Indian police

I completed my tour guide training in December and my license was printed in January. Now the Ministry of Tourism office in Delhi asked me to bring a police verification certificate from my local police station. The Police verification certificate certifies that there are no legal cases against me. Actually they had provided a proforma also and I was supposed to just go to the local police station and get it stamped. I went to my local police station with that proforma but the police officer did not want to stamp that document. He asked me to go to the DIG office and apply for a character certificate there.

By mistake I went to the some other police office instead of DIG office. I went there and told a police officer about the certificate I wanted and then he asked me why I wanted this certificate and I explained that I had completed tour guide training and now I need a police verification certificate in order to get my license. After hearing that I was a tour guide, this policeman told me “Oh, so your profession is to make tourists fool and fuck them”. I was really angry to hear this, I said my profession is a tour guide and then he said that its similar.

After asking a few other questions he gave me right address of the DIG office. I went to the DIG office and I was really surprised to see the condition of the office. The office was so dusty and dark. I met the officer who issues the police verification certificate and he gave me a form and asked me a fill it and submit it along with other documents. I was told by my local police station to take care of this officer which means to give him some money, so I gave him Rs. 100. After taking this bribe he told me to contact my local police station after two days.

He said that he will send my application to my local police station and they will verify my residence and other documents and then they will send their report back to the DIG office. I contacted my local police station and my application had arrived at the local police station. The officer at the local police station asked me to bring all of my documents. After seeing all of my documents, he said that it was not enough. He needed a domicile certificate issued by the court which I did not have and I knew that it would have taken me over 15 days just to get this certificate.

I had given him a xerox of my passport also which was enough but he said that a domicile was necessary. Fortunately there was an advocate sitting in the office who favored me and said to the police officer that a passport is also equivalent to a domicile certificate.  Finally this police officer agreed to accept my documents after the advocate’s interference. He asked me to wait for a few minutes. After that advocate was gone he again started looking at my documents and after reviewing them for a few minutes he told me that they would send someone at my place within the next week or so and after verifying my residence they will send their report to the DIG office.

I knew why he needed one week of time. I asked him if I was supposed to give him something and then he said that such works are not done without paying. I was told by a few of my friends that I should give Rs. 500 to the local police station so I gave him Rs. 500 but this police officer started saying that Rs.500 was not enough as there were 5-6 people to take a share in that money. Finally we agreed on Rs. 700. After taking this money something happened that I had never ever hoped for. This police officer taught me the right way to bribe.

He taught me that I should always take care of who is sitting in the office and try to bribe when there are not many people around and never ever tell this to any other officer working in the same office, this was very valuable information. Actually I had told him about that officer in the DIG office who took Rs. 100 from me and this local police station officer said that I should not tell any other officer whom I have already bribed.  Anyways, after taking bribe of Rs. 700 he said that my documents would be forwarded to the DIG office by the same evening.

I went to the DIG office and then the DIG office said that they would send my documents to the LIU (Local Intelligence Unit) now. My documents arrived at the LIU office after a few days and when I went there, the same thing happened which had happened with me at the local police station. First of all they said that they would send someone to my home to verify my residence but when I asked them how much I was supposed to give, the officer asked for Rs. 500 and said that nobody would come to my place anymore and my documents will be forwarded to the DIG office by the same evening.

But something really funny happened while I was sitting in the LIU office. Actually I got a call on my mobile about my guest house inquiry and this officer heard me talking. After the phone call he asked me if I run a guest house also and I told him about my guest house and he asked me I had a restaurant in my guest house or not and I said no. And he asked me where do my guests eat and I told him that usually they go out and after hearing it, he seemed kind of sad and told me he would have loved coming to my place for a meal if I had a restaurant.

I told him that I lived with my family and we cook our own food and he was also invited if he wanted to have dinner with us and he said no, he was looking for some restaurant cooked hot chicken with whiskey.  I obviously said ‘No’ to him but I was really surprised how someone could be that stupid. Anyways, after bribing him, I left the office and came back home. The LIU office had told me that they would forward my documents to the CO office. The CO office is a kind of regional police office. I think there are 5 or 6 CO offices in the whole Benares district.

I contacted the CO office after two days and this office was also nothing better than the other offices I had been to. I met an officer at the CO office and he asked why I had applied for my character certificate. I explained my purpose to him and then he said that they had already checked my day time character but they did not know anything about my night time character. He said that- “Now we know about your day time character but we do not know about how many woman and prostitutes do you sleep with in the night or how many bars do you visit every night”.

He said the same thing to other officers also sitting in the office that they had checked my day time character but did not know anything about my night time character and after hearing it, all of them were laughing. One of them said they should check my night time character also. I was seriously shocked and did not know what to tell him. I could not believe that a police officer could talk in such manner. Anyways, I asked him check my night time character also and then he asked me to contact them after a week or so. I again knew why he needed to check my night time character and why he was asking for one more week.

I immediately asked him about the bribe and he also the said same thing which the officer at the local police station had told me that such works are not done without money. Anyways, I asked him how much and he said just give anything. I gave him Rs. 200 and asked when they would check my night time character and they said that there was no need to check the night time character and my documents would be forwarded to the SP ( Superintendent of Police) office by the same evening. I contacted the SP office the next day and the officers said that they will present me before the SP tomorrow.

