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Corruption in India – I

First we had the NDA government, then we had the UPA government, independence day speeches, republic day speeches, visions like 2020 from Kalam. But corruption continues to be a integral part of Indian life, now in its 60th year of independence. There are two types of corruption in India, where officials who control essential services have to be bribed and the other non-essential. Before I go further, let me also state that there are many officials who are extremely upright and will dispense their duties with the highest ethical standards. What has surprised me most has been the degree of corruption in private enterprise, from IT companies in Bangalore, whose CEOs issue sermons about the future of India to companies across other verticals. Now let me ask you a question we have leaders like Manmohan Singh who have this clean image because he is PH.D in Economics. What has he done in the last two years to really address this issue. Let me give you some examples. The purchase managers in most companies are corrupt without exception. There was a story of a U.S. returned caterer who was trying to establish himself in the Bangalore industrial catering market. Returning with a standard of ethics he knocked on many doors promising quality, service and consistency to many. He made little progress and received advice that he should bribe the purchase managers or admins who run the canteen committees. Faced with mounting losses and against time, he made a couple of entries into established companies. What was very interesting that he started receiving calls from many admins in other companies. So the corrupt admins had their own way of screening out the honest vendors. If you get the business and do not pay up then the most minute foreign particles are detected and payments held up. In the Pune area there are umpteen stories of very mediocre characters who get jobs as purchase managers with lifestyles disproportionate to their income.

If you run a manufacturing unit, there are at least 18 inspector who visit the plant and their sole purpose is not to ensure that the company is conforming to rules but find areas of non-conformance and provide 2 options, very high penalty or decent penalty with a bribe to the inspector. Many honest manufacturers also opt for the second option because of the slow legal system which will harm the overall productivity of the company. Can the finance minister and the industries ministers advise us how to address this.

The next few examples will horrify you. One of my friends his brother died in a road accident in Mumbai. The body was taken to the government morgue. My friend then working out of the country rushed back and went straight to the morgue. The officer there asked him to step out and asked only his friend to come in, he openly quoted the price for releasing the body, he chose not want to talk to my friend for he was in a devastated state. There have been also instances of patients admitted to hospitals in a serious condition and doctors have asked for bribes to start the treatment.

The rich have the means to pay this bribe, what about the poor. Lets assume your maid servant’s husband dies in a road accident and goes to release the body, she will probably have to take a loan to get the body to finish the final rites.

It’s a misnomer to believe that corruption is only where the govt is concerned. It is worse in private enterprise where highly paid individuals go the extra mile to extract more for personal gain.

If you have any stories of corruption please send it to me. What I have tried to highlight are not the petty instances but where even the life of an individual is not respected, even the well compensated will go the extra mile to harass the honest.

16 thoughts on “Corruption in India – I”

  1. Our culture encourages corruption. Tirupati is a typical example. It is belittling the lord that we think he would do favours for us for an expectaton of a future contribution in kind or money. We need to go to Tirupati and pray for the general good and thank him for everything and it should stop there. Contributions are welcome (as long as they are utilized for the general good), but not in exchange for favours from the good lord.

    Corruption Erodes the of Value of Products, People and Service to the organisation. All the resources to the organisation are compromised. An individuals selfishness puts the entire organisations future and the general good of its people at enormous risk.

    We should take the irritating and onorous task of evolving and implementing an auditing/investigative system that catches corruption in private or public institutions. Reward adequately the honest( and not just say that honesty is a given!). Punish the guilty.

    Amar

  2. Dear SIr,
    I am very new to bloging infact I started after GOI banned Blog last month.Can you please advice me on what should be done to improve my blog and make it more popular . I am no computer freak , just a passing knowledge about computers
    Kumar

  3. Rampant is not the word.. it is the life line of the government departments. Take for instance construction departments. In the Military Engineering Services/PWD/Municipal Corporation Executive Engineers.. contractors face a rate card for everything. The rate card goes like this .. for acceptance of tenders 2 to 5 % of value of work, for passing of bills total distribution amounts to 5 -20 % of value of work depending on the size of work. Also the money goes to the person checking the bills to the one writing the check. It includes the peons, accountants, the surveyor or works, the garrison engineers/ assistant garrison engineers / executive engineers / junior engineers/ and what have you.. If the project is smaller the percentages are higher. Acceptance money goes to the Chief Engineer/ CWE / Executive Engineer .. whoever is the accepting authority.

