India's "Worthless" Zero Rupee Note

India's "Worthless" Zero Rupee Note

Zero rupee notes were first distributed by the non-profit organization 5th Pillar in 2007. Today, more than 2.5 million of the notes are in use across India. The notes are meant to be a non-violent form of protest against bribery and corruption, and so far, they seem to be very successful. Stories of their use typically describe a citizen handing the note to a corrupt official, who becomes flustered and doesn't pursue a bribe any further.


Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The word "buck" originates from a time when buckskins were used as currency. (0:39)

  • 2

    India's "worthless" zero rupee bank note serves as a tool of protest against bribery and corruption. (2:26)

  • 3

    The ridges on the sides of coins were originally intended to keep people from scraping bits of precious metal off the edges. (6:15)

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