Culture of deceit

Amal Chatterjee
9 min readSep 4, 2021

Source : Google photo

Synopsis : Some people think that being deceitful works to their advantage but it doesn’t. It always comes back to bite them because sooner or later they get caught. The culture of deceit drags people down the well they can’t escape from.

There was an Indian who watched a milk delivery man in a rural England village who brought in bottles of pure milk and left it at the doorsteps of houses while collecting the empty bottles. He asked the milkman how could he make a profit by selling pure milk this way when diluting the milk with water could earn him a handsome profit.

The old milkman was shocked at such immoral suggestion and asked the Indian if he had children at home and how would he feel if his children were cheated this way. The Indian had no answer and hung his head in shame. The old milkman said we do not do such despicable things here in this country.

Now I see that people everywhere are adopting a culture of deceit without a second thought and feel that some money should be made no matter what the method so we find the peas that look green are in fact dyed in green and possibly toxic color, the gills of fish are dyed red to make it look fresh, chicken pumped up with water to cheat at the weight, the milk diluted and crème removed before selling it as fresh pure milk. The list of fraud and cheating is very long and the traders are finding new ways every day to cheat people. Once I was given good looking cashews to taste in a shop in Delhi so I bought some but they extract the oil that they sell at a high price and still sell the tasteless cashews to make double profit and fool people.

The vegetable vendor cheats you with his sleight of hand and gives you less weight, the gas station attendant gives you less gasoline than what you pay for, the cloth merchant gives you less cloth than what you pay for etc. These are some of the examples of how people cheat you every day when you go out to buy anything which shows how morally bankrupt people have become these days everywhere.

Today I will write about other ways people have started to cheat and show how far they have descended into the immoral abyss that will boggle your mind. It is probably expected of traders to cheat because it seems to be in their DNA. Their greed for money that they want to earn no matter what is the method that puts them in the category of the Shylocks of this world.Woe to you if you ever borrow money from them because they will take a pound of your flesh with no Portia to defend you.

But what do you say to people who seem to be well educated and who resort to plagiarism in the most blatant way possible? You will find them in the media where the reporter or the anchor gives no credit to the source and claims it as his original effort to gather data. Occasionally they get caught of plagiarism and are forced to admit on air and apologize so they get a bit red faced but shake it off as nothing of consequence.

I was told by a college professor how some of his students just copy and paste some articles for their term paper from google and try to pass it on as something they have written. They get caught when the professor notices the same paragraph appearing in other’s term papers as well.

If you go to Washington D.C. and visit the government offices, you will notice a number of sneaky looking people with a briefcase in their hand lurking around. They are called the experts or the so called experts who are desperate for some consultancy to pay for their bills so will present themselves to various offices to try their luck. When they get lucky, the government hires these so called consultants and pays them handsomely to prepare a project proposal let us say in Afghanistan and pays them to visit the country to gather data and interview people there.

Soon they present their project proposal that looks impressive at the first glance but all they present is what they have copied from google and some cursory data they have gleaned in Kabul. So all these experts start their report by saying that Afghanistan is a dirt poor land locked country where people live on less than a dollar a day if they can earn that much.

They all carry laptops and can be seen typing away furiously at any airport waiting lounge or somewhere but they earn a handsome fee for their plagiaristic effort they pocket without the slightest amount of shame.

I have seen the same thing at the UN that also hires these so called experts to write voluminous reports on various projects or proposed projects in Africa and other regions.

Now I can’t blame google for this spate of copy and paste behavior because google is just a search engine that everyone uses so google is not responsible for their behavior. What is so shameful in this degradation of ethics and amoral behavior is the fact that it has permeated all the way from the experts down to the teenage high schoolers who see nothing wrong.

I also notice something else called lip synching that artists, singers and TV presenters frequently use to fool people. The Chinese used a small girl to sing the opening song for the Beijing Olympics so the poor child was asked to lip sync the song they had prerecorded to fool everybody. When it leaked out, they said that they wanted a perfect grand opening. The Bollywood movie actors and actresses who do not know how to sing anything only lip sync songs a background singer has sung. I liked the movie A star is born where Streisand and Kristofferson sang their songs. That is called honesty.

