Darlings Of The Department. The Story Of Harry Vinoir. By P.S.Remesh Chandran.
Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.
When someone steals 3.2 millions from government treasury, causes the death of one woman, two children and three men in this adventure and escapes into the safety of a promotion post of a very senior officer in that government, a few will admire him but the majority of the people in the world will wonder who is ruling Kerala and if there is any law and policing there. Any sensible person will ask who that rogue is. Read here the true story.
A Story from the The Hospital Window Series- True stories of what one sees through hospital windows from the inside and from the outside.
This story is from the archives of the imaginary investigative organization ‘Kerala Peoplez Vigilenz included in their forthcoming book ‘The Hospital Window’. ‘The Hospital Window Series’ contains true stories of what one sees through hospital windows from the inside and from the outside. Many people have the notion that educational qualifications, ability and skill are the determinants for selection and promotion in government services. This notion is held by more and more people nowadays, following the American government’s decision to recruit persons into their services more through telephone interviews than through face to face interviews so that the colour and beauty of applicants shall not be a consideration. The American government’s decision is admirable in that selecting only the beautiful, fleshy and protein-rich ladies into the services can be avoided and coloured people too, if with enough abilities, could get their rightful chances. It is an action which several nations and states in the world, some of them claiming to have achieved complete socialism and some claiming even to be God’s Own Native Land have not been bold enough to take. But wait till you read this story which I tell you here, before deciding who will eventually become the darlings of government departments.
Doctors never commit suicide because they have enough patients there to kill through their blunders.
Many years back, when it was a time of no mobile phones, internet or television, the newspapers in Kerala celebrated a story. An employee in the District Surgeon’s Office in Trivandrum organized large scale monetary crimes following which a doctor and his family, including his wife and two children, were found dead in a hotel room in the capital city, with burned currency notes of higher denominations scattered everywhere around them in the hotel room. It should be noted here that doctors rarely take their own lives when there are enough poor patients for them there to kill silently and deliberatively through their greed and blunders. It should also be considered that whatever complexities they themselves have got into, they would be having highly placed persons in their contact to get them out of any kind of problem and that theirs is a profession they are licensed to practice till the end of their days unlike those of the other senior civil servants of their rank and genre. That is why the world seldom hears about doctors committing suicide anywhere. So naturally the revelations following this multiple suicide, if it was suicide, became exceptionally sensational in Kerala and remained bold frontline headlines for months to come in all major and minor newspapers in the state. Since old dated copies of these papers are available in the State Public Library in Trivandrum for the reference of anyone who is interested and also since it is not the right thing to give undue publicity to these papers, we shall avoid mentioning their names here.
Where did all those bundles of currency notes to burn in a hotel room come from?
Now since it was a multiple suicide by a reputed doctor and his family in a hotel room, with currency notes scattered everywhere which in itself was rare, it became great news. The social, political and civil service life of this doctor was scrutinized into and in the investigation which followed it was revealed that this doctor was a very generous person whenever money came his way. It was reported that he was generous in presenting rich sarees and gold ornaments to his subordinates, especially ladies, frequently. It mostly happened when bills for the special expenses of his hospital were cashed from the government treasury. He was an Assistant Surgeon in charge of a rural Primary Health Centre in a very remote hamlet called Vellappil. It is now relevant here to note how funds for a small hospital are received encashed and accounted for. The money to be paid as salaries to the staff would be provided in advance in the budget plan of the department for the year, for the encashment of which no allotments of funds are needed. Medicines and other stores for the hospital would be issued from the government stores according to requirement and indents. All other inevitable expenses will have to be got approved by the District Surgeon’s Office and allotment of funds will have to be received both in the institution and in the concerned treasury before presenting the bills.
Simply put a zero on the right side of 10,000 in a government communication and 1, 00,000 will come your way.
How does an allotment for a certain amount reach a remote hospital? Newspapers also brought out how it is done, every single stage explained in detail, for a column is a column, a page is a page and here the news is anyway free. Suppose an amount of Ten Thousand rupees has to be allotted to Vellappil Hospital for purchasing stationary, sanitation materials for field services or for securing local services such as loading and unloading of materials or coolie labour. A triplicate allotment letter would be prepared in the District Surgeon’s Office. A Yellow copy will go to the concerned government treasury to enable them to set aside sufficient amount to pay when the bill is presented. A Blue copy will go to the concerned institution. A White copy will remain in the District Office as office copy. Then there will be the ledgers and registers in the office wherein notings will be made. The clerk will write 10000 toward the left of the column, leaving space for a single digit on the right edge of the entry in the paper. The higher officers will compare the figure with the ledgers and registers, approve and sign the allotment and return the file to the clerk’s table. The clerk will then put an additional Zero on the right, making the figure 100000 and send the allotment letters to the Vellappil Hospital and the Treasury there. The additional Zero will be put only in the Yellow and Blue copies and the White copy will remain unchanged in the original file. Thus the officials in the District Surgeon’s Office normally will not know about this cheating until one of them becomes suspicious or it is caught in the next audit by the internal wing of the department or by the Accountant General, provided none other is involved in this racket. Thus the doctor will mix original vouchers for 10000 with bogus vouchers for 90000, present a bill for 100000 rupees in the treasury and encash the amount. It was later revealed that the actual 10000 indeed was utilized in the hospital against original vouchers, another 10000 was spent on silencing a few, 30000 became the doctor’s lavish money to be spent at his will and the rest 50000 straight went to the clerk in the District Surgeon’s Office. A very lucrative deal indeed, until caught.
