(* Names changed in order to protect the privacy of individuals)
Sources report that a software engineer in Bangalore has been suspected of practicing what he preaches.
The suspect, Mr. Prem, is in his thirties and is employed at a prestigious multinational IT giant. We at Faking News spoke to Mr. Prem’s relatives, friends and colleagues to bring you an exclusive insight into the matter.
We first spoke to Mr. Sharma, who is Mr. Prem’s colleague and knows him for over five years. They often carpool to work. Mr. Sharma informed our reporter that Mr. Prem advocates disciplined driving.
“He always keeps cribbing about the city’s rash and negligent driving. He is forever complaining about people speaking on the phone while driving, not observing lane discipline etc. When he spoke about it so strongly, I naturally felt he would violate all rules while driving. However, I was surprised to find that he actually follows all of his own advice. Once, he went to the extent of stopping at a red signal even when there was no policeman around.”
When asked if he ever suspected Mr. Prem of being radicalized, Mr. Sharma denied it. “I always thought he stuck to the rules out of fear – fear of damaging his car, or of being caught by the police. I never even remotely suspected that he was doing this as a matter of principle. If I did, I would have reported it right away,” said Mr. Sharma.
We next met the suspect’s wife – Mrs. Prem. She was in tears when she narrated an incident which she says should have triggered an alarm but didn’t. “Last year, we had forgotten to pay our BSNL broadband bill for three months continuously since we were out of town every now and then. This led to a huge late payment backlog and eventually our service was disconnected. My husband always keeps saying that one must never be casual when it comes to paying bills. He says that as responsible citizens of this country, it is our duty to be diligent in such matters. So, when our internet got disconnected, I expected my husband to barge in to the BSNL office and scream JAANTA HAI MERA BAAP KAUN HAI??”.
At this point Mrs. Prem had started sobbing. “But, but … instead of turning this into a drama, my husband meekly paid the pending bills and got our connection reinstated. I could have sworn that he did it simply because he didn’t have the time or patience to fight it out. I never ever thought he’d do it on grounds of principle,” she said and broke down uncontrollably.
Finally we caught up with Mr. Prem’s childhood friend, Mr. Kiran. Kiran says that for as far as he can remember, the suspect has been explaining to others, the virtues of personal sacrifice for the larger good at a national level. “Whenever we had discussions on national politics, Prem would argue that we, the privileged citizens of the country, must make sacrifices if the lower strata of society are to be uplifted. For example, he supported reservations in education and jobs, he supported the concept of the taxpayer taking the burden of subsidies for the poor etc.”
“Obviously, this meant that I expected Prem to flout all of this sacrifice business in his own personal life. I didn’t expect him to make even the smallest of concessions. But I was stunned when recently, he firmly stood his ground and steadfastly refused to book waiting list tickets on multiple trains using multiple IRCTC accounts. He claimed that other passengers would be inconvenienced. He also refused to buy tickets from agents, referring to them as touts.”
The news has gathered national attention. Home Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh has promised a CBI probe into the matter. At a press conference in New Delhi today, the Home Minister issued the following statement
“We will not be soft on this sort of shameful behavior. If Mr. Prem is indeed found to practice what he preaches, we will take the strictest possible action as permissible by law.”
Later, the minister was overheard telling one of his secretaries,”We are the nation of Mahatma Gandhi. Just imagine how he would have felt at this betrayal if he were alive today,” shaking his head.