It is a truth universally acknowledged that a good many human beings,
if left to their own conscience, tend to execute debauched and dishonest
acts for the betterment of their own selves, conveniently forgetting
or rather, shrewdly disregarding, in the dissipated route towards
success, their vows of ethics and morals. Students, being very much
a part of the human race, are no exception. Consequently, being the
nation builders of tomorrow, they (some of them, at any rate) waste
no time in following in the footsteps of their revered ministers and
politicians in learning how to cheat--be it their parents, their teachers,
the sentinel in the examination hall, or philosophically speaking,
their own selves.
Cheating -- a hereditary trait?
Cheating is an ancient exercise, dating back, arguably, to the existence
of humankind. According to the book of Genesis, Cain's murder of his
brother Abel was only the beginning of wickedness in the world. Then
came the famous Jacob, who obtained his brother's birthright by an
"unjust advantage," thus establishing, at a very early era,
an art form that would, in the later stages of human civilisation,
truly "rock" (clichéd as it mau sound!)
Then those with communist and/or socialist blood flowing
in their veins might befittingly argue that the rich have throughout
the ages cheated the poor--first it was the feudal lords cheating
the poor peasants, then it was (/is) the bourgeoisie cheating the
working class of their rightful share of profit, property and power.
Some may even assert that a true capitalist society cannot exist without
one group of people cheating the others....
With such an illustrious tradition of cheating to
back us up, it is no surprise that we continue to bask in the glory
of fraud, swindling, conning, deceit, etc., and carry on the ritual
by producing our share of cheats, con artists, loan defaulters, double-dealers
Cheating: An indispensable ingredient of student
Ask any student who is not the salt of the earth and you would, predictably,
receive the reply (accompanied by a sheepish smile), "Err...well...
it isn't so much as cheating as an occasional peek at a neighbouring
answer script, or a quick look at the book/copy/piece of paper when
no one's looking your way, you know... to further enhance your already
comprehensive knowledge... he..he.."
Food for thought, eh?
Students have, through time, devised exceptionally ingenious schemes
and techniques of cheating. Answers can be artistically written, with
minute handwriting, on the soles of sneakers, palm of the hands, undersides
of shirts, dopattas, clip files etc. A veteran cheat recommends the
application of traditional wears such as sarees and dhutis, which
give a larger surface area for the inscription of essential data.
Papers can be hidden in underwear's, in pencil boxes, in the space
provided by the calculator and its cover, below wigs, etc. Solutions
can be engraved on chewing gums, wrappers of chocolate, handkerchiefs,
tissue paper (which is indeed very convenient. You take a packet of
tissues, each tissue specializing in a particular chapter; sneeze
into it once you're finished with one, throw it away and take out
another one... sheer brilliancy!).
The peak seasons for cheating are November-December/
May-June, though this act of deception more or less sustains throughout
the year. But to catch the spirit of cheating at its most exuberant,
one has to witness the spree during the SSC and HSC examinations.
People can be seen climbing fences and barriers to supply "nokol
shoronjam" to the examinees, teachers and instructors remain
nonchalant, at times turning a blind eye towards some favoured student,
and even a handful of parents, hard as it is to believe, can be found
giving tips on cheating to their offspring....
Last year the BCS question paper was released (fash
kora) a few days prior to the examination day. This occasion
gave way to a lot of infuriation on the part of the non-participating
student spectators, who could only wish that such windfalls would
favour them during their time too. Also, many English Medium students
complain about the "barabari" strict precautionary
measures taken by the British Council authorities to eradicate cheating,
declaring it as "unfair" when compared to the lax security
during the SSCs and HSCs.
The researcher came across a rebellious student who
claimed that cheating is a student's "institutional right"
and entreated the authorities in question to take his "highly
judicious" view into consideration. The radical then proceeded
to ask the researcher, rather fiercely she claims, what she thought
about his standpoint. She rather diplomatically abstained from giving
an answer, and fled quickly wishing the rebel "the best of luck!"
After all, "Nokol bidda boro bidda, jodi
na pori dhora!"
Cheating: Our rank in the International Arena
The art of cheating encompasses people of all nationality, class,
race, sex and religion. One may, however, wonder whether we, the proud
titleholders of "the most corrupted nation in the world"
(and that too for the third year in a row), have an upper hand over
the other countries when it comes to such a sophisticated form of
corruption. "Naturally!" the Amnesty International folks
(not that I am saying they are very reliable!) would tell us if they
were asked, with a smirk on their face.
Ah, well! There IS no end to what we can achieve!
Cheating on a daily basis:
"Bhaijan, loya jan; ekkerey 100% fresh fish straight from
the Buriganga," the wily fish seller declares. Enchanted
by his oily smile, you buy the fish and congratulate yourself on your
good purchase, only to discover that the fish you have been boasting
about is rotten...
Well, as Reader's Digest puts it, life's like that.
Further examples include the professed "birotiheen
sitting" service in buses. The buses stop every other second,
and you're lucky if you even get a handle to hang on to, let alone
Then there are the fake beggars. He corners you and
launches into a tragic tale of how his son is desperately ill with
leukaemia and how death awaits with cruel intentions, that is, unless
your wallet steps in and prevents the catastrophe. The gullible you
of course believe him, and since you are very kind, you offer to introduce
him to your dad a doctor. Notice how quickly he slithers out of sight.
Nevertheless these people actually have an excuse
however inadequate for cheating; after all, poverty happens to be
a very demanding taskmaster. But can the same be said of the numerous
godfathers liberally strewn all over our country? They are not haunted
by poverty, rolling in excess wealth is more in their line. They cheat
the masses off their rightful share of freedom to live in peace, harmony
and safety. But crime pays, and money talks, so don't expect them
stop cheating in the near future. They won't, if they aren't made
Cheating: USA & the Western Media
Sounds confusing? Why not substitute the word "cheating"
with its other synonyms, like "deception" and "falsification"?
The meaning of the heading suddenly becomes rather lucid, does it
As most of the mass media industry is controlled by
the western corporate sectors and in same cases, the government, it
is becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to get the
real picture of international politics. Richard Folk, professor of
international relations at Princeton, put it this way: "Western
Foreign Policy is presented almost exclusively through a self-righteous,
one-way legal/moral screen (with) positive images of Western values
and innocence portrayed as threatened, validating a campaign of unrestrained
This free media of the West (note the word "free")
continues to censor all those "coverage" which confronts
the culpability of the imperial powers. In a world that claims to
be "democratic" and "egalitarian", is that effort
anything short of cheating?
Cheating: In conclusion...
To be continued. Next week. Same paper. Same page. (That is, after
reading all this on cheating, if you're gullible enough to still believe