A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Monday, June 06, 2011

Indian anti-bribery site set up

"The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane"
India is not the only country where bribery takes place, but it is probably a leader in bribery being rife at all levels of society. Italians tend to keep it to the inner sanctums of officialdom with a helping of Mafia money on the side. The British do it by an elaborate quid pro quo process, sometimes described as "You scratch my back".

Now an enterprising Indian has set up a site to expose bribery and the bribers. "Tell us your story. Using your stories we'll advocate with the government for an improved system. Together let's fight corruption." - the site is full of stories about having to pay bribes. The website was the brainwave of Ramesh and Swati Ramanathan, founders of a not-for-profit organisation in Bangalore called Janaagraha which literally means "people power".

"Bribery is routinely expected in interactions with government officials", Swati Ramanathan says, "to register your house, to get your driving licence, domestic water connection, even a death certificate."

The thought I have is that if the Indian economy is oiled by bribery, what happens when the bribery ceases? Swati says "We are all also responsible because we end up paying the darn bribes because otherwise you can never get anything done in India." So if the bribes stop, will India grind to a halt?


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