This week, the Delhi food and civil supplies department cracked down on scams to defraud the public distribution system (which distributes goods at a reduced price to the poor), reports the Times of India. The investigators found 170,000 fake ration cards had been used to cheat the system, exposing what basically everybody already knew to be true: There are disgustingly immoral people out there, pitiless in the extreme, who are robbing the poor to make themselves rich. Apparently, this is a business that can make you hundreds of thousands of dollars, if you have no conscience or self-respect.
Apart from the obvious, I'm disgusted that these people are tacitly sanctioned by society--their friends, neighbors and relatives, who must have some idea what is going on. We need not send these thieves to jail to stop this kind of thing from happening; just ostracize them from decent society. If people "cut them dead" (as they say in 19th century novels to refer to the act of pretending somebody doesn't exist) in the street--even their close relatives--the shame would be too great for anybody to take on. But, on the contrary, their supposed cleverness in making the system work for their own pathetic ends is actually admired! So much so, that some, at least, are not ashamed to brag about their nefarious schemes.
Newspaper editors: If the court system is so incompetent that these scum will never be convicted, then do us all a favor and publish detailed accounts about them, including their names, addresses, and exactly the way they screwed the system, devoting as many words as you do to those "feel good" stories about the victims of terrorist attacks when you are trying to make the events more "real." Stealing from people on the brink of starvation is murder by another name, and those guilty of it should pay a far higher price than being dropped unceremoniously from the list of approved shopkeepers (or whatever slap on the wrist is the current method).
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
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