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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Humor In Corruption: The Cattle Ransom!



Once upon a time somewhere in India there lived an young man who dropped out of school due to family poverty and later was appointed as a caretaker of a house under construction in the suburbs of a big town by the benevolent owner. The young man built a small thatched hut in the campus and started living there doing odd jobs apart from taking care. Soon he mixed well with the neighboring households and began to take errands from them too. Thus he somewhat earned the name of a Good Samaritan. However, things were not that met the eye.

That winter was unusually dry with the rains refusing to pour even in little drops. The greenery in the neighborhood vanished and the cows owned by a few families had a hard time finding green pastures to graze. The heads of the households therefore had to take the decision of untethering their cattle so that the animals could graze freely in nearby paddy fields feeding mainly on the dry and cut straws.

Things started happening fast. Almost every day someone’s cow would be missing making the owner tense and agitated. Late evening the young man would turn up with the missing animal saying he had rescued it from the distant village where villagers put it under arrest for damaging their garden plants. The owner would thank him profusely.

The situation changed radically. One evening the young man turned up in someone’s house empty handed saying that the missing cow could not be rescued as the villagers demanded money for release. He said the villagers were very angry and they threatened to sell the cows off on the next intrusion. The owner paid up easily and gratefully. The ransom money began to be collected too frequently for comfort now and some owners had to pay ransom several times a month. Few other stories about the young man started unfolding at that time casting grave suspicion on his activities or associations. Finally, due to continuous pressure applied by some of the owners the young man admitted his crime or corrupt acts. Very soon his elder brother replaced him as the caretaker.

This story is quite relevant even now. Still we find top political leaders stealing animal fodder across our cattle country to make money. However, in an exemplary display of love for animals, only the other day a Uttar Pradesh senior minister deputed a troop of state police personnel in pursuit of his seven stolen buffaloes and even punished three of them for dereliction of duty and not finding the missing animals sooner enough. The full state police force was right royally engaged for days to find their minister’s stolen buffaloes. Fortunately the police found all the animals in different areas of the state and more positively no ransom was found to be behind the theft. The animal lovers of this great country has now some real good reasons to rejoice.
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