Proving that the law is an ass, this bandit slips and fall on the slippery tiles of the house he is burglarizing, gets caught because he can’t get up and run away and sues the house owner and gets compensated by a Judge for the homeowner’s negligence in having a wet floor.
When vehicles in this country are in a state of dereliction, when shocks and front ends are damaged causing tires to cut badly, when your car rattles as when Achebe’s things fall apart, it is not because vehicle owners are themselves derelict in their responsibility to maintain them but it is because of the atrocious road conditions that prevail in this country because according to Rohan’s ticket book of economics, poor roads = more damaged vehicles which = by extension, more vehicles to ticket and which = more revenue for the state.
At school, there is a ‘textbook of economics’ by Hanson which teaches the student all the fine points of fiscal management and revenue earning strategies to make your country rich like Singapore, for instance, while in Rohan’s ticket book of diabolic economics, the lesson there is, if you want to oppress citizens, if they are not likely to riot and choose instead to meekly pay up the fines they get ticketed for, just leave the roads to deteriorate and become tracks and traces as we revert to the PNM’s dream of living Fred Flintstone’s “yabadabadoo’s” life in the stone age as we slide down the dinosaur’s tail into the abyss.
So while police officers are concentrating on filling up the treasury and fulfilling Rohan’s white collar pickpocketing by handing out tickets to decent law-abiding citizens making them feel as if they had just committed the worst crime, the real criminals are left free to commit mayhem as murders, robbery etc. – rampant in this country – make us a crime capital comparable with the worst in the world.
So Rohan, you think the Nobel Prize Committee or the World Bank going to make you top Minister of the millennium in the world via your ticket book of economics? If, Minister, you harbour literary pretensions, the ticket-book doesn’t make you eligible, eh, just to let you know.
By Lester Siddhartha Orie