ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

India Inc. and Its Moral Discontents

When and how did corruption become the most urgent crisis facing the Indian nation? This question is yet to be addressed adequately in the ongoing debates on corruption in India. This article turns its attention to the role of India Inc. in shaping the anti-corruption movement which coalesced around popular discontent successfully harnessed by civil society organisations and big corporations with ideological support of global fi nancial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. It argues that the moral panic about the lowered levels of ethical values in society is no longer merely a matter of individual integrity and concern. The urgent actions stem from the belief that corruption has a severe economic meaning for the nation especially to its brand image in the world as an "attractive investment destination". The fear of losing investments underpins the active participation of corporate players in the anti-corruption movement.


India Inc. and Its Moral Discontents

Ravinder Kaur

pressing crisis facing the Indian nation? And in whose interest has this project of moral cleansing of the nation been affected? This line of enquiry opens up some provisional answers that help explain a movement that has built upon a successful coalition of as diverse interests

When and how did corruption become the most urgent crisis facing the Indian nation? This question is yet to be addressed adequately in the ongoing debates on corruption in India. This article turns its attention to the role of India Inc. in shaping the anti-corruption movement which coalesced around popular discontent successfully harnessed by civil society organisations and big corporations with ideological support of global fi nancial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. It argues that the moral panic about the lowered levels of ethical values in society is no longer merely a matter of individual integrity and concern. The urgent actions stem from the belief that corruption has a severe economic meaning for the nation especially to its brand image in the world as an “attractive investment destination”. The fear of losing investments underpins the active participation of corporate players in the anti-corruption movement.

Ravinder Kaur ( teaches Modern South Asian Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

1 Introduction

hile the Arab revolts were challenging the western hegemony to pave way for grass-roots democracy last year, India was witnessing a different kind of mass mobilisation dramatically named by a few in the media as the “second struggle” for Independence. Delhi – like Cairo, Tunis, Damascus and Manama – had become the centre of protracted though nonviolent popular protests with demands for accountability from the corrupt ruling elite. The media even took to describing the protests affectionately as “our Arab spring” and likened the site of protests in Delhi as “our Tahrir Square” – imbuing the event with revolutionary fervour and turning it into a kind of catharsis necessary to purify a corrupted postcolonial nation. That these protests were largely composed of a restless youth population – though reliably steered by a non-partisan “Gandhian” patriarch – only served to make the comparisons to the Arab revolts seem natural. Yet the differences could not be starker. Unlike the uprisings in west Asia that sought to address the societal crises – rising inequality, inflation, massive unemployment, lack of political freedoms and disenchantment with the ruling elite – as political subjects seeking political change, the popular mobilisation in India has primarily been the work of “apolitical” activism more in tune with the Tea Party movement of the United States given its neo-liberal fantasies of “small government”.1

This essay sets out to unpack the economy of the moral outrage we have witnessed the past several months and which continues to occupy a central position on the nation’s agenda. The prime question that needs to be asked then is, how and when did corruption become the most

may 19, 2012

as the techno-elite, professional middle class, the urban poor, the religious and the secular-minded individuals, big corporations, global non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and localised neighbourhood associations. Three crucial interrelated developments within the Indian socio-political landscape can already be noted in this regard. First, the neoliberal conception of the nation-form as commodity-form that India has steadily transformed into since the 1990s economic liberalisation. The success of the nation is now no longer measured by its ability to secure territory and the welfare of its people alone, it is primarily measured by its ability to attract capital investments and maximise revenues. The Indian nation has acquired a new nomenclature – India Inc. – that is vastly popular within the corporate and policymaking circles. The addition of the suffix “Inc.” highlights the corporate character of the nation that has become its prime identity in the past two decades. It is following this neo-liberal logic of nation as corporation that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is often addressed as the chief executive offi cer (CEO) of India. This popularly bestowed title gains particular currency in his case as he is seen as the main architect of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank-led economic reforms in early 1990s.

