You can dress a worm like a butterfly, but it doesn't change anything. As I collect my thoughts around my recent experiences and a few others of paying taxes, they accumulate into a wish for dissent, and sense of shame of where and what we have come down to.

Our government has tried to pursue its citizens to pay taxes and tried to embed a sense of the greater good of such acts over the years and held a few 'camps' too which would make someone think they're thinking out of the box regarding this. I had myself convinced a long time ago, that I would pay taxes. I had complaints about what the government is doing even then, but I told myself, I have to do this to say that I have done what I can to make this country better.

However, if you're supposed to pay bribes in getting your tax papers processed, and again, to collect the finished tax certificate, you are in a system that has gone really bad. The accounts manager of our office has gone till the manager of the bank where these are handled, only to get a "that's just the way it is" as a response. Alas, their way was accepted and the papers collected for an organization of over 75 employees. I have gotten mine, and I see a stray ']' printed one a blank part of my tax certificate and the slip they provide with the tax id number, says my taxes have been paid for 2010 - 2010! I am fearful that these little things will bite me quite hard the next year.

As we talk of moving into a digital age, assuming we have the power situation fixed by the time we set up the facilities for online financial transactions, we still have time to use the internet to some advantage during this time of lawlessness. I propose a website where you can get the running rates of getting something done to be a 'lawful' citizen. I could say I won't pay taxes as a protest, some corrupt policemen and a corrupt bureaucracy will no doubt come and arrest me for breaking the law. So, why not make it easier for ourselves and get a website going where everyone can see and update the rates of bribes for getting things done at the government offices! I would truly love that. Describe the process, how much for the desk clerk, how much for the senior official?

More Tales:
At BRTA, corrupt staff flaunt license to bribe:
Article from The Independent, Aug, 2010
A Look at DMCH:
Article Archived in Facebook
A Probe into Power Abuse by Dhaka Police
Human Rights Solidarity Website
The policeman and the Fish Truck:
Demotix Article, Jan 12, 2011
Rehash of 'that' TIB Report:
Dhaka Mirror Article, Dec 24, 2010
দুর্নীতি দমন: কাগুজে বাঘের হুংকারে আর লাভ হবে না:
Prothom Alo Editorial, Today

Most reports out there are for very major corruption and graft cases, and there is really no fully reported account of what a common man will have to do just for yearly survival and interacting with the public service sector.