    So now you know why we have such bad roads. The poor contractor who is no less corrupt due to the way things are .. has used the money to grease endless palms which he could have used to buy coal tar/cement and other material to give good quality. He also cuts corners in management and supervision.

    Corruption is in our blood lines.. People say if their dad did it .. so will they.. on both sides of the divide. Sometimes deals get done and amount of bribe finalised by a flick of the eyebrow.. It is too deep..

    There is no such thing as the private sector being any less corrupt or less money hungry.. Why do you think builders give bad workmanship in our buildings with leakages, fresh paint peeling off within a year, malfunctioning switches, .. all are out to make a quick buck. If its not the builder its his workmen, managers and supervisors. Just take it and forget it.. whatever little value we get in our lives from the private or the public sector are bonuses we should have never expected in the first place.

    I value values but dont expect them. Not in India.

  4. I came across a very bad situation at LVO-020 in Bangalore, where everybody is working only for making money everyday and in everything. The roadside beggers are far better than these blady fellows. Even after taking thousands of salary and having secured job and life they are begging for 50 / 100 rupees. From the peon to top officers are expecting one or the other thing to do they duty. Even to issue Statutory Forms even after furnishing all the necessary documents they are asking to come every and make us stand in front of them hours together, they not even offer chairs, if we give some money they will only do all the work and give us the result. Shame SHAME on the part of these blady government system and officials who are wokring and living only for begging. Just because of thiese situations the traders are making some other tactics to avoid these beggers.

  5. Even though we hear from the politicians that they are doing every thing possible to eradicate this peril, all of us acknowledge that it is ONLY A LIP SERVICE.
    The common public is not able to understand the root cause of the problem. The country is burdened with politicians who are in there to make money and not for any social service. Even the exceptional few who are ‘so called clean image’ are also dependent upon the jokers who are facing criminal charges!. While I am not able to come out any idea which can be viewed as an alternative, even if most of the educated youth starts thinking what best can be done to uplift the country, to some extent this problem can be addressed.
    In everyday life we witness most of the individuals who are leading a life beyond their known sources of income. Properties are being amassed and still the public do not view it anything as illegal. Not even a whisper as it is a ill gotten money. In some case general public accept the individual as smart and applauded as a person who knows to survive?
    The noble profession of MEDICINE is today practically a money minting business rather than service. No ethics, values and professionalism. All greed.
    When one dies there is nothing one carries with them.
    I wish we move on for something better…

  6. corruption in india was and is an integral part of our society. My father who is a retired air-force officer and 84 yrs old who started with the royal indian airforce was running after many clerks in the local cantonement office for a water supply connection. Only after a letter from myself ,living in France to the local military commander did things move.Here in france a ex-serviceman is highly respected and not treated like in india. its a shame that my father who has seen action and won the presidents medal had to run after mere clerks in the evening of his retired life for his basic need : WATER.

  7. I think if the vigilance departments become pro active in tapping the croupt officials without wating for a complaint from any individual this will help in at least up to some extent help us in controlling the coruption. When media can expose a sale tax scam in Delhi which is in the same bulding where Vigilance office is there then why not the vigilance department can do this. No individual will take a risk by complaining against a Govt. official as he has to move on in this corupt world. It is a shocking news to know that governer of U.P has stopped the procecution of Mayavati due to political reasons. In fact we need a very strong leader to take actions. I agree that Dr. Manmon Sing is a Clean man but to my openion he is the weekest PM.

  8. Everyone in India is corrupt. From the lowest town official to the the Prime Minister’s office. The country is so corrupt that I have even have to pay bribes to a private business to do their job!

    What the hell is wrong with you peolpe. You all claim to the rest of the world to be so spiritually superior and and so peaceful, and so generous. Yet all of these are lies. But I did not let corruption get to me. I just moved my business to another country! Do you know how amy prpjects and employment opportunities have been lost due to someone wanting for us to but them a “paan” or “murhgi”?

