The latest report by Transparency International shows India slipping on the Corruption Perceptions Index by 13 points to No-85.
As anyone familiar with India knows, the godforsaken nation is one of the most corrupt places on Planet Earth.
Whether it’s a village, small town or a big city, nothing ever happens in India without the lubricant of a bribe.
While some may be tempted to blame the high corruption in India on the low salaries of the government servants, we think it’s more of a cultural thing.
Beneath the rhetoric of fine sounding platitudes like dharma, nirvana, karma and moksha, Indians are for the most part a bunch of hypocritical, greedy, thieving swines (with some rare exceptions, of course).
In a sign of how corruption had become woven into the very fabricÂ of the Indian society,Â Bollywood movies of the 70s and 80s routinely used to show bribes being given and accepted, albeit reluctantly, after the giver insists it’s not a rishwat (bribe) but bachchon ke mithai ke liye (just a small something to buy candies for the kids).
According to Transparency Internal’s 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index,Â India had aÂ CPI score of 3.4, which makes it one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
The CPI Score indicates the degree of public sector corruption as perceived by businessmen and country analysts, and ranges between 10 (highly clean) and 0 (highly corrupt).
While corruption is ubiquitous in India, we believe the low literacy and high povertyÂ levels in rural areas make such places a fertile breeding ground for corruption.
As the executive summary of the 2008 Global Corruption Report says:
In India, the total corruption burden on irrigation contracts is estimated to exceed 25 per cent of the contract volume, and is allegedly shared between officials and then funnelled upwards through the political system, making it especially hard to break the cycle of collusion.
Denmark, New Zealand and Sweden are perceived to have the least amount of corruption while Somalia has the highest.
We won’t be surprised if India were to edge out Somalia for the dubious title of Most Corrupt Nation in the not too distant future.