9.7.08

Why doesn't the Anti Corruption Commission of Bangladesh have Expertise?

You have to feel for Col Hanif Iqbal, the absence of mojo at his disposal is so apparent that he publicly admits it. Oh how I wish that Prof Hussain Alattas was alive, governments used to ask him about the nature of corruption. May our societies generate the kinds of knowing and expertise that we need in abundance. May they adjust their wrong characteristics that cause them to educationally alienate people from their religion and community.

The quote is from The Bangladesh Today
....the ACC has no expertise and resource persons to detect automatically
the crimes in the banks and hospitals for lack of technical knowledge. We
faced same problem to detect the crimes in the Roads and Highways Department
as the ACC has no engineer. We study the functions and procedures of a
particular office and then detect discrepancies and thus the ACC is not
being able to take steps against all sectors concurrently.


Roads and Highways is a funny department, they build more and more crap as time goes along. How many EFFING floods does it take to disintegrate your blacktop/asphalt for you to learn, you loan-addicted monkeys! In the 60s and 70s they had a strong design section. They have been destroyed by the 'donors'.

Colonel Saheb knows about the Transparency International Bangladesh report of perceptions. He does not mention any other reference point. The stereotypical, proudly non-martial and democratonic Bangali pseudo-intellectual would guffaw at the military's intellectual inferiority at this point. But what is the function of the scholars?

No public intellectual of the country ( i think) has developed understanding of the issue outside the 'good governance' agenda of the World Bank and the IMF. The force of the captive mind is strong in us. Without developing scientific mojo, we will uncritically jump onto a climate change bandwagon. Without knowing our soil mechanics we will jump onto a soil-less but trendy paradigm of water resources. Without knowing and developing the civic principles in Islamic learning we will jump onto the Christian's secularism. There is no end to our desperate idiocy. This is not uloomination. This is intellectual sodomy, Paki-style.

One deshi however is having a look at the late Syed Hussains practical and theoretical contribution. Here's the abstract.

Sociology of Corruption and ‘Corruption of Sociology’: Evaluating the Contributions of Syed Hussein Alatas

Current Sociology, Vol. 54, No. 1, 25-39 (2006)

Habibul Haque Khondker
National University of Singapore


This article examines corruption as a social problem and a phenomenon that illustrates certain problems in agenda-setting in sociology. Understanding such questions as why corruption remains largely outside the purview of sociology, and how sociological agendas are set can be found in the works of Syed Hussein Alatas, who wrote about corruption as far back as the 1950s. Sociology of corruption as a subfield failed to take off despite the ubiquity of this phenomenon. In recent years, new books have been published, including an updated version of Professor Alatas's work. Studies of corruption remain a prerogative of the political scientists and public policy experts. Economists see corruption as a market-distorting externality and treat it as a peripheral subject. Gunnar Myrdal, who was an exception, in his Asian
Drama, identified corruption as a serious bottleneck for Asian development. The
problem persists 40 years on from Myrdal's analysis. In many countries in the
developing world, corruption has become part of the fabric of society. Yet,
sociological theorization and empirical studies are lacking. This article examines corruption both as a social problem and an indicator of the ‘corruption
of sociology’, drawing on the writings of Alatas, especially his notion of
‘captive mind’ or the absence of intellectual autonomy on the part of the Third
World sociologists.

2 comments:

Raza Rumi said...

I have to admit that I loved this post - the state of the ACC is hauntingly similar to the Pakistan experience when Gen Musharraf took over...
Recently, Pakistani ambassador used a phrase: Pakistanisation of Bangladesh...
Your writing and analysis are superb!

fug said...

thats quite self serving for the ambassador and his audience!

think we need to learn more about ourselves and maybe indonesia wrt this. south asia is terribly stuck.

btw i am not a bangladeshi. i am londonistani.