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Submitted by Nirmal on
Yep.. and that's the Indian Consumer. The old lady story is fine but the vast majority of the corruption is because the old lady is usually poor at all and has in all probablilty encroached upon her absent neighbour's land and wants to legalise that situation. Any of us Indians looking at this page is probably well educated and middle class or higher. While we whine and complain and express horror at the latest transparency international ranking, we're not above bribing the traffic sergeant half the real fine amount when found tipsy behind the wheel. We're not above bribing the water authority engineer to get an out of turn water or sewage connection. We don't mind the railway employees and police living in filthy, barely livable quarters and sending off our maids and carpenters and electricians off to some hole in the outskirts as part of city "beautification" campaigns but we are filled with righteous indignation when their service falls short or the govt. proposes to build better dwellings for them or even give them water (yeah that's right.. Mumbai was in uproar when the state govt. decided to give some water to a slum) People who initiate a bribe are people who can afford it and it quickly embeds itself into an institution and it becomes a burden on those who can't afford it. Another part is that this is a market correcting itself. Govt employees are extremely poorly paid and morale is abyssmal. That there are bribes given for the asking means that their services are priced much lower than what the market is willing to give them..and they seek to rectify at least the financial state by taking bribes. The only solution I see is something implied by someone above.. a concerted effort to better the state of govt. employees combined with strict transparency and performance measures, audits and punishment.