The other day, a poor guy was robbed. He works in my office as a driver. We had parked my car just outside the office and barely after one hour had passed we were supposed to go to the airport to receive some guests. When the guests arrived, my driver was in tears – poor fellow. What happened, “I enquired”. “Someone stole my wallet which I had left in the dashboard of the car as also a USB drive”. I tried to console him but the poor guy had received his salary that day only and all of the cash was in the wallet that had been stolen. He was all tears and all I could muster was to reprimand him as to why he had left the wallet in the car. He broke into tears once again. I felt sorry for myself. How could I? Eventually I asked him where his wallet had been stolen and he said that while the car was parked outside the office someone had broke into the car and stolen his wallet and the USB drive. I tried consoling him but he was badly hit. “What will I do this month? I won’t be able to send money home? What will they do since I am the only breadwinner in my family”? He was also worried as his driving license, voter identity card and some other valuable documents were in the stolen wallet. We at the office solved his money problem to some extent by pooling some cash, but then his documents were almost irreplaceable. Right now my driver is sitting by the window hoping to catch a glimpse of the thieves who according to some witness’ accounts were well-dressed and groomed youngsters.
My driver had been asked by one of his relatives to visit a Moulana sahib in the vicinity who according to them helped people trace their lost belongings. The Moulana had told him that the people who had stolen his wallet were three in number and that they had still not disposed off his wallet, obviously meaning after spending the cash they would have no use for the wallet. Now, there he sits by the window hoping that some miracle would take place and the thieves would return his wallet. His eyes are laden with hope but I somehow believe that he will never get it back.
Now, this episode coincides with two other accounts which I have met with in the near past. A few months back I had parked my car near my office and when I needed to use it I found out that someone had stolen my 8 GB pen drive and some other petty things. Earlier, another man’s car had been tampered with and some valuables were stolen. This has been happening in our office locality a lot. Upon asking around, I came to know that such episodes were quite common in the locality. And the reason these people cited was that there were some cafes in the locality where youngsters go for drug abuse. They smoke pot and inject themselves with insidious drugs. “These youngsters are addicted and would do anything to get their hands on some cash,” I was told. I was totally exasperated. My own son is growing up and God forbid if he somehow falls into such company, “I would shoot myself in the ear”. Among other incidents narrated, the locals told me that there were also some “biker chain snatchers” who would eye a woman wearing gold and then speedup to their side, snatch the chains (necklaces made of gold) and flee the spot. This again was connected to the drug abuse thing.
Where is our younger generation heading, I am forced to ask myself? No ethics, no respect for human values, shamelessness and convoluted daring. These youngsters could kill people to grab what they want – drugs, that is. This knowledge of these facts is exacerbated by what we come to watch on television crime shows. Recently there was an episode on a nationally broadcasted channel which depicted the true story of two youngsters (brothers, as a matter of fact) who plan and thereof succeed to murder their grandmother in cold blood and take off with the cash and other valuables which they were in know of. They had turned so brutal for the want of money which they wanted to throw into betting that they did not feel anything for their loving and caring grandmother. Such cases send shivers down my spine.
In the want for exclusive comforts, youngsters these days can go to any extent. And they are not at all aware of the pain and agony that they cause to their victims. My driver for instance – a poor guy from a very poor family hailing from a remote area of Jammu and Kashmir – who is totally lost ever since his money was stolen. Yes, we offered him some help but there would be thousands of others who lose their hard-earned money and savings to these youngster thugs.
I am not sure whether it is the leeway we offer to our children these days, by offering them excess money and then cutting it down to size, for once these children get used to comforts they lose sense of reality and start living in a fantastic world where crime is the way of life. Is it us the parents who are turning our young ones into thugs or is it the overall impact of television and commercialism. But one thing I am sure of and that is in this age of corruption and malice where parents indulge why children would lag behind. Bribery is a way of life for us and we have turned malicious in the rat race for over-night prosperity and wealth. What kind of values are we passing to our children? When I asked a government official (who was asking for heavy bribe to forward a case of mine) as to what kind of values and ethics he was passing unto his children, he gave me a broad smile and said, “Today I am asking you for a mere 30,000 rupees. When your child grows up and happens to meet my son for some work of his, I am sure that my son would ask for at least 3, 00,000 rupees. This is the way of the world is turning. You make money and we launder it and when we go to someone they launder us. So, it is a vicious circle my friend and I suggest that you forget about the ethics part and let the dice roll.” I went numb then and I haven’t got over the numbness yet. That very same numbness, I share with my employee today. I guess we have all gone numb, some a degree more and some a degree less.