I went to the SP office next day and I waited for the SP for an hour and finally I was presented before him. He just looked at my face and asked me why I needed a character certificate and that’s all.  I hardly got to talk with him a few seconds but just for this I had to wait for a hour at his office. I requested that he forward my documents as soon as possible and he was very nice with it. He immediately asked his PA to bring my documents, signed and stamped them and said that my work was done. After meeting him I contacted his PA and asked if I needed give something to him also and he asked me to come the next day and see if my work was done.

He did not want to take the bribe until my documents were forwarded to the next office. I went to the office again next day he said that he could not do it. I again contacted him after two days and this time my documents were already forwarded back to DIG office. Now I was sure that I was going to get my character certificate because all the formalities were done and I had bribed all the offices. When I went to the DIG office, the officer there said that they could not issue my character certificate until some other big police office stamped my documents. He also asked me to contact him after a week.

I again knew why he needed one more week. I gave him Rs. 300 and requested that he do my work faster and then he gave me the address of that other police officer whose office was also in the same building premises. He asked me to go this office and wait until the officer came and then return to inform him when this officer arrived. I went to this office, waited for hours in the terrible heat and finally this officer showed up after three hours. I informed the officer at the DIG office and then this officer brought my documents to this big police officer, got them signed and stamped and then gave me my character certificate.

This character certificate was nothing special but a really small piece of paper saying that there was no legal case against me. It seemed like they had not printed new character certificates for the year 2010 because the year mentioned on the paper was 2009 and the officer had to correct it by pen. I still think about all the craziness and corruption I had face,  the way they mistreated me saying that my profession is to make fools of tourists and fuck them, one officer said they did not know about how many women and prostitutes I sleep with…

I had to spend Rs. 1700 just to get this character certificate which should be given free of cost. I had to wait for almost a month and go to all those crazy police offices several times. Just to get this small piece of paper I had to go to DIG office>local police station>DIG office>LIU>CO office>SP office>DIG office>that big police officer’s office>DIG office. I got my character certificate and later I presented it to the Ministry of Tourism office in Delhi and got my license but when I think of all the corruption and those people working at police offices and those officers who approved my documents and my character certificate, it makes me feel like my character certificate was issued my the most characterless people on the planet.

Finally received Indian passport

I finally got my passport and believe me it took more than eleven months. I had applied for it last year in February and got it this year in January. I went through all the crazy bureaucracy and corruption. The whole process starting from buying the application to getting the passport in hand was full of giving bribing and craziness. Police was supposed to verify my documents by coming to my home and meeting me in person but I went to the police station and they asked me for Rs.600 and never came to my place.

LIU (Local Intelligence Unit which is very intelligent in asking for bribe and is crazy when it comes to do something real) was also supposed to verify me by coming to place and check my documents but I meet the officer in a hospital room where his wife was admitted. It was so funny that I got a call from one LIU officer saying that he had my documents for passport and he wanted to meet me. I asked him what time would he come to my place but he said that his wife was sick and was admitted in a hospital so he gave me address of this hospital and asked me to meet him there.

I went to the hospital and this crazy officer took me to the room where his wife was admitted. His wife was a really fat sick lady laying down on a bed. She had an ideal look of an Indian government corrupt officer’s wife whose husband gets a lot of bribe. This officer just looked at my documents and asked for Rs. 600 as bribe. My friends had suggested me to give him only Rs. 300 so I tried to bargain but he said that my Rs. 600 would be divided in equal parts to all the officers at LIU office and finally I gave him Rs. 600.

After taking money from me this crazy officer asked me to teach him English. It was so funny. I started laughing, I just did not know what to say him. I suggested him a few schools and just left the hospital. He told me something really interesting while I was talking with him in the hospital. I asked him why didn’t he come to my place to verify my address and documents and he said that they are mostly concerned about people with beard. He meant to say that they are mostly concerned about Muslims.

I was wondering if Hindus or other religion people could not be a terrorist. How can he think like that? There is no such country in the world where terrorism is not there and it is hard for me to believe that terrorism spreads without local help. All kinds of people, community and religion is involved in it. What if I was also a terrorist? It was sad to see the way LIU is working. We are so much affected by terrorism now and these institutions seem more responsible for it to me.

Winning a television

I was watching news on India TV news channel today and it made remember of my best video of the day prize I had won on India TV three years ago. Actually once I and Lane went to see the untreated sewage discharge in Nagwa, Varanasi and Lane had a digital camera and used his camera and captured the video of the untreated sewage mixing in Ganga. Later I sent this video to India TV news channel and selected my video as best video of the day and I won a prize a color TV. I was so excited to have won this prize and actually I did not have a TV at that time and no money to buy it so the prize was really nice.

I contacted India TV and they asked me to send them a bank draft of Rs. 2300 which was supposed to be a tax which is given on lottery winning amount. I was so happy for the prize and I decided to give them Rs. 2300 as tax. I sent the money and then sent me a letter saying that I had won a TV and I could get it at the nearest Sansui TV store. Actually this latter was written on Sansui’s letterhead because Sansui was the sponsor of the program. They had mentioned their Varanasi office address on the letterhead and I went to the address mentioned.

When I arrived at the address, I came to know that the office was closed an year ago. I immediately contacted India TV again and they asked me to contact Sansui Mumbai office. I contacted Sansui Mumbai office and they asked me to contact their Lucknow office. I contacted Lucknow office and they asked me to contact them after a week. I contacted them again after a week and they told me that no Sansui dealer in Varanasi had the TV model I had won so I would have to wait again. I again contacted them after a week but same story.

