The Weekly Review

The Italian con-job, the suicide of Ram Singh, and other minor news of the week

Another week of blunders, not just by the usual suspects Sushil Kumar Shinde (link) and the UPA government, but also by the supposedly infallible Supreme Court who was party to this particular Italian job. It was executed so well that they could make a season finale of Hustle out of this particular con-job. See the way a con works is: there is an “inside man”, who does the job of befriending “the subject” and winning his confidence. Then comes the second phase, “the convincer”, where to win the confidence of the subject, you make a promise to the subject and keep it. Finally, use this new-found confidence to lay the bait for the last and final stage, “pulling the plug”, leaving the subject naked on the street.

In this case, the Italian Ambassador was the inside man, befriending the UPA government. The convincer was the part when the Italian marines returned back to India after being allowed to go home for Christmas. And we are all familiar with the final plug when they did not keep the promise of returning after casting their votes. Now, for one second, you can talk of the SC’s gullibility as the “goodwill” to honour a democracy (by allowing them to cast their votes), but once you realize that they were allowed a leave of four weeks to do so, you wonder what kind of voting was involved in the matter?!

The most surprising part was not that the Italians reneged on their promise (everyone will jump over you if you will bend over backwards but don’t have a spine in addition), but it was the aftermath of the incident. After getting the letter from Italian government:

1) External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid read the letter and informed the media about its contents, but when asked what action we will take, he said he will have to *read* the letter and examine its contents to come to a decision. One week gone and he is yet to do so. I hope the length of the letter wasn’t anything like the dossiers we send to Pakistan, because they never get read.

italian marines2) Manmohan Singh as usual condemned the behaviour of Republic of Italy, and threatened them with strong repercussions. Everybody laughed—laughter is good for health, so I guess one point goes in the UPA’s favour… but those so-called repercussions are nowhere to be seen.

3) BJP promised to raise the issue in the Parliament, well don’t we all know what that means? Jaitley will give a well-articulated speech for the record, Sushma will share a few Urdu couplets with Manmohan Singh and then they’ll walk out. Play on loop whenever the country faces a new issue.

4) We take months to settle even the birth-certificate issue of our own Army General, so little can be expected of the courts when it comes to dealing with powers outside the Indian borders; and God save us if that country happens to be the birthplace of some not-to-be-named lady.

5) And oh-yeah, we have stopped their Ambassador from leaving the country, which he informs that he wasn’t going to do anyway. Who would leave a well-paying job with diplomatic immunity in a recession-prone economy?

All this while, Kasab must be wondering up there if he could also have managed something of the sort, till the time he realizes that Christmas and elections are two things which don’t happen in Pakistan.

The trail of frauds just doesn’t end there, and how can it? After all, shouldn’t we learn a thing or two from our esteemed politicians? Our very own private banks, ICICI, HDFC and Yes Bank, with a very novel idea of competing with the global (read Swiss) banks and help India retain its black money reportedly started their own back shop. Let me explain, a recent sting by CobraPost exposes money laundering happening openly in the said banks, to the extent that standard modules and packages were made and being offered to anyone and everyone walking in with pockets full of cash, in order to turn their black money into white. The banks have, of course taking another leaf out of the politicians’ handbook, refused any knowledge of such a matter and launched their own (haha) inquiry into it. Not long before they find a few scapegoats, sweep the matter away by firing them, and stay calm for a few days till they launch the scheme again with all the impunity they enjoy. I wonder what the SEBI and all other “supposedly” regulatory authorities doing?

In other small news of the week:

  • This was a season of suicides at Tihar; first it was the Delhi gangrape accused Ram Singh, and then a thirty-year-old undertrial Reshma hanged herself. My best guess is, either they got bored waiting for the verdict to happen, or they got depressed listening to the stories of the magnanimous grafts committed by other inmates.
  • Another person was elected for the best job of the world, aka the Pope’s job. The job description had just two lines: waving hands from balcony and going on rounds in the Pope-mobile. The list of entitlements, bonus and benefits, however, run in lines more than the codes of Facebook has.
  • Google has decided to discontinue Google Reader from July 1 (link), while a few days back Reader’s Digest had filed for bankruptcy (link). I wonder what is happening to all the “Readers” of the world (pun intended)
  • Samsung launched a new product, ironically titled “Galaxy something” but “designed for humans” with features that most of us will never use if we had for free but the ones we all want to insist on having anyway. Or as they call it, “Give us ALL your savings EVERY QUARTER”, till the next one when we launch Galaxy something+1.

About the author

Bijender Sheoran

I am a 23 years old Mechanical Engineer from IIT Kanpur, currently working in Noida. I like to try my hand at a diverse range of things and my interest keeps changing from time to time. I have been a part of IITK's cultural festival (Antaragni) and technical festival (Techkriti) while in college. A big movie buff and loves watching TV serials, Lost and Hustle are my favorite, reads anything and everything and getting addicted to Facebook and twitter.


  • I don’t think the Italians ‘conned’ us per se. It seems more like the entire thing was arranged from beginning to end with the active connivance of the congress govt. 1. Italians don’t need to go home to vote, post works fine 2. Italian helicopter scam documents involving upa ministers have gone mysteriously missing. 3. Unlike the previous time where they had to pay bond of 6 crore each, there was nothing this time 4. The effective head of our country is know. .. yeah you can connect the dots.
    But well written though.

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