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Corruption in India

to bbw
Ingratitude? That's very offensive dont you think?
It's not like the British just woke up one day and say, "you know what, Indian people seems like they could use some help from us, let's bestow upon them the gift of modernization."
We all know why they were in India, let's not pretend that they went there to help. They probably built the rail road to facilitate their effort of exploiting India.
 
Britain robbed India of its natural resources for 300 years and dragged India into two world wars. If it had not been for the colonies, the Luftwaffe would have flattened London and Liverpool as flat as the cornfields in Iowa.
India's GDP has already exceeded UK's GDP and within 30 years it will be 10 times the size of the UK GDP and on par with China and USA. UK will be buried under the weight of its elderly population and the uneducated rioters

India used to contribute 33% of the world's GDP and look where it was after brits left it...

I feel pity to say that the analytical skills of these (would be) quants are at best mediocre.

First off, the British ruled India for 190 years, not 300.

Second off, according to the logic of the above people, Switzerland is poorer than India. Compare apples with apples and not apples with oranges. India's population is 1.2 billion; therefore, it is but obvious it would have higher GDP than Switserland. Similarly, according to your logic, India is richer than Australia/Canada/Singapore. This is but laughable. Also, you forget to mention the massive population explosion that happened in Europe and in the Americas from 1800 to 1950's. In 1947, for instance US population was 144 million. India was 300 million, and US didn't even exist in 1600's. The fact is India's share of world population declined dramatically to about 10%.Probably 50% of the world lived in India back in 1700's. As far as I remember, massive number of people died in Europe due to black death back in 1400 (anywhere between 40-60%). By the the European population would have recovered, India's population would have risen a lot- to make European contribution to would population negligible.

Source- Wikipedia
The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30% – 60% of Europe's population,[1] reducing the world's population from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million in 1400. This has been seen as having created a series of religious, social and economic upheavals, which had profound effects on the course of European history. It took 150 years for Europe's population to recover. The plague returned at various times, killing more people, until it left Europe in the 19th century.
Next time, mention per capita income, not rubbish GDP. It is a massively flawed way of comparing standard of living in 2 countries.

And no the British didn't rip-off Indians. Stop blaming the British. The Indians themselves are responsible for fighting among themselves and allowing British to rule. I never hear Americans complaining that the Britishers ripped them off. Further, Indians were so closed minded that they never allowed Industrialization, resulting in extremely high prices of goods in India (hand made). Whereas, the British produced cheap goods (not because of cheap labor but because of extremely efficient industries at that time).

Infact, I'd say that British gaveIndians a legal system, without which it would be in even bigger chaos. They abolished sati (the act of women burning themselves when their husband died, a very inhumane act). The British gave Indians railroads; ironically, many trains in India continue to run on those some 150 year old tracks, which haven't been replaced- courtesy corruption in India.

But the biggest contribution of the British was the English language; as a result of which many Indians can get jobs in many American multinationals- these jobs though mundane are still better than being unemployed (there are no benefits in India).

Yes, the British did exploit India, but it was nowhere near to what the mughals did- the muslims. They were the true villains. They forced people to convert into Islam, in many cases killing people. There are numerous historical accounts on this, particularly on what Aurangzeb did. They robbed the temples. Also, in a way they converted our open society into a highly closed one. They couldn't tolerate other religions. The couldn't tolerate any change, and when you stop change, the society becomes stagnant.Yes, the British sent mercenaries, but they didn't force people, by threatening to kill them, to convert their religion. In fact, India stagnated the day Muslims started their rule here.

India's peak was in the Vedic times. It ended with the end of the rule of the Mauryan's and the Gupta's.

If British were bad, then the muslims too were NOT any better.
 
But that doctor should not be Indian as India is full of corrupt people and would be quants who have no analytical skills... Go to some other country and get the medical then only you will be believed...
 
As to the question about discussing problems, my answer is that if you DO NOT like this thread, do not comment on this one. Instead, start a new one on how to tackle the problems faced in India. Now, the question is, if you do NOT know the problem, your solutions are useless, and you will end up doing what Mr. Bernanke has done. For this reason, this thread was started.
 
I would request you to kindly enlighten me on what Mr. Bernanke has done.... I thought only Indian policy makers and politicans did wrong things... Are you implying there is one outside India also?
 
