Recently a state government in India started a 1-800 number for reporting any corruption/bribery that a citizen is facing. In the wonderful world of organized corruption that India has, this is equivalent to reporting a dog bite to a Crocodile. You are essentially reporting corruption to most corrupt of them all, the government.
Citizen: I would like to report a case of corruption please.
Toll Free: Please state your name, your father’s name, caste, DOB and address.
C: Why do you need all this? Is it not supposed to be anonymous?
T: Yes, it will remain anonymous. But we need information. Besides we already know who you are and where you live. We scan all calls.
C: I am being asked for a bribe by junior engineer for providing me with water connection.
T: What is his name, father’s name, caste, DOB and address?
C: How am I supposed to know all these things?
T: Well government cannot work if you do not provide us information. Please go to engineer and ask all these questions.
C: But if I ask him all these questions he would know that I am complaining about bribe.
T:Well..next time please try to have this information. Do you at least know what office does he work at?
C:That I can tell you.
T: Hold on please! (after 5 minutes) Well..I have engineer on the other line now.
C: What do you mean you have him on other line. You are not supposed to tell him.
T: May be you can settle your differences right here. Do you know that both of you belong to same caste. Engineer looks like a reasonable man. If it goes to his higher-ups, you might have to pay even more.
C: I don’t want to report anything now. If I do I will never get a connection.
T: In that case Government is thankful for your time and concerns. You might or might not get a survey in few days about how we did. Please do not waste your or our time as nobody will read them. If you want to complain about us, you can call this number again. But we will not take another complain from the same person till the first complain has been resolved. We also feel that if someone is complaining too much, problem might lie with them. In that case government will file a case against you for wasting our time.
C: Is it some kind of a joke?
T:No sir, it is just your government at work!