Wrong-doers aren’t born - GulfToday

Wrong-doers aren’t born

Shaadaab S. Bakht


Shaadaab S. Bakht, who worked for famous Indian dailies The Telegraph, The Pioneer, The Sentinel and wrote political commentaries for Tehelka.com, is Gulf Today’s Executive Editor.


A metro train moves through a residential area in Kolkata.

It was the Kolkata of the eighties. We went to watch an Amitabh Bachchan film on a crowded Sunday and ended up buying tickets at a premium. The well-behaved seller of the tickets was a teenager, who subsequently went on to help us with tickets every time we got stuck. One day we got talking and he decided to tell us why he was doing what he was doing. His tale was a heart-wrenching patchwork of woes stitched by deprivation. We concluded after listening to his story that if the teen could have paid for his education he would have had a different tale to narrate.

But it wasn’t so, forcing the young man to adopt the twisted ways of the world to make ends meet. Everybody branded him bad because he openly plied his trade. It’s funny the way we respect the cloak when sooner or later the dagger shines.

…If the teen could have paid for his education he would have had a different tale to narrate.

I strongly felt like supporting his ways because there are thousands of wrong-doers masquerading as businessmen, politicians and professionals. But nothing happens to them and nothing will happen because the law insists on evidence, which can be and is being manipulated with impunity by feeding those in authority. The law also moves at a reprehensible pace. Often justice arrives too late. We do know about cases where people have been declared innocent by courts after 27 years.

The teen’s tale was my maiden exposure to the extraordinary hardship that the ordinary go through. The whole experience left a morally nourishing lesson for me.

I learnt not to call someone a thief without considering the reasons behind their willing suspension of ethics, which expectedly appeals more to the well-fed than the ill-fed. The walk up to the place of worship can’t be undertaken on an empty stomach and with an empty wallet. And that is unquestionably true of all places of worship. Well, the lords aren’t greedy, but their guards are. 

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