It was a great day when I heard about the big ‘Pakoda’ industry. No one could imagine about this multi-million dollar universal venture till one of our today’s erudite leaders gave call to our unemployed graduates to start this most flourishing business. He was sure that with this business, our country will be able to eradicate the menace of unemployment. And India will be the first nation in the world to do so. It gave me immense pleasure and relief. I haphazardly started the search for my orphaned Bachelor degree lying for years somewhere in the heap of waste papers. With great efforts and lot of sweating at last I found it.
My business was ready at the runway to take off. I selected a roadside place and started putting my gas stove, utensils and material to prepare Pakodas. No sooner I gave first pump to my kerosene stove; our duty-bound police party under the command of a Head Constable surrounded me as if I was a terrorist. “What are you doing here on this precious government land?” roared the mustached head constable. I was shocked. I said, “On the call of our worthy leader, I am starting Pakoda business to eradicate the curse of unemployment.” Head Constable became apprehensive with my reply. Then he fired another salvo, “Do you possess proper papers to run this multinational, multi-cultured and multi-linguistic business”? I was confused.
I did not know what he was asking for. He again said, “Do you have any Bachelor Degree from some recognized and prestigious university of the country”? My answer was affirmative. Then he asked me to show the licence from industrial department. “It is not an industry, then why should I take any permission from department”? I argued. “Don’t try to teach us law I read in the newspaper the other day that Pakoda is a great industry. And industry needs all the permissions and licences. Where is NoC from the Pollution Control Board? Permission from the Electricity Department, copy of your agreement with the truck operators’ union for transporting you the raw material and permission from water works department.”
“But sir I don’t fall in that category” I tried to convince him. “Sir I think he is an ISI agent trying to penetrate in our city though Pakoda business,” a constable instigated the head constable. I pleaded, “No sir. I am a poor educated unemployed youth trying to start this business on the call of our worthy leader”. That constable again intervened, “Hazur you remember all the terrorists arrested or killed in encounters recently were ‘unemployed’ youths. He can be from that gang”.
Before I could utter a word another constable raised a point, “Sir he could be a member of land mafia. He must be sent to take the possession of this piece of land”.
“Sir I am a gentleman, I have no link with terrorist or land mafia.” I pleaded.
“Oh! You might be right Ramphal we cannot take chances. Take him to police station for further investigation”.
No one listened to me and I was put behind the bars with other hard core criminals and some “Holymen” who were cooling their heels. The next day’s news headlines read: “A hard core terrorist in police net”. The sub heading was: “police party under Head Constable Durjan Singh showed great courage and risked their lives in arresting this terrorist. They all will be honoured on the Republic Day. All the top leaders have appreciated the wonderful work of our brave policemen.