Second, corporations as well as global bodies like the World Bank have increasingly become invested in initiating reforms at the social level in India. The widely shared belief is that India is unable to reach its full potential as a global economic powerhouse precisely because of socio-cultural constraints. The culture of corruption – bribes, nepotism, and lack of transparency within the government

– is seen as one of the biggest impediments to complete market reforms. The anti-corruption mobilisation, thus, has

vol xlvii no 20


substantial support from the corporate sector including several corporationcontrolled newspapers and television channels. Third, not only is a corrupt government found detrimental to India’s rise as a great power, the government itself is seen as an impediment in the path to that goal. A particular feature of the anti-corruption protests is the outrage against the government as the primary source and cesspool of corruption. This popular view is in line with the neoliberal belief in “less government” and more market as the path to economic growth and prosperity. In other words, to speak of politics – and anti-politics – of anti-corruption mobilisation in India today only in terms of “the people”, “government” and “civil society” is to miss out on new realities that constitute the reformed Indian nation. Not only do corporations play a dominant though unpublicised role in the currents of Indian politics, the Indian nation itself has been reinvented as a corporate body whose legitimacy is derived from its ability to maximise revenues and profits. This nexus between corporations, global fi nancial institutions and the anti-political populist rage is key to understanding the new agenda of nation’s moral cleansing. What follows is an attempt to outline the corporate logic of the moral panic in India.

2 Nation as Commodity

In the past two decades, the free-market logic of the nation state has increasingly become visible not only in the attempts to patent national commodities, but the nation itself. The nations, especially those most newly reformed such as India, are branded, graded and placed within the global hierarchy of nations according to their success in attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs) as well as revenues from tourism. This commodification of the nation – as a profit-making enterprise – lies at the heart of this great neo-liberal transformation. The unique assets of the nation – its culture, history, natural resources, human labour, locality, and the inalienable essence that makes it authentic – are commodifi ed in order to maximise its capital and expand its power in the global scheme of things. Nationality Inc. blurs the lines between the state and market to an extent that the state no longer merely exists as the “monitor” of the market, instead the market becomes the underlying principle of the state.2 As Jacques Ranciere (1999), recalling Marx’s once-controversial assertion that governments are simple business agents for international capital, suggests, it is now an “obvious fact…the absolute identifi cation of politics with the management of capital is no longer the shameful secret hidden behind the ‘forms’ of democracy; it is the openly declared truth by which our governments acquire legitimacy.”3 The role of the state as an active economic agent – a corporation in search of ever greater profits and revenues – has always existed, the neo-liberal thinking has only brought out in plain sight the well hidden secret: the collusion between the domain of politics and the domain of the economy. In short, the neo-liberal turn has surfaced the disarticulations of the hyphenated dialectic condition that binds the nation with the state,4 and instead fully revealed the corporate logic of the nation. India Inc., the new nomenclature for the nation is, thus, suggestive of the new species of relations between the market and the nation where the Indian state appears as a facilitator for the circulation and maximisation of capital.

A significant part of the economic reforms which opened India to fl ows of FDI, private participation in the domain of government, and withdrawal of the state from the social sector has been the attempt to brand the nation in the global market. As early as 1996, the Indian state had created a subsidiary agency of the Ministry of Commerce – India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) – with the primary task of marketing “Made in India” products around the world. This lagging project was revived in late 2002 by the National Democratic Alliance reform minded government though with a redefined task – to not only showcase Indian brands abroad but transform India itself into a corporate brand. The offi cial brief was now to “celebrate India” as the “destination of ideas and opportunities” in order to bring in FDI as well as invigorate tourism.5 And by 2004, Brand India was set in motion to “build positive economic perceptions of India globally”.6 The new initiative not only formalised the corporate approach to governing the nation, it also confirmed the alias by which the nation is known in the corporate world

– India Inc. – an entity consequently governed by a CEO rather than a political representative.7

One of the key tasks for India Inc. unsurprisingly, then, has been that of image making primarily for a global audience – corporate investors, leaders of global financial institutions and wealthy tourists. Two Delhi-based advertising agencies specialising in place branding were recruited to create a distinctive logo, a slogan and a “business kit” to be presented through glossy campaigns in print and electronic media.8 While one of these agencies is responsible for creating a more popular and vastly visible global campaign called “Incredible India” mainly to attract foreign tourists, the second agency works hand in hand though with little visibility within India to enhance “Brand India” in the global financial markets. Brand India unveils its annual advertising blitzkrieg spectacularly at the World Economic Forum, Davos amidst an assembly of corporate heads, leaders of industrialised nations and functionaries of global fi nancial institutions. The idea is not only to familiarise the world fi nancial leaders about the current state of Indian economy but also to report back on the progress made by the Indian state vis-à-vis economic reforms.

