This very strange sounding title in Bambaiya – the bastardized Hindi that is the official language of my city that is neither Hindi nor Marathi which totally captures the spirit of this city – cheeky and irreverent – loses its flavour when translated into plain English. However, in simple English it means a Smart Fool.
The smart fool is essentially the person who acts the bumbling idiot, who manages to get his way by his universally appealing “guileless” charm.
The heated arguments, TV debates and media hype about “pardoning” Sanjay Dutt that have been raging this past week have firmed my belief that it is truly the idiot or lovable fool who gets away with murder. While forgiveness and justice tempered with mercy are laudable, surely there should also be some correlation between action and punishment?
Honestly, the way people are clamouring for Sanjay to be pardoned makes me question the values and beliefs I was brought up with. My old beliefs and values no longer hold good in today’s world where more and more horrendous crimes are being pardoned or forgiven with the excuse that the perpetrator was “unaware” of what he was doing.
The new mantras for new age children should no longer be as you sow so you reap
- Ask and you shall be forgiven.
- Fools always win
- Cheaters always prosper
- Crime always pays
- Mothers know nothing at all
Societies have never been static having been influenced by interacting cultures and different ideals. But it is strange how time honoured codes of behaviour like honesty, integrity, truth and justice have changed to accommodate declining mores and values. Is this the natural outcome of a more advanced technological society constantly bombarded by techno bytes?
While I do not want to go back to the riverside to wash my clothes or forage in the jungle for firewood to cook my meal, I definitely miss the good old days when a man was known by the company he kept and honest day’s work ensured a good night’s sleep!