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.
It’s not surprising to see India as one of the most corrupt countries. If it’s possible to earn more money through any means, even developed countries are not devoid of bribes. It runs at high levels in developed nations and not noticeable at low levels. This is quite evident in many Wall Street public companies (investigation started today among Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, etc…old ones like Enron, MCI, etc). Recently there was Oil refineries Government Inspectors that were found to be corrupt, accepting bribes, involved in Sex scandals, getting paid vacations, drinking, etc. The corruption problem in India is so high due to various things: poverty, population, illiteracy at lower & medium levels; greediness at the highest levels for power mongering politicians. Given similar conditions to some of the western countries, they will be only SLIGHTLY better than Indians. Different colors of corruption in the US are playing Golf, taking officials to games, restaurants, paying for vacations, tips, funds drive in elementary, middle, and high schools, giving gift cards in $100’s to teachers, etc.
The only way corruption can be reduced in India is through a BENEVOLENT DICTATOR in power. Democracy won’t help.
Hey, India is better than Pakistan in everything…. even in this case.. Pakistan is at 135!!!!!! 😉
1. Sure, as Indira Gandhi once justified it corruption is universal but most people don’t encounter it on a day to day basis in the U.S.
Having lived in both countries, we can say that corruption is omnipresent in India and it is not in the U.S.
2. You write above: The only way corruption can be reduced in India is through a BENEVOLENT DICTATOR in power. Democracy won’t help.
We like the Singapore model. Lee Kuan Yew has done wonders for the nation.
Even in Sri Lanka corruption is rampant mostly in the govt. sector institutions. I was working in an export oriented company for nearly 10 years.
I know how much money that we pay money “extra” for the officials to get our export documents passed. Mostly it is to the mid and low level officers who do clerical work.
When we go to process the CUSDEC entries (The Customs declaration form) we pay each point a certain amount of Rupees for processing at each level. Rs. 10/- upto 100/- for each endorsement depending on the value of the cargo.
If we don’t pay then we punished by delays and extra scrutiny for no valid reason. So, it’s a normal accepted practise by everyone who does Import/export business.
One thing I missed is that Imports bribes runs into thousands of Rupees. The inspectors and the higher officers charge high rates according to the value of the cargo. Big sums they demand from the businessmen who are doing import business.
It’s rampant. If you don’t follow these rules you will be left out of business. For speedy work done everybody must go through these channels.
This is the state of affairs during year 2000 period. Now, in the 2008 the amount would be running into 300% more due to (Bribe)inflation.
According to the Transparency International Report, Sri Lanka is worse than India.
Sri Lanka came in at No 92 and had a CPI score of 3.2.
Here’s an extract from a recent Transparency International press release on Sri Lanka:
Sri Lanka’s score remains at a low 3.2, indicating a serious corruption problem in the public sector. Neighbouring countries except Bhutan, all score below 3.5. Lack of transparency in political finance and poor parliamentary oversight are quoted as a key governance problem in Sri Lanka.
agreed that india is corrupt but u cannot say that indians are the most corrupt and greedy. we have more moral values and ethics than US people
1. You write: we have more moral values and ethics than US people
We haven’t seen any evidence of those so called “moral values and ethics ” that Indians have. Must be a closely guarded secret!
As for the corruption in India, there is no dispute that India is one of the most corrupt nations in the wold. Most studies including the recent Transparency International report bear this out. Please see the table in the link provided in the previous sentence.
2. True, some folks in the U.S. (particularly the Wall Street crowd and most CEOs including our Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit) are obscenely greedy. It’s this rapacity and greed that has brought about the current economic crisis in the U.S.