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  • Writer's pictureDean Clark

An Analysis into Local Government Corruption in India

Corruption is a long standing social issue persistent in India. From reportedly 51% of respondents from a survey admitting to paying bribes, to large industries such as telecommunications and coal showing signs of corruption, for the economic benefits of citizens or corporations, corrupt practices are used.

All the way back to post-independence India in 1951, the Industries Act required all operations to receive a license from the government, which limited investments from foreign countries as well as stifling competition, and ultimately led to bribery in politics being ubiquitous. While the Anticorruption Bureau of India was created in 1961 for the sole purpose of fighting corruption, it still persists all throughout the country well into the 21st century.

While there are many schemes present among businesses to benefit themselves, there is local corruption as well. The judiciary and police force were ranked third and second most corrupt institutions in India, which makes an easy way for citizens to bribe to get out of legal trouble on a singular level. Grand schemes among large companies are more prevalent in India than ever, with India growing exponentially, but local corruption is still just as bad under the law.

In property registration, policing, municipalities, transport offices, tax departments, water departments, and the electricity board, bribery is used commonly among people living in India. Sometimes a one off payment, sometimes a recurring tactic, bribery is used to get things done, to push for their own agenda, or to hide something, bribery is apparent in almost all parts of India. One of the main reasons for this is because of the lack of ways to either report it or get the government involved, especially in more rural areas.

Even the largest corporate and governmental scams and corruptions trickle down to hurt the people. Most rampant are the ones of the early 2010’s, as in the Commonwealth Games Scandal, which cost the government $1.8 billion, a telecom fraud, which cost the government $39 billion, and the Colgate scandal which involved the Prime Minister and cost the government $34 billion. All of these show corruption in the government, which desensitizes the idea of a simple bribery to those living in the country.

Both on a large and small scale, there is not enough circulation of the problems and implementation of solutions to fix the issue. The primary step should be to acknowledge the problem faced in government, cracking down first on the largest offenders to show the public there are consequences. Having corrupt institutions such as in the police, tax collection, and public works trickles down and affects everyone, which is worse for people than anyone else.

Locally, there needs to be many changes regarding corruption. Light needs to be shed on the issue locally, either in schools or some other way, and should address and put to a stop bribery and other tactics. As for if anyone sees it, there should be a place to anonymously report it, or some type of service to prevent the spreading of corruption via bribery. As said before, it all trickles down from the top. If the government, wealthy people, or large groups such as police are committing the crime, then other poorer people or groups will follow, making more of the country participate in corruption that should be stopped.

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