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Corruption is a Nash equilibrium: Response

Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
Hi Sanjeev,

I feel we can still be very honest, without being wiped out.

Let me share my personal experience with you.

I  work in a small city, Allahabad, where I was born and brought up. Every
12 years, my city hosts Kumbh Mela, the greatest fair on earth. This is
known as 'Purna Kumbh'. Halfway through, after six years, 'Ardh Kumbh' is
held. And every year, when there is no Kumbh fair, Magh Mela (named after
the Hindi month) is held.

Few minutes from now, the most important bathing day, Mauni Amavasya begins.
Allahabad is very cold now (considering, we live in a hot country). Strong
breeze is blowing. Still, more than 10 lakh devotees are moving towards the
Ganga for a Holy dip. The bathing begins at midnight, and shall continue
till midnight tomorrow.

Now, 10 lakh plus (modest estimate) will bathe at  Tribeni Sangam. In a
radius of 100 kilometres on the East, North and South of Allahabad an
estimated number of 5 lakh will bathe. During Purna Kumbh next year, the
crowd would be nearly five times.

Ninty percent of these devotees are simple villagers. Their faith can move
mountains. Even this is India.  Another India which we do not see. You have
to see to believe it.

I bet most of them are honest. And they have not been wiped out as well!

Regarding our joining politics, I don't think my children or me would like
to join it. Firstly, it is no longer a place for good men. They have been
thrown out of circulation by the bad and the ugly. First, the system has to
be cleansed. No one builds a home on garbage heap. The garbage needs to be

Perhaps the process has started. So many people are thinking of how to do
it. Wheather they succeed or not, still they will pave a path for tomorrow.

I will rather wait for the time to be ripe. The work has begun. IPI being
one of them.

Arindam Roy,
Jupiter Junction
 Phone: 0532-400576

-----Original Message-----
From: Sanjeev Sabhlok <sabhlok@almaak.usc.edu>
To: debate@indiapolicy.org <debate@indiapolicy.org>
Date: Saturday, January 16, 1999 1:21 PM
Subject: Corruption is a Nash equilibrium

>Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
>are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
>I am adding a small proposition to the Theorem of Political corruption
>Political corruption as Nash equilibrium
>* All individuals and all political parties in India would be better off
>with complete transparency in their operations. However, given that other
>individuals or political parties are not transparent and there is no known
>mechanism to monitor the transparency level of others, it is a Nash
>equilibrium for political corruption to continue in India.
>(in other words, if you are not corrupt you will be quickly wiped out)
>Please vet.
>If this is true, then what is the remedy?
>We as citizens have to come together and debate the incentives and
>monitoring mechanism of these political groups at the individual level.
>Basically it boils down to answering the questions I have raised earlier:
>What would it take you to join politics?
>What would it take you to encourage your children to join politics?
>Would the 150 members on IPI please send in their response to these 2
>questions? If you wish to remain anonymous, just write to me and I'll
>keep your names off the list.
>An honest answer to these questions by all of us will lead to the breaking
>up of the never-ending negative spiral that India has got stuck into.
>Let us start answering this question.
>Like I always say: we like to deceive ourselves. Corruption starts with
>each of us wanting to pay less than necessary to get us the high quality
>public goods we need to get from government.  We deceive ourselves that
>government is meant for 'heroes' and great men who will self-lessly live
>on goat milk and provide the great "manna" of high quality public goods
>such as honest government, education, roads, and what have you, from the
>If we will not do a "favor" for India by joining politics and providing
>good governance, then why expect a "favor" from others? You can have one
>or two Gandhis in a millennium. That is OK. But is everyone else going
>to be a Gandhi and provide you good governance by going personally
>bankrupt? Just for the 'glory' of being known as a great hero of India?
>Let us get down to the brass tacks and see what it takes to get good
>people into politics.
>This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
>Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/

This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/