India low on integrity

India low on integrity
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First Published: Wed, Sep 24 2008. 12 14 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Sep 24 2008. 12 14 AM IST
India is nearing the status of “rampant corruption” in its public affairs and electoral politics, according to Transparency International’s corruption perception index for this year. While any score below 3 in the 10-point scale is defined as rampant corruption, India is at 3.4, compared with 3.5 last year. We’re slipping, now ranked even lower than China. Why should that surprise us? Poverty is easy to exploit. We do that well: We buy votes, we sell political patronage...
That weakness is open to exploitation by the rest of the world, too. As the global watchdog says, wealthy industrialized countries are letting overseas bribery go unchecked.
What is to stop private companies from such countries from lining the pockets of a certain class of Indian legislators to get a slice of the local market pie? And who is to ensure that humanitarian aid and development funding—domestic and global—reaches the intended beneficiaries? A lot rests on the shoulders of media and civil society.
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First Published: Wed, Sep 24 2008. 12 14 AM IST