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Friday, January 06, 2006

daylight robberies

Yesterday (5/1/2006) there were two news items on two different channels – in one it was shown that LPG cylinders in a storage depot were being drained of the gas in a very ingenious manner. Result – the weight of the cylinder that arrives at your doorstep will be less than the prescribed weight that you pay for. The second news was in a truck terminus where diesel was being sold at concession rates by persons in uniform. It seems daily several thousands of liters of diesel are thus siphoned off and no one appears to have any knowledge of this.

Obviously, everyone is out to make a fast buck. The days of petty thieves, pickpockets and burglars who strike in the dead of night are distant memories. Whether it is the boy who knocks at your door and presents himself as an electrician or a plumber or a TV mechanic, he leaves your world in total disarray. Resistance may prove fatal. The daily newspapers report their escapades as a matter of routine. Today the educated ones work out strategies to line their nests. They plan fake kidnappings and make extensive use of modern gadgets – could be a result of present day movies on similar themes. It would not be a surprise if, in view of the rising popularity of sting operations, freelancers descend in the field – they will film events and tape conversation on the sly and offload their research findings to the highest bidder.

Political leaders, unscrupulous bureaucrats and corrupt members of the police force have set the trend that is followed by their underlings. Swindlers roam the streets with impunity. No amount of sting operations can eradicate these evils – on the face of it, they all look more innocent than a baby, without bating an eyelid, they promise to book the criminals, and assures with seriousness that strict disciplinarian actions will be taken against erring individuals. What actually happens is never disclosed.


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