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the occupation of theftViews: 894
Jul 08, 2010 1:43 pmthe occupation of theft#

charu hasan

In my boyhood days it was such a pleasure to steel a copper coin or two to buy sherbet and share it with my friends. It was on one such day, I tried to exhibit my physical prowess by a somersault to my maternal aunt `Gosh’ that the coin fell and rolled on the floor. When she asked me to explain the source of my wealth that was beyond my means of acquisition, I tried to convince her that my mother gave it to me. Ever since my falsehood was exposed by my aunt, who had traveled all over the world including Cuba and Havana along with her U N employed husband I had a dislike for my illustrious aunt whose son is married to a white American girl and lives in USA. My aunt like all Brahmin Indian mothesr who have a greater distaste for white American daughters-in-law, chose to settle down in Mumbai. Being incapable of getting along with any other human including a son or his wife, she chose to live in an expensive old age home of single individual on her wrong side of eighties. When I honestly admitted that my distaste for her was because she was the one who caught me red handed as a thief of mere coppers, she was more annoyed at my unfair hatred than a candid admission of my thievery and reformation and adherence to truth. Before I was reformed by this sacred aunt of mine it was my modus operandi to blame friend Vedamani, who was the son of a Banker next door. He being a dedicated student passed the competition exam in public sector banking to retire as a chairman of a famous bank. I used meet him in the beach during my morning walks and confess to my thefts and the throwing the blame on him he never believed me.

With this in my mind I was studying the psychological drive for stealing by the needy as well as the Kleptomaniacs who were driven to shoplifting in spite of their affluence. I remember that a Russian athlete and an Olympic medalist Nina Poonamarava was arrested for shop lifting in London 60 years back and that became an international scandal.

Having been a criminal defense lawyer for 30 years, and making it a fine art of getting an offender declared not-guilty, I seem to have little respect for any behavioral ethics. I honestly felt that there was a thrill in illegal acquisition of little things under the suspicious noses of the law enforcers. My early indoctrination by Hegel, Karl Marx and Ingles, probably prevented me from acquisition of wealth by legal or illegal means. My earnings and efforts to procure means of living were need based.

I also accepted that the leftist violence of Che Guevara, were based on the needs of the common man. From my early days I was willing to admire Robin Hood kind of lawlessness. Jean Val Jean kind of Bishop’s candlestick stories emotionally touched my undeveloped mind. Even a pick pocket of the city of Madras sounded honorable to me than the beggars who sat in a row in the mornings at Marina Beach and discussed about the salary raise of their off springs, who were in the state or central government service. The sleight-of-hand expertise of pick pocket in the bus seemed to earn his living better than those who live by cheating and begging and misrepresentation. The Global recession itself is caused by a numerical multiplication people who keep on earning their living
By buying and selling shares, with out working for their Roti, kapada, and makkan or allied professions. The honest earning and criminal proceeds are truly divided by a line. It is not a thin line but a thick one, the measuring of it my real problem.

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