The corporate sector in India together with the global fi nancial institutions perceives the 1991 economic reforms as incomplete and partial, and each successive government is therefore routinely asked to undertake further “unshackling” of the economy and take the reform to its logical conclusion: a fully liberalised market economy without regulatory oversight and constraints affected by the social and environmental costs. Davos is one such prominent location where reformed nations are reviewed in a global setting – the “good governments” are celebrated, whereas those lagging behind are warned and encouraged to follow suit. India Inc. has been both a subject of

may 19, 2012 vol xlvii no 20


celebration and warnings about its inability to reach its potential. The little understood complexities of Indian sociopolitical order – caste stratifi cations, religious divisions, communal violence, and more importantly now, the “culture” of corruption – are often posed as impediments in India’s path towards economic growth. The question confronting the corporate state – an effective image- machine – is: how to create a desirable image of the nation while erasing or minimising the effect of all that “holds it back”? Or more concretely, how to project India as the most “attractive” investment destination in order to lure away potential investors from other competing nations in the world.9 The answer, in branding parlance, is to minimise the “negatives” – associations with poverty, archaic social practices, political turbulence, and corrupt practices – to halt the adverse news fl ow about the nation in global media. This constant quest for an attractive brand image and the fear of the contaminating effect of powerful negatives such as corruption, then, is a partial explanation for the moral discontent that is currently raging in India.

3 Economy of Moral Panic

Anna Hazare’s protest agitation began in the heart of Delhi – Jantar Mantar, a part tourist attraction, and part zone of protest – chiefl y to demand the passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill (People’s Ombudsman Bill) as a strong anti-corruption

instrument. The crowds that thronged the protest site – adorned with symbols borrowed from the repertoire of Hindu nationalists and to the chants of Vande Mataram – in support of the Bill had pitted themselves not only against the government’s version (the Lokpal Bill), but the entire political class as such. And if there was an enemy in this struggle, then it was the fi gure of the politician – usually depicted as a slick character with easily compromised morals and infi nite greed for ill-gotten wealth stashed away in Swiss vaults – that had permeated the popular imagination egged on by the rhetoric of protest. The less visible spokes of the government machinery – the bureaucrats – were found equally guilty of entrenching a system that did not move without adequate grease in the form of bribery and nepotism. In other words, it was the domain of government that had been identified as the root cause of the rot and therefore in need of instant repair. This form of identifi cation also disclosed the collective body of “the people” in a state of isolation from the government. Not only was the government viewed as corrupt, the very idea of state and government was now shaped through the discourse of corruption. Accordingly, the provisions of the people’s bill focused mainly on the conduct and practices of public functionaries which through a series of legislations – disciplinary measures and punishment – could be rectifi ed and controlled. The wider socio- economic landscape – social injustice and inequities

– around which the notion and practice


named as corruption thrives was hardly the focus of the protests.

The most telling aspect of both the competing legislative bills, however, was the stark absence of any provisions to scrutinise corporate corruption. This absence is particularly significant as most of the scams in India are related to murky corporate practices ranging from provision of supposedly mandatory kickbacks, bribes to impart fl exibility to existing rules, purchasing infl uence within the government to ensure friendly policies, evading taxes, and committing fi nancial fraud. Yet, the corporations appear in the debate, if at all, as victims of corruption in the domain of government that hinders the nation’s economic growth. This is not entirely unsurprising in a neo-liberal state where the greatest fear is the fear of failure to attract investments and a slowdown in the pace of economic growth. But what is surprising is the intensity with which this logic has filtered to the core of elite politics in India to an extent that corporate excesses are more or less effaced from the public debate.