Talking of PPP, India's per capita income ranged between 170-200 rupees/annum between 1847-1900 (in 1947 rupees), equivalent to 15-18 rupees/month. The per capita income finally hit 250 bucks in 1947 (20 rs/month). Now my grandpa used to earn 50 rupees/month in early 1970's, and he said that at that time he could feed a family of 8 (eat food like kings) , have a house, and still save. So, I can definitely say that earning 15-20 rupees/month was probably not that bad as it seems to be , and definitely was better than now, with per capita income at 60k/annum (5k/month). You, definitely cannot buy the best of food (for 8 people) , own a home, and still save on that income.

The reason: Inflation. According to a survey in India, money supply rose some 87 times since 1947, and prices rose some 51 times since independence. Ofcourse, prices of many essential items, particularly housing, have risen many more times than this. In Delhi alone (Rohini) prices rose from 50 rs/meter in 1981 to some 2 lac now, 4000 times.
 
I would request you to kindly enlighten me on what Mr. Bernanke has done.... I thought only Indian policy makers and politicans did wrong things... Are you implying there is one outside India also?

Your statement implies that doing wrong is equivalent to corruption, when it is NOT. Further, you also imply that wrong policies is equivalent to corruption.

You are comparing a situation in which a person makes a misinformed decision, either due due to lack of info or due to hastiness, to a situation in which a person deliberately siphons of funds, fully knowing that he is stealing money.
 
to bbw
Ingratitude? That's very offensive dont you think?
It's not like the British just woke up one day and say, "you know what, Indian people seems like they could use some help from us, let's bestow upon them the gift of modernization."
We all know why they were in India, let's not pretend that they went there to help. They probably built the rail road to facilitate their effort of exploiting India.

There's some truth to what you say. But I wonder when people are going to stop blaming European colonialism and becoming a bit more introspective. It's been 63 years since India gained independence from Britain. The contours of the Indian state were laid by the Brits, along with the educational system, railroads, legal system, and civil service. English still serves as the lingua franca in India: rent almost any Bollywood film and a third of the words -- sometimes entire sentences -- are in English. The influence and impact of Britain on India has been enduring and much of it has been positive. It's absurd to blame corruption on the Brits: that's one things the Indians have managed on their own. The day-to-day administration of the British was clean. Indians might legitimately claim they weren't treated like first-class citizens in their own country but they can't complain about the quality of administration and the quality of the civil servants.

63 years after Independence -- and look at the hash the Indians made of the Commonwealth Games, with rampant corruption and incompetence. The Games were meant to showcase India as a modern emerging major power; they did just the opposite.
 
I would also like to add the huge difference between India and many Commonwealth nations that got Independent at around the same time as India. Also compare India with South Korea, which started as poor ( if not poorer) as India back in 1951. It now has Western standard of living. Similarly, Singapore, Australia, and Canada. Singapore is the model of running an efficient, clean, and corruption free state - not just in Asia but around the world. I might even add Hong Kong, which got independence many years later than India or China, and the result can be seen. It is considered one of the best cities in Asia ( along with Singapore to live), and 9 out of 10 expats would choose Hong Kong over any mainland China city or any Indian city.

Finally, just look at the top ranked places on the basis of ease of doing business, Hong and Singapore are right at the top. In fact 4 out of top 10 are commonwealth nations, viz Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia, with South Korea not far behind at 16 ( up from 23 in 2009).

Similarly on Corrutpion perceptions Index, 3 out of top 10 (least corrupt) are Commonwealth nations, with Hong Kong not far behind at 13. Ironically, UK is placed at a distant 20!

P.S Stop blaming the British for your problems.
 
to rishab
I believe Korea was colonized by Japanese, not British. So I am not sure if it's adequate for you to quote it.
Please correct me if I am wrong, so you are arguing that British colonization had actually helped these two regions as evidenced by their economic success after the independence?
Personally, I believe the economic success of HongKong and Singapore is largely the result of their locations. HongKong was and still largely is THE port to China. Since the communist mainland, after civil war, was experiencing tremendous civil turmoil and international pressure, HongKong was one of the few entry points into its economy. Also, as a side note, throughout the one and a half centuries of British colonization, Hong Kong people was never granted the ability to govern themselves. The British just assigns a governor. Talk about democracy, huh?
As for Singapore, its an international trade hub for centuries. Any ships that want to dock in East Asia has to go through there. So its economic prosperity, again, is some what inevitable due to the rise of east asian countries. And Singapore, interesting enough, is still a authoritarian state.
Additionally, I believe it would much more enlightening to consider all the countries and regions that British had occupied before. I doubt that many of them are doing well economically.
I am not saying the British should be responsible for everything happened in their former colonies, but surely you can't ignore the damage they have done.
 
