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My Uncle Was a Kind-hearted and Religious man who fleeced farmers-by Satbir Singh Bedi
My uncle was a very religious man. He used to say all
his daily prayers every day. He was also a truly
secular man. He visited Gurudwara (temple of Sikhs),
Temple and a Dargah of Peerji (Holy Muslim Saint) on
the outskirts of our small town every day. He rubbed
his nose at all these three places so that he may get
his annual iron quota for manufacturing agricultural
implements. Of course, my uncle never manufactured
agricultural implements but had a shop which kept some
ready made agricultural implements for showing to the
Government inspectors that he did manufacture these
implements. Then what did he do with the iron quota?
He simply sold it in the Black Market.
My uncle was nineteen only when the partition of the
country occurred. Our side of Punjab fell in India.
So, Muslims had to leave for Pakistan. Some of them
were murdered on their way. My uncle kept a sword for
his safety. Of course, he did not kill anyone but was
quite kind hearted to lend his sword to anyone who
wanted to kill.
My uncle was also a generous man. He lent small
amounts of money to the farmers who were mostly
illetrate at the time of the partition. For that
small amount, he got the thumb impressions of the
farmers on the blank stamp paper and wrote whatever
was favourable to him. Then, he got half of the crops
of the farmers’ lands when they were ready for being
harvested. Of course, my uncle was not unkind. He
again lent the money to the farmers till farmers
became educated enough to go to the banks which had
opened their branches in the town by then.
My uncle was also kind towards his servants. He used
to lend money to them and made them sign on blank
stamp papers. They were never able to pay his debt
and remained his bonded labour for a pretty long time.
My uncle was so kind that he always voted for the
person who was likely to lose his security deposit.
He was always sympathetic to such candidates and voted
for them so that they may not lose their security
However, with the awakening that Independence brought,
farmers no longer took loans from my uncle. His
servants also ran away. He would get the servant who
was caught while running way, beaten by the police but
soon the latter also found it impossible to beat those
hapless servants. So, my uncle was left only with the
iron quota to earn his bread and butter.
And then the Government of Justice Gurnam Singh came
into power and somebody complained about the misuse of
agriculture quota of iron by my uncle. An inquiry was
held and my uncle’s quota was cancelled. My uncle was
now on the streets. Fearing that he might not be
arrested my uncle managed to secure an illegal
passport and go to USA via Germany. I learn that he
is quite safe and sound in USA. How he is managing
his affairs in that country is not known to me.
Doesn't my uncle look like a typical Indian?
Satbir Singh Bedi, New Delhi, India;
Contact Details:Satbir Singh Bedi
Post Date:3/27/2007 1:07:26 AM Validity:1825 Days
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