19 January, 2021

Merit Is An Abstract Noun

For every bribe taken, there must be a giver. And all of us are equal beneficiaries of the process.

Merit Is An Abstract Noun

WE are used to corruption in India, but its venality has been underlined by the vulgarity of the Sukh Ram-Runu Ghosh drama, complete with lurid images of Rolex watches under beds and money stashed behind images of Gods. Perhaps Hindi films are closer to reality than we thought.

The venality of corruption and the seamier side of Indian public life that it exposes is far more objectionable than its attendant economic implications. Evidence indicates that high levels of corruption alone have little to do with the pace of economic development. South Korea, Indonesia, Japan and Taiwan are all successful economies with huge corruption scandals: Britain, often celebrated as a model of probity in public life, is not. Indices of corruption rank Indonesia, Taiwan and Vietnam as more corrupt than India. The total black income and wealth can be reasonably taken to represent the volume of illegal and malfeasant activity in India. The black economy in India is more than 40 per cent of total legal national income, one of the highest percentages in the world. Yet, my...



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