There is no doubt that corruption is rampant in India. It pervades throughout our country and no one is immune from it. So what makes a nation corrupt? According to Transparency International, the following criteria determine the degree of corruption:
1. Countries with autocratic rule are more corrupt.
2. Countries with low literacy rate are more corrupt.
3. War-torn countries tend to be more corrupt.
4. Countries having low rating in peace have high rank in corruption.
5. Countries that have emerged from a socialist system are still more corrupt.
6. Countries with higher defense budget are high in corruption.
Many of these pointers are valid for India and that explains the high degree of corruption in our country. I would like to add two more points to the ones above:
1. Big government – too many ministries, huge bureaucracy.
2. One party in power right through, barring short periods of time. No checks and balances. Or choices.
3. A growing economy which encourages people in power to make a quick buck.
4. Treating politicians and bureaucrats as demi-gods.
Of course, there are many more countries more corrupt than India. According to the Corruption Perceptions Index (commissioned by Transparency International), India ranks at no.95 amongst 182 countries. The ten most corrupt countries – Venezuela (tenth from the bottom), Haiti, Iraq, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, North Korea, Somalia (the most corrupt).
The ten least corrupt – New Zealand (no.1), Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Singapore, Norway, Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland and Canada.
I do hope we improve our score in the years to come.