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Lifestyle Crime

hate_crimeI woke up today with the news of Rs 500 crore betting racket of IPL matches (I consider IPL matches a Business more than a Game) with Sreesanth, Ankit Chawan and Amit Singh admitting their involvement. But what caught my attention was this small footnote at the bottom which read : Boy Murdered to Pay for IPL Bet. The victim named Aditya Rankha, aged 13 was stabbed with kitchen knife several times by his cousins and finally burnt to death a little outside Mumbai after a ransom plan didn’t pan out the way his assailants had planned it. These muderers had lost Rs 10 lakh in illegal IPL bets and hence they kidnapped Aditya and demanded a ransom of Rs 30 Lakh for teen’s safe return, to which Aditya ‘s father did not agree.

The killers are not strangers, but relatives Aditya had grown up with, trusted and perhaps loved. The accused are neither hard-core criminals, nor professional killers. They represent the aam aadmi on every level. So what is the malaise in our society that is leading such people to commit dastardly crimes? Do they really think they’ll get away with murder? Do they think at all? Or is the glitter and glamour of instant gratification far more compelling than the risk involved? What about the reactions of their young wives and children? Other family members? The shame and ignominy of it all?

We are used to such urban crimes and we find nothing unusual about such stories. Thats why such articles find place at the footnote at the bottom of Dailies which we wearily read, get bored and turn the page. These killers were reported splurging wildly at nightclubs and ‘enjoying’ themselves. This idea of “enjoyment” has become a social disease that recognises no bounds. From a slum in central Mumbai to a penthouse on Pali Hill — it is no longer a distant dream or fantasy. It is happening. It is achievable. It is worth murdering a cousin for.

The scary truth is the lure of a luxurious lifestyle has completely blinded young urban India to consequences — moral or otherwise. There seems to be nothing at stake anymore. Everybody is chasing some impossible dream that promises paradise. Sometimes, one looks at the TV commercials (especially the ones that are telecast during the ongoing IPL) and wonders. They are so clever, so subversive they startle and shock the unwary! Most tap into middle-class frustrations, with wives and children demanding more and more and more from harried husbands and fathers (exotic summer vacations, bigger TV sets, pricey air conditioners). Banks offer attractive zero per cent interest on loans (come on, guys! who are you kidding?) urging the gullible to splurge on the latest smartphone or even a beach villa. Irresistible and heady as such offers are, there is always a catch.

That’s where these killer typos get phasaoed. Unwilling to wait for goodies that require some effort to acquire, they start gambling, first with currency, then with life itself. Young Aditya’s murder is emblematic of this rotten syndrome. As of now, one can only see a further escalation of similar crimes. The stakes may get higher. But lives will definitely get cheaper.

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Categories: Society
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