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Submitted by Anonymous on
It is commonly said that doing something about a problem is better than sitting on your hands and doing nothing. This is not entirely correct. For, by doing something, while you may feel better for doing something, you may not be really helping the situation. You may at best dilute your attention from the root cause and at worst exasperate the problem, if what you are doing is not apt. Zero rupee note is this category. To put it simply, it is not a very effective idea. As the novelty wears off - it will have zero impact and will lead to making the situation worse for the individual on the spot. The anecdotes of positive impact, dramatized in the blog, certainly make good reading but not much more. The problem of corruption is a deep rooted one and not specific to a country, culture or era. One has to look at history to see what type of efforts have been more successful than others in fighting corruption. The notable examples come from Singapore, which suffered quite badly due to corruption at one point. One of the factors that helped reduce it significantly was the very substantial increase in the salaries of civil servants, along with the fear of physical punishment. Singapore is a place where public flogging for severe offenses is a strong deterrent for variety of offenses against the law. While this is not being suggested as a recipe for anti-corruption magic formula, it does offer some food for thought in how societies have fought corruption. Only organized and well coordinated efforts, applied over a sustained period, and supported with the political will can make a difference. The pillars for these efforts have to be a) braking the nexus of criminals with politicians, with election reform, b) use of technology to facilitate routine requests of citizens and reporting corruption, c) increasing the deterrence factor by severe and quick reprisals. d) improved awareness among the citizens of their rights and responsibilities. Without such multi-pronged approach, individuals are just as poorly equipped for the fight as the Satyagrahis were to fight the British soldiers. Placing the major burden of this fight on the individual, without organized support is foolhardy and ineffective. The 60 years of Indian history is the proof.