Onions, khichuri and the government’s image

Those in charge of the ministry and department had no idea about midday feeding. They still don’t and so have to send officials abroad on training.

The state minister admitted that huge funds had been misappropriated before this in the purchase of school books initiated by the primary and mass education. He said, “I do not know anything about the book selection. My committee gave a list of 30 to 35 books. Eight books were purchased, bypassing me. Even the tenders were floated without my knowledge. As soon as I discovered this scam, I called for an inquiry.”

It is not known what the inquiry has done so far. The ministry is also silent about the court order to form a three-member inquiry committee. One of the members of the committee said no one from the ministry had contacted him as yet. Apparently the ministry is ignoring the court’s directives, too.

How is the government’s image tarnished? The government’s image is not tarnished if the media reveals irregularities or corruption of any agency or programme. The government’s image is tarnished by those in the administration who create scandals in the purchase of pillows, curtains and books and in the cooking of khichuri.

* Sohrab Hassan is joint editor of Prothom Alo and a poet. He can be contacted at sohrabhassan55@gmail.com. This article, appearing in the print and online editions of Prothom Alo, has been rewritten for the English edition by Ayesha Kabir

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