The impact of moral symbols

In India, people are exchanging zero-rupee notes to challenge the culture of bribery. Poor people who don’t have power, or money, offer them to officials looking for rewards.

It’s a challenge, and one that is remarkably creative in our paper exchange system.  It puts people on notice.

The zero-rupee note is effective because it uses the language of money to halt, interrogate, and challenge unjust exchanges.

Religious symbols can sometimes take such roles, but if they aren’t comprehensible, they won’t work.