Zero rupee note that Indians can slip to corrupt officials who demand bribes


29 Responses to “Zero rupee note that Indians can slip to corrupt officials who demand bribes”

  1. Anonymous says:

    @phrosty – Four pillars of free state being – legislature, executive, judiciary, free press.

  2. thisisradionick says:

    Is this tactic effective because a culture of corruption expects honest officials to be on the take? I don’t see this as being effective with truly corrupt officials who just want your money. I am not sure if this is just being cynical. I don’t have any experience with corruption.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “That probably wouldn’t go over so well given terrorism fears.”

    OBVIOUSLY that’s the point.

  4. Anonymous says:

    In Afghanistan, a friend says, a strong arm family moved onto a farmer’s land and built a building there, the farmer took the strong arm family to court and won with an honest judge, the strong arm family had to tear down the building … and then they came in the night and hacked the farmer’s son into pieces … and now the court refuses to arrest or prosecute the strong arm family, saying the crime was unrelated to the court case. Just sayin, there are low levels, and there are high levels of corruption, and then there are high crimes and misdemeanors, even treason, in plain view.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Evil prevails only when good people fail to act.

  6. Nobribe says:

    Though symbolic, at least the Zero Rupee Note takes the fight to the door steps of the Corrupt Officials. Like any other idea, its success will depend upon how many people take to it. However beyond this, we need to be prepared to tackle Corruption as a problem just like health, education & poverty. Read my complete take on the ‘Zero Rupee Note’ way of fighting Corruption in India – . Please leave your comments and suggestions.

    Sanjay Uvach
    Corruption in India

  7. holtt says:

    Perhaps we can create fake cameras (no film, no digital card). People can “take” pictures of police, buildings and other “no-no” topics. But they aren’t actually taking a picture.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think the point of these zero rupee notes are as follows:

    1. Bribery is a serious crime in India, if someone rats you out. At the very least, you could lose your gravy train job.

    2. Anyone who bothers to use a zero rupee note to bribe you is pissed off that you’re asking for a bribe. The kind of pissed that may result in them tattling on you to the authorities.

    3. The actual shock value and reminder of ideals of good governance.

    This last point is probably the least important, but when someone gets these notes, they are doing the total mental calculation: How much trouble to help this person vs how much trouble this person could get me in. In most cases it’sprobably an easy decision to help them, and pretend the whole thing never happened (while still demanding a bribe of the next person to come along).

  9. nanuq says:

    “Perhaps we can create fake cameras (no film, no digital card). People can “take” pictures of police, buildings and other “no-no” topics. But they aren’t actually taking a picture.”

    That probably wouldn’t go over so well given terrorism fears.

  10. greengestalt says:

    America’s problem isn’t so much bribable officials as overbearing ones and countless monopolistic ones heaping on fictional “Service” charges.

    However, there are “Zoning Hitlers” who demand bribes of US$1000 to build doghouses, etc. that might get freaked by it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is a good ideal. I think I’ll support the Republican Party (and other politicans) with my $0 check. And tell them that they may get more if they actually represent me… I wonder if the $0 check is tax deductable.

  12. Hawley says:

    the article does not mention all those who were either beaten or killed for trying to pay bribes with this zero rupee note.

    • Anonymous says:

      the article does not mention all those who were either beaten or killed for trying to pay bribes with this zero rupee note.

      Links? Examples? Just making shit up?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Economically, what’s the difference between a “bribe” and a legitimate fee for service?

  14. Anonymous says:


    It doesn’t mention unicorns or fairies either. What’s your point?

  15. SDeerwester says:

    A number of commenters have said things to the effect “I don’t think that this should have worked, based on my understanding of how culture works.” (With some adding something like “Stupid people.” thereafter). Maybe a more fruitful way to respond would be “In my understanding of culture, this wouldn’t have worked so well. What a great opportunity to see how another, very different culture works, and learn something new!” There’s a lot of interesting cultures out there, and windows into them really are great opportunities.

  16. Phrosty says:

    5th Pillar, the cheap knockoff of 5th Column?

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is cool! Where can I get a large quantity of these printed in US dollars?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Bet this pairs nicely with that Zimbabwean $100 trillion note.

  19. Afterthought says:

    Totally awesome.

    Fight the power.

  20. Anonymous says:

    #14, the answer to your question is “yes”. It works because you have a system where large numbers of basically honest people work in a government system where bribery has become commonplace and it reminds them of who they are and what they should be doing. Very few “corrupt” officials actually see themselves as corrupt, they see themselves as honest, hardworking people working in jobs where “gratuities” are part of the job.

    There is a whole field of psychology devoted to how people convince themselves to do bad things by rationalizing them as good, but the easy lesson to get is that, unless they are crazy, people usually think of themselves as good people who make the right choices. Heck, if you actually thought of yourself as a bad person who did evil things, it would probably drive you crazy.

  21. Anonymous says:

    “…reports from the field suggest that they shock grafters into honesty.”

    Really? If you’re bribing an official, aren’t you doing so to gain access or avoid hassle? Why wouldn’t they just crumble these up, arrest you FOR bribing with counterfeit bills, and/or make life worse for you?
    And #5, I think #4 was speaking rhetorically.

  22. Sork says:

    Why not phish for more?

    Congratulations! This document entitles you a bribe of $5’000’000 (FIVE MILLION US DOLLAR). Please provide your full name, phone and contact address to Mr. Nicholas Igeria at the Very Trustful Bank Inc. (

  23. Anonymous says:

    its very good policy for remove corruption in India

  24. LeFunk says:

    do they make gift cards?

  25. Hanglyman says:

    I know that they sort of explain why these zero rupee notes would shock corrupt officials, but it seems sort of farfetched to me… the examples they list bring to mind a vampire hissing and recoiling in fear from a brandished cross.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Where is my $0 bill?

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