Neither a spender nor a buyer be: The Zero-Rupee Note

Is paper money that has no value of no value? The zero-rupee note, issued in India by non-governmental volunteers, is a way to study that question.

The organization behind the zero-rupee note sees it as a way to fight corruption.

The Wikipedia description boils that down: “The notes are ‘paid’ in protest by angry citizens to government functionaries who solicit bribes in return for services which are supposed to be free. Zero rupee notes… are made to resemble the regular 50 rupee banknote of India.”

A Complementary Approach: Dead Reckoning

A parallel approach to the fight against corruption—specially targeting one especially exquisite form of corruption—is taken by the Association of Dead People.

The Association’s founder, Lal Bahari, was awarded the 2003 Ig Nobel Peace Prize, for  triple accomplishment: First, for leading an active life even though he has been declared legally dead; Second, for waging a lively posthumous campaign against bureaucratic inertia and greedy relatives; and Third, for creating the Association of Dead People.

The Association has become persistently active in Indian politics. It is, one might say, a political movement that will not die.

(Thanks to Mark Dionne for bringing this to our attention.)