Perpetrators of a crime taking their own lives, one, two, three, except the original plotter.
Burning currency is a serious crime. Those officers who went after the burned, semi burned and unburned bundles of notes in the hotel room eventually found out that the clerk in the District Surgeon’s Office was the original planner and founder of this racket, that he was simply captivating a convenient doctor from a peripheral institution to execute his agenda and that they had already stolen 32 Lakhs rupees within a period of one year. It was also found out that the treasury officials could easily have detected this theft when inconceivably high bills began to be presented from a minor institution while annual such expenditure from other similar lower hospitals remained below just two lakhs rupees during those decades, and that not less than two treasury officials were receiving their share of the loot. The peon of the hospital who was assigned the duty of going to treasury for cashing the bills was satisfied with just his liquor money. When investigations progressed and the vigilance net came closer and closer, this person took his life, leaving his family orphans. Then there was the clerk of the institution who actually prepared the ballooned up bills. The next mysterious death was his, which also was supposed to be suicide. The death toll now has reached six. The stealing of 32 lakhs rupees from government coffers took the lives of three men, one woman and two innocent children. Now, of the four perpetrators of the crime, only one person is alive – the clerk in the District Surgeon’s Office, the original plotter of the crime. Newspapers happily brought out how many cars he bought, how many bungalows he bought and how many acres of land he bought in Trivandrum city. A heinous crime committed by a greedy government official resulted in leaving behind it a trail of suicides, the unwanted death of six persons, including two infants. Any alert administration and people will shake the world with news of apt immediate punishment, but not civilized Kerala. When faced with such sinful a situation, some will suicide, some will confess and go to the confines and solitude of prison and some others will repent, but not our man. The greatest wonder in Kerala is that even the loss of six human lives and 32 lakhs rupees from government treasury caused no prosecution, conviction and jail terms. This was an incident which seriously raised the question, whether any real laws are really existing there in Kerala or is Kerala simply boasting about civilization.
Steal 32 lakhs from government, join ranks of caste zealots, escape punishment, and get promoted as officer.
Now we come to our character, Harry Vinoir, the original plotter and designer of the scheme. He is now the only alive perpetrator of the crime which took the toll of six human lives. Everything regarding his past and present have been brought out by the newspapers. His two bungalows, three cars, five bank deposits and four stretches of purchased land in the city are now public knowledge. The department could do only one thing decent-promote him. He deserves it, considering the department standards. But due to public pressure and wide media attention they reluctantly had to suspend him from service, ordering a departmental enquiry the order for which was issued not by the reluctant department but by the government in the face of public accusation and considering the gravity of the situation after six deaths. Been recruited into service following the death of a relative in service, this employee had strong family supporters in the department. Moreover, he belonged to the forward Vinoir community of Kerala, the rotten caste system of which land is famous all over the world for its notoriety and unjust favouritism. He did not hesitate to join their ranks and make his way to the upper leadership of the caste organization. The Vinoir community in Trivandrum did not find it an abomination and shame to elect him a leader in the Vazhuthanakkadu branch of their organization which assured him impunity from punishment for his crimes. They simply became bound to help him in spite of the notoriety of his crimes.
If one is skilled enough to steal millions from government, generous enough to share it and belongs to some upper caste, Kerala is God’s Own Country for him.
