'42% of India's youth have paid a bribe'
A majority sees corruption as a 'necessary evil', and has not shied away from paying a bribe - 47% in the 18-21 age group said that they have done so, according to a survey conducted by Hindustan Times.Figuring graftdelhi Updated: Feb 06, 2012 17:03 IST
Demographically, India is one of the youngest countries in the world, with over 50% of our population under 25 years of age. This young generation - with its thriving aspirations and new-found money power - was at its vocal best in 2011.
Anna Hazare may have led the anti-graft movement, but these net-savvy, slogan-chanting youth set Twitter and other social media abuzz and came out in vast numbers to support the retired army man.Yet, a majority sees corruption as a 'necessary evil', and has not shied away from paying a bribe - 47% in the 18-21 age group said that they have done so, according to a survey conducted by Hindustan Times.
The survey, which covered over 7,000 youth across 15 cities in India, painted an unflattering picture of the youth's views on corruption. Almost 40% said that they would not feel ashamed if they had to pay a bribe.
This is the same generation which was chanting mera neta chor hai at Delhi's Ramlila ground not so long back.
"Without paying bribes, you can't get your licence, passport, ration card. Everybody knows paisa bolta hai," said 24-year-old Archana Bhatnagar, a pharmacist in Bhopal.
In India, you pay all your life for things which are essentially free - from a birth certificate to a death certificate. Maybe that's why many think it is ok to get things which one must pay for, for free.
46% don't bat an eyelid while downloading music or movies for free off the internet and nearly the same number said that they have purchased pirated software.
Recently, software icon NR Narayana Murthy lamented that youngsters are seeing the dishonest become "wealthy and powerful, and are thinking this is the way to success."
Let's hope he is wrong.