The wave of anti-graft protests in India possibly reflects the sense among many Indians that the corruption problem is becoming worse, according to a new Gallup poll. In 2010, almost half (47%) said the level of corruption in India was higher than it was five years earlier, while 27% said it was about the same, the poll released by the noted US public opinion agency on Monday revealed.
The groundswell of public support for social activist Anna Hazare and the anti-corruption movement shows Indians recognize that the problem is endemic in their society, the poll suggested. In response to the 2010 poll, 78% of Indians said corruption is widespread within the Indian government, and 71% said it is widespread within businesses in India. Asked whether they thought the government was doing enough to fight corruption, more than one-third of Indians (35%) said yes, while half (50%) said no. Unemployed Indians were particularly likely to feel the government was not doing enough to fight corruption, with nearly two-thirds (65%) responding that way. Unemployed Indians were also among the most likely to say they recently found themselves in a situation in which they needed to pay a bribe. Bribery remains widespread in Indian society; about one in five Indians (21%) overall said they had faced a situation in the past 12 months in which a bribe was required to solve a problem. Among the country’s unemployed, however, the figure rises to 43% — an indicator that those seeking welfare and job services are among the most vulnerable.
Survey results reveal Indians do not believe the problem is getting any better and many have had to deal with corruption personally. However, the likelihood that systemic change can be implemented largely depends on whether Indians’ underlying dissatisfaction produces sustained public pressure for reform, Gallup said. Gallup said results are based on face-to-face interviews with 6,000 adults, per survey wave. It put the maximum margin of sampling error at ±1.7 percentage points.