From The Editor’s Desk

From The Editor's Desk

‘Fraud’ian Slip!

As Indians, we are painstakingly used to the word, ‘Fraud’. Heck, not only are we used to it, but are subconsciously getting trained to even calibrate our reactions with increasing leeway – for example, it’s not a ‘decent enough’ fraud to make us raise our eyebrows if it hasn’t run into thousands of crores! A fraud worth some hundreds of crores (Cr) is now considered passé… and if you’re talking in just lakhs, then it hardly even qualifies as one! Currently it’s Punjab National Bank’s Rs. 11,000/- Cr fraud that’s hogging the headlines.

Most of us are as uninterested in the details as we are unaware about the number of zeroes going in that surreal figure, connected with this fraud that has engulfed India’s second largest bank. With good reason. It happens all the time. As Indian citizens, no one’s surprised anymore at the occurrence of frauds or the regularity… it’s just the ever increasing zeroes that catch our attention. Two of the leading frauds of our nation still remain ‘The Indian Coal Allocation Scam’ at a whopping Rs. 1,85,591 Cr (2012) and ‘The 2G/Radia Case at Rs. 1,76,000 Cr (2008)’ – both under the UPA Government. And of course, there was the usual rising inflation and poverty galore and dynasty politics crumbling the remaining shards of democracy.

So we voted in the BJP – which was actually more a function of voting out the Congress. Nearly four years down the line, India sure looks prettier from the global lens, but the promise at home stands pretty much as undelivered for the common man now, as it did then. If the earlier PM was voiceless, the current one loses speech conveniently, especially when it comes to taking a stand on issues laced with communalism – one of the biggest stigmas of the current government. Whether the Congress did a better job of hiding communalism or the BJP’s doing a better job of hiding scams (or not, in keeping with the ongoing PNB exposé), the ground reality remains unchanged – there’s inflation, there’s poverty, and it looks like it’s getting worse.

The essence of democracy in India transcends from the sublime to the ridiculous when the opposing party hoarsely screams foul about the exact same thing they propagated when they were in power. It really doesn’t matter how subsequent Finance Ministers justify their budgets on paper – we don’t live off graphs and pie-charts. We live in the real world – and out here it’s getting increasingly difficult for the common man to cope with rising prices, falling quality of life, or the consequences of appeasement politics or communal intolerance veiled behind a long list of bans in the name of culture, or worse, nationalism… the list goes on. It’s like the new government takes the baton from the old government only to strike the head of the citizenry with it, each time harder than the last government did! And so, once again, most of us seem ready to ‘vote out’ another government that has supposedly failed us, as opposed to ‘voting in’ a government for change in next year’s elections – oblivious to the fact that just the names keep changing – the faces and consequences, are much the same. No one wins.

Of late, our Community seems to reflect this very state – sad as it may sound… some of our leaders – old and new – seem to be more inclined about arguing with the opposition and proving them wrong, rather than using that time, energy and resources to do greater justice to the community and its members. And if that wasn’t sad enough, the national media and the social media is roped in – giving a free run to all the jobless rumour-mongers to maliciously misinterpret and spread twisted information within the community at large. Not to forget, how that tarnishes our image as a community nationally and confuses the community members to the point of disgust and finally, indifference. We have sermons and foul audio messages doing the rounds, we have some self-proclaimed (armchair) activist NRIs passing senseless dictums and even more obscure solutions, we even have redundant elements who keep poking their unwanted noses in ongoing community matters, masked as ‘caretakers’, but constantly posing impediments in the progress and well-being of the Community – perhaps to avoid the uncovering of their own fraud(s).

No wonder then, that our youth is increasingly slipping away from the Community and looking outwards for more meaningful engagement – sickened by the frauds and their consequences, within the community and the nation. And that, for us, will prove to be the worst ‘Fraud’ian Slip of them all.

– Anahita


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