Cunning Indians find a way to shame corruption

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Only the the Indians could come up with this cunning attempt at shaming corrupt people asking for bribes.

WORTHLESS currency is not necessarily useless. It can be a pointed way of shaming someone who asks for a bribe. That is the thinking behind zero-rupee notes, an Indian anti-corruption gimmick now attracting worldwide interest. They look roughly like 50-rupee ($0.80) notes; people are encouraged to hand them to corrupt officials, signalling resistance to sleaze. 

Vijay Anand, founder of 5th Pillar, an anti-bribery campaign that launched the notes, calls them a “non-violent weapon of non co-operation”. His group has distributed more than 2.5m since 2007. The idea is catching on: campaigners from Argentina, Nepal, Mexico and Benin have been in touch asking for details. Malaysia is mulling a similar project. And a worthless note will be launched in Yemen next year.

Yemen is usually reckoned to be one of the world’s most corrupt countries. But Mariam Adnan, an activist there, says a new generation may be amenable to change. Her group is handing out 5,000 “honest riyals” in schools and universities. “You have to change minds before you can change laws,” she says.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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