Caste corrupts: Some readings


1. Each factor and its probable consequences for the pattern of corruption is explored in this article wherein it refers kinship, friendship, and ethnicity . In Indian situation caste as notion+institution gives more shape to kinship, friendship, and ethnicity than anything else. Here  ‘Parochial Corruption is seperated from Market ‘ Corruption with following understanding-

As ideal types, ‘parochial’ corruption represents a situation where only ties of kinship, affection, caste, and so forth determine access to the favors of power-holders while ‘market’ corruption signifies a virtually impersonal process in which influence is accorded those who can ‘pay’ the most, regardless of who they are. The real world, of course, rarely if ever contains such pure cases; one is more likely to encounter mixed cases in which, say, a politician will do illegal favors only for members of his ethnic group but nonetheless extracts from them what he can in cash, goods, or services. To the extent that parochial considerations predominate, however, the beneficiaries will be those with ‘connections’ such as kinship, friendship, and ethnicity(->caste). Where market considerations prevail, on the other hand, wealth elites will most likely benefit more since they are in a position to make the most lucrative bids. The proportion of market to parochial corruption, and hence the pattern of beneficiaries, varies widely among developing nations. In Southeast Asia, for example, corruption in the Philippines seems to involve a high component of straightforward bidding procedures (or ‘side payments’) that are fixed for all who seek an identical favor.

Please read more   (Title-Analysis of Corruption in Developing Nations)

2. Another research article states associational forms like caste system having  inherent characterstic of a close group can lethal ground for corruption..

 The reasons for corruption in developing countries, however, go much deeper than the factors suggested above. In these countries primary associations are still dominant; family, kinship, caste, neighborhood, village, ethnic origin, and religious affiliations are the associational forms that have the first and the greatest call on individual loyalties.

Read more

3. Following is quite interesting case study gives small insight that  Mr Gandhi’s romanticism of villages and Panchayati RAj is just a farce used merely to fool civil society and create goody-goody picture of Indian rural setting…..

In these accounts, dominant castes are shown to be fairly (but not often wholly) successful in manipulatingthe local police force and judiciary through bribery, influence and intimidation. In studies of panchayats and the police, local government institutions appear to be deeply implicated in the social reproduction of a dominant rural class.

Please read more   (Title-Panel19_Jeffrey)

4.  A direct case made of  bribe discounting caste.

Sometimes the discussion dealt with how someone had managed to outwit an official who wanted to collect a bribe; at other times with “the going price” to get an electrical connection for a new tubewell or to obtain  a loan to buy a buffalo; at still other times with which official had been transferred or who was likely to be appointed to a certain position and who replaced, with who had willingly helped his caste members or relatives without taking a bribe, and so on. Sections of the penal code were cited and discussed in great detail, the legality of certain actions to circumvent normal procedure were hotly debated, the pronouncements ot district officials discussed at length.

Banwari, a scheduled caste resident of Ashanwad hamlet, 25 kms. from Jaipur said, “I haven’t seen the vidhan sabha or the Lok The only part of the government I see is the police station four kms. from my house. And that is corrupt. The police demand bribes and don’t register complaints of scheduled caste people like me.” [Timesof lndia 1989:7]

Read More  (Title-Blurrred Boundaries)

5. This paper observes further the process of individual loyalties infiltrating due to caste virus in general but in practice the caste-virus is much deadlier than any other associational factor. All other factors are natural in their genesis but Caste is a religious design that has features of a mental virus operating even at subconscious level even in  conditions change it alters and exports easily. Though inhuman, caste-virus is observed dogmatically by in-trusting faith into Gods facing backwards. 

The reasons for corruption in developing countries, however, go much deeper than the factors suggested above. In these countries primary associations are still dominant; family, kinship, caste, neighborhood, village,ethnic origin, and religious affiliations are the associational forms that have the first and the greatest call on individual loyalties.

“An administrative system influenced by such traditional loyalties will tend toward an ascriptive rather than achievement-oriented pattern of recruitment. And that is why a person who asks favors from officers belonging to his castedoes not consider his act unethical. Similarly when a government official”fixes” applications and licenses in utter disregard to merit but in accordancewith family and caste loyalties “he is obeying a law of social conductmore ancient than that of the upstart” .

“This is not to argue that India should give up her merit system for recruitment into the administrative services or colleges and universities but only to suggest that patronage-and even corruption when widely applied and involving many individuals from many communities-may facilitate an adjustment to democratic institutions”~~Of course there will be difficulties in applying such an approach in adeveloping country, but Pakistan would seem to have solved this problem to some extent by using an ascriptive-cum-achievement system of civil service recruitment under which 80% of the vacancies in the administration are divided equally among East and West Pakistan and the remaining 20% are filled on merit basis. This problem of regional or communal representation in the public services exists in almost all developing countries the case of Nigeria is one of several examples. Unless the present recruitment and selection system is overhauled, the fears entertained by backward and minority groups and regions will continue. Changes in the existing system can be effected in such a way that each community and region is guaranteed adequate representation in the administration by means of a recruitment program that is based equally on merit and ascriptive considerations.

Any prescription for its (corruption)cure should take into account the social, economic, political and cultural environments. I would like to conclude by summarizing the main point in this article. Charges of corruption generally originate from the modernizing elites-the group to whom the responsibility for political, economic and social development has been entrusted. Trained mostly in Western norms but brought up in a traditional environment, these people abhore the increase in corruption.The modernizing elites should be induced to accept an altered perception of the nature of bureaucratic corruption. The transitional stage of these developing countries would seem to require that, as Herbert Spiro has argued: “. . . instead of the impersonal, machine-like honesty and efficiency of the ideal type of Western civil servant, they may prefer public officials who are more ‘human,’ approachable, amenable to influence, and leisurely than European civil servants under the conditions of highly industrialized, densely populated, and intensively bureaucratized societies.”

Please read more   (Title-Bureaucratic Curruption in Developing Countries)

2 Responses to “Caste corrupts: Some readings”

  1. I would not agree with the comment that ethnicity-caste. That is not true. I probably can understand the point you are trying to reach but as a a matter of fact it is wrong. Do you really believe that castes means same ethnicity ?
    That would mean: Alll Brahmins of India are of the same ethnic origion. Similarly All kshatriyas(warrior class) and vaishyas are of the same ethnic origin. Nothing can be further from truth.
    That would also mean that all Dalits are of the same ethnicity. NOP. Thats not true. If they are of the same ethnicity, they should have same genetic features, which is not the case. I can find all shades of color and type among Dalits as I find them among Brahmins and other upper castes.

    Their is a notion of fairness of skin as being associated with upper castes. I dont think thats correct as well. If you want me to discuss this in detail, let me know but plain and simple fact is that ethnicity has nothing to do with the castes. (There are only 4 or 5 castes in Caste System and thousands of ethnic differences).

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