I contacted India TV to make a complaint and they told me that their responsibility was only to collect money from me and send it to Sansui, that’s all, now it was Sansui’s responsibility to give me the TV. I was shocked to hear their answer. I told them that I would go to police if they don’t help me and they said I was free to do so. I was continously in touch with Sansui Mumbai office, Lucknow office, Varanasi dealers, India TV and nobody was helping me. The letter they had given me was only valid for three months and now I was going to pass this six months and I was really worried about it.

I called to the Sansui’s Lucknow and Mumbai office and told them that I was going to police and they also said it was up to me. Their Lucknow office would tell me again and again to contact them later and I just did not know what to do. Lucknow office was telling me that they were running in shortage of TVs because of the festival season. Finally I decided to go to the police to register my complaint so that I could have a written evidence of me contacting Sansui and India TV before expiration of the document. I went to my nearest police station and asked them to register my complaint.

But their response was more shocking than India TV and Sansui. The policemen told me that they did not know under which act they would register the complaint. I told them that my complaint should go under act for cheating but said they were not aware of such act. They asked me to contact the bigger police station. As I was about to leave the police station, one of the policemen sitting there called me and asked if I knew someone at the bigger police station and I said no. And then he told me that if I did not know anyone at the bigger police station, then my complaint would not be registered.

I was shocked to hear this. I finally gave up on this idea of registering a complaint and contacted Sansui’s Lucknow office again and I was pretending to be so polite with them this time. Finally after spending over six months I got my prize but I had to go to Lucknow to get it. I took an overnight train to Lucknow, got my prize there and brought it back by a bus. I am sure that I had spent more than Rs. 1500 on telephone calls and trip to Lucknow. I was not that excited for a color TV but I was more excited for a prize I had won but I had to go through some serious trouble to get it.

I have made several videos after this incident and I would have loved to send it to India TV but I just don’t want to do anymore because their approach after taking money from me was just as crazy as it could be. I just could not believe what India TV, Sansui and police did with me.

Driving License in India

I have gotten my driving license about 8 years ago but I thought to write my experience at the RTO (Road Transport Office) office today. Actually my friend was talking about applying for a driving license today and it made me remember my experience and I decided to write about it. I was 20 years old when I applied for my driving license so about seven years ago. The RTO office was about 25 KMs from the city area and the city transport system crazy as it is now so I asked my friend to take his motorbike to go there. We reached at the RTO office and this office also looked as crazy as other Indian government offices.

The office was so crowded, full with people and animals, believe me there were dogs and cows sitting inside the office premises. People were chewing paan and spitting all over the office, the whole floor was red because of spit of the paan. There were touts (commission men) wandering here and there, looking for new confused face like I had. One of them came to me and asked if I needed a driving license and of course I wanted one so I told him yes. And then he said that he would help me getting the license but he wanted some money for it.

My other friends had suggested me to not go to RTO office to get license as fake licenses were easily sold in the market but I did not want to do any illegal work. I had met an advocate asking about the procedure of getting a license and he told me that I could get it even without going to the RTO office only by giving some extra money. My advocate said that money is everything at RTO office, if you spend money, you get whatever you want, otherwise nothing. But I had thought to go to the RTO office and let things go on in front of me.

So I told that commission man that I did not want his help but he kept coming to me asking if I needed his help and I told him again and again that I did not want any help. We were looking for any information center but actually there was no such place where people could get any information. We asked someone among the general public about the procedure and they told me to get a form first. We went to the form counter and there was a long queue. I was in the queue for a while and when my turn came, I saw a blind person giving the forms.

I was surprised to see a blind person working with such an important work of giving right forms and dealing with money. Actually government has a scheme of providing jobs to handicapped people which sounds fine but giving forms and dealing with money job to a blind person? Well, he was doing fine. He had different kind of forms for different kind of licenses and other works and he had organized the forms in such a beautiful manner that he knew where what kind of forms were kept. I asked him to give a form for a learning license, they issue learning license first and after one month permanent license is issued, and asked him the price for it. He said Rs. 10 and I gave it to him and came out of the queue.

I was looking at the form and I noticed that print rate of the form was only Rs. 2. I went back to him asking why he charged me Rs. 10 instead of Rs.2 and he said that he gave me a wrong form by mistake. He asked my form back and as I returned him the form, he returned my money saying that form for driving license was already sold out and he did not have it any more. The commission guy I had met earlier showed up again saying that it is true that the print rate is only Rs. 2 but it is sold for Rs. 10. I did not have any other option than paying him Rs. 10.

So I offered him Rs. 10 and he just did not want to sell the form to me. Finally I asked my friend to go in the queue and get the form and this is how I got the form. We filled up the form and went back to another counter to deposit the fee. The counter was supposed to get closed at 2 PM and it was only 1.15 or something and the counter was already closed. I saw a fat lady sitting behind the counter glass and eating something. I asked her why the counter was closed only at 1.15 and she said that it was not 1.15 but it was 2.15. I told her that it was only 1.15 but she said yes, 1.15 but in my clock, it was 2.15 in her clock.

