This weeks The Economist carries a very interesting article discussing a small innovative idea by an Indian to denounce the rampant corruption spread across India. The idea was dreamt up by an expatriate Indian physics professor from the University of Maryland who, traveling back home, found himself harassed by endless extortion demands. He gave the notes to the importuning officials as a polite way of saying no. The notes tend to work because corrupt officials so rarely encounter resistance that they get scared when they do. And ordinary people are more willing to protest, since the notes have an organization behind them and they do not feel on their own.
Simple ideas like this don’t always work but its at least start of resistance against corruption…. The immediate question that comes to my mind – will such a system work in Pakistan, being ranked as 134th country Corruption Perception Index, the 5th Pillar organization has already designed a Pakistani Rs 10 as a Zero Currency, but I believe it still needs to be fine tuned [by a graphic designer?] into maybe in a more commonly used Rs 50 denomination plastered with elaborate markings signifying the importance of this zero denomination and maybe an elaborate explanation, like the ones printed on the back of the Indian rupee, denouncing corruption. Whatever be the plan, I believe we would need to bank roll a couple of billions to even begin to scratch the surface of state sponsored [read Presidency sponsored] corruption