Corruption has long been seen as an impediment towards free market and economic growth. And in the anticorruption movement, the corporations have been able to find articulations of their own interests that seemingly are in tune with the public outrage harnessed successfully by the civil society. Even before the popular protests had taken off, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) had issued a statement calling for probity in governance in order “to preserve India’s robust image and keep the growth story intact”.10 This was followed by an open letter by 14 prominent individuals – corporate leaders, reform-minded economists and bureaucrats assembled together under the sign of the “citizen” – who identified corruption as the “biggest issue corroding the fabric of our nation”. The recommendation of the group was to address the “governance defi cit” that had permeated every level of state institutions, and to restore the self-confi dence of Indians in themselves and in the Indian state.11 When the protest began gathering steam, the biggest support to fi ght corruption came from the corporate sector. The corporate leaders expressed their support publicly proclaiming that “we completely support Hazare in his fight against corruption which has been denting India”.12 The corporate voices had not only begun addressing Anna Hazare as a moral crusader, but in one instance also as “prime minister” – the only one morally clean and worthy of leading the nation – to show their disaffection with the elected representatives.13 In other words, the malaise ailing the nation had been primarily isolated within the domain of government, and only by exposing and emptying it out in the public could the nation be put on the path of purifi cation.

The power and influence of the corporations in the anti-corruption movement can be gauged from the fact that hardly any critical voices have been heard demanding corporate accountability. Yet, bribe-giving or purchase of infl uence in the government is often seen by both Indian and foreign businesses as an acceptable practice. In a survey of European firms conducted earlier this year, about two-thirds of corporate employees named bribe-giving as a widespread strategy to win contracts and retain businesses.14 Similarly, a Bribe Payers Index (BPI) found corporate corruption to be rampant in the “emerging markets” and particularly entrenched in sectors like infrastructure development, construction, mining, oil and gas explorations and property development.15 The State’s fear of losing corporate investments and the attendant possibility of job creation and revenue generation means that there is little challenge to corporate corruption. Instead, the neoliberal states go out of their way to facilitate businesses and overlook any excesses. This anxiety of alienating corporations was visible in the controversy over the 2G court case. The union minister of law, Salman Khurshid, chided the Supreme Court for not granting bail to businessmen accused in the 2G spectrum scam. He was reported as saying, “If you lock up top businessmen, will investment come?” to voice his concerns over threat to the pace of economic growth and investment in the nation.16 In this case, 17 individuals were arrested and prosecuted including the former Telecom minister A Raja and several senior executives from some of the largest telecom companies in India. But somehow the corporate executives escaped the harsh probing of their conduct in the public domain whereas the politician involved was transformed into a symbol of all the systemic failures and corruption plaguing the nation. In short, it is the fi gure of the politician that is frequently evoked to rouse public passions in the anticorruption movement while the businesses are either seen as hapless victims of the “system” or kept out of public spotlight when the irregularities are too momentous to be ignored.

4 Global Panacea of Reforms

The excessive focus on government together with the near effacement of corporations from the anti-corruption discourse is neither an accident nor an oversight. Rather it is a reflection of the global processes that began intensifying in the past two decades surfacing civil society as a key player in the domain of governance. Central to this shift was not only the lack of belief in the State’s capability to check corruption, but the fact that the institution of state per se was viewed as intrinsically corrupt. The very definition of corruption, at the height of modernisation theory, came to be particularly tied to the misuse of public offi ce for private gains.17 Any checks against corruption would, then, logically mean checks against the government itself which was now largely viewed through the lens of corruption. This spectre of corruption became a familiar theme that was often played out in the context of the Third World thought to be in particular need of western style rational modernisation and development to overcome the culture of corruption. The anticorruption campaigns, thus, were initiated in harmony with the push for structural reforms in developing countries – more free market equalled less corruption.