The guy standing behind me asked me to show her some money so I showed her a bill of Rs. 20 and she opened the counter and this is how I was able to deposit the fee. Now it was turn of a written exam but I was a little bit concerned about it because there is not traffic rule in practice in Varanasi and I was not very well aware of them. I saw other guys offering some money to the examiner and we decided to go for the exam first and then give money according to how exam would go.

Exam was not tough and I was confident that I would pass it. After the exam, I went to examiner and asked him to see I was pass or not and he asked me to come later. But then I said that I had not given any money to him and I wanted to make sure that I was pass otherwise I would give some money to him. He looked at my paper and said that I was pass. I think he was the only honest person I met at the RTO, honest in the sense that at least he told me the reality that I was pass rather than asking for a bribe by saying that I was fail. He asked me to come after three days to see the result.

I again went to the RTO after three days and saw the result and I had passed the exam. Now I was supposed to get my learning license. The person giving the license wanted Rs. 100 but I bargained and finally I ended up giving Rs. 50 and got my learning license. After two or three months, I went to the RTO again to get my permanent license. They put me in an interview. The interview was not tough at all. They just asked me my vehicle registration number and a few other basic questions. Actually they are supposed to put all the applicants in a practical driving test but they just don’t do it.

After the interview, they asked me to come after a week to collect my license. I went to the office again after a week and had to bribe an officer again. The officer giving the license looked at my name and asked if I was a Bramhin and I said yes and then he said that he was also a Bramhin and in fact he lived closed to my home but we did not know each other. He asked for a bribe of Rs. 150 but I did not want to give this much. I started bargaining by saying that I was a student but he did not want to hear anything.

He said something really interesting that he charges Rs. 200 to other people but since I was a Bramhin, same caste as him, he was charging only Rs. 150 to me but I had also decided that I would not him Rs. 150 for sure. We talked for a while and I finally I gave him Rs. 75 and said that this is all I had. He took this money and gave my license but asked me to not tell anyone that I had given only Rs. 75 as rate for others is different. I am happy that I have a license but I still think about that blind man, that fat lady and that crazy Bramhin guy who gave me discount only because I was also a Bramhin.

Sometimes I think that I should have given some money to my advocate and get my license at home but then I think that if I have to live in India then I must need to learn to bribe and that experience at RTO at least taught me how to buy a government officer in India. I always think that I will not bribe any government officer but when it comes to getting some work done, there is no hope at all and I bribe again and again. But I hope that technology will change something, maybe not in my life time but someday for sure.

Central government election 2009

The election for central government is coming soon and the political world is so hot nowadays. Benares has always been a very important place for Indians but this year Benares is something special because of the big names from different parties going to participate in the election. Benares has become a center of attraction for the whole political world of India. All the parties are trying their best to beat each other, in fact they are ready to do anything they can- bribe to the voters, target religion, target different castes and just don’t think about the people or development.

Recently a lot of political leaders were caught giving money to the voters to make them happy and vote for them which is illegal according to Indian constitution. It doesn’t matter for me if it is illegal or not, the thing that matters for me is that what kind of politicians we have. They never do anything except looting the country and when elections come they try to bribe the people? Some of the really big names were involved in giving money to the people. All of our politicians have huge amounts of money. They are really rich in a very poor country.

Today’s headline of the newspaper (Amar Ujala 5/03/09) was about these kinds of politicians who have lots of money and their assets have increased rapidly within past five years. The article says that in India still over 77% of the people hardly spend Rs. 20 per day. Per head income of general Indians has increased by a few percent within past five years but if we look at the assets of the politicians, the growth is about five to six times. The newspaper has published a list of the famous politicians whose assets have increased by six-seven times, some of them have gained up to ten times.

All the politicians are supposed to declare their income when they file their name as a candidate for the election. The same candidates who had assets of worth Rs. 5 crore before the last election now have assets worth Rs. 50 crore and no one is there to ask them where they made all this money. The interesting thing is that this is the amount that they have declared, but I wonder how much is hidden, maybe Rs. 500 crore? Every one who had won election last time has become so rich now. It is not a bad thing to become rich, but the interesting thing for me is that how they became this rich during this global crisis.

I was very happy with Mayawati and I had decided that I would vote for her in this election. I like her working style. There is always less crime when she rules and definitely she doesn’t suck the blood of people as much as others do. She likes sucking the blood of big people, government officers and other politicians which is a relief for the general people. I used to think that she was someone who did politics to help the nation but she did something in Benares that makes her the one of the worst politicians of India.

She has introduced Mukhtar Ansari as her party’s candidate for Varanasi seat. This person has been in jail for the past few years. He was found guilty of making Hindus and Muslims fight in Mau District. In these riots hundreds of Hindus were killed. He became quite popular amongst Muslims all over India right after these riots. She introduced him only so that she could get all the Muslim votes. We have four very big names this year for Benares seat:- Ajay Rai from Samajvadi Party, Murli Manohar Joshi from BJP, Rajesh Mishra from Congress and Mukhtar Ansari from Bahujan Samajvadi Party.

Ajay Rai is one of the most famous criminals of Poorvanchal. He is very famous as a mafia don all over India. There are several murder, loot and all other kinds of cases running against him at different courts of India. Our second candidate is Rajesh Mishra who was recently caught distributing money to the people. He had won the last election from Benares seat and is member of parliament at present. He never did anything except take credit for declaring Ganga as the national river of India.

