The quick decision to have the president and general secretary of the Bangladesh Chhatra League removed from their positions, against a background of charges brought against them by the Vice Chancellor of Jahangirnagar University, is certainly welcome. In fact, the move should mark the beginning of a concerted campaign to go after corrupt elements in other sectors of society and haul them up before the law. We note that the Prime Minister has spoken of elements worse than the two BCL men lurking in the Jubo League. If that is the case --- and the Prime Minister is fully aware of it --- a full-scale purge should be undertaken against these elements and the Jubo League as also the Chhatra League thoroughly recast in the spirit in which they were originally brought into being.

Corruption all across the social spectrum happens to be an ugly reality in the country today, which is why it now becomes necessary to go for a thorough inquiry into the activities of those who have been indulging in it for years on end. While citizens are shocked at the demands made by the two BCL men on the VC for a share of the money allotted for the development of Jahangirnagar University, they cannot at the same time comprehend the precipitous decline which student politics has been going through in the last many years. There was a time in our history was when student politics rested on noble principles aimed at the emancipation of the masses and that over a long period of time went into adding substance into the national struggle for freedom. In other words, student politics in the past enriched national history, with the Chhatra League playing a pivotal role in the making of that history. It is unfortunate that today the old idealism is gone and student leaders have the gall to approach the VC of a university and apply pressure on her for a share of university development-related money.

Corruption has been nibbling away at the vitals of our society. It therefore becomes crucial for the government to clamp down hard on those who have been involved in corrupt dealings for years. And we do not mean only student leaders. We note that the other day the Prime Minister advised the police to relate to citizens as their friends. The expression of sentiment is welcome, given particularly the fact that allegations of corruption against the police have been many over the years despite repeated promises by the administration to deal with them. Citizens ought to be given reasons to be proud of the role of the police in their lives.

Multifarious have been the areas where corruption has been making steady and brazen inroads. Let the Anti-Corruption Commission be armed with the necessary powers to act independently and go after corruption and its purveyors.

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