Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has called for building a corruption-free and well-governed country in the spirit of Ekushey (21 February).
On Saturday, TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, in a statement, that Bangladesh's glorious language movement is about emotion, struggle and rebellion.
"With the spirit of Ekushey, Bengalis have repeatedly stood up against injustice and exploitation and achieved independence," he added.
"We get the motivation to resist evil from Ekushey. May Ekushey inspire a united protest against injustice, oppression and discrimination. At the same time, may it be a unique source of inspiration to prevent corruption," he said.
"Because corruption is against the spirit of Ekushey. Therefore, corruption must be stopped with the spirit of Ekushey. The struggle to get rid of all kinds of discrimination should be continued," he continued.
The TIB official said the anti-corruption movement and the spirit of Ekushey are inseparable.
He said, "The ultimate manifestation of the spirit of Ekushey was the achievement of our independence through the War of Liberation. But that is being undermined by corruption. The vow to build a society free from discrimination, exploitation and fear was the main spirit of Ekushey. But widespread corruption is destroying that."
"The declaration of 'zero tolerance against corruption' from the highest level of the government has only remained on paper as no stern action has been taken against those involved in large-scale corruption, except for those involved in petty graft," he said.
"Bangladesh remaining stuck in almost the same position for a decade on the Corruption Perceptions Index and our second lowest position in South Asia proves that. Therefore, in addition to the declared promises, taking all-out strict measures against corruption will reflect the spirit of Ekushey," he added.
The TIB executive director further said, "It is a matter of great concern that there is a culture of denial in the government and administration. Attempts to dismiss or deny any form of corruption, irregularity and allegation – or mask it as conspiracy – are constantly throwing political and state commitments against corruption into question and are creating an environment conducive to graft."
"The expectation is that the government will come out of such a situation and show courage to reveal the truth about any questionable matter in accordance with the law and rules – which will strengthen state institutions by avoiding controversy through establishing overall transparency and accountability and make democracy meaningful," he said.
"In the same way, it is necessary to rise above the immoral spirit of giving special privileges to someone – regardless of party affiliation or out of fear and sympathy – and to take a firm stand against corruption in the real sense by upholding the spirit of Ekushey. Otherwise, the spirit, on the basis of which our great language martyrs and freedom fighters sacrificed their lives, will be useless," he added.