Monday, March 30, 2009

The tale of two ladies

Two news items last week caught my eyes. One on a minister and another one on a sr manager in a software firm.

'Last time I checked my calculator-cum-clock, there was a biggish difference between ‘five minutes early’ and ‘90 minutes late’. I also know by instinct and experience that five minutes early gets me a different kind of look from my boss than the one in which I arrive 90 minutes late. It now seems that my being able to tell the difference between the two time durations is a gift. Last week I realised that there are some unfortunate people out there suffering from the debilitating side-effects of Ministerialitis — the crippling ailment that makes Ministers and
other VIPs believe that the world revolves around them. It is with this knowledge that I feel humbled by the fact that when I’m late, I know I’m late. Especially, when I’m late by a bloody hour and a half.

So my heart goes out to Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury. Being a Minister makes most mortals — especially those whose Ministerial functions involve social development and much radiant smiling — extra-susceptible to believing that they are popular enough to be forgiven for any sort of transgression.'-Indranil Hazra

The second story is about getting duped by a tantrik.The woman, a computer engineer and employed as manager in a city-based software company is also daughter of a retired assistant commissioner of police.The tantrik operating his black magic business from multiple locations in the city had placed advertisements about his ‘powers’ in newspapers including a vernacular daily stating that performing a certain puja would solve all problems. After noticing the advertisement, the victim had approached him. However, he had convinced her into believing that he was capable of fulfilling all her wishes and duped her into believing that sacrificing a rhinoceros would remove all obstacles and help her find a match within a week and also promised the victim that he would go to Uttar Pradesh to catch a rhino.The lady is said to have paid Rs 2.95 lakh to perform the puja.

The victim paid another visit to Shah a week later but he was not traceable. She then lodged a complaint with the police and the police caught the scamster obviously because of her father's connections.But what of the woman? How could she believe that a rhino sacrifice would help her find a man?

What puzzles me with this case, as with any other case pertaining to tantriks and babas fooling innocent victims, is what exactly was the crime here ?
If it is sweet-talking a victim into parting with cash, then every advertisement, sales and marketing gimmick does exactly that.
If it was giving false promises without any logical reasoning, then every puja that is done has no guarantee anyway.
If it is the fact that she did not get married after doing this, then there would be more than billion cases against gods and goddesses in India; and a few millions against self-proclaimed godmen and sadhus.
If it is the fact that he killed a rhino, then it looks like he didn’t take the pains to go to UP and kill a rhino after all. So he comes clean on that account.
If the amount of Rs. 2.95 lakhs is the issue, then is Rs. 100 okay ? Rs. 1000 ? Rs. 100000 ? What is the cutoff before it is booked under IPC section 420 ?
All I feel is that the law shouldn’t be a cushion for human stupidity; and if this tantrik is a criminal under the law, so are all the above people.