Apropos Devangshu Datta’s column “When corruption is healthy” (Viewpoint, February 9), the existence of extremely close and powerful networks based on family connections and shared values is a long-standing historical phenomenon in many, if not most, countries. The US – the land of immigrants and “opportunities for all” – is an exception. But, as the author has noted, there are close ties within particular communities in the US, too. Good laws and efficient enforcement are indeed a part of a more egalitarian society. But the reason the author makes the creation of opportunities synonymous with corruption is not clear. Does he think that advancement for all those who are not part of “old money” families in societies like ours is possible only through corruption — and, therefore, corruption must be supported? This premise is certainly faulty.
Alok Sarkar Kolkata
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