A few days ago, I happened to pass by the Press Club, where I was attracted by a commotion gathered outside it. Of course, curiosity compelled me to go and check out what had drawn such a crowd. I could also see news reporters hurtling through the tight knot of people and furiously clicking photographs. This further gave leverage to my curiosity, and pushing aside people, I looked upon on the object of people’s interest.
What I saw saddened me greatly.
A man and a child stood in the centre. The man was bearded, and seemed quite healthy, while the child besides him was a girl of about fourteen or so. The man smiled, whereas the girl seemed lost elsewhere in her thoughts.
But a bearded man and a girl in tattered sandals are common sight these days. What attraction did these two ordinary father and daughter exude that had fascinated so much people?
That attraction was the poster the girl held in her hands.
Scribed in blue and black, it read:
“Bache baraye farokht … paanch bachiyaan aur do bete.” [Children for sale – five daughters and two sons]
I was shocked that our country and its population had stooped to such a fell state that parents were being forced to sell their own seed, so that they could feed themselves!
However, once the shock ebbed away, I didn’t appreciate what I beheld.
a) If they were really as destitute as they posed to be, then why did the man smirk while he looked into the cameras? He was neither doing something great or accomplished.
b) When the man was aware of his abject poverty, then why did he have 7 children? When he knew he couldn’t provide for them, then why produce 7 children?
c) If he was so indigent, then why didn’t he go and do some work? If he had so much time to brandish a banner to sell his children outside the Press Club all day long, he certainly must have had a lot of time to work and provide for his family.
d) The man actually seemed to enjoy the attention, which our “free media” was more than ready to give. They furiously clicked pictures and videoed the man about what had forced him to sell his children. I was outraged. Hell! This man is not some Katrina Kaif, nor is he doing some ramp show. It was pretty obvious that the man was a fraud and he only wanted to arouse the sympathy of the people so that they could donate him money. A clever ruse in which our media happily got into, so that they could further get a chance to discredit the already-in-shambles government.
Ha! To actually think that such a country could ever progress, whose people are so inherently corrupt and the media so exceedingly scandalous.