Financial Corruption isn’t the Real Problem

Financial Corruption isn’t the Real Problem BY JAYANT BHANDARI – Mises India

Those hoping to clean up our institutions imagine conducting sting operations, with hidden cameras, to catch the culprits in action. There is nothing wrong with such investigations. Governments should be afraid of the citizens. However, it is erroneous to think that the removal of bribery would solve the problems and defects of our institutions.

Survival in India requires paying bribes. Those who avoided paying bribes are not in the Indian gene-pool. While India is indeed one of the most corrupt places in the world, bribes in their simplistic forms can be seen as extra costs and mere transfers of purchasing power.

Financial corruption is merely the tip of the iceberg of corruption.

The Indian politician and the bureaucrat wastes enormous amount of time and energy on the drama that goes along with bribery. He wants you to kowtow before him. When the money has exchanged hands, he does not do the promised job. More importantly, he is utterly incompetent, indecisive, superstitious, and irrational. Without rationally applying capital and human energy, progress cannot happen.

Their incompetence, superstitious nature, and irrationality are where the real iceberg of Indian corruption is, which cannot be remedied through sting operations or the law.

Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath,
pours milk in Sarayu river during a prayer
ceremony. Would this help the starving
people of India, reduce pollution of the river,
and most importantly discourage Indians
from being superstitious?

Those hoping to clean up our institutions imagine conducting sting

What can you do about the rapid increase in preaching of Hindutva (politicized Hinduism), war against the real or imagined love-jihad, and illegal arrests of dating couples by the police? What can you do about wasting resources on enforcing national anthem on movie-goers, blocking roads to satisfy fragile egos of politicians, or time wastage and soul-destroying humiliation that every Indian must suffer at the government office?

Serious restrictions have been enforced on the ownership and use of cows. This means that a lot of poor people have lost their livelihood and cows face starvation. The apathy of the railway authorities means that day-trains leave with empty seats while desperate people cannot travel. Sidewalks are constructed in ways that they cannot be used. The list of unnecessary problems goes on.

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