New Delhi: Faking News caught up with Bhikhari Lal, the gentleman who gave a five rupee coin to Arvind Kejriwal on January 2015 for a candid interview. The interview was conducted at the traffic signal of Purana Qila road in the afternoon when the business is usually dull.
FN: You gave a 5 rupee coin to Mr. Arvind Kejriwal and he became Chief Minister of Delhi. How do you feel about it?
BL: Well, to be honest, I did not know who he was when I gave him that 5 rupee coin. I am normally into charity and help people who look more needy than I am. I gave the coin to him because his shirt seemed to be older than one I would normally throw away, his cheap slippers had holes in their soles and the expression on his face was even more despondent than I muster up when I approach a car at a traffic signal. It was later when my son showed me his twitter timeline that I came to know that he was Arvind Kejriwal, CM candidate.
FN: If you had known that he was Arvind Kejriwal, leader of Aam Aadmi Party, would you have given him 5 rupees? What would you have done?
BL: Well, to be frank, I am not sure. I don’t know whether I would have given him the coin or not, knowing who he was. In hindsight, may be, I would have given it to him nevertheless, appreciating his skills at creating the fake image of a poor man, even better than I can. On second thoughts, I would have negotiated a position in the party as Ashutosh did. After all his contribution to Aam Aadmi Party is not more than mine.
FN: The common man is saying that despite being, please don’t mind, a beggar, it was a great sacrifice on your part to give away 5 rupees. Do you feel proud of it?
BL: Hain! It seems that you journalists know nothing about us. Tell me, what is the value of Rs. 5 for someone like me? You must be aware that per capita income of Delhi is much higher and I happen to belong to section of society which is better off than average Delhiite. The poor guys have no work, can’t pay their electricity or water bills and have to eat lauki (bottle gourd) daily. We, beggars, at least, don’t rely on government‘s dole to survive. We work hard, earn and enjoy and, off course, give money in charity. You can also categorize this gesture under Prime Minister’s #Giveitup scheme. We don’t have the LPG subsidy to give up, you can consider that Rs. 5 as a contribution to poorer sections of society.
FN: Do you feel bad to see that the person who took Rs 5 from you is flying first class, going on vacation to Switzerland, running 30 air conditioners at home?
BL: You don’t get it. Do you? All you journalists are uneducated to ask such stupid questions. When a hand appears out of a car window and gives me a 50 rupee note, does the benevolent giver come back in the evening to check as to what I am doing with my earnings? Whether I am buying a bottle of Antiquity or a pack of Marlboro Lights or spending it at a massage parlour? So, why should I crib as to how Mr. Kejriwal spends the money I gave.
FN: Last question, sir. In case you happen to come across him again, would you repeat your act of charity?
BL: I will do better than that. I would give him a job as a training consultant. You see, we get recruits from villages and towns who want to make a career in begging but do not have an idea about the skill set needed. Our business model demands that you got to look poor, impoverished, ill and have a victimized look. You have to be able to produce your tone of voice to such pitiable levels that the giver’s heart strings are pulled sufficiently to reach his pocket. Only this ensures a good income at the end of the day. The new recruits need training and I believe he has the core competence to provide it. More importantly, the money is good. You can remain on the road throughout the day, you can disrupt any activity with no one feeling bad about it.