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The 'efficiency' of corruption

Suresh has asked me to contact the gentleman who told me the story about
the huge bribe that one CM had asked. I have requested a friend of that
gentleman to try to see if that gentleman would be willing to give the
entire story in his own words directly to the Press or whomsoever he
wishes to. 

Only thing, pl. remember: this forum is completely off-Press. Anything and
everything said on this forum is as if it were  a private conversation
among people over a coffee table. That is what the subscriber agreement
says and that is what I want to keep it as. We don't want to burden
ourselves with investigating cases like they do in the Press. 

a) There is no doubt in my mind at least that these cases are true.

b) There is no doubt in my mind that the investigation of these cases is
futlile both in terms of the expense, time and energy, as well as in the
probability of conviction. 

Therefore system-change and system-redesign is what I am personally
concerned with and would rather not waste time chasing one CM to the
exclusion of others. I have chased some (relatively) very small rats for
years in my life, all to no avail. And now I am too old a cat to start
chasing mice again. These mice are all too swift, leave a very difficult
trail to follow, and since the Empire is of the Rats, the guilty rat is
never hung. The Rats re-emerge from all corners since we have this Huge
Temple of the Rat in India.

Let me illustrate:

One friend, an academic teaching economics in a foreign land, and a member
of this list, told me a story recently. Those of you who live in Delhi
might like to confirm the veracity of this story, if you like. But I have
no reason whatsoever to doubt it. 

He had recently gone to Tiz Hazaari to register his land. Outside were
these huge number of tiny shops comprising dalals each with his air-cooler
and "dhanda pani" "yahan baidho saar." All the dalal wanted was Rs.1000 as
fee to get the land registered (over and above the official fee). That was
very cheap (less than $30) and so this friend had no compunction, and
agreed. He went in with the Dalaal. What he found had the look of a

The clerks were working furiously. Such efficiency! Each clerk had a sheet
of paper with the names of the Dalaals written down in one column, and  a
row along each name, where the name of the Dalaal who was currently in
'operation' was ticked off for each time the transaction took place. The
whole operation was over in a jiffy. Land was registered. 

The procedure was completely transparent. The mechanism is 'visible' to
everyone. At the end of the day, the dalaals go to the clerks, pay up what
is supposedly a fixed rate, people wipe the sweat off their brows, and go
home to their wives, richer by a few thousand rupees, perhaps, each day.


By the way, this kind of system was standard in the Old Delhi Railway
station years ago where I enquired of a coolie and found that you had to
pay a huge amount of bribe (tens of thousands of rupees)  to get the
'billa' and the right to wear the red shirt of the coolie (porter). 

Similarly, the political system in India is very 'efficient.' I hope that
the gentleman who told me this story (hint: the "person" concerned loves
his/her cutouts displayed massively across the city/ state) gets the
request and tells us / the Press his story. But even if he does not, I
would not care too much. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that the only
thing truly 'swadeshi' in India is corruption. 

This elderly mother of a friend who had come from India recently said it
vividly: "Corruption has gone into the blood of Indians." She had worked
in the All-India Women's Conference and had seen the misuse of money
(personal use taxi fare being charged as 'samosas', for example). We don't
really need some special confirmation about the existence of corruption in

The only saving grace is: it is only in the blood, and has not entered the
chromosomes.  It can therefore be expunged from India, with a proper


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