Prof. T.P. Agrawal was on hunger strike for several days and then Indian government had to declare Ganga as national river and right after it Rajesh Mishra got new pamphlets and posters printed and stuck them all over the city that said he had pressurized the Indian government to declare Ganga as national river. So he is that kind of person. I saw him last him before the last election when he came in public to ask for votes and after winning the elections he disappeared. There has been no development in Benares. I would never like to vote for such a person who offers money to the people to make them vote for him.

All these crazy politics started right after BJP introduced Murli Manohar Joshi as a candidate for the Benares seat. BJP has always been very successful in Benares but they lost the last elections and they did not want to lose again so they introduced a very big name. People of Benares were so happy when they heard that he was going to be one of our candidates because he is one of the very few politicians of India who has no criminal records and is a very educated person. Everybody thought that he would win the election and would change Benares.

All the parties always want to defeat the big names of other parties. It became big news when Murli Manhoar Joshi was introduced for the Benares seat and all of the other parties started planning to introduce some other big name so that they could defeat him. But Mayawati did the worst thing by introducing Mukhtar Ansari. She did it so that she can get all the Muslim votes. She knew that Hindu votes will be divided for different candidates so she introduced a criminal who is very popular amongst Muslims. She does not care at all about what would happen if he won, another riot? Not a big deal.

The thing that made the Benares seat more interesting is the presence of Ajay Rai supporting Samajvadi Party. He used to be BJP candidate but since BJP did not give him a ticket he switched to Samajvadi Party and got the ticket for Benares seat. He will also get huge support of people. Rajesh mishra will also get big support. Now what will happen is that all the Muslim votes will go Mukhtar Ansari and Hindu votes will be divided amongst Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajesh Mishra and Ajay Rai. And most probably Mukhtar Ansari will win which will be really a bad luck for Benares, not only Benares but all of India.

All the criminals are fighting to defeat someone who was never ever found guilty for anything. And it is all because of the worst political system of India. Our politicians do not care what will happen in future, they just want to win the election, rule the country and then loot it.

Bribe, Bribe, Bribe…

I applied for my passport a few days ago. I was supposed to fill out a form and submit it at the passport office in Varanasi. I went to the office and presented all of my documents to the officer. I thought to look over the documents again before giving it to the officer and discovered that I had made some mistake filling up the form. I thought it would be a good idea to fill out a fresh form. I asked the officer there if he had a fresh form but he said that the office didn’t sell the form. It was crazy, no passport application for at the passport office.

He asked me why I wanted a fresh form and I explained my problem to him but he said that he knew how to solve my problem. He brought whitener and cleaned the mistake and asked me to over write there. I was happy that I did not have to go out and buy a new form but I did not understand why he helped me. I never expect a government employee to help people. I knew that there was something wrong going on. I filled out the form and gave it to the person present there but he said that let the officer come. I asked him if he was not a office employee and he said that the officer has hired him personally to help him.

I immediately understood that there was really something wrong going on. The officer came and stamped my paper and signed it. He was supposed to give me a receipt of the passport form but he did not give it to me, he gave it to that other guy. I asked the officer what should I do next and this officer told me to talk to the other guy. I asked him and he turned his face like a rotten mango and said something that I could not hear. I asked him again and again and he would tell something that I was unable to hear. I asked him to speak loudly and then he said please give something.

I did not understand what was he looking for so I asked him to be clear about what he wanted and then he said that he will have to send my passport application to the regional office in Lucknow and he needed stamp and postage charge. I asked him if government doesn’t pay for it and said ‘NO’. I am sure that it is the government’s part. I asked him how much the stamp and postage charges were and he said Rs. 200. I know that I can send a post to any Indian city from any Indian city for Rs. 10. So I told him that it was too much.

And then said that he will have to pay every officer whoever looks at my application and for this he needed Rs. 200. I bargained and gave him Rs. 100 and this shameless person grabbed this money from my hand like a hungry lion. He told me to not worry anymore. He promised that he will forward my letter to the other office by the evening time. It was really interesting to see how that creepy government officer has hired someone to ask for the bribes from the people. The officer did not want to do it on his own. It is very smart of him but very bad for India.

The next step in order to get my passport was to get a no objection certificate from the local police station. The passport office sends the documents to the SSP (Senior Superintendent of Police) office and they send the documents to the local police station. I went to my local police station to see if they had gotten my application from SSP office. I asked them and they told me to come back after two days. I met a person at the police station who had hit his something with his car about two years ago and police had taken his car. Today he had gotten the release order from the court to get his car back from the police.

I knew that the police would not give his car back without taking a bribe but I was wondering how they would ask for it because I was also present there. I thought they would be shy asking for a bribe in front of me but this shameless policeman completed his papers and passed it to the policeman sitting next to him. He said to the car owner, even very loudly, to give something to the next police man and take the car’s key. I was not surprised but couldn’t understand how shameless the our and corrupt our police is. He gave Rs. 500 to the policeman but he was not happy with it, he wanted more. As the first policeman heard it, he stopped his work and started talking to the car owner. He said that first of all you did not give anything to me and now you want to give only Rs. 500? It is not done like this. Finally they ended up with Rs. 700.

This first policeman told me that he hadn’t got my application yet and asked me to come the next day. I reached there the next day and this time he had my application form. He looked at all of my documents and then asked where was I born. I told him that I was born in Varanasi but then he asked my father village’s address and asked me to come back after ten days so that they could do an enquiry in my father’s village where I never lived. I asked him why did they want to enquire about me in a place where I never lived. And he said that sometimes people commit crime in their village also. It was crazy. I did not know why he was doing it and then I realized that maybe he was doing it to disturb me so that I would give him some bribe.

