81% NRIs have paid a bribe. Are you one of them?

Indians who leave the country’s shores for anywhere beyond 24 hours usually return and find that some things—surprise, surprise—just haven’t changed in the land of Ganga, Cauvery, Krishna and Godavari.

The chief crib of Non-Resident Indians as also of Resident Non-Indians is the monumental corruption—the sleaze, the bakshish, the graft, the mamool, the lubricating of the desi underhands back home.

But look, who’s complaining?

The Association for India’s Development (AID) conducted a survey among NRI delegates who attended the just concluded Telugu Association of North America (TANA) conference by setting up a booth expressly for the purpose.

And—no-surprise, no-surprise—81 per cent of the NRIs, which is four of every five NRIs attending the meet, said they had paid bribes at various stages in India.

According to a report in today’s The Hindu, the NRIs said they had bribed the authorities for getting International Drivers Permit and passports while leaving India. At the time of re-entering India, they had to pay bribes at the Customs and during their stay in India for getting land records.

Of course, it’s a straw poll, it could be wrong. Of course, a Telugu meet does not an NRI ocean make. Of course, there could be a huge sampling error. And, 75 per cent of the respondents may be lying when they say they haven’t heard of the Right to Information Act.

OK, admit it, what did you pay a bribe for?

And do you seriously think liberalisation and privatisation will spell finis to corruption?