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India: the next superpower?: corruption in India

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The momentum of last year’s hunger strike by the anti-corruption campaigner Kisan ‘Anna’ Hazare currently sees India’s parliament wrestling with the formation of a national corruption ombudsman. Hazare’s campaign rests upon the proposition that the democratic ideals with which the Indian state was formed in 1947 are all too often subverted by the self-interest of public servants. Hazare’s supporters argue that this process has two primary effects. First, corruption allows wealthier citizens to access resources and preferential state treatment to which they are not entitled. Second, corruption constitutes a drain on the coffers of many ordinary Indians, in the form of demands for bribes by state functionaries, without which their services cannot necessarily be procured.

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