Haar Kar Jeetne Wale Ko Scamster Kehte Hain

Satire

Haar Kar Jeetne Wale Ko Scamster Kehte Hain

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

“F

ool everyone once, shame on them, fool everyone twice, shame on the system,” is Janardhana Reddy’s philosophy.

Former Karnataka minister and one of the earliest entrants to India’s corrupt hall of fame, Janardhana Reddy is back. While other MVPs of corporate scandals like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi fled the country, the mining baron was arrested for his suspected role in money laundering, destruction of evidence and helping the accused with illegal cash transactions. The ₹600-crore fraud case once again proves that being a scamster is one of the most lucrative jobs in the country.

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Making it big as an ethical person in India is a mixture of hard work, luck, and desi chemical X – connections. You have to compromise your fun years and struggle your entire school life to score Dettol level percentages. If you’re lucky, you’ll make it to a good college and not end up dead drunk in a gutter three years later. While you’re in college, you have to prepare for professional exams like your life depends on it and spend the next few years getting that degree. If all goes well, you may walk out of college and get a salary of ₹50,000, that disappears faster every month than articles critical of Amit Shah on the internet. Embrace the stress for three decades and you could retire with a house in Mumbai that’s smaller than the smallest atom in the world. And this, is your best case scenario, a worthy pursuit.

Here’s a spot of advice for young children, who have to grapple with whether they should study arts, commerce, or science and what the career “scope” of these streams: Scamster ban jao doston, bahot scope hai.

First things first, there’s no need to stress over academic excellence. In fact, if empirical evidence tells us anything, the worse you do, the better chances you have of making it as a brilliant scamster. Just look at some of our politicians. Add to it, a criminal record and you could certainly make it to Parliament some day. If Arvind Kejriwal ever knocks on your door for proof, you can even manufacture degrees. That’s what being an A-list scamster is all about.

One of the most beautiful things about being a conman is that you don’t have to work as hard but rip off other hardworking people off their money. Why do other people lead stressful lives, work 24X7, ignoring their loved ones? Obviously, for you to be able to some day take a huge loan from a bank, never return that money and party with Chris Gayle in Jamaica for the rest of your life. Hard work is for suckers, real men work smart. Setting up a bank takes decades, stealing money from it takes minutes.

Nothing helps climb the social ladder like making money the wrong way. The bigger you get and the more powerful you become, you get invited to IPL parties, Bollywood events and to deliver sermons at economic forums. You can also influence politics of the day and get the news media to kiss your ass like Vince McMahon from WWE. If you’re doing too well, you can even get some of the biggest stars and athletes in the world to endorse your products, so you can also drill their reputation to the ground along with yours some day.

Being a scamster is an evergreen business, it has stood the test of time and there’s always a wide range of fields in which to con people.

There’s lesser risk involved in pursuing a career as a scamster than there is in investing in the equity market. You see, even if you manage to fuck it up, it takes time for the legal system to catch up with you. If the justice system in India were a 100-metre race, it would be like watching Usain Bolt in an ultra-slow-motion replay. People in the country have committed crimes and died before a verdict could be passed in their case. God operates faster than courts in India. If you fail as a private business, you’re bankrupt overnight but if you’re caught in a scam, you can be sure to lead a luxurious life and get thousands of people to rally behind you.

If there’s even little chance that you’ll be found guilty and exposed because you were too good at what you were doing, there’s still a solution – just fly away from the country and never come back. The peril of being poor is you can only run locally and the chor-police game will eventually come to a sad end. When you scale up the con job, you can live the Dhoom adventure in real life and laugh your ass off from a JW Marriott hotel room, watching your country trying its best to make sense of the whole thing.

Worst case scenario: Verdict is out, you get caught in the country, and are sent to jail (probability 1/100000000). For all those things to happen at the same time, you need real bad luck. But even in that case, because you are high profile, you get more vacations than employees at Infosys. When you are inside jail, you get better amenities and facilities than a mid-range Oyo room. Influential and powerful people get bail faster than you can get an Uber.

Being a scamster is an evergreen business, it has stood the test of time and there’s always a wide range of fields in which to con people. It’s a career with which you can’t go wrong – the initial hard work is negligible, there’s not a lot of money to be spent, the payout is massive, and if things ever go wrong, you can just leave the country.

Scamster ban jao doston, bahot scope hai.

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