Saturday, 23 October, 2021

Public servants must serve people

In a democracy like Bangladesh, people are the sources of all power. And, government officials are public servants who must serve the public with utmost sincerity and honesty. As public money is the source of their salaries and allowances, they should try their best to legalise their privileges through dedicated services. But, what we actually see in practice? We are accustomed to seeing our public servants actually the masters of people. They are ever engaged in serving themselves instead of the public whose money they recklessly spend caring little for their transparency and accountability to the public.

This is really unfortunate for a country like Bangladesh which is on track to graduate from the UN's Least Developed Countries (LDC) list in 2026. So, time has come to change the attitude of the public servants. Tax payers will keep on paying the inflated bills of the government officials but the latter’s attitude towards them will remain the same—this cannot be the ideal way forward for a  country aspiring to be the 'model' for development. As to why, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unequivocally asked the public servants to devote themselves to serving people at the concluding ceremony of a law and administration-related training course the other day.

She made it clear by reminding the trainee officials that as per the 7th article of the Constitution, people are the owners of the country while the 21(2) article stated that government employees are bound to serve people round the clock. So, after the PM's directives, there should be no confusion in the minds of the government officials about their duties and responsibilities towards people. They should shun their age-old colonial mentality and serve the public that they deserve.

From now on, the government officials should try to discharge their responsibilities to establish good governance. They should always stay beside people to make sure that they get justice instead of injustice and deprivation. It will be their sole objective to build Bangladesh a people-oriented welfare state.