But the artists who lip sync are dishonest so people feel cheated. They pay for very expensive tickets to see and hear a well-known artist who presents her song as if she was singing but she was lip synching because she had a slight sore throat that day. An honest person admits to her fans that she is lip synching but they are not honest and say — what is the harm if no one finds out? The only problem is that people do find out and feel cheated. It is the worst feeling anyone can have.

I notice something else these days. It is when the TV program presenters like in Japan has talent or The Philippines has talent copy everything from the original show down to the shape of the judge’s chairs to the clothes the presenters wear. They do not stop there. They imitate the way the original show presenter talks, gestures , her body language and her hair color so you will see Asian women who dye their hair yellow and wear blue or green contact lenses presenting the caricature of the show but feel no shame.

It makes me wonder what happened to originality. Why such shameful imitation is quite common these days? Is talent so hard to find? There are wonderful artists and personalities who can bring any show on TV alive but why they are not given the opportunity to do so? Why totally worthless people irritate you with their antics on TV every day not to mention the pitiable transvestites with false breasts and miniskirts. They do not fool anybody but people say that it is all entertainment. I call it nepotism that is widely prevalent in the entertainment industry.

There was a TV show long ago which thankfully has been discontinued when a fellow was asked many questions by a panel of judges so he struggled to answer them, sweated and fidgeted but came out with an answer that the judges applauded. The show became popular enough to have its own franchise so it made money until someone leaked that whole show was based on fraud. The fellow fidgeting and sweating was a part of the fraud because he was given the answers through his tiny ear phone that was carefully hidden. When confronted, the producer shrugged it off by saying that it was all entertainment so a bit of fraud to get the ratings was justified. They are after the ratings and do not care how they get the higher ratings. The higher ratings bring in millions of dollars’ worth of advertising so fraud is quite acceptable.

A noted musician who wrote music and sang it in the Indian Bollywood movies said one day that he was retiring sadly because now the producers had computerized music recorded for auditing so they did not need a gifted singer to sing the entire song. They can now copy and patch an audio or video anyway they want because they want to cut down the cost but the audience does not see the difference. They too have become a part of the copy and paste culture using modern technology but lost the originality for which the earlier artists were known and appreciated.

I am sure a time will come soon when actors and actresses will be recorded on film singing or dancing or acting all virtually or through a 3 D virtual reality based program. Such movies will be made at a lower cost using very efficient computer programs. Some studios are already using the technology to make movies like Lion King or that stupid squirrel that is always chasing his acorn. They generate images using computers that look so real that will impress anyone.

They can show the destruction of the White House or the Hoover dam by using computers so we don’t know what we see is real or not. The robots or the animated characters are so human like now that they may soon put the highly paid actors and actresses out of business.

It is OK to use the technology to make movies and avoid costly and risky filming of stunts but in the process they are losing something that was quite important in our days called integrity, honesty and sheer acting talent of the actors. In the name of expediency and profit they have opted to cut corners that the viewers are quick to figure out these days. You can fool some people some of the time but not all the people all the time. Believe me when I say that no one likes to be fooled.

So I come back to the subject of deceit. Why people have become deceitful in trade, in the entertainment industry, in education and even in their daily social interactions? Why people say to you what they do not mean at all? When they say How are you- they are not interested in knowing how are you so why ask? They say that it is a manner of speaking so no one should take it seriously. But I do. I dislike fake people with their fake smile and fake handshake. I dislike people who try to fool me with their behavior. I dislike deceitful people who cannot be trusted. That is why I dislike baby kissing politicians who are corrupt and steal money once they get elected. They say Trust me but they are the last person anyone should trust.

An honest man of integrity does not say Trust me because he does not need to. He may be poor but his honesty and integrity spreads like a perfume while a dishonest and deceitful person gives out a bad odor of stench. I don’t care if the French say that there is good odor and bad odor because there is no good odor. Odor is what the bad people give out who cheat, lie and are deceitful. No one trusts them.

I think that this culture of deceit has developed in people who are after quick monetary gains so they are eager to take the most expedient way even if it is wrong. I thoroughly condemn it and hope that you will teach your children how to remain honest even if it means poverty. Do not sell your soul to gain riches that you will lose someday so what will remain of you? Think of that.

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