No economy, least of all ours, where half the people lead an existence below the poverty level, can support the middle class dream of unbridled consumerism. So it has been quick to learn the ropes of the “world of market efficiency with its corruption and dirty tricks” to fulfill its essentially unachievable dream.
Author's Note: This story draws directly upon my experience of investigating the targeted Public Distribution programme in Bihar between 1996- 2002. The cost of lost opportunity to the poor in this grievously miscarried programme may have been to the tune of Rs. 3,500 to 4,000 crores. Midway the government divested me of the investigation and handed it over to the Vigilance. Not much has been heard of it since then. A thumbnail version of a larger project - the parable of the well paid public servant - implementation of poverty alleviation programmes in Bihar. The wise Mr Dang has a counterpart in real life as indeed any one who cares to read my post The Poor Must Prevail.
Some of the comments on my post, http://www.manojenath.in/
Thanks, but no thanks Mr. Kaushik Basu, have focused more on the scholarly eminence of the author of the idea of "harassment bribe", than on the practicability of its implementation. In an unstated manner, it is also a soft impeachment of my credentials to join issues.
I have thought long and hard before addressing this letter to you. The protocol department has warned me that it is of utmost importance to be politically correct, while speaking to "your children". They are no respecters of persons - especially, if that person happens to be their own father.
Kaushik Basu is so much in awe of his "novel", and "radical" idea to stop corrupt behaviour of public servants that one does not have the heart to administer even a small dose of pragmatic reality.
"Both hands are skilled in doing evil, the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire they all conspire together." : The Book of Micah 7:3 The Old Testament.