Additionally, I believe it would much more enlightening to consider all the countries and regions that British had occupied before. I doubt that many of them are doing well economically.

The problem with this though is, where do you draw the line? Do we blame modern day rioters in London for the actions of the Norman elite that invaded Britain in the 11thC?

If you take a look at the history of most nations, they are a litany of invasion, counter invasion, warfare and theft. Some countries get beyond it, other haven't. At what point do you stop blaming the previous invader for the actions of today?
 
I doubt that many of them are doing well economically.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_British_Empire.png

But from looking at this map, a lot are. Or if they aren't it is due to very recent developments since the financial crisis, but they still have the infrastructure and civil service of a modern democratic nation.

And looking at Africa, all of the post-Colonial countries, whether they be British, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Belgian, Spanish etc. seem to suffer from many of the same problems - which incidentally India doesn't suffer from.
 
@ Fenzo

Nope I didn't mean to say that Britishers coming to India was all good. As it is always said, there are always some negatives to positives, so too there were negatives with British coming to India.

I didn't mean to say that South Korea was under British. If it did seem so, I'm sorry for not being clear enough.

However, I would argue about Singapore's success. Calcutta and Mumbai were much much bigger sea ports than Singapore when they were under British. The present day Calcutta is a mere shadow of the Calcutta back in early 1900's. Mumbai isn't any better. All the development is happening in NCR. Further, I would also like to add that the most Industrialized/ richest/most developed cities in India happen to be where doing business is the easiest ( Delhi, Gurgaon, and Noida top the list). Therefore, to simply say that trade eradicated corruption is highly lopsided judgement. Just read about of the bill passed to reduce corruption in Singapore back in 1982.

Are you in some way implying that some government is superior than other? I think it would mean that arbitrarily consider some govt. to be superior to another. History has shown that as time progresses many a time , something that was considered superior infact turned out to a failure in hindsight.

After 60 to 70 years of Independence, you CANNOT blame British for the current situation. This is my argument. If you are unsuccessful then it is because of yourself. The biggest inhibitor in the economic growth of any country is corruption, to which ease of doing business is very closely tied.

I can bet you that 90% of those countries that have failed have failed because of corruption. I can guarantee you that none of those countries would be in top 25 least corrupt countries in the world.

In fact, a look at those rankings highlights a close connection between the stagnation in UK and the increase in corruption in UK.
 
The problem with this though is, where do you draw the line? Do we blame modern day rioters in London for the actions of the Norman elite that invaded Britain in the 11thC?

Exactly, and from my point of view, 50 years are more than enough. In fact, anyone who still considers the past invader responsible ( particularly if it happened long time back) is simply using an excuse to hide the failure of the present administration.

The best example, go to Chandigarh, a city developed 50 years ago, and you will feel the difference. This is an example from India.

Another example, Goa. I could find better roads in villages in Goa than in urban areas of Delhi. I couldn't find a single pothole in this place, and this place happens to be on the Western coast, where it rains a lot. A stark comparison -Mumbai. I couldn't find a single properly metaled road in this place, and this place happens to be the financial capital of India!

This huge difference is all because of corruption.

P.S Ironically, the biggest FDI receiver in India is NOT Delhi, NOT Mumbai, NOT Chennai, but Goa!.
 

DominiConnor

Quant Headhunter
India ought to be far richer than China per head, it has a better educated population, English is widely spoken and has a legal system, something China doesn't even seem to be trying to build. It has a rather more entrepreneurial culture, and the government hardly ever murders 20,000 people at a time like in China.
The majority of Chinese nationals people are so far behind the curve that they think that economic growth is a trade off for human rights, whereas Indians actually have rights, so why is India falling behind ?

