Author Topic: The ₹0 Banknote  (Read 930 times)

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Offline Bimat

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The ₹0 Banknote
« on: December 12, 2013, 03:22:33 PM »
Small change

An increasingly popular weapon in the fight against corruption: fake money

Dec 7th 2013

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.

Such campaigns might be risky in countries where bribes are extorted at gunpoint. But in places where public opinion is already shifting, they could be a useful way of making bureaucrats behave better. Shaazka Beyerle, an expert on civil resistance campaigns, says that using the zero-rupee note offers protection. It shows a person’s affiliation with a larger movement which cannot be brushed aside by one angry official.

Source: Economist
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline chrisild

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Re: The ₹0 Banknote
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2013, 04:52:18 PM »
Under different circumstances there might be some concern about a possible copyright violation. But this "zero note" is a good idea which should be supported, or at least not blocked, by the government. :)

Christian

Offline Bimat

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The ₹0 Banknote
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2013, 04:55:59 PM »
Just noticed that this particular ₹0 banknote is available in different Indian languages.

http://www.5thpillar.org/programs/zero-rupee-note

Aditya
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: The ₹0 Banknote
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2013, 06:53:46 PM »
I can see pros and cons. The most important pro is that anything that fights corruption should get full support, also from the government. The message of the note is loud and very clear.

That's also the most important con. Will the note achieve its goal? If it shames the bribe asker, how will he/she react? With shame, with anger or with obstruction? Would it not be better to refuse giving a bribe in a less aggressive way, with some understanding and an explanation?

Meanwhile, the note could be used very efficiently before a bribe is demanded. Paste it on a handbag, have it printed on a t-shirt, glue it on your wallet, passport, even your forehead, put it on your shop-window, display it on your street stand. Let the world know where you stand on the issue. Fear, rather than shame will kill bribery.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.