A Nation of Heartless Brutes: Indore Officials Throw 14-Year-Old Boy’s Egg Cart For Not Bribing Them

Social Commentary

A Nation of Heartless Brutes: Indore Officials Throw 14-Year-Old Boy’s Egg Cart For Not Bribing Them

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

The prolonged lockdown has hit the economically weaker sections of our nation much worse than people like us. While life wasn’t any easier before 2020 went downhill, trying to make ends meet has been far more challenging for the poor in the present times. And through their actions, civic officials in Indore have led to further financial loss for a 14-year-old boy and his family.

On Thursday, Indore’s civic officials allegedly overturned an egg cart manned by a young boy after he refused to pay them a bribe of ₹100.

According to the boy, the civic officials had warned him to remove the cart or hand over ₹100 as bribe. However, the kid’s refusal to do so led the officials to tip over his cart, destroying all the eggs.

In the videos that have now gone viral, the distraught kid can be seen shuffling between his knocked down cart and the officials, attempting to confront them for their actions.

Due to the pandemic, the boy was already struggling with his daily sales. The destruction of his stock has now brought him additional financial burden to bear. By selling eggs, the 14-year-old was trying to support his family who live in extreme poverty, at a crematorium.

The Madhya Pradesh government has introduced the “left-right” rule for shops and vendors as businesses, both big and small, have suffered heavy losses amid the outbreak and lockdown conditions. However, the Indore administration’s anti-encroachment drive is merely adding to the adversity of the poor.

Online, the Indore officials have been slammed for their uncalled-for actions and users have demanded the young boy be compensated for the damage.

Laws are enforced to ease people’s lives, not to cause them further hardships.

Is there no humanity for the less fortunate in these troubling times?

Netizens have stepped forward, expressing their willingness to help the boy.

The incident however raises a pressing question: Would the rich be subjected to a similar behaviour or is this no land for the poor?

While we understand that abiding by the rules, especially amid the corona scare, has added another layer of stress to the work of the officials, we hope that there’s still some room for empathy to be found.