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Who doesn’t love lists? There are dozens of lists that come out daily. From celebrity lists to country rankings. And some of them are lists you want to be on. While others are ones you don’t. For example, if there’s a list comparing the strengths of various passports you definitely want your country to be as high as possible. Contrarily a list of corrupt countries is one you never want your country to be featured on.

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Recently, a think tank in Berlin released a list ranking corruption in various countries. And India placed 78 out of 180. Here’s why!

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Corruption In India

Very few Indians would disagree with the statement that corruption is a way of life in India. From lower level officials to higher level dignitaries Indians are consistently taking advantage of their power and position to get their way. This can involve anything from lining their pockets with state funds to employing their relatives in key official positions. And it is exactly this way of life that has earned India its spot on the Corruption Perceptions Index.

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How does the Corruption Perceptions Index work?

The lower your country is on the index the more corrupt it is. And the higher up it is the least corruption it has. The list was put together by Transparency International which is a Berlin-based think tank. Grabbing the highest spot at no. 1 was Denmark. Following that were New Zealand and Finland at second and third. Proving their place as the cleanest countries with the strongest administrations.

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On the other hand, Somalia ranked lowest at 180. Other countries on the bottom of the list included South Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea. These are the most corrupt countries in the world overall.

India on the Corruption Index

India ranks 78 on the Index. This places it precisely in the middle of the list. So while it isn’t the worst country in terms of corrupt it has a long way to go. However, on the positive side, this is 8 places above where India was placed last year. Which means its situation has improved drastically over the past months. Whether this change can be credited to measures taken by the administration is a matter of opinion.

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What makes countries corrupt?

There are numerous reasons for the spread of corruption in a country. For example:

Corruption and Economic Development

According to research the level of corruption in a country in the form of government bribes and kickbacks is directly proportional to the lack of economic development. The poorer a country, the weaker its institutions and the more its amounts of corruption.

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Corruption and Social Intolerance

Statistics show that more corrupt societies tend to be socially intolerant places. This includes attitudes towards religious minorities, racial minorities and the LGBT community.

Social Inequality

Corruption cannot flourish in isolation. So countries that are generally more corrupt are those where social inequality is rampant and generally accepted. If people consider nepotism an acceptable or even bearable way of them then there is no way to stop corruption and social inequality. Only when there is a public outcry against corruption can it be plucked at the root and removed from society.

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Corruption and Taxes

There is a downward spiral that is formed between corruption and taxes. Generally in countries where corruption is high people are less likely to pay their taxes. This is because they believe their tax money will not be used to benefit them. And often rightly so. As a result, the overall tax collection suffers, less infrastructural and social developments occur and there is greater room for corruption to spread.

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Bribes become the norm

Additionally, in countries where corruption is rampant bribes become a norm. Pretty soon every government employee begins to expect a bribe in exchange for his service. And the systems of a country weaken which is ultimately damaging to democracy.

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