This article is not really about Anna Hazare but a link that I have attached talks about him….

The USA and the small country of Singapore deal with the same problem in a very different manner. One has solved the problem, the other has not and will not.

In Singapore if you are caught with drugs, you are punished. Heavily. You could face death. Does not matter if you had a small quantity or huge.

In the US if you are caught with drugs, you could be prosecuted, tried..etc. but not really punished too harshly.

If you want to solve a problem, catch the CONSUMER. If a man is caught visiting a prostitute (assuming that prostitution is a problem and you want to solve it) catch the man, take his photograph, ALLOW only his wife or children to post bail, and keep a huge penalty (Rs. 50,000 for the first offence?) – this will cripple the industry.

Now if all the people who supported Anna Hazare are willing to undergo 1/millionth the trouble that AH went through, had a portion of his conviction, and are willing to say ‘we will not pay bribes, come what may’ would be far more useful. If we are going back to our old bad habits …..well read on…

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  1. Subra,

    As always, you hit the nail on the head. We are so conditioned to corruption that we fail to recognize it -especially when we are the perpetrators.

  2. I agree with all of the points mentioned in the link. Some of my related thoughts can be found at:
    Self-cleansing by PLU(people like us) is necessary for eradicating corruption.
    However, Lokpal Bill may be viewed differently. Lokpal Bill provisions need not be viewed as an extra level of bureaucracy. Lokpal bill provisions may be viewed as giving more teeth to existing institutions like CVC under a different name. If the second viewpoint is true, then there is no harm in doing self-cleansing and Lokpal-bill-like-agitation simultaneously. There is no need to first cleanse ourself and then throw stones. If we are dirty, let us honestly resolve to clean ourselves. Simultaneously, let us not wait any more to throw stones at bigger fishes.

  3. Sir
    Modified sanskrit saying truly represents democracy “YETHA PRAJA,TETHA RAJA”
    As we all are so are our politicians i.e corrupt.
    Truth sucks …..

  4. actually Rajaji (C Rajagopalachari) used 2 statements AGAINST the government’s entry into business (PSU).

    He said ‘Yetha Raja, thatha Praja’ – the King sets an example is the obvious meaning and

    ‘Raja bane vyapari, Praja bane Bhikari’

    both have been proved right!!

  5. Subra

    The ‘man’ has to be caught first. The people responsible for catching him will take some bribes and let him go. If Rs 50,000 is the bail money required anybody will pay 5000 as bribe.

  6. no as fine amounts go up, the bribing increases cost of doing business – and makes sure the business goes away. Or the business goes underground. In this case, there will be a huge competition for catching the ‘user’ the business will get closed down. If cities have so many men (labour) who stay alone…prostitution will invariably go away from professionals in one location to amateurs all over the place…

  7. i disagree.totally.bribe payment is often a victimless crime.i might pay bribe because the damn law is an should not even exist. laws which seek to protect some vague “public” from a ‘crime’ where there is no victim need to be scrapped first.

    what you are suggesting is the equivalent of the sardarji joke about breaking the child’s teeth because he bites his nails.
    blaming the bribe payer is the easiest and wimpiest solution.

  8. It would be interesting to study the views of Mr.Kaushik Basu ,the Chief Economic Adviser to the Ministry of finance.Government of India who wants a certain class of bribes legalised.the paper is up on the finance Ministry website :
    Wherein he distinguishes briibes as harassment bribes and non harassment bribes and the giver in case of a harassment bribe should have full immunity from any puniitive action from the state.
    As an aside Prostitution is perfectly legal in singapore. Perhaps when more than 80% of the population do not follow a rule perhaps the rule needs to be changed.The road from kings circle to Don Bosco should no be more be a one way if no body is following it.

  9. when the costs of enforcing a law are more than the alleged harm caused by voluntary human action,the law is a mere whim of the cant be based on the principles of natural law/justice.
    hint: IP laws for music sharing etc are on similar might sound outrageous if analysed superficially,but IP laws are also mere whims

  10. Dr Mohammed Ali Khan

    Well said!
    I will say..
    Corruption is always bad?
    watch the movie “Schindler’s list”

  11. While self cleansing is a noble idea, it is not practicable. Instead, knowing how Singapore fights corruption and how it keeps its public places clean (where even our Indians follow the rule!) , through stringent laws will be of practical use for us. In our own country, 25 years ago some people used to smuggle gold and many more used to bribe the babus to get cement quota. Let us ponder how these practices vanished from our society? Can’t we do something similar to this to quickly eradicate corruption, instead of waiting eternally for the people to improve?

  12. Suggesting Indians are somehow more corrupt than others is a perverse racist view. Corruption is a symptom, a malady not a problem. We have govt & polticians controlling or trying to control way too much of our lives. Corruption in this environment is a rational and an expected human response. If you want to reduce corruption, promote economic freedom. Make private property rights inviolable. Take away discretionary powers of burecrats, ministers, govt. Let public resources be ONLY auctioned off and not arbitrarily allocated to cronies and such.

  13. Some other options to reduce corruption would be to adopt technology in a big way (we can observe that we no longer have to bribe officials to get death certificate/birth certificate etc. Personally, I once had to bribe a very junior level official to get a death certificate and felt very ashamed and somehow defeated). Make legal recourse easy and justice timely.Keep abreast with times (Some of the laws and systems are so archaic that they are observed more in breach).Easier said then done, but we have to begin somewhere.

  14. @iarab,

    If by practical you mean easy and doable, I will say that self cleansing is a very practical idea. It is difficult to stop paying bribes for birth certificate, house registration etc. But it is quite easy to stop deliberate cheating of taxes, following traffic rules, insisting on receipts of purchases even if it means foregoing a discount.
    However, I completely agree with you that there is no need to wait till self cleansing is complete. Self-cleansing, Anna Hazare types hunger strike, demanding economic freedom and sytemic-change, all can and must go together.

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