Stop! Thief!!

Remember mommy and daddy's lessons when we were wee small. Don't lie, never steal, always be polite and respect your elders. And how we followed those lessons until we grew up and saw the world in colours other than black and white. We were introduced to the white lie. We realised that many elders didn't deserve an ounce of respect. We learnt that always being polite would get us trodden over. The one addage we still stick to is never steal. Or do we??

It's true that most of us consciously don't go shoplifting at the neighbourhood store. We don't pick our friends wallet when they aren't looking and nor do we mug strangers in dark alleys. But as I sit here writing this blog, listening to music I downloaded from Limewire I can't help but think that we all are, at some level, thieves.

We may bash up that pickpocket who has the misfortune of getting caught stealing a wallet which only had 50 rupees in it but as I sit and count the thousands of songs I have "illegally" downloaded over the past few years I ask myself, "Am I a bigger thief?". The songs, the movies, the TV shows and the games that I download from the net would probably total up to the cost of a small car if I were to buy them legally. Of course I must not forget the thousands I have further saved by going to bootleggers and pirates. But this isn't just me. Millions of working class Indians are always on the lookout of someway or the other to save their taxes. Even corporations are in on this with IBM and Sahara getting booked for tax evasion to the tune of hundreds of crores. How can I forget the biggest thieves sitting in the seats of power, some with the sole intention of siphoning money from the government's coffers to theirs. The cops who ask speeders for bribes when they get caught and the speeders who pay the bribe because it is less than the official fine. The millions of IAS aspirants whose sole attraction to the civil services are the bribes a civil servant gets.

We jail the robbers and the dacoits. Dish out public beatings to petty thieves. Socially castrate kleptomaniacs. But what about the rest of us? Should we all be rounded up and punished in a similar manner for being the innate thieves we all are? I would love to continue this rant but my movie just finished downloading so I must now go and watch. I guess I'll learn my lesson some other day.


Hats off to you my friend . Your pen is on fire . Actually your fingers are ! And even I used to think about this . Apne computer mein saara maal chori ka hai ! We are big time thieves .

August 29, 2007 at 11:23 AM  

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