corruption in Malegaon... Please ignore
This is the latest
news from Malegaon. No, not about terrorist attacks and bomb
blasts. Not even of communal riots. The headline which is hitting
the local newspapers since last few days is this. The Anti
New Delhi: Corruption
has virtually enveloped India, growing annually by over 100
percent, but systemic graft can be ended for good, says a new book
by two economic experts.
Bibek Debroy and Laveesh Bhandari also warn that while India has
not been reduced to a kleptocracy, "it appears to be well on its
way to becoming one".
"Undoubtedly corruption has taken over India," they say in their
well-researched book titled "Corruption in India: The DNA and the
RNA" (Konark Publishers) that was released Thursday.
"It rules over the country with its stranglehold in every aspect
of the state and consequently in all aspects of life of citizens."
Debroy is a professor with Delhi's Centre for Policy Research.
Bhandari heads Indicus Analytics monitoring the performance of the
The authors say that corruption and bribery have become "a common
language, a universally recognized medium of interaction and
transaction between the citizens and the government..."
While "lower level bureaucracy and police thrive on bribes and
baksheesh, higher level (depend) on grease money and scams...
"The state withers away and in many parts of India what is left of
the state, it appears, is only held together due to corruption and
a sophisticated system of sharing the spoils."
But the authors argue that Indians are not corrupt by nature.
"Indians aren't necessarily corrupt when they live and work in
other countries that have relatively corruption-free environments.
Therefore, corruption is due to our economic policy-making."
Marshalling statistics, the authors say that big-time corruption
has zoomed since the unleashing of economic reforms in 1991 which
ironically ended the Licence Raj, otherwise always blamed for
The total quantum of corruption money in 1990 stood at Rs.31,546
crore ($6.3 billion), shooting up to Rs.100,095 crore ($20.01
billion) in 2000 and to a much higher Rs.461,548 crore ($92.3
billion) a decade later.
The book says that once corruption "is understood, its foundation
figured out and its mechanism deciphered, it is possible to
address most forms of corruption simply and effectively.
"Ad hoc approaches, or those driven more by emotion rather than a
systematic understanding, may succeed in reducing corruption but
at a very high cost to the economy and society."
Technology, the authors say, "will play a vital role in India's
fight against corruption".
"Though sporadic corruption may be impossible to eliminate for all
times to come, endemic or systemic corruption can be," the book
"Other countries have been able to largely address the problem,
though it may have taken sustained action and many tries.
"In the end, corruption will be eliminated from India through
political action driven by political exigencies."
While the Indian voters may seem to have accepted at one level
corruption as a fact of life, there was widespread disenchantment
at another level.
"In all democratic countries, as history has shown, forces arise
that make it difficult for corruption to be sustained."