It was 11 in the morning. Mohammed Rehan Khan replaced the ATM card in his wallet and counted the crisp new notes he’d just withdrawn from the machine. Rs. 6000? “This can’t be right!” thought the young and dashing civil servant. He counted again. It was indeed Rs. 6000. “All I’d asked for was Rs1200,” Khan told his friend Sohail Mukhi who was standing nearby, busy using the messenger on his Blackberry.
“You pressed the wrong buttons silly”, said Mukhi.
“No way!” exclaimed Khan as he pushed his card back in again, keyed in his numeric password and asked for Rs 1000. Beep, click……… whirrr, beep!! Rs 5000 popped out and a little transaction slip that read WITHDRAWAL Rs 1000.
“Let’s try again,” said Khan. Card, password, 4-0-0-0——–beep! But he got Rs 10,000. By now it seemed certain that the ATM was giving away 500-rupee notes instead of hundreds.
“May be something’s wrong with your card,” Mukhi told Khan, “let me try mine.” Mukhi’s balance was low- only Rs 1300. He pushed his card in and asked for Rs 1000. The machine spat out 5000.
“ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) are extremely secure and among the hardiest of machines. Look up the Encyclopedia Britannica for “ATMs” and you will find entered under “Locks”- it is virtually impossible to fool an ATM. And the probability of an ATM overpaying is virtually nil. But here they were, two buddies with Rs 26000 between them- Rs 20,800 of it was “free” money.
There were no other customers in sight on that warm June afternoon. And they could have kept on going. Instead, Khan and Mukhi went outside the ATM’s enclosure and summoned the guard on duty. “The machine is all mixed up,” they told him. The two men then gave the guard a demo: “look here,” said Khan as he inserted his card the last time and hits the buttons, “I’m withdrawing Rs 500…………. but here’s 2500!” “Don’t let anybody near this place,” they told the guard as they hopped into an auto rickshaw and sped off with all the money. It looked like a daylight robbery-in reverse. For they drove two kilometres, to the nearest branch of the bank that owned the ATM, placed the cash on the manager’s desk and complained about their faulty machine.
This is the kind of honesty we can only dream about. Had Mohammed Khan or Sohail Mukhi ever think of keeping the money during their moment with this “machine machine”? “not once,” says Khan. Adds Mukhi: “never”.
If I had been a reporter covering the rural affairs in an economy, it would certainly have begun with the cattle farming and ended on them.
The most decisive form of journalism making a story fetch fair price and interest, even when cattle is confined only with an image in the text. Cattle side is the best replica of an agrarian culture where a man pulls a bull. The story is lamenting high in the journals when looked beyond the Sports and Stocks update. Farmer suicides that account for much more than the farmers in place, still all mingled up for the nation to decide a proposal of having an industrial base or stinking with the old.
There lie farmers in thousands who have committed suicide over the past decade with the changes in India’s agricultural policy set a widened spiral of debt and despair. The farmers who were poor in nature as tractor beyond their purchase, hence they plough the fields with a cattle. These cattle are left to despair for their master who can’t be found in at the sunset club bringing fodder for them nor are the green harvest visible any more.
It staggers for the census man as the number of farmers who have committed suicide in India between 1997 and 2007 are 1,82,963. While 8 million farmers have opted for a substitute in regard with the farming activities, when compared the census of 1991-2001 the remaining are left to depreciate for every year that proceeds. Further, the women farmers are generally not recorded in the books no wonder they do a large junk of farming work. They account for a normal suicide but not as “farmer” suicides.
Even as the media celebrate the Mercedes Benz deal in the Marathwada region as a sign of “rural resurgence,” the latest data show that 17,368 farmers killed themselves in the year of the “resurgence.”
It’s no secret, Capitalization that dominates the Socialism. Those communist allies in the north-eastern part of the county use it for a better brand name attached to it. “Branding” which lies as an integral part of capitalization. There is none that understands the communism behind the farmers who could make them survive and rear cattle’s with joy.
While the Sensex had crossed 11,000 points in 2006, Vidarbha had more than 400 suicides within a week. To endure more Lakme Fashion Week issued over 500 media passes to journalists while none besides the rare Sainath visited Vidarbha. Ironically, cotton weavers that committed suicide in Vidarbha and cotton garments displayed at Lakme Fashion Week.
Those product that make a market for global trade are milk, grains etc. It’s the cattle that make a difference as per the production. As their master commit suicides, it adds more bulk of deficits, lesser contribution towards Gross-Domestic Product. They are certainly not a part of India’s Developmental Story but certainly India can’t develop without them. Farmer’s that commit suicides are as important as the fight for corruption and black money. It’s the lack of fame that makes a difference that the person from a renowned civil society don’t consider it an issue worth.
While the Civil Society prefers to be hungry, it’s the civilians that die of hunger.