Ravi ki duniya

Ravi ki duniya

Monday, February 22, 2010


(Corruption is described as a world wide phenomenon, to foreign hand to cancer of our society; needless to say, we have yet to find a remedy to cure cancer... so till then Que sera sera)

* readers are invited to send in their experiences or the experiences of their near and dear ones to share the unique ways/novel methodology we the people of  India employ to grind our axe)

A fable, I came across in my childhood -- Certain prime minister of certain king was honest and hardworking. There was prosperity all over the kingdom. As was not unusual those days as much as in these days, neighboring king sent an emissary to go in disguise, find out the secret of their prosperity. This man went to minister, who was seeing some official files at his residence in candle light. When this man (our emissary) sought a tête-à-tête, minister blew off the candle and lit another. Puzzled, our man asked the reason for this change of candle. Prime Minister replied earlier it was official work so official candle was burning; now while I talk to you it is non-official, so I have lit my personal candle. This folk tale proves that such 'disoriented' people existed in our society in each era.

            If this story is a litmus test of one’s honesty, perhaps, honest men could be counted on one hand’s fingers.  No?  Let us see, as fever has many degrees varying from mild temperature i.e. 990F to 1080F on thermometer, corruption among ‘we the people of India i.e. Bharat..’ is also found in innumerable hues and shades.

1.         How about this one-- a senior official, let us call him Mr. Bhartiya, who while on tour asks his juniors for an insignificant cup of tea enroute for self and family. Later he will refuse to return the tea set on the pretext that “Mrs liked it so much”. Needless to say, that he had a fabulous variety of tea sets in his dining room.

2.         One Mr. Bharatiya I knew would simply ask for a non-descript bottle of whisky from a certain shop.  A bagful of such bottles collected during the arduous dealings of complicated cases, he would carry in the evening to that shop, return all bottles and collect refund under a predetermined arrangement.

3.          Mr. Bharatiya would give to any one, who wanted an important  file to be cleared or some crucial approval on a case, the list of six of his fictitious relatives-- Mr.  & Mrs. Ram Lal, Mr & Mrs. Shaymlal, Mr.  &Mrs Jhanda Singh, to book train tickets and collect refund by evening. Needless to say, that these tickets were always of AC class and from the city where Bharatiyaji was currently posted to the farthest corner of India where railhead could go.

4.         Shri Bharatiyaji when on whirlwind tour to the Area  Offices under him, a week before his retirement, giving farewell speeches and collecting gifts gave a tear jerking speech, expressed his last desire to be of service to human race in general and his employees in particular.  An employee who was facing serious charges of embezzlement .'moved’ by this demagogue and approached Shri Bharatiya for help.  Shri Bharatiya was as calm as sea before a storm.  He gave ‘patient’ hearing without listening a word of what the delinquent said.  Shri Bharatiya assured him that needful will be done, employee was visibly cheerful, just then Mr. Bharatiya asked him for a minor memento, a statue of MahaRana Pratap, the great warrior.  Being Rajasthan and city of MahaRana Pratap, it was no big deal.  He promised to bring one, by evening.  Just when he started walking towards the door Mr. Bharatiya reminded him that since MahaRana Pratap was a valiant fighter and an ace horseman, better the statue be complete with him riding the horse. Our employee reassured ‘Sir, no problem’.  Mostly all the statues depict MahaRana Pratap Mounted on his favourite horse-- Chetak.  No sooner this employee was about to exit, he was called by the boss “and yes it better be 24 carat Gold not 18”.

5.         Government thought it has dealt a fatal blow to corruption prevalent in Toll tax checkposts by abolishing ‘toll’ tax.  Corrupts proved to be more creative than Government would credit them for.  They launched a massive hunt for those imaginary smuggling goods and its smugglers leading to complete and thorough examination of buses, trucks, tempos.  in short anything moving into the city.  Interrogating and insisting to check the contents of suitcases and parcels created such a ‘Jam’ that everyone gave them what they called ‘goodwill’ money to drive past the toll checkpost.

6.         In case you are a non-vegetarian, you know you have to keep a strict vigil on the man chopping the mutton in mutton shop.  As the guy may just ‘throw’ the good pieces  along with bad ones in the name of ‘cleaning’ only to be retrieved later by him.

7.         When a person like Mr. Bharatiya, was asked why he chose to be a dentist.  He replied, one, teeth are 32, two, nobody dies of toothache, three.  Nobody ever gets cured.  It is root canal or bridge, plaque or filling or braces, finally the denture.  During our childhood we believed that bicycle mechanic while looking for puncture on the wheel tube would prick a couple of more punctures through the needle skillfully hidden in the ring on his finger. Similarly, if you once visit a dentist he will drill and strike his instruments in such a way that you wonder, you went for one tooth, but returned with few more ‘shaken not stirred’.

8.         The new recruits when go for medical fitness examination, often find themselves in desperate situations, reason Dr.or X - ray technician or pathologist’s palm was not greased.  They confided in me, they will not ask the ‘examinee’ (new candidate) when to hold breath resulting in the blurred X-ray which is used later to tell him that he has serious lung problems shattering the castles of the poor would - be employee.  Once the desired money changes hands, hold your breath, everything is hunky-dory.  Same formula gives same results every time, every where, be it other pathological tests or eye tests.  This is what I call Science, Science of corruption.  It is no more an abstract Art. 

9.         While being on the subject of medical check ups, how about this one, Doctor giving local or general anaesthesia for some imaginary ailment making a superficial cut on body and stitching it in return for a hefty fees? Don’t believe it.  Believe it, for a medico himself told me this.  Check this one- The parents-to-be go to those sonography centres to find out the sex of the foetus.  They are informed; it is a girl and they will fix (MTP) it, for lowest fees in shortest time.  Believe me! As in most other such cases, it was a boy. (Again nursing home doctor gave this away) Sonography per say is just an allurement for bigger and more expensive things which follow e.g. MTP, related complications and medication thereof.  There are other countless minor cases  like advising to go for ‘caesarian’ despite there being no likelihood of any trouble whatsoever. Reason- Caesarian's fee is several times higher than the fees for normal delivery.   
10.       The winner, hands down, in Medical practice of corruption is, doctor rushing out of OT and informing the next of kin of patient that there is only one lung and the other one is missing.  If you say so, I will replace and install a brand new pair of lungs.  Now that the chest is already open, it will be a  lot more cheaper and lot less complicated.

11.       Lastly, the trophy goes to the doctor who advised the sons of a critically ill businessman lying in ICU where none could see him “life is flickering, one last ray of hope is an injection from Germany, but I wanted your consent as this injection would cost a couple of lakhs.  It is the latest in the series of life saving drugs, hence, rare”.  Sons gladly agreed.  A ward boy, who was making bed there overhead the converstion, took the son aside and said “I can help U save your lakhs of rupees, if you give me just twenty thousand”. Son of the businessman, a businessman himself, promptly promised Rs.20, 000 to that ward boy. ward boy finished his shift, waived at the son, collected his Rs.20,000 and disclosed “your dad died last night itself now they are just trying to extort whatever they can as their last opportunity”.

12.       How true is biblical saying “the meek shall inherit the earth” for it is with this last man in the rung that moral values and ethical innocence is safely preserved.  It is that so called educated and rich class which is the greatest menace to society’s moral fabric for those are the ones who are so very willing and ever ready to make frightening compromises.

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