The Old Swami Vivekananda anecdote and the cutlery stealing journalists from Bengal

The country was irredeemably shamed when some “senior” journalists accompanying Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were caught stealing cutlery in a London hotel.

Didn’t it even once occur to these dunces that since they were a part of an official group representing not just their own state but the whole of India, their every conduct has a great bearing on the country’s reputation?

This brings to my mind an old Swami Vivekananda anecdote that we perhaps all read in our childhood.

Once he was traveling in Japan. The train stopped at a small station and he got out to find apples as he was feeling hungry. He couldn’t find the fruit for a long time. A bit frustrated, he muttered, “What sort of a country is this where one cannot find even an apple?”

A young Japanese man was passing by and he heard the Swami. After a few minutes he appeared in front of Swami Vivekananda with a small jute basket full of apples.

Swami Vivekananda was very happy and he wanted to pay the young man for the apples.

The young Japanese man refused to take the money. He said to the Swami, “There is just one request. When you go back to India, don’t tell people that it’s difficult to get apples in Japan.”

This sort of nationalistic pride is often discouraged by our liberal and intellectual class that says the individualism takes precedence over nationalism.

If these journalists had even an iota of nationalistic pride in them, even the thought of committing such a shameful act would have seemed cringing to them.

But no, these days we are taught that nationalism is “last refuge of the scoundrels”.

These losers are so used to their corrupt ways of living that, my wife always says, “Inki buddhi kund ho gayi hai,” their brains have simply stopped working.

What sort of a world do they live in? Even if they don’t care a fig about the country’s reputation, don’t they know there are CCTV cameras everywhere?

One of the news reports conjectures that may be these monkeys thought that since most of the CCTV cameras don’t work in West Bengal, the same must be the state of affairs in that luxury hotel London.

But on a serious note, how should these individuals be treated? Should they just be allowed to get away with this?

I think when you are representing your country, or when you are in an official junket, if your conduct harms the country’s image, it should be considered as treason. Not a very serious sort of treason but still, treason. There should be jail, for at least a few weeks.

And all future trips banned.

I don’t care much about being politically correct. Things are just right or wrong and yes, sometimes there are grey areas in this is why we write, don’t we?

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