We will think that the person, our Harry Vinoir, is now spending his life in jail or he is engaged in some other employment after serving his jail term. Actually his protectors in the department, the community figure heads, by stalling the enquiry, gave him enough time and lee way to argue that the enquiry is belated, he is already punished psychologically, there is no evidence against him and that he should be retaken into service. With lightning speed, they sent him to some remote institution where it was some fouled up doctor’s duty to re-enter him in service by simply writing in his service book ‘reinstated in service and rejoined duty’ without mention of number or date of a reinstatement order or even affixing a copy of the suspension and reinstatement orders in the book. In fact, the government that suspended him later revealed that it never issued an order reinstating him. Neither the department did, for that matter. It was another trick employed by devious minded government officials. Wait for one or two years till the uproar over the issue silences, simply fabricate orders, simply sent the favourite to some distant institution and simply write that some he has rejoined duty. It is that simple in Kerala, provided one is a member of the crooks’ clan. Now there is no hindrance to promoting him and the machinery moved on, well oiled up. The fact that the top authorities who reviewed his requests for these many promotions failed to note that copies of suspension and reinstatement orders and number and date of reinstatement order were absent in his service book serves as proof for how wide and omnipotent the hold of the crook’s clan and caste zealots is in the administration in the state. Within a few years Harry Vinoir was first promoted as an Upper Division Clerk, then as a Head Clerk, then as a Junior Superintendent and now he is on the brink of promotion to the post of a Superintendent. If one is skilled enough to steal millions from government, generous enough to share it and belongs to some upper caste, anything is possible in Kerala: Kerala is God’s Own Country for him. It is the benefit of being a darling of the department. Not one government official from the top most to the bottom ever asked that most feared question: “Why was the money stolen from government not ever recovered?”
Some sinners, when they reach the tranquil abodes of saints and holy people will repent deeply and redeem part of what humanity was lost from them.
Sin is something that creates in some of us the false notions of religion. When we know that everyone knows we are crooked thieves who did unspeakable crimes, some of us will decide it is time to make a show of religion and piety. So Harry Vinoir decided to lean on some respected man of miracles so that the blood of half a dozen human lives could be somewhat washed from his hands. Now we are entering a part of our story which never should have happened. Who served hundred thousands of acres of parched fields and villages in dry Andhra Pradesh with water? Who inspired thousands and thousands of writers, singers and dancers with sweet melodious songs in the bygone era? Who solaced desolate millions, sitting in a bamboo hut in the midst of a vast yellow mustard field in his rustic native hamlet? Who founded and directed the biggest free hospital in Asia? Our animal which is Harry Vinoir selected the learned Satya Sai Baba to lean on. What can Baba do against such sinners and hypocrites joining and maligning his sacred organizations? Vinoir made it a great show, sang bhajans and went pilgrimages. Some sinners, when they reach the tranquil abodes of saints and holy people will repent deeply and transform their minds into other configurations without knowing, redeeming a part of humanity that was lost from them, but not our man! He is in his heart and blood a beast that wallows deep in the wormy pits of fleshly pleasures. One will wonder if this creation has a family of his own and why his wife and children did not enter anywhere in our story. Let us not further pain them, those pining human souls who on their way to eternity, though for a very short time, got entangled in the clutches of this wretched god-abandoned thing.
He, in his heart and blood, is a beast which wallows deep in the wormy pits of fleshly pleasures.
Flesh is something important and influential in government services. When a fleshy, protein-rich lady with sufficient curves and projections comes to work in an office, several changes in seating arrangements and sections would be made there to sit her as lightly and cozily as the sex-starving officers of that office could do. In a particular government office, the clerks were previously sitting in two rows facing each other. One saw the face of the other and communicated well. With the arrival of one such lady, the junior superintendent of that office ordered the seats to be placed one behind the other, all facing him so that he can feast on the face and curves of the new arrival. Now all see another’s back, which is taboo in the East and now there is no communication between anyone but discord. The officer looked up some book, coined a new phrase and said it was Ahmadabad- Model Administrative Change! When the new arrival did not like one particular section since it involved actual work, another rearrangement in sections was made to suit her disturbing all others and when she did not like the second one too, a third rearrangement was ordered. One senior and reliable officer of that institution commented that the girl had to learn to do actual work, not show curves. Curvaceous flesh can move officers but not office files. It needs learned work and dedication to move them. Then one day the husband of this lady came to that office shouting that his wife has been going out with that junior superintendent, their family is on the brink of ruin and that this cannot go on. Following advice from her new lover, she filed law suit for divorce and her two little children thus lost a father. It needn’t be specially told here that this junior superintendent was our Harry Vinoir. So now we know that a born sinner will never repent and that heaven will not touch the devil. A mad dog will not cure and that is why the world kills it. A person who is left at liberty and freedom to destroy human lives everywhere will continue to do it without remorse or hesitance. He leaves a trail of destruction behind him, his intolerance for having been exposed once brutally expressing itself in causing him to destruct whatever solid human creations and relations he comes across. Learning about this incident of the birth of two new orphans and the prospect of two more suicides, many wondered how long he will continue this destruction of human lives. A few say, till he also takes his own life.
Dear Reader, If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here: https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles
To read about the life and people of Kerala, visit KERALA COMMENTARY here.
Caste Zealots And Criminals, Crimes That Went Unpunished, Darlings Of The Department, Escapees From Crimes, Hospital Crimes, Kerala, Kerala Commentary, Kerala Life, P S Remesh Chandran, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Short Fiction, Short Stories, The Hospital Window Series Stories, The Story Of Harry Vinoir, True Stories
Meet the author
PSRemeshChandra Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Unmarried and single.
Share this page