Is it really a small thing?

/ Guest Column / Monday, 17 May 2021 17:50

Heisnam Lakeshwar Singh
Head (Academic & Admin), JCRE Global College Babupara, Imphal

Today I went to a stationary store and saw a very common practice happening around. I saw a guy manipulating the bill of purchase with the sales person. He looks gentle with nice attire and age must be around 40. He seems matured and working in an organization, may be government or an NGO or a private organization – I don’t know. He was taking print out of some documents and also taking some stationary items for his office work. The total bill came around Rs. 400/-. I was waiting for my turn; I had to take out few photo copies. And while waiting I became a witness of a crime, which is considered as small or most often not considered as crime at all.  The store owner asked, whether he requires a cash memo or bill of purchase, the gentleman replied, yes he requires but he stops him to write the exact amount. In front of me, he was instructing the store owner to write the bill with fictitious data, he was taking only one rim of A4 paper, but he was letting the store owner to write 4 rims, like that he increased the Rs.400/- bill to Rs.1200/- bill. He didn’t have any shame on his face and the store owner’s facial expression was very normal, as this incident is already understood incident and they have some common understanding on this. Most of us never thought on this, considering it is a small practice, and it becomes so common that people started thinking it as kind of socially and morally acceptable behaviour.
You must be thinking what am I talking and why I am putting my head on this small matter? The amount is small; therefore often we are ignorant of such matter. But it is not a small matter, how come compromising our personal value because of few bugs can be a small matter? He compromised his integrity (personal) for only Rs. 800/-, how cheap he becomes and I am sure there are thousands of us doing this thinking the amount is small. I happened to heard people giving excuses mentioning their hard labour for doing such cheap things, but that is just excuse, he was hired and given salary for his work.
There are stories, one example - my late Grand Mother once told me, before the govt. employees’ salary was given through bank, they had to collect the cash by standing in the front of cash counter with their pension book. The authority didn’t tell them to stand in queue; the reason is they give first priority to the pension book which consists of few bugs inside. Therefore they used to insert few amount to the pension book while giving it for processing, it becomes so understanding that they don’t have to speak a single word in such transaction.
There are so many such small cases happening around, and we are always ignorant of it. The biggest problem with the majority people living in our society is their self-worth is very cheap; they sold their personal value in few notes. Because of this wining an election in such society is not difficult, they can buy most of them with money. The only matter is money, whether you have it or not. 

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