I told him that I wanted it as soon as possible and then he said that he knew some way to make the process fast and now I understood what this way was. I told him to use that way and then he immediately took me to the next room where the head of the police station was sitting. He interviewed me, and asked me several questions including who will pay for my trip to the US. Finally he attested my photo and I came out of that office with that creepy policeman. Now he took me to a corner and said that he also wanted something. I asked him how much and he said whatever I wish. I asked, “Rs.200”? and he said what can he do with Rs. 200.

And then he asked for Rs. 600. I had to give him that money because I knew that I will never ever get my passport if I had not made him happy. After this office I have to deal with LIU (Local Intelligence Unit), SSP office, the passport office in Benares and the passport office in Lucknow. I will have to bribe everyone and still maybe don’t get my passport on time. This whole experience made me very sad. I was wondering if there is any government work in India that could be get done without bribing government???

Per capita income India

This is a big question in India- How much is your salary? Since the India has started developing, people have changed the way they used to talk. About twenty years ago, the first question after meeting someone was- What your parents do? But today the first question is what do you do and then what your parents do. The family is still very important in Indian society so I am sure it will be present for long times. But the problem is that salary is always a confusing number in India. People don’t know how much money do they make. Even though they have a fixed salary but still they don’t know the right amount they make because bribery is a big part of their income.

This is the way this question goes:- Someone asks other person:- What is your salary? The first person:- ten thousand but I make about twenty including everything. This everything means bribe. Sometimes people say only their right salary then other person asks does it include everything. This bribe has become a part of people’s salary, specially government employees. Most of the government employees are involved in bribery. They just don’t work without taking bribe. I can not think of any government department where I can get any work done without offering bribe to the government officers.

Whether it is civil courts, electricity department, water department, municipality, road transport office, police… just any department. If someone wants a case to be heard after a month, it is very easy. I just need to offer some money to the clerks and they give a date as per my convenience. If someone doesn’t want to pay the actual electricity bill, it is very easy. They can pay 25% of the bill to a electricity office employee and get the bill decreased by 50%. Getting a fake driving license, no problem. You never go through any test. Just bribe someone and they give you the driving license. It doesn’t matter if you can drive or not.

Sometimes I wonder how big the difference is between Indian government offices and western government offices. When any western person asks me about my salary and I tell them a amount then they ask me if this amount is after tax or before tax. But in India people say if the amount is after bribe or before bribe. What a huge difference. Most of the people don’t pay any income tax. It is very easy to hide the income and do not pay any tax. People decide how much do they want to pay as income tax.

Since India is still in lack of jobs, very few people get their salary in their bank accounts.Most of the people get their salary direct in hand and government never knows about it. There is a another problem with getting salary in hand. All the cities have a standard minimum wage but I don’t think if any employer thinks about it. Huge number of people get only half of the standard wage. Even companies like Coca-Cola don’t pay standard wage to its temporary employees. I think we need more records in computers and maybe this will solve a lot of problems. But who knows, maybe a new technique to defeat computers.

Pending

I think it has become our compulsion to use the word “Pending” again and again. Maybe we use this word most in the whole world. We have most number of legal cases pending before courts in the whole world. People file a case and spend their lives but never get any result. Now people feel better settling the case on their own. I never want to go either to the police or to the court for any reason.

If I go to the police then I have to bribe them and if I go to court then I have to bribe and wait both until the judgement is given. And sometimes judges are also bribed and their judgement is not judgement. Once I filed a case against a computer shop from where I had bought a computer about eight years ago. I filed this case because he had given me wrong price. The same computer I had bought from him was worth Rs. 23,000 but he wanted to charge me 43,000.

I told him to either give my money back or take the computer back. He took the computer back and gave me two post dated bank cheques. When I went to the bank to get my money from his account, the bank clerk said that there was no money in his account. I informed the computer seller about it and he told me to go to the bank again after few days. I did it several times but never got any money.

Finally I decided to go to the court for it and filed a case. It took more than seven years and a lot of my personal time and lawyer’s fee and finally judgement was given in computer’s seller guy. I had made the computer guy write on stamp paper that he took my computer and had given post dated cheques, I had receipt of the computer, I had everything to prove that I was cheated but still judge gave judgement in favor of computer guy because he was bribed. So it took eight years and no judgement.

I had applied for a tour guide license two years ago but have not got it yet. The whole process is stuck in the several courts of India. First of all it took almost one year for government to see the paper and organize exam and then later old guys sued government because they don’t want new blood to come in this sector. Even though I have qualified the exam but Government has been giving temporary license which nobody likes at all, we need training and a permanent license. I don’t know when I will have the training and permanent license, but doesn’t seem like I will get it within next one year.

I applied for one other tour guide license which is issued by state government about two and a half years ago and same thing with this program as well. Government was sued by old guides and the case is still pending in the court. To be honest I had forgotten about it and I believe it must be same with everyone. We had to pay Rs. 500 with application which doesn’t seem to come back to us again. Maybe this exam will never ever be organized because we have not heard of any hearing of this case.