In the early 1980s, coinciding with the thrust towards structural reforms, the global institutions such as the World Bank and IMF began turning their focus on the “cancer of corruption”18 on the

may 19, 2012 vol xlvii no 20


one hand, and greater collaboration with civil society organisations (CSOs) on the other.19 This was the moment when one could witness the successful co-option of the robust tradition of protest, dissent and speaking truth to power

  • by ordinary people against hegemons
  • by powerful global institutions to serve its own agendas. While corruption was necessarily seen as endemic in the nation states of the South,20 the CSOs were encouraged and “empowered” as a way to minimise the influence of the corrupt and ineffi cient states.21 This focus on individual cooperation at societal level outside the domain of government was argued forcefully as “social capital”
  • a cost-effective mode that successfully limits the government and promotes modern democracy – by neo-liberal advocates such as Francis Fukuyama.22 The long-standing tradition of public activism for public good was, thus, successfully harnessed to the realisation of neo-liberal ideals of small government. Accor ding to World Bank’s estimates, the CSO sector worldwide is currently worth $1.3 trillion annually employing about 40 million people, and channels financial assistance of about $20 billion to the developing nations per year.23 The CSOs are involved in up to 81% of the Bank-funded projects with a presence in over 100 nations around the world.
  • In a recent report published at the height of the anti-corruption movement, these seemingly disparate themes – of corruption, civil society, popular protests and liberalised markets – were joined together to weave the narrative of moral breakdown in the society and its cost to the Indian economy. The report begins by evoking the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index24 that lists a number of freedoms necessary for a nation’s economic competitiveness (business freedom, trade freedom, fi scal freedom) of which India particularly suffers from the lack of the “freedom from corruption” that could derail its projected economic growth and may result in a volatile and economic environment.25 Nearly one-third of the respondents believed corruption to be particularly detrimental to India’s growth poten tial, while 93% agreed that “corruption negatively impacts the capital market”. The lowered levels of ethical values in the society were no longer merely a matter of individual immorality and concern, they had a severe economic cost for the nation especially its brand image in the world. The issue of personal and corporate corruption – evasion of taxes, for instance – was explained away in terms of tight regulation and high tax rates that help produce corruption in the society.

    The successful harnessing of populist indignation to a cause much favoured by corporations and global fi nancial institutions – of free markets – is best illustrated in the solutions offered to regulate corruption. Here the provisions of the people’s bill promoted by the civil society are mirrored in those favoured by the corporations.26 These include stringent punishment, high penalties and zero tolerance to corruption through the establishment of fast track courts, and special enforcement powers to the Lokayukta, or Ombudsman’s office. Remarkably, in step with the neo-liberal thinking, the state makes reappearance here in its new recommended role as that of a strict regulator of anti-corruption laws and facilitator of suitable conditions for businesses to operate in. In this vein, Chinese state’s solutions to control corruption are often quoted admirably by the business community and these include high fi nes and even imposition of death penalty.27 The Indian model, on the other hand, with its democratic messiness is seen as less than ideal for businesses to fl ourish in. It is ironic that the neo-liberal language of freedoms that is usually adopted to advocate for free markets is rendered speechless when it comes to corruption. Not only does it look towards an authoritarian state such as China for inspiration, it also resurrects the much despised state to provide legal framework to control corruption.

    5 Consensual Politics

    While the anti-corruption protests have been widely analysed, and at times even celebrated, in terms of agonist politics in a non-violent, democratic space, a closer look at the movement, its motives, organisation and opposition shows far more consensual politics at play between the government and the protestors than is commonly believed.28 To begin with, there is hardly any disagreement with the central objective of the movement which is to control and cleanse the public life of corruption in India. The harmful effects of corruption on the nation’s

    EPW 5-Year CD-ROM 2004-08 on a Single Disk

    The digital versions of Economic and Political Weekly for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 are now available on a single disk. The CD-ROM contains the complete text of 261 issues published from 2004 to 2008 and comes equipped with a powerful search, tools to help organise research and utilities to make your browsing experience productive.The contents of the CD-ROM are organised as in the print edition, with articles laid out in individual sections in each issue.

    With its easy-to-use features, the CD-ROM will be a convenient resource for social scientists, researchers and executives in government and non-government organisations, social and political activists, students, corporate and public sector executives and journalists.

