How Corrupt is the Government? How Deep is the Ocean?

I am astonished to find that Amit Varma has a less cynical view of government than I have, at least going by this post.

See, the thing is, in a corrupt Indian government organization (pardon my redundancy) there are no half measures. It is not like only Jothikumaran was corrupt. Usually, the entire organization, right from the chaprasi level to the very top, has a stake in the corruption. It is usually an open secret as to how much one has to pay whom for what.  So, it is not like the organizers of the sting operation would have any reason to doubt whether Jothikumaran was corrupt or not. It would be just a case of finding the evidence.  Of course, there are many ethical issues in investigative journalism and there are more when sting operations are involved, but the possibility that the person being stung is actually honest ought not to be one of them.[1]  

Second, I am surprised that Amit seems to think that only bad players need to pay bribes. I wonder why he thinks so.  From what I know of government recruitments, qualified candidates have to pay lower bribes. They are not exempt.  So it is not like someone whose name is being used will have to live with the shame for the rest of his life.

[1] I need to make two points here. First, as a matter of ethics, sting operators should gather sufficient evidence that a person is corrupt even before they sting him. The sting operation should not be a fishing expedition, but a way to get confirmatory evidence. The second point is the one that I have made above – i.e. it is ridiculously easy to “know” whether an official is corrupt or not, if you just ask around a government office.  

4 thoughts on “How Corrupt is the Government? How Deep is the Ocean?

  1. Who will investigate the corrupt influence-peddlers in the media? lol

    Corruption is everywhere. It’s a bit hilarious to expect the media to be ethical in their “sting” operations.

  2. Ravi, it’s remarkably easy to be less cynical than you. 🙂

    Agree with you about government. The point of my post was about the ethics of the way that the sting operation was carried out. I have little doubt that the third scenario I outlined was by far the most likely one, but the point is that the hockey player whose name was used gets screwed in all three.

  3. Excellent point about sting operations. They should be done after confirmed research on the person’s activities, not as a result of insignificant suspicion.

  4. Th entire organisation is questionable.
    Here in the United States corruption flourishes.
    The better game player is always going to win the game and of course, fill their pocketbooks.
    I don’t know of one person who didn’t become popular concerning the tackling of corruption that eventually became the corrupter.

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