    As an NRI, I vow never to return to India to set up a plant or mine or anything. Thank God my father left that country when I was a child.

    But you have my sympathies. I hope you can encourage people to come forward with their experience with corruption.I hope news media launces more investigation and takes more videos of corruption in action. I know that state and federal police will not lift a finger because they too are corrupt. Infact, the CBI will not even investigate it unless the person is already in jail. What a joke!

    Too bad that countries like China, where the excecute corrupt officials, are going to far outstrip India in terms of everything. But your politicians don’t care. All they want is money, and couldn’t care about the average person. Why you even have murders in your Parliament!!! What a joke!

  9. I am happy that you are fighting corruption. Indian govt is dame corrupt. We did a number of design jobs for various govt departments from Chandigarh. Haryana PWD (B&R) did not pay 30 jobs even after 2 years. Chandigarh deptt did not pay for 3 jobs. They also did not pay for the blady War Memorial monument which they got constructed in Aug 2006 and got it inaugurated by President kalam. Municipal Corporation Chandigarh ran away after getting 2 jobs done. PGI Chandigarh constructed a 2000 sqm dental block and took 13 years and caused death of my partner.
    We entrepreneurs are totally shattered. We took courage and faced these sarkari bastards and struggled for 20 years. What we have in return is unpaid jobs. I have lost all respect for Hinduism. Let Shakaracharya come to a stage and declare that anybody who takes bribe, is supposed to offer his wife, his daughter, his sister and mother for sex to the person from whom he has taken bribe. These saffron clothed persons need to be taken to task for serving only the cause of the corrupt.

  10. I am happy that you are fighting corruption. Indian govt is dame corrupt. We did a number of design jobs for various govt departments from Chandigarh. Haryana PWD (B&R) did not pay 30 jobs even after 2 years. Chandigarh deptt did not pay for 3 jobs. They also did not pay for the blady War Memorial monument which they got constructed in Aug 2006 and got it inaugurated by President kalam. Municipal Corporation Chandigarh ran away after getting 2 jobs done. PGI Chandigarh constructed a 2000 sqm dental block and took 13 years and caused death of my partner.
    We entrepreneurs are totally shattered. We took courage and faced these sarkari bastards and struggled for 20 years. What we have in return is unpaid jobs. I have lost all respect for Hinduism. Let Shakaracharya come to a stage and declare that anybody who takes bribe, is supposed to offer his wife, his daughter, his sister and mother for sex to the person from whom he has taken bribe. These saffron clothed persons need to be taken to task for serving only the cause of the corrupt. gargsk@hotmail.com

  11. There was a corrupt Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives who was harassing industries by taking bribes for storage of petroleum products. he was minting Rs 10 lacs per month though his salary was about Rs 25K. His clerks were fully involved.
    I laid the trap and got him caught in CBI taking bribe red handed. This man is out of job manipulating every where. His nagpur boss is helping him out of the way. But at least this bastard is begging for mercy and ready to pay Rs 20 lacs for giving a favourable statement in court. people should get any sarkari caught for such reasons and make the govt of India to pay for such incidents.

  12. Your point of view touched a chord within me. After I started private practice in 2003, I was horrified to discover the degree and disgusting nature of corruption in the private sector, particularly medicine.
    It is impossible for a young specialist to get even a single referral if she/he refuses to offer cuts/kickbacks. Unwarranted investigations, unnecessary medications, baseless referrals are rife. The hapless patient moves around the intricate web, suffering continuously and paying more and more money.
    The consultant who dares to stay out of this system is ostracised. Family physicians with vested interests convince their patients not to visit this specialist who is ‘junior’ or probably ‘incompetant’ because one never sees much of a crowd at the clinic.
    There is very little even honest minded doctors can do. Patients feel very happy with Family doctors who charge low fees and are always eager to suggest tests and referrals. They never apply their mind that how can their doctor afford such a lifestyle with charging such low fees. The answer is their large income from split-fee. The public at large needs to be more alert and aware and avoid consulting dishonest doctors, who are willing to oblige someone for a monetary benfit.
    And there is no CVC / ACB to punish these people.

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