The stigma never goes..! Why the greed, then?

Posted: January 12, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The highly successful, almost cult-like Bollywood film, “Deewar” has the hero playing a very serious, remorseful and strong character. Part of what he became as an adult was the consequence of what he experiences as a child, when his father is condemned as as thief and a traitor. But what hurts the most is the permanent tattoo that some of his father’s critics inscribe on his hand, and which reads “Mera Baap Chor Hai” (transation: “My father is a thief”).
The stigma of this inscription on his hand never goes, and which remains one of the reasons why almost right through his life, he does not even smile, and is always lost in thought, staring into space. It’s a tough life to live with a stigma of this kind.
I was thinking about all this, when I read about the Raju brothers spending the night with 40 other inmates, sleeping on the floor, and getting a toothbrush and toothpaste from the jail staff.
How the mighty fall?
They came to give themselves in, in their Mercedes.
They probably live in mansions, fly first class, have a horde of servants at their beck and call, have a police station named after their company, in short, have all riches that one needs. And good for a few generations too, I am sure.
And then what happens? Greed takes over. You want more. And you are willing to give up your values (assuming you had some to begin with!), you are willing to cross the line over. To make those quick bucks. To become wealthier. To amass even more fortunes.
That is what the Rajus did. That is what many others have done before them. The Ketan Parekhs, the Harshad Mehtas, the C R Bhansalis, etc. etc.
They believe they have enough money to get out of any soup. And perhaps they do have it. But the few nights of agony that they experience, treated as rank criminals, and their names bandied about as the scum of the earth, is a stigma that lasts a lifetime.
Maybe, it’s only a matter of time – a few days / weeks / months perhaps, before the Rajus go scot free. They would depend on the short public memory, and the power of their money, to manage this Houdini act.
But even after that, as their children or grandchildren go to school, or walk the street, there is always a chance that someone shouts behind them, “Hey, son of a thief..” or “There goes the grandchild of a crook”. That will never go away.
I am sure Ketan Parekh and family will experience that, I am sure the late Harshad Mehta’s family might be facing that, and the Rajus will also have that to worry about.
About that permanent inscription on their bodies, which reads that “they were thieves”.
That’s a hard price to pay. Especially when you did not have to!
A petty thief stakes his all, to do his make-or-break large theft, and he has little to lose, even if he is caught. On the other hand, the Rajus had enough to last a few lifetimes. Why did they have to do what they did? Not even the permanent tattoo removers will remove the stigma all over their souls, now.. !

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