The Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam said the ongoing crackdown on corruption, the first time at the forefront of government agenda since independence, is required to build a future. He said he believes that 'there is no other alternative' but to leave no opportunity for corruption in future.

Corruption is the number one issue to solve as it pervades all sectors of governance and society, he said.

"The media should ensure that it is free from corruption before it can write against and criticise corrupt practices. It is very important for the media to be responsible and carry out its duties," said Mahfuz.

Rafiqunnabi presented the winner of the cartoon contest Md Arifur Rahman with a crest and Tk 10,000, Kalim Sharafi presented a crest and Tk 7,000 to second placed Sumon Wahed, while Shishir Bhattacharya presented third placed Sadatuddin Ahmed Emil with a crest and Tk 5,000.

Selina Hossain, noted actress Dilara Zaman, former Dhaka University professor Naushaba Sharafi and The Daily Star City Editor and cartoonist Sharier Khan presented seven other contestants Tk 3,000 for notable contributions.

Winners in the 'Anti-corruption Cartoon Contest' organised by The Daily Star pose with the delegates and judges at the award-giving ceremony marking the first anniversary of Star Insight at the auditorium of Jatiya Press Club yesterday. PHOTO: STAR