It was somewhere in the beginning of May 2010; I stepped into a Mobile Store at Hesaraghatta and asked the shopkeeper to top-up for Rs.220 - BSNL. He did in no time, seemed to be the owner of the shop (the number of golden chains in neck and rings in almost all fingers spoke themselves). I gave him money - 500 (one) and 10 (two), been used to the 'change' problem in the City. He kept the 10's and held the 500 in different positions, angles & directions to examine;
"Is this election note?" he asked.
"No, it was withdrawn from ATM" I replied instantly, though it took quite some time for me to understand what he meant by asking 'election note'.
He went on "Since yesterday evening I have been getting all 500 fake notes. These panchayat election parties have distributed those to the villagers. Till yesterday they had no money to recharge for Rs.50 but now they do it in multiples of 100", he was busy with his research to identify whether the currency I gave him was original or not (here is how we can identify original INR currencies - http://www.rbi.org.in/commonman/English/Scripts/CurrencyNotePosters.aspx).
Am sure you might be wondering by now, what was the need for me to narrate an incident that happened long back and which has no significance whatsoever. Well, recently I came across a similar incidence of fake currencies being given to shopkeepers in and around Vijayanagar (read it in a newspaper or saw on tv9; I don't exactly recall, am getting older... huhh).
Being proud to be a citizen of the biggest Democracy in the world, I feel ashamed to narrate such instances. Out of curiosity, I did speak to some villagers around Hesaraghatta then and came to know that they were offered 50 Kg bag of 'fine' rice, Rs.500 per family, 'desi' chicken (ನಾಟಿ ಕೋಳಿ), etc., etc. - all these in want of their (in)valuable votes(!?) in the upcoming (May 8, 2010) Gram Panchayat Elections. Is this 'Democracy'?
Let alone the debate of 'Democracy'; see how far they (political parties) have gone to uproot the financial stability of the Country by distributing fake currencies. Always we have enough time to talk of 'bribe' in Government Offices. But, have we ever thought of the 'bribe' at the grass-root (gram panchayat) level of the so-called 'transparent democracy'? It was very common politicians giving 'fake' assurances to citizens and now there is no surprise they are giving 'fake' currencies too. When such 'fake' leaders get to rule us, what better can be expected other than a 'fake' system?
I think, gradually, we are getting used to be a part of this 'fake' world. Days have now changed; there was a day when we were trying to find the 'fake', and now we find it hard to find the 'real' around us.
05 July 2010, declared 'Bharat Bandh' - called in protest against hike in the prices of fuel and other essential commodities. Sitting idle at Home, I find this nothing more than 'fake' politics. Is there a way to fight back this "FaKe" in everything?