Corruption is a clear candidate, though we need to dig deeper since China is obviously very corrupt as well.

One factor is that the corruption in China is not ideologically driven as in India. The worst part of the British legacy was a form of socialism that many Indians seem to genuinely still think is a good idea which includes a bureaucratic culture on a colossal scale.
China got communism, but that can be bribed out of the way, so ironically it has a more efficient form of corrupt culture.
 

anujjain

Graduate Student
There is other side of coin too. Corruption is a road block for growth but this is also true that people resort to illegal means when they are deprived of resources. I won't argue about the impact of British rule in current situation but after independence, government had plenty of different issues to take care of leading to less focus on employment generation. I believe that income distribution became more skewed than it was before. These factors played a role in increasing corruption.

Also when you compare India with other countries under colonial rule, you should keep in mind that after Independence, India fought 3 Wars within 20 years. Also, India is a house for so many castes and keeping them together is not a easy task.

I am not saying that giving explanations for problems does any help but rather than just pointing to problems, we should look ahead and see how can we contribute.
 
to rishab,
Trade of course did not eradicate corruption. I dont think I even hinted that.
Corruption, IMO, has a lot to do average income. I believe I saw some amateur research online where the guy ran some regressions and discovered that the correlation between the corruption perception index and gdp per capita is slight above 0.8 around the world.
This result, of course, is far from conclusive - CPI might not perfectly measure corruption and gdp per capita is not a perfect proxy for personal disposable income, etc
But regardless of its drawbacks, it is quite revealing IMO.
And to your second question: NO. I am in no way saying that any political system is superior then the others. Its quite frankly the opposite of what I believe. Some political system work for some countries, some dont. It is simply ridiculous to claim that there is a one size fit all type of political system that everyone has to adopt.
I believe corruption is both a symptom and the source of problems. So you assertion about the source of countries "failures" is premature.
As to NewHaveCT's question: it has nothing to do with drawing any lines, it would make a lot more sense investigating these problems case by case. Besides, comparing sth that happened over 900 years to sth that happend 60-70 years ago isnt really reasonable.
and again, I am in no way saying that India's problem is solely the result of British colonization.
 
And looking at Africa, all of the post-Colonial countries, whether they be British, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Belgian, Spanish etc. seem to suffer from many of the same problems - which incidentally India doesn't suffer from.

It's a complex matter. One school of thought maintains that in the supposedly post-colonial world, the ostensibly free countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America are still controlled by the West -- only that the instruments of control have become subtler (use of finance, bribing or assassinating local leaders, use of soft instruments like cultural hegemony, use of subversion) and the troops are called in only when all else fails (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, ...). I have some sympathy for this point of view. But it doesn't explain everything -- an unexplained residue remains. If a country is determined to develop, it somehow can and will. The colonial legacy and present post-colonial instruments of control can't explain all the failure and corruption. In the case of India, corruption and lack of competent governance predates the British. The British presence was but a blip in the history of India. The Brits never succeeded in changing the culture of the place -- they just worked around it. When they left things reverted to what they had been like before they came. In other words corruption and incompetent governance has been the norm in India for as far back as one can see.
 
As to NewHaveCT's question: it has nothing to do with drawing any lines, it would make a lot more sense investigating these problems case by case. Besides, comparing sth that happened over 900 years to sth that happend 60-70 years ago isnt really reasonable.
and again, I am in no way saying that India's problem is solely the result of British colonization.

FEnzo, I agree you should take it on a case by case basis, but I still think you eventually have to draw a line in the sand. I deliberately picked an item i.e. the Norman invasion that seems absurd, because nobody is reasonably going to blame the modern day residents of Normandy, or their ancestors 900 years ago for England's present problems.

The same is of course true of India, or any other country for that matter. It would be nuts for the French to blame for example the recent riots in poor areas of Paris, for the Nazi invasion of France, so blaming British colonial rule some 70 years ago (and lest face it most of the people who ran the show back then are dead) doesn't really help, in my opinion to expalin a lot of India's present day problems (and I wasn't implying that you putting the blame solely on the British, sorry if it came across that way).

The simple fact is, corruption tends to screw things up and it can happen to any country if the safe guards aren't put in place to stamp it out.
 
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