[This post is dedicated to my Hero, Naveen Kumar.]
Well, in terms of corruption, every Indian seems to act helpless. It is the system which is faulty is their common cry.? Another common cry includes what can I as an Individual do , Well, listen this, you can say “NO”.
Yes, You can say NO to “bribe”..!
Me and five of my friends were driving in my brother’s costly SUV(which adorns a fancy Reg number) through the busy traffic in Chennai. I had no clue about the routes in the huge city, but still it was me who was driving. NK was the navigator. We took a left turn during green signal at a busy junction coming down a fly-over. There was a service road on the side of a fly-over, So we had to muscle our way, only to find that it was a dead-end. So we took a U-turn and took another left to the Main road. While we were taking the turn, there was a police constable on duty as a traffic police waving us to stop on the side.
We were like “What the hell”, as there was no sign banning “Free left”. Three of us got out of the car Me, NK and one more guy. He was alone and was playing ‘good cop-bad cop’ all by himself. He demanded my license which I duly gave, and was mentioning that we broke signal and the fine is ₹1500. We were plain doing “Poor kids drama”,
Sir, leave us sir, We are just kids were the basic tone of our language, Finally he asked us to sit in the car and gave me back my license. He then went to Navigator side and asked Naveen a sum of ₹100 as bribe.
Naveen replied him in his characteristic style “இதுக்கெல்லாம் நாங்க துணை போரதில்லே”
Which roughly translates as , We don’t go along those ideals.
It was like a slap on his face, he left us straight away and we drove away. However, everyone in that car was jolted and awestruck. It was a display of heroism for us. It is definitely not the first time someone objected bribe. But for us it had the element of South Indian Heroism. A Punch dialogue delivered against a bureaucratic villain.
This was a case where we hadn’t even done a single move against law. If you break law, pay the fine. But, still don’t pay the bribe. May be I should stick to saying, Don’t break laws and don’t pay bribes.
-Santhosh K Ramachandran.
[P.S: I thought of including one more incident of Naveen’s Heroism, but it might take away this one’s charm.Well next post!]