INDIAN cricket, I had heard a few years ago, was against modern technology that would reduce human error when it comes to umpiring decisions! Howzat! They would prefer the men in white coats to remain on the field. They would prefer to see his spiraling finger declaring them out or not out. They would prefer the suspense of wondering whether the umpire had heard the snick from their bat as the appeal from the wicket keeper for caught behind rises up in their ears!
They would prefer human error to continue. Because human error is what we can control! We oppose anything that will make decisions more transparent, because transparency is not something we want around: Transparency will make us all equals, and that just won’t do, in a country where might is right. A friend of mine was accosted by a traffic cop at a signal, “Bob!” he cried to me on the phone, “I swear I didn’t cut the signal. The man just wants to make money!” “Let me speak to the cop!” I said. “Why make such a fuss,” chuckled the constable on the phone,” just tell him to pay a hundred rupees and we’ll let him go!”
“No!” I shouted, “The signal is equipped with a camera, we’ll see the footage in court!” “Sir,” said the policeman, suddenly very respectful, “we are allowing him to go!” It was over in a jiffy. And the stories go on: The chairman of a religious trust; a man who portrayed his seemingly deep religious convictions to the outside world, was caught breaking the rules of the trust and resigned from his chairmanship and also from the post of the editor. He however, changed his mind later on, “I didn’t resign!” he said quietly to his staff the next morning.
“Well,” I said, “just tell him that there’s not a meeting where I don’t record everything on my Pad or phone!” We had no trouble after that on what had transpired at the meeting. It’s sad that I have to record meetings I attend, whether religious or secular, because most in our country rely on ‘human error’! “No,” shout certain committee members, “That was not passed!” And then a silence as they find out it’s been recorded. A corrupt municipal engineer once told me, “You can’t prove anything!” “I can,” I told him quietly, “I’ve taken photographs!” “Your digital photos are not accepted by the municipality!” he smiled wickedly and said. “I know,” I said, “Which is why I took them with my old camera!” The fight will go on. We will fight to retain ‘human error’ as our shield, but it is a losing fight, as we can see, with the Enforcement Directorate knowing all the hidden secrets of our politicians..!