    Price for 5 year CD-ROM (in INDIA) Individuals - Rs 1500 Institutions - Rs 2500

    To order the CD-ROM send a bank draft payable at Mumbai in favour of Economic and Political Weekly. The CD can also be purchased on-line using a credit card through a secure payment gateway at

    Any queries please email:

    Circulation Manager,

    Economic and Political Weekly

    320-321, A to Z Industrial Estate, Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400 013, India


    brand image as well as its competitiveness among businesses and investors are well understood by the state as well as the protestors. Though the plight of the “common man” is the rallying cry that mobilises diverse groups and interests – the perception of oneself as victim of corruption is universally shared

    – under the sign of “the people”, it is the goal of greater reforms and economic freedoms that guides this politics of consensus. The differences between the government and the protestors are of a more technical as well as tactical nature concerning the specific details of the regulatory bill and the time duration within which the bill is expected to be passed.

    That the state is as eager to seize the populist issue of corruption – and to be seen as progressive on the economic growth front – is clear from the ways in which it responded to the anti-corruption protests. The protestors were mostly indulged, and if at all mildly rebuked, in a manner that appears in stark contrast to the usual conduct of the police authorities. The police neither seriously attempted to disperse the crowds nor did it pose effective curtailments to contain the protests. And when Anna Hazare began his fast-unto-death the second time around, no one tried to intervene in order to put an end to his chosen form of protest. This could not be more different than the way in which the civil rights activist from Manipur, Irom Sharmila, has been dealt with by the state. She has been on indefi nite hunger strike for the past decade to protest against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) which gives exceptional powers to the army to discipline what are called the “disturbed areas” of northeast India. The most striking reminder of the sovereign state’s power to intervene and disrupt are the leaked images of Irom Sharmila being force-fed through tubes in order to keep her alive. Unlike Anna Hazare’s widely celebrated movement, her cause is not universally shared in the urban middle class electorate as well as the ruling elite. If anything, it is seen as a threat to India’s territorial sovereignty which must be contained through all means.

    The anti-corruption movement has brought in plain sight the unity between what earlier appeared to be different interests within the “new” reformed India. The long-held ambition of India becoming a global power – or what is often believed to be the natural destiny of a civilisational nation such as India – is widely shared within the ruling elite as well as the influential and prosperous middle class. This ambition is contingent to the economic growth rates and the attendant global infl uence they can purchase. It is upon this matrix that the interests of the state, the middle class and the corporations assemble in complete harmony. And this is what probably explains the contrasting outcomes for the two non-violent, peaceful and democratic protests led by a highly successful Anna Hazare and by the largely forgotten Irom Sharmila.


    1 A rich debate on the nature of politics underpinning the anti-corruption movement can be found on the pages of Kafi la, www.kafi

    2 See John Comaroff and Jean Comaroff (2009) Ethnicity, Inc. University of Chicago Press, for close interrelation between government and businesses, especially a case study of the Russian state-run corporation Gazprom.

    3 Jacques Ranciere (1999), Disagreement: Politics and Philosophy, University of Minnesota Press, p 113.

    4 Arjun Appadurai (1990), “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy”, Public Culture Vol 2, pp 1-24.

    5 “Towards Creating Brand India”, The Financial Express, 15 February 2003.

    6 See the official website of IBEF, It is noteworthy that the change in the direction of Brand India’s work coincided with the ill-fated “Shining India” campaign that was meant to instil feel-good optimism within the nation as well as to showcase NDA government’s economic achievements to an electorate about to vote. However, the Shining India campaign backfired though “Brand India” with a similar message continued to thrive unnoticed within India as its target audience was mainly outside the nation.

    7 The popular name change is meant to mark the market friendliness of the nation – and this alias is especially bestowed upon the original reformer of Indian economy – Manmohan Singh. See, for example, the portrait by Ajay Ahuja (ed.), (2009), Manmohan Singh: CEO, India Inc (Delhi: Pentagon Press).

