Last week, business people were hassled by requests for funds by supposed Maoists to finance a bandha that, paradoxically, would keep businesses closed. It's like financing a competitor's advertisment campaign. But since we do not have a system to redress our grievances, there is little one can do but cough up the money nicely labelled 'voluntary donations'.
The Beed wonders: why do we take this lying down? Instead of resisting it, why do businesses volunteer to collect money on behalf of political parties, perversely suggesting that a one-window policy be implemented to simplify extortion? Perhaps extortion is deeply rooted in our societies. Since the old days, priests from all religions have extorted what they can from devotees.Our rituals, especially relating to death, are a great platform for priests to get the most out of us. If we are good at making money out of dead people, why not make money for leaders who are live and kicking? So when you are used to being fleeced at temples, rituals, schools, hospitals, cable television serivice providers and internet providers, you tend to be more prepared for extortion.