Indians Use Facebook, Twitter, and Mobile Phones to Fight Against Rampant Corruption

A litany of corruption scandals in India have been making headlines for the past year. These scams are being brought to light in such rapid succession that there is now a paper (JanLokpal Daily) and even a hash tag on Twitter #LootLoIndia dedicated solely to breaking this news. This however, in some ways, is heartening. Corruption has been rampant in the country for decades. The very fact that these scandals, once taken for granted, are now considered newsworthy is a sign of new citizen engagement and mobilization.

India’s rapid economic growth has created a new middle-class that refuses to accept the status quo. Urbanization and growth has mobilized a new generation of Indians that expect the fruits of economic development to reach them without being pilfered by corrupt middlemen and bureaucrats. Tens of thousands of Indians rallied around an anti-corruption Bill, the Jan Lokpal Bill last year, hailing its figurehead, Anna Hazare, as the Gandhi of the 21st century. According to a 2011 Facebook report, the Bill was the most mentioned topic on Indian statuses.

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