    8 The task of image-making is outsourced to a variety of professionals – from fi lmmakers, bloggers and writers often coordinated by advertising agencies. See Ravinder Kaur (2012), “Nation’s Two Bodies: Rethinking the Idea of ‘new’ India and Its Other”, Third World Quarterly, Volume 33, Number 4, pp 603-621.

    9 This fi xation with India’s attractiveness surfaces with extreme regularity. See for example this news report, “India still a favoured investment destination of FIIs, fi nds survey”, Live Mint-The Wall Street Journal, 21 March 2011,

    10 “FICCI Fears Corruption Will Damage Brand India”, The Hindu, 14 December 2010. 11 “An Open Letter to Our Leaders”, Hindustan Times, 17 January 2011. 12 “Corporate India Says It Backs Anna Hazare”, Deccan Herald, 8 April 2011.

    13 “We Need Anna Hazare’s Leadership”, Mid-Day, 22 April 2011, 2011/ apr/220411-Anna-Hazare-Leadership-Corruption-Jan-Lokpal-bill.htm.

    14 “European Fraud Survey 2011: Recovery, Regulation and Integrity”, Ernst and Young, 2011, p 10, accessed on 12 October 2011.

    15 See Bribe Payers Index 2008, www.transparency. org/news_room/in_focus/2008/bpi_2008, accessed on 16 October 2011.

    16 “2G Scam: Supreme Court Upset with Khurshid’s Remarks, asks ‘Are We Wasting Our Time?’”, 12 October 2011, 2g-scam-supreme-court-upset-withkhurshid-sremarks-asks-are-we-wasting-ourtime-140599 accessed on 16 October 2011.

    17 See B Venkatappaiah’s entry “Offi ce, Misuse of” in David Sils (ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Vol 11, 1968 (New York: Macmillan and Free Press).

    18 James Wolfensohn’s remarks at the 1996 Annual General meeting of the World Bank cited in Paulo Mauro (1997), “Why Worry About Corruption?”, International Monetary Fund Working Paper, Economic Issues Series No 6.

    19 For a detailed view of the workings of the World Bank in this period in India with a particular focus on the controversial Narmada dam project in Gujarat, see Robert Wade (2011), “Muddy Waters: Inside the World Bank as It Struggled with the Narmada Irrigation and Resettlement Projects, Western India”, Economic & Political Weekly, 25 June 2011.

    20 See for example, Cheryl Gray and Daniel Kaufmann (1998), “Corruption and Development”, Finance and Development, pp 7-10.

    21 “The IMF and Civil Society Organisations”, International Monetary Fund Factsheet, March 2011. Also see “Issues and Options for Improving Engagement: Between the World Bank and Civil Society Organisations”, Discussion Paper, 2003, The World Bank, and “Fighting Corruption: What Role for Civil Society? The Experience of the OECD”, OECD Publications, 2003, pp 1-27.

    22 Francis Fukuyama (2001), “Social Capital, Civil Society and Development”, Third World Quarterly, Vol 22, No 1, p 7.

    23 “The World Bank and Civil Society”, web. NEWS/ 0,,contentMDK:20040873~menuPK:34480~p age PK:4607,00.html

    24 India is placed at 56 in this ranking order way below China though more or less at par with other BRIC nations. Corruption and lack of reforms are seen as greatest factors together with lack of proper infrastructure as reasons for India’s mediocre performance. See “The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-12”. World Economic Forum, Geneva.

    25 “Survey on Bribery and Corruption: Impact on Economy and Business Environment”, March 2011, KPMG India.

    26 See KPMG report. For Jan Lokpal Bill, see this link downloads.html

    27 KPMG Report, p 17.

    28 The reference here is clearly to Chantal Mouffe’s idea of agonist and antagonist forms of politics. See Mouffe (2005), On the Political, London, Routledge.

    may 19, 2012 vol xlvii no 20

    Dear Reader,

    To continue reading, become a subscriber.

    Explore our attractive subscription offers.

    Click here


    To gain instant access to this article (download).

    Pay INR 50.00

    (Readers in India)

    Pay $ 6.00

    (Readers outside India)

    Back to Top