I applied for a registration for paying guest house before one and a half year but have not got it yet. They call me after ever fifteen-twenty days and tell the same thing that they are doing survey and will start issuing the license soon. Once they told me to apply again because they had lost my papers. It was not expensive to apply, but it again took at least few hours. I have been hosting guests at my place without having license. I just inform to the local intelligence unit but I will feel better if I have a license.

Terrorist attack on Mumbai

Taj Hotel before attack

Taj hotel before attack

Mumbai was attacked by terrorists on 26th of November. Almost one hundred and seventy five people werekilled and over three hundred and fifty people were injured. Terrorism has been effecting India continuously for the past few decades but still the government is just making the same kind of boring statements and not doing anything to stop it. I think in this kind of crucial situation all the political parties should have come together but again this time both of the biggest political parties- Congress and BJP were against each other.

Everybody is abusing to the government and the police. Media, Indian intelligence department and FBI tells that these terrorists were trained in Pakistan. Police have found a lot of evidences that proves Pakistan’s involvement in this attack but Pakistan government doesn’t want to hear anything. Indian government gave a list of twenty terrorists to Pakistan government and told them to give these terrorists to India but Pakistan government refused it. They say first of all you prove that there was Pakistan’s involvement in this attack and then we will think about it.

Smoke coming out of Taj hotel

Smoke coming out of Taj hotel

All the terrorists that India demanded are known for being terrorists in the whole world but still Pakistan needs evidence. Dawood Ebrahim, the guy who helped terrorists to get them to Mumbai via sea route, has already been declared as a most wanted terrorist by the US government but Pakistan government still wants evidences against him. The whole India wants Indian government to take some action against these terrorists this time but I am sure nothing will happen.

We have very good support of international community after Mumbai attack. The US and Israel government have promised to provide all kind of help to fight against terrorists. But the sad thing is that our government seems super smart taking help of international community to built nuclear power plants which will produce the waste that we can never get rid off and could bring disaster in the future, if not taken care properly, but they don’t seem like taking help to finish terrorism.

One of the terrorists

One of the terrorists

I was watching a interview of a politician from Israel who said that India should do something for themselves first and then hope for international community to help them. I loved his idea. How can we hope for others to come and help us until we start helping us ourselves. After all the terrorist attacks our politicians say something boring and that’s all. Neither they start helping India nor the international community comes forward to help us.

Media is also fed up by reporting about terrorist attacks. They were also saying that enough is enough. They just don’t want to see blood on the road and report about it again and again. Media was appreciated for the way they had captured this whole news. They had reached at attack spots before the police and stayed there until the whole operation was finished. The very interesting thing was that media had pictures and videos of terrorists but the police was keeping telling that terrorists are hiding and they could not see them.

One injured person at hospital

One injured person at hospital

I heard a terrorist calling to a news channel and putting their demands. He was asking Indian government to release all the terrorists who are in the jail and to declare Hyderabad as a Muslim state. When he was asked where was he from, he said that he was from Hyderabad, India. He said that he belongs to a organization called Deccan Muzahidin. Everybody knew that he had very very Kashmir accent, I am sure he was not from Hyderabad. Later the reality came that all these terrorists had come from Karachi, Pakistan.

Once TV host asked a terrorist about what did they have to eat and he said that why do they need to eat. They said that they were going to Allah, and Allah would welcome them with lots of good food. TV host told him- Do you know that NSG commandos and other forces have covered you and they will kill you within few hours and he said that- The world is watching who is being killed. He said even if he dies, he will go to heaven, and will get blessings of Allah.

CST Railway station after attack

CST Railway station after attack

When they were asked for reason behind this attack they said that Hindus kill Muslims, rape their motherand sisters and demolish all the mosques. I don’t know of any place in India where these kinds of activities take place but the sad thing is that this is what they were taught. Babri Mosque was demolished by Hindus and this is the only mosque I know that was destroyed in my whole life. If they mind Hindus destroying mosques then they should also mind Muslims demolishing Hindu temples as well. Thousands of temples have been demolished in Pakistan itself.

Once the terrorist said that people of Kashmir want to live in Pakistan but Indian government is putting them in India forcibly. I asked the same question to a lot of people when I was in Kashmir and each and every person told me that they wanted to be in Kashmir controlled by India. Kashmir is still a very poor state just because of terrorism and all the Kashmiri people know it. If these of terrorists care about people living in Kashmir, then they should immediately stop thinking about them because the world knows that we can provide Kashimiri people a better life because Indians have more opportunity than Pakistanis.

Fire coming out of a window of hotel Oberoi

Fire coming out of a window of hotel Oberoi

I was talking to my friends and they said if this whole terrorists activities are only because of Kashmir, then fuck it and give it Pakistan. It is a big change I have noticed. I also support this idea because people of Kashmir would never ever have good life until this problem is solved. And people of all the states of India have been targeted, they are killed. And what do we get, a tour of Kashmir? If Indian government ever puts this option of giving Kashmir to Pakistan, I would support them because I know it very well that Indian government can never ever solve this problem.

If terrorists or the group of people who care about Muslims of Kashmir are concerned about Muslims in Kashmir, they should be concerned about the Muslims living in other states as well. If they are demanding for Kashmir to provide better life to Muslims, then maybe someday they will demand for the whole India because we have Muslims in all the states of India. I think we give them Kashmir but on one condition that they will have to accept all the Muslims of India and take them back to Pakistan or wherever they want to take them.

