I am a person who has never been comfortable in any way to confront a situation involving bribery. I just somehow cant grab the hints these ‘People’ offer neither do I figure out how to go about it. Needless to say with the amount of corruption in India, it isn’t that hard to learn as and when the need arises.
Scene: A visit to the Village Office
Purpose of Visit: Requesting OBC Certificate
Belonging to the OBC Category [Other Backward Classes] has a lot of advantages as all my fellow colleagues know. Being born and brought up outside India, it never struck me or my parents how important the certificates proving your religion, caste and creed are in the Indian scenario.
1330hrs: Arrive at village office, fill necessary application forms.
1345hrs: Meet Village Officer, verifies documents. Finds fault with one (apparently not genuine). Asks me to come back next day.
1430hrs: I come home, Pull a few strings. (Told to meet a middle man at the office. He will be waiting for me)
1630hrs: Arrive at village office, rings the middle man up. He sets up an appointment with the Village officer. (He repeatedly specifies I meet him ‘after’ the job at hand is done)
1700hrs: Requested Certificate ready
1715hrs: Meets middle man. He is seated with a number of his colleagues past the normal working hrs. I tell him I got the thing done and hands over an envelope (Rs.500/- ).
Middle man: “No, No, it is ok. I do not need anything, This is just a small job.”
Me: “Are you sure?” .
Middle Man: “No worries”
1730hrs: Call from the party (the strings):
“Why did you not give the money?”.
Me: ”I repeatedly asked him and he said No thanks.”
“Did you give it in front of the others?”
Me: “Yes, only his colleagues, no one else.”
“Ayyooo. Now look what you did! Of course he will not take anything in front of others!”
“Its ok now. I will collect the money later from you”
- There are certain etiquettes, norms which as an Indian citizen we should follow when it comes to bribing someone.
- Since corruption as we all know is so common wherever we turn.. it might as well be better if we had some book on ‘10 Easy ways to bribe your way Around’ ;-)
India is ranked at a dismal 87th in the Transparency International ranking of countries. Only we can help us.