The Indian Economy Blog

July 3, 2007

The Battle Against Corruption

Filed under: Business — Arjun Swarup @ 6:23 am

I chanced upon this article in the International Herald Tribune, which details an anti corruption effort in the state of Karnataka.

This is remarkable on many levels. One, it harnesses the power of the internet and the blogosphere, to reach out to as many people as possible.  Two, and equally importantly, it helps give a voice to the honest section of the bureaucracy, and throws light on the deep rooted corruption prevalent there, which tends to slip through the cracks, as the focus remains on the politicians.

According to the IHT article, this blog was also inspired by the belief that if the effort was more public, it would prevent a Satyendra Dubey/Manjunath style killing. It seems a bit like wishful thinking to me, but this is really path breaking stuff nevertheless.


  1. Here\’s a link to the IHT article —

    Comment by Skeptical desi — July 3, 2007 @ 9:48 am

  2. Arjun,

    There are two sides to any story. I hope it is as idealistic as it sounds. It only reminds me of a couplet by Dushyant Kumar -”Aasman mein soorakh kyoon nahin ho sakta; ek paththar to tabiyat se uchalo yaaron”. Can’t translate it without losing the punch.

    If the story isn’t as idealistic and there are ulterior motives, whether political or intra-bureaucratic, it would be a tragedy. It would only make people like me more cynical. I just hope I am proved wrong.

    And, yes. Thanks for highlighting. It needs and deserves all this visibilty.

    Comment by pragmatic — July 3, 2007 @ 10:08 pm

  3. One has to wonder why the story did not feature in the Indian media. How many Indians, even those who blog or read blogs regularly, read the IHT online?

    Comment by Shefaly — July 4, 2007 @ 10:56 am

  4. Corruption is so rampant at every level that one wonders -doesn\’t Manmohan Singh know about this? He is the top honcho(although some people think it\’s Sonia Gandhi).Why isn\’t he doing anything? Why do we pay him for,anyway?

    Comment by Gurmeet — July 6, 2007 @ 2:09 am

  5. There is a close connection between economic freedom and corruption.
    Socialism and its license raj corrupted us and wrecked our morals.
    the trickle down effect of that licnese raj is still effective where ever there is lack of tranparency and govt monopoly..

    Comment by K.R.Athiyaman — July 6, 2007 @ 8:15 am

  6. Arjun, the true cost of corruption dawns on you when you work in an environment that is corruption free. Sadly this isn’t going to happen very soon in our land and it’s a long road home for those who tread on the straight and narrow.

    I have thought seminars on the subject should be part of any basic training these days. Companies and individuals need to realise the true cost of corruption. This can be brought about by some amount of education.

    Comment by Nikhil — July 6, 2007 @ 11:54 pm

  7. The IHT article was reproduced in the New York Times, recently

    Comment by shri kiran — July 7, 2007 @ 7:01 am

  8. Very nice article!! We are from Orissa. it is still a big deal to get through the civil service system. The article correctly points to one thing — the Civil Service Systems days are numbered. Many young folks in Bangalore area have no desire to do anything with the government. I am sure the while bunglows, servants, phones, car/jeeps will slowly disappear once the government finds it difficult to maintain those. Incidentally, China his no longer in the business of providing/maintaining housing for its bureaucrats. Rather, they encourage people to get loans from banks. Banks will be happy to lend to government employees if the mortgages can be deducted from the payroll. IT is doing well in India — because the government has less strangulating power on it. I am in favor of the elimination or drastic downsizing of the civil service. India can find qualified people from the national pool to run various organizations. You do not need an IAS officer for that.

    The road to our village was initially to be given to L&T, but it was sectioned into pieces so that the chamchas of politician can taste a piece of the pie. If you drive on this road, better be aware. Every 500 or 100 m you have a section with holes. It is like that for 3 years. No one seems to be bothered with that. Am I the only one affected by it?

    Comment by Raj — July 13, 2007 @ 5:29 am

  9. Something that most people don’t understand is “Corruption Always Starts at the Top”

    Government during the time of kings

    Kings “conquers” land and distributes it to kith and kin

    Government now

    In Democratic Socialist Republic of India Government “acquires” land and distributes it to kith and kin (aka “industrialists”) this is where huge corruption starts at the top….. chumcha politicians get a small share. Yes men bureaucrats takes some leftovers through petty red tape operations.

    Look at the wealth acquired by politicians and bureaucrats through “corruption” since 1947, it is small change compared to the wealth acquired the pirate business men of India through “Government Land Allocations”.

    Corrupt people should be rich isn’t it? our industrialist are supper rich! But then remove the “government land allocations” to industrialist after Indian independence in 1947 and see what assets remains!

    “Yada Raja thatha Praja”

    Comment by General — July 17, 2007 @ 9:16 pm

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