Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Random Walk: Corridors and Taxes

Dear All,

These-days, I don't get to see Tirtha anymore. In fact, I met him only once: at the very beginning, when I asked him to drop The Asian Age every morning. He, however, assiduously sticks to his job. 

On Sundays, apart from the usual column by Dilip Cherian, the Op-Ed page contains the interview of the week. This Sunday, that is, November 14, it was indeed the interview of the "week". 

Of late, the nation has been seriously battered by scamsters. You are laughing? Please don't. Well, keep a control on your giggles. I understand what you are trying to indicate. In fact, that is exactly what Mr Ribeiro also suggested to The Asian Age. 

Julio Ribeiro did walk along the corridors of power, and that too for a long time. A former draftee in the Imperial (err) Indian Police Service, he has served in the high offices of the Governor of Punjab and Ambassador to Romania. Well, somehow, he could maintain both the sanctity of those offices and along with that, his personal dignity. Inspite of meandering inside the labyrinth of jobbery for around three decades, he came out unsullied and at the moment is busy wielding the sword against the powerful swindlers of the day. 

You don't seem to digest these facts.  You have reached the infinite limit of skepticism. You must be thwarted in a stentorian tone that the Indian nation still and yes, still, boasts of upright human beings who possess a non-breakable spinal cord with a nutritional cerebrospinal fluid at full throttle. 

I tend to digress too much these-days. Coming back to the point in contention; this is what, inter alia, Mr Ribeiro disclosed:

"In Maharashtra, during the Chief Ministership of Vasantdada Patil, the bureaucrats and politicians were not allowed to sell their flats which were given to them at concessional rates by the government. However, when the politicians started indulging in such activities, the IAS and IPS officers also followed suit. A flat of 3.5 lakhs was sold at 3.5 crores"

You know, I must share with you a secret. My salary has increased and I am satisfied with what I get. Interestingly, I have started feeling that probably I have become "rich". That too, in this age of inflation. Such a feeling can be due to two reasons. One, I don't go to the bazaar myself, so am not really aware about the prices of the potato (which, incidentally I tend to avoid in fear of putting on extra mass in wrong places) and dal (which, according to Dr Vandana Shiva, we are heavily importing from Mr Obama's land). And the second, is that I was indeed a poor man, barely ten years ago. 

When I committed my Fundamental Mistake of deciding to pursue a PhD way back in the historical year of 2000, I used to receive an honorarium of five thousand and four hundred rupees. Yes, a mere INR 5,400. And even then, I was satisfied. As a matter of fact, all of us were satisfied. All of us means, "all those hyperfools" who committed the same Fundamental Mistake like me at the turn of the millennium. 

How elated were we when the honorarium long-jumped to ten thousand as per the blessings of the Department of Atomic Energy. 

I have seen 'currency poverty' and hence very well admire 'currency enhancement'. A salary which is meagre to your standards, is making me feel "full". This may be lack of vision, may be. 

By the way, please don't have a misconception that I, the most prominent "hyperfool" of the School of 2000, have not been exposed to a decent amount of currency in my life and that is why some Bapu Notes could buy my happiness. I hereby proclaim that I have been perilously exposed to more than double the present salary that I earn, and that too, barely three years ago, again in a historic year when men and women and children succumbed to bullet injuries when they were 'foolishly' trying to defend their land against an antediluvian Land Acquisition Law of 1894 and feverishly saving their lives from the draftees of the IPS, IAS, and their political executives and their chosen ruffians. The place was Nandigram, in the eastern part of the Land of Gandhi

It appears you are unable to conceive the mind of those "hyperfools". Because such an understanding, for you, is supra-conceptional. 

Nonetheless, again let me come back to Julio Ribeiro's revelations. A civil "servant" commits a most uncivil act of corruption and pockets hundred rupees for an investment of one rupee. A politician is not an accepted creature in the society of civils in any way and nothing is expected of him in any manner. 

On Monday, that is, on November 15, after progressing beside the countably finite potholes of my beloved city (?), when I arrived at the infamous junction near our sole Airport, I saw something. The junction is famous for its traffic jams, if not for anything else. I saw a police personnel, in attire, in glaring daylight, was hanging, yes hanging, and believe me; he was hanging while holding the door of a lorry in motion. What an acrobat he was! You wonder, and contemplate his purpose. 

No, he was not attempting to punish the truck driver for disobeying the traffic signal. He was merely tasking to grab his monetary share; his commission of 'allowing' the truck to pass through. Aare baba, no no, the government takes its tax. This is supra-tax. 

Finally, when the policeman fell from the truck, the ten rupee note, too, fell along with him; I mean both fell strictly obeying Galileo’s Laws of Motion. Inquisitively, I kept a strict vigil on him from my car, which was speeding away at the junction. The policeman did not have the balls to stoop down and collect the note; however, he was in turn keeping a vigilant watch around him. It was a clear tussle between a pair of eyeballs versus hundreds of eyeballs. To him, everyone at the junction was looking at him.

My car sped away and I don't know if the khakee-clad creature could collect his ten rupees.  

Will Mr Ribeiro take a note of this incident? Or is this incident a mere factoid to be dispossessed of cognition? No, this is the Fundamental ingredient which forms a stable part in the concatenation of events which forms the chassis of the 'institution of corruption' in the nation-state called Bharat

Imputations through euphemisms and unwarranted incorporation of metonymy may heavily downsize the frequency of figures of speech overtly related to malfeasance; such an attempt shall, however be nugatory to make the afore-mentioned 'institution of corruption' uncluttered of entropy.

Julio Ribeiro tells us not to be awestruck at the magnitude of corruption involved in the Commonwealth Games or the Adarsh Scam or the Telecom Scam for that matter because, according to him, such scams are going on 'for ages'.

As an insider, his views do not need to go through any scientific test of veracity and hence verily attest the functionality of the very 'institution of corruption' in the Land of Gandhi.

Oh,, though you despise History, your memory is gradually strengthening, my friend. Ah, I know I have to discuss the duties and functions of the outflowing Indians who would follow my Space Theory. 

Are names like Nikki Haley criss-crossing through your mind? Please wait a little while before we meet again and discuss the issue at length. 

And before we part, my dear friend, I must admit that the lesson I draw from the instrument that Tirtha is providing me with, everyday, is that I must not pay my taxes. However, can I do it? I mean, my tax is deducted at source.  

Chalo Bye 


Uddipan Mukherjee is a late riser. Still, he works 'very hard' to edit Indian Policy. By the way, he writes in diplostratics

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful Dryden-esque act! Corruption is a natural spin off of a globalised world of money dependency. As a mere observer I found out how public culture made an enormous body of literature (in mediums of print, tele, movie) pointing to the apocalyptic vision of a corrupt world while actually trivialising the issue, sometimes even giving it an implicit consent!! This Kaliyug has learnt to live with and in corruption.