“The whole Indian system is bloody inefficient- Says who?”, thundered my pal; Mr. Professional (MP) recently when I was cribbing about inefficiency being the principal ingredient of the Indian DNA.
“Have you ever tried registering your property (site/house)? Then you would have inevitably come across the remarkably efficient bribe system. Everything is fixed. The bribe you pay (over and above the registration charges of course) is either a fixed percentage of your property value; or follows slab-rates depending on the property value. It doesn't end there. Each person's share of this pie is clearly defined beforehand, all the way up to the minister; no less. And have you ever stopped to marvel at the process of bribe collection and distribution?”
I definitely saw sense in what MP was saying. I pointed him to this excellent article by Atanu Dey which explains how trucks are routinely overloaded in exchange for a bribe. I was astounded at the way it works – and how seamless the entire process seams to be. Everyone stands to gain – the lorry operator, the corrupt officials at the check-point, the road construction contractor, and not to mention the babus and netas.
That only charged up MP all the more. He now focused his energies on bashing the LPG cylinder delivery chain. “Do you have any idea why you have to wait for 10 days to even 2 weeks for delivery of you LPG cylinder from the day you book it? It's because the dealers are stocking it up and providing it in black. The process is so streamlined, you won't even suspect something's cooking. You'll even dismiss the delay as yet another manifestation of the Great Indian Inefficiency Syndrome!”
Well, well, well. MP's right this time. The various processes and systems which corruption has spawned should be taught as subjects at the various B-Schools. They're probably six-sigma or better. If only this skill had been put to proper use. And here we are, the educated middle class, who's blissfully putting it all down to inefficiency. Ha!