In whom do we place our trust?

Posted on December 16, 2010 | Author: Tina Edwin | View 489

Politicians, bureaucrats, police, judges, journalists…

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That is the question many would ask these days with the allocation of licences of 2G carried out in an arbitrary manner snowballing into a scandal.
But corruption in high places or among lowly operatives is neither new nor unheard of. Its pervasiveness may, however, surprise many. 
What emerges from Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer 2010 survey released on International Corruption Day last week is that military is the only institution that continues to be perceived as relatively honest by urban Indians. About 17% said military was not at all corrupt.
But military’s stock has declined since 2007. As expected, politicians and police are seen to be most corrupt.
Only 0.5% of the respondents said that political parties were not at all corrupt. The corresponding number for Parliament and legislature was 1.1% and for police 1.2%. 
That was way back in July, when Gallup International contacted 1,000 households across urban centres for their perception of the level of corruption in India.
Remember, much of the controversies and the corruption charges that are currently occupying the public mindspace had not become public 
At that point, 74% of the respondents said corruption level had increased over the last three years and 54% said they had paid bribe at least once to one of the nine institutions in the previous 12 months to get work done.
Bribes were paid mostly to police, registry/permit services and land services. 
As can be seen from the charts, even the religious bodies and judiciary suffer from trust deficit. Only 9.4% of the respondents felt that religious bodies were not corrupt.
The corresponding number for the judiciary and judicial system was 6.8% and for media, it was 7.4%. 
What also came through from the survey was that only 25% of the respondents felt that the current government was effective in dealing with corruption. The world average was 29% and for Asia Pacific, 23%. 
So who does an Indian trust would be effective in fighting corruption? Media — even though its reputation as the incorruptible watchdog too has taken a beating over the last three years. 
Wonder what the same households would say about the level of corruption in the country now.

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