The authorities having announced that it intends to crack down on all criminal and corrupt elements in the state resulted in a panic and the possible ‘victims’ of this crackdown went into a huddle. The need for forming a united front against all such proposed measures was strongly felt and prompted a hurried meeting of the various factions of the corrupt and the criminal.
“We are the people who have suffered the most during these years of turmoil,” the leader of the Thieves and Burglars Front stood up to voice his grievances. “The prevailing circumstances have not only affected our business but at times we have lost limb and even life while we were honestly pursuing our dishonest vocations during the night hours. So many times the security forces mistook us for militants and as a result some of our brethren are languishing in jails. That some of them came out and became leaders is just incidental! Our business, which is of a nature that makes it necessary to be carried under the cover of darkness most of the times, has suffered a lot due to the security scenario. We demand that we should be given compensation and relief from the government for all the losses that we have suffered in these years! Where else does a thief or a burglar have to face the amount of risk that we faced? The least the authorities could do is to provide us with a risk allowance!”
“I think we should not go on and on about our individual problems but instead try to highlight the common scenario and unmask the nefarious designs of our detractors…” the President of the Pickpocket Association interrupted this speech by the leader of the thieves and burglars.
“Of course there are some elements present here who have really had a very good time since this turmoil stated. Be it the protest processions or the rallies for or against the ruling parties, all gatherings have been a goldmine for these guys,” infuriated by the interruption of his speech, the leader of the thieves and burglars launched a scathing offensive against the pickpocket president. “Why!” he continued, “the former president of these people attended so many rallies that he even caught the attention of some bigwigs in a prominent political party and landed with a party ticket to contest the election! A couple of years back he was caught red-handed trying to lighten the pocket of his own party chief but since the episode occurred while the assembly was in full swing, the matter was duly hushed up!”
The president of the Pickpocket Association got up and hotly contested these allegations.
A distinguished looking elderly gent tried to pacify the warring factions. “Brothers we must forget our petty differences and stand united at this critical juncture. I had called this meeting so that we can form a united front against all those who target our fraternity – be it the common pickpocket or the highest standing official of the land who belongs to the fellowship of the corrupt. You must be aware of my dedication in this direction. I have had no less than twenty cases of corruption filed against me during my service. Of course I always managed to escape unscathed and even bagged a promotion every time I got myself proved ‘innocent’!” Indeed the worthy fellow had very nearly reached the topmost civilian office by the time he retired and now had a promising career as a politician to look forward to as he was already being offered a membership by almost all the parties that mattered!
The whole gathering broke into applause at his remarks.
“The need of the hour is to form a united front, an umbrella organization, against the harassment of the corrupt. Everyone from the most humble pickpocket to the most powerful and highly placed corrupt official must come forth and join hands in this stand-off against anti-corruption!” the gentleman stirred the assembly with his highly spirited speech and concluded it by shouting, “We want…?”
“Justice!” the gathering practically roared.
“We want…?” he reiterated.
“JUSTICE!” the roar was even louder this time.
“We will steal justice if we don’t get it,” a middle-aged fellow (a very ‘resourceful’ clerk in a department ‘distinguished’ for its record of corruption!) shouted enthusiastically.
“We could demand a separate state!” a hot headed youngster suggested. He was a recent recruit in a ‘lucrative’ department and was understandably very emotional at the prospect of being ‘victimized’ by this anti-corruption menace, that too when he had not ‘harvested’ even so much as the sum that he had paid to land this job!
‘That is no solution! A separate land for swindlers, thieves, pickpockets and corrupt officials! Then whom do we rob?! Whom do we fleece?!” a senior bureaucrat rejected this suggestion all the while gently restraining a hand that had been rummaging in his pocket and trying to get at his well stuffed wallet.
“let’s wait till elections and once a government is formed our umbrella organization will press upon it to pass a law, say something like a Disturbed Areas Act against Anti-Corruption!” the ‘distinguished’ gentleman suggested, his eyes shining with excitement.
“But it requires more than two-thirds majority to pass a law, doesn’t it?!” a voice from the gathering expressed doubt.
The ‘distinguished’ gentleman laughed and said, “Now that should present no problem! If our kind has a majority anywhere it is nowhere more than in our law-making bodies. Why those guys out there are veterans in this field. I am sure even the opposition will pitch in with their full support!”
(Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored! Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce (iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, at [email protected])