Cartoons portray corruption amid COVID-19 crisis

Cultural Correspondent | Published: 00:13, Dec 12,2020


Cartoons by Ismail Mahmud, left, and Duronto Shadat Mahbub.

An online cartoon exhibition portraying corruption during the COVID-19 outbreak in the country is under way on the website of Transparency International Bangladesh.

The online exhibition titled ‘15th Anti-Corruption Cartoon Exhibition’ has been organised by Transparency International Bangladesh marking the International Corruption Day, which was observed on December 9.

The exhibition, which features a total 80 works created by 48 cartoonists, gives the viewers a glimpse into fake COVID-19 tests, irregularities in relief disbursement during the COVID-19 outbreak, people stocking up oxygen cylinders, corruption by Regent Hospital chairman Mohammad Shahed and others.

TIB has been organising its annual anti-corruption cartoon competition and exhibition since 2006. This year 130 participants divided into two age groups, namely Group A (13 to 18 years) and Group B (19 to 25 years), submitted a total of 287 cartoons to the event.

A three-member jury comprising Shishir Bhattacharjee, Ahsan Habib and Shahriar Khan selected the winners and cartoons for the exhibition.

Dr Parveen Hasan, chairperson of the trustee board of Transparency International Bangladesh, virtually inaugurated the exhibition on December 9.

The inaugural programme also featured a discussion, titled ‘Durnitibiradhi Samajik Andalane Tarunya: Cartoon O Chitrashilpa’, which was presided over by Dr Parveen Hasan. 

Eminent writer Professor Syed Manzoorul Islam, writer and journalist Abul Momen, member of the board of trustees of TIB and acclaimed cartoonist and editor of Unmad Ahsan Habib, Dhaka University’s faculty of fine arts professor Shishir Bhattacharjee and cartoonist and executive editor of The Business Standard Shahriar Khan participated in the discussion, which was held using Zoom App.

TIB executive director Dr Iftekharuzzaman announced the names of winners of the cartoon competition and moderated the discussion session.

Ismail Mahmud secured 1st position, Asif Mohammad Yousuf secured 2nd position and Tasneem Sameeha Islam bagged 3rd position in group A and Mahtab Rashid secured 1st position, Duronto Shadat Mahbub secured 2nd position and Ruhul Raj Debnath bagged 3rd position in group B. Each recipient will receive crest, certificate and prize money.

To mention a few works, the cartoon by Ismail Mahmud shows a man flying holding a placard with the text COVID-19 test kit wearing a cape showing Tk 1,000 note. The left corner of the work shows people trying to get hold of the person in the sky.

Duronto Shadat Mahbub’s work shows two individuals on a boat hiding relief goods meant for hapless people suffering due to the COVID-19 crisis.

A cartoon by Tanvir Ahmed shows Mohammad Shahed, the chairman of Regent Group sitting on a van named Regent Hospital trying to entice people by offering low cost COVID-19 tests.

The exhibition will continue online.

Want stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up to exclusive daily email