It has already been hinted that the Lakho Konthe Program, where more than 254,681 people gathered to sing the national anthem in chorus at the National Parade Square grounds in an attempt to create a Guinness world record was widely mismanaged at all ends. It is easily conceivable that such level of mismanagement and misappropriation is but a consequence of failure by the administration. In facts, that may translate to a lack of expertise, a lack of appropriate personnel and a lack of planning, all pointing to a shortage of funds. Yet its a matter to note that budget allocated for the program was huge, about 90 crore taka, which experts say is more than enough to hold a program of such magnitude. Let us go into more details in order to find out the truth behind it all.
The Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the Armed Forces Division jointly organised the Independence Day event, ‘Lakho Konthe Sonar Bangla’, at the National Parade Square where the show was ‘managed’ by a firm named ‘Asiatic Events’.
‘Asiatic Marketing and Communications Ltd’ was hired to take care of the creative part while public relations job went to an agency named ‘Forethought PR’.
Interestingly, Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor has ownership in all three companies and sits on the Boards of all three. The parent company is Asiatic 360, of which he is a shareholding director.
“No person appointed to or acting in any office to which this article applies shall hold any office, post or position of profit or emolument or take any part whatsoever in the management or conduct of any company, association or body having profit or gain as its object,” reads Section 147 (3) of the Constitution that deals with remuneration and such matters of certain officers including minister, minister of state or deputy minister.
|Photo: Asaduzzaman Noor, a charismatic thief?|
Drawing from the above, it is bound to be a no brainer that Noor’s working in private companies or sitting on the boards of these companies while being a minister is a clear violation of Bangladesh’s constitution an in effect explains the widespread allegations of corruption at the organisation of the program of which he was at the helm.
Add these allegations up in critical observation to the explanation of his seemingly chivalric role in enacting a drama in dismissing and writing off the donation money of the Islami Bank due to what he claimed was its association with anti-liberation forces, and one starts seeing beneath the facade of the gentleman mask. Truly, as they say, power corrupts. Or maybe he, being associated with the Awami League all his life, was inherently like that to begin with. Justice demands that such serious allegations be dealt with, well, justly.