India’s biggest problem is corruption. It is rampant. You want to know why there’s garbage strewn everywhere, why education is poor, why health care is poor, why so many Indian people are poor? It comes from the top – corruption. Politicians, business people – and then it dribbles down to the middle class and lower class. The upper class takes from everyone and everyone else takes from whoever they can: politicians, police officers, rickshaw drivers.

Corruption is such a huge problem I wonder how India will ever get themselves out of this mess? I’ve had Indian people tell me it is just a game, a way of life – how much can I get from the next guy? It’s not even a moral issue anymore – it’s just the way it is. Money goes into unworthy peoples pockets rather than education, medical care and a trustworthy political system.

I read about a couple of interesting initiatives recently. One is an office in Bangalore that has opened to take complaints about police stations that refuse to hear complaints (unless a bibe is paid – right?). What next – an office to take complaints about the office that takes complaints about police stations that refuse to hear complaints? Try to keep up with me ok?

The second is a website called Ipaidabribecom for people to vent their frustrations and tell their story. Have a read:

New Delhi (CNN) — In India if you ask citizens about corruption almost everyone has a story. Bribes and kickbacks have become a part of everyday life for many.

“Every day, I see corruption. So, even if we need licenses and all that, it’s something you put on the table first and then the license comes,” marketing executive Rachit Kapoor said.

“If you go to a government hospital, you will not be admitted for treatment unless you know some employee or you bribe staff,” said Deepak Kotwol, from Delhi. “Your building plans will not be passed until you bribe municipal officials. This has become part of life now.”

Now there’s a website for citizens to vent their frustration, without fear of retaliation. They can click on a link at Ipaidabribe.com and tell their story.

“If you look at the kind of reports that come to us, the emotions of the people who report an experience are of disgust, of anger, of fear,” said Raghunandan Thoniparambil, who helps run the site through a non-profit organization called Janaagraha.

“There are two kinds of corruption. We are basically looking at over-the-counter corruption, what is very widespread but perhaps relatively small amounts but that affects citizens directly. And then you have grand corruption, what happens behind closed doors, people are taking huge bribes, there is a feeling that huge bribes don’t affect citizens so it’s okay, these things happen. But I don’t think so; I think that has very serious implications to the country. And I think one of the biggest problems in India is that our corruption laws are extremely weak,” Raghunandan Thoniparambil said.


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