You better hold onto that wallet

Posted: July 20, 2010 in india, rants
Tags: ,

Few days ago I came across this social experiment conducted by Bangalore Mirror; they wanted to see if people would return lost wallets to their rightful owners. They dropped a wallet stuffed with a couple of thousand bucks, and watched to see if people would return it when they found it. They did it at four different places in Bangalore. What is your guess? out of those four times, how many times do you think people tried to return the wallet to its owner? And, by the way, all the wallets had a business card of the owner with his number. I don’t exactly have high expectations from Indians, but the results of this experiment were shocking. Only one person tried to return the wallet, and that person is technically not an Indian. All the other three people walked away with the wallets. Especially shocking to me was the couple who walked away with the wallet they found outside a posh restaurant in M.G.Road. Apparently they were quite rich, and yet they couldn’t resist the temptation to pocket a thousand bucks that belonged to someone else.

This tells a lot about the moral fabric of Indians. Now whenever you wonder why the democracy in India is not working, remember that these same dishonest people are electing the most corrupt of them to rule over us.

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Comments
  1. Anurag Yelkur says:

    What happened after they walked away with the wallets? As in were they asked to return it or what?

    • Nobody says:

      From the details published in the paper, they gave the impression that the wallets were not collected from the people who walked away with them. They didn’t mention this explicitly, so I’m not sure.

  2. Anusha says:

    I am not sure if it has so much to do with being Indian, as it has to being human. Apparently, Vivek read some [scientific] article on what makes someone steal (or pick up an abandoned wallet on the street). Along with easy opportunity, there must be low risk of getting caught. If they come together, most humans are highly likely to steal, it seems.

    It is possible that with Indian system, risk of getting caught is almost non-existent. Esp for the rich.

    • Nobody says:

      @Anusha: I agree; I’m being overly critical of Indians. BTW, I think the chances of someone getting caught for walking away with a lost wallet is very low anywhere, not just India.

  3. Anusha says:

    What I meant was if I register a complaint (an FIR, is it?) of my missing wallet, will it make a difference in India? There are too many more people losing their wallets here – practically difficult to investigate each (I am beginning to theorize that our population is root cause of many issues for us); There is no real central mechanism of tracking things, even if there’s some unique thing in the wallet that is re-used/sold; And the Indian police isn’t exactly whom we Indians trust/rely upon, esp when in trouble. Even if they found the thief and wallet (they usually know the suspects), there’s no guarantee they would not just prefer sharing the contents with the thief instead.

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