Will they accept all the Muslims? No, impossible because they are not concerned about the Muslims, they are concerned about our progress and wealth. They just want to disturb our economy and Mumbai attacks are the perfect example of it. Why did they choose Taj and Oberoi? Only because they want to effect our economy and tourism which is a big source of income of India. I know that all the Muslims are not bad but these terrorists are putting their ideas forcibly on Muslims and making them disrespected in the society.

Candle light procession

Candle light procession

This time people response is amazing. People protested all over India against this terrorist attack. Mumbai people did a candlelight march where more than one hundred thousand people were present. Everybody was claiming the government first and then terrorists, and I completely agree with them. How is it possible to bring all the bombs and other weapons through sea route all the way from Karachi to Pakistan if our police was not involved in it. I am sure our police and navy also helped terrorists.

The Mumbai want to see change in political system. They want each and every political leader to be educated but I don’t completely agree with it. I am sure education will change a lot of things but there are thousands of examples where educated people have done worst and a lot of uneducated people have changed the world by their efforts. I think honesty is the most important thing and it could bring only and only from bringing honesty in the government services.

Whenever anybody asks to a young Indian about if he would also take bribe after getting job and there is only one answer- No. But when somebody sees a lot of corruption and bribes a government officer to get a job then obviously he would also be involved in accepting bribes when he works. People bribe police officers to get a job in police so they also take bribe when they have a job. How can we hope for a honest family if the head of the family is completely corrupt?

Taj Hotel was also appreciated by its clients. I was watching a interview of a Taj guest who was staying there on the day Taj was attacked. He went out of hotel around 5 o;clock to join some party at other hotel. By the time he was getting back to Taj around 9 o’clock, he got a SMS from Taj saying that there was some security problem and they advised him to not come back to the hotel. He went immediately to an another hotel and saw the news that Taj was attacked.

A lot of other guests who were inside their rooms for the whole time until the operation was finished also appreciated Taj administration. They said that Taj employees were continuously informing them about what was going on and were helping as much as they could. All the government departments were completely failed and each and every individual was related to private sector did his job perfectly. I think we should not blame Pakistan or any other terrorist organization, we better improve our system first. In my view there are only two things that made this attack happened:- The Indian Government, The police and Navy.

Police take a rickshaw ride

I saw something very strange, maybe it could be the strangest thing for an Indian. I was sitting in an auto rickshaw when a policeman stopped it. He came and sat next to me. Police never pay the fare for any transportation whether it is auto or bus or train. After a drive of two-three minutes someone else wanted to stop the auto, but my driver did not stop it. My driver said that the guy who wanted to stop the auto was also a driver and wanted a free ride. That other driver seemed so angry and was shouting loudly.

The second driver showed up again near the railway station. He had reached there before us. Also now he had his auto rickshaw which he had stopped and was waiting for us. This time our auto stopped. The other driver just came and grabbed the collar of the policeman’s shirt and started abusing him. I was shocked to see a auto rickshaw driver abusing a policeman. Not only me but everyone else in the auto rickshaw was shocked. He was kept abusing the policeman and the policeman was just telling him that he will see him later.

This other auto rickshaw driver said that the policeman wanted to sit in his auto, but he did not let him sit because his auto was already full, so the policeman slapped him. I think policeman came to my auto after slapping the other driver. The driver kept abusing and asking the policeman why he slapped him. And policeman kept telling that he would see him later, and send him to jail. Driver said that this policeman often sits in his auto and never pays any fare.

After a while the policeman started asking the driver if he had a permit to drive an auto rickshaw or not. I am sure he was doing this just to threaten the driver. He said that he would arrest him if he did not have the permit. But the auto rickshaw driver was so good. He said, “Do I give you Rs. 10 every time I driver to the railway station to fuck me”. He said that police charge him Rs. 10 every time he drives to railway station. He drives on university-railway station route and police would charge him Rs. 10 every time he would start his auto. After hearing this, the policeman could not say anything.

Police taking bribe from an auto rickshaw driver

I liked this answer a lot. One other auto rickshaw driver told me that the police have fixed a rate for different routes. They charge the drivers who work in the downtown area Rs.60. Heavy vehicles are not allowed to enter inside the city after 8 o’clock morning time but still a lot of trucks and tractors could be easily found inside the restricted area during restricted time. They are stopped at every crossroad by police but not to be checked, because they give a bribe. Truck and tractor drivers always keep a few Rs. 20 notes because they have to pay the police at every crossroad.

I was just sitting and watching the driver abusing the policeman and I was really enjoying it. Then a few other people came and started favoring the policeman. I was surprised to see this. Each and every person knows that the police are corrupt and they always harass people. I was hoping for them to favor the driver, but they were all favoring the policeman. As the policeman saw people favoring him, his voice turned loud and he was feeling comfortable now with the support of other people.

People were telling the driver to move and let the policeman go. Finally that auto rickshaw driver left the policeman. More than fifty people had come to see this drama and this policeman was insulted in front of them. I really loved what happened with the policeman. The policeman sat again in my auto. He said that he would arrest and beat the auto rickshaw driver. As the railway station came the policeman got off the auto rickshaw and moved again without paying.

I just can’t imagine how shameless people they are. He was called out right before two minutes but again did not pay the fare. I know the rickshaw driver will be arrested and beaten hard for sure, but I really liked the way he responded to the cop. I think we need more and more people like him who could fight the most dangerous terrorists for India- THE POLICE.