Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Sometime ago my mobile phone (cell phone) rang a couple of times and went silent before I could respond to answer the call. Without checking much I called back the caller by clicking the missed call number.
The moment the phone was lifted on the other end, I heard conversation between two persons on the other side, one a female voice and the other a male voice. They were talking in my mother tongue, Malayalam- the native language of the South Indian state of Kerala.
It looked very much like a cross connection.
But the talk was something that aroused suspicion and curiosity simultaneously. The voices were crisp and clear and it went on like this (when translated in English):
" Are you from .......(place name) ?" Male voice
" No. Why?" Female voice
" Are you Mrs..................(name)? Male voice
" No. Why? " Female voice
" Oh! I wanted to talk to her. She gave this number I think." Male
Normally this much was more than enough for either of them to say 'sorry, wrong number' and proceed to cut the conversation. But in this case it was not happening. Instead the conversation went on creating curiosity to Eavesdrop further.
" Is she some relative" Female voice
" No, sister, but.....!"
" But what?"
" She is a phone friend like"
" Phone friend?"
" Ah! Something like that sort. You see, she is quite alone at her home and she wants some one to talk"
" Only talking or some thing more, eh?"
" That depends, sis!"
From this time onward the talk was obviously moving towards suspected immoral undertones, though not any thing that makes things too obvious.
And that makes any curious by stander to eavesdrop quietly to learn more! I was not different and I kept listening to them for some more minutes, forgetting that I had made the call in the first place.
I never suspected the possibility of me hearing a recorded conversation between a female and a male with the covert intention of keeping me holding my phone like that and listening!
And after some time my phone went silent or cut.
I did not ever suspect the possibility of my phone balance going to zero at that moment!
Next day I was surprised to find it. I could not make a call from my mobile phone. I heard the recorded message of the telephone service provider keep repeating this: "No balance in your account-Please recharge!"
I could not imagine any reason for my phone balance getting zero like that all of a sudden. I had quite a few couple of hundreds in my account! Where did the money go? These phone companies cheat sometimes, I said to myself and proceeded to recharge my account again.
Almost a day went and I had another miss call. This time it was another number.
I did not check the first digits of the phone number then. There was no reason for me to do that then.
As a fool and as usual I called back the number.
Again there was an apparent cross connection. I listened and my brain suddenly clicked open with something I should have. I recognized the fact that I was listening to the same conversation that I listened a day before!
So, it was no random cross connection!
It was a planned recorded conversation enticing gullible people to eavesdrop holding their phones to their ears endlessly after dialing the missed call number!
I checked the numbers. They were numbers from some foreign countries with ISD codes preceding. When I called back, I was obviously calling some international number responding to make me listen to that enticing recorded conversation. No doubt, my account balance drained very quickly to come to a zero within a few minutes!
Then the picture got clear to me.
This was nothing but a pre-planned attempt by clever international cheaters to drain out our telephone account balance.
As I have not heard of this any time earlier, I had to name this cheating myself.
I name it the eavesdropper call phishing!
Wisely I have decided not to respond to such planned missed calls any more and to examine the numbers clearly before attempting a call back!
I keep getting these calls even now. Most of the time they are different numbers, but the ISD code is +7. It means the numbers are of Kazakhstan!
I have not made any official complaints yet. Because, modern telephony is something that is full of cheating and phishing potentials like this. And none of these are possible without the connivance of the telecom service providers and perhaps the telecom regulators!
Imagine the method by which the call phisher making money in the above case. The small amount drained out from customers like me has to move finally to the account of the phisher! And that is not possible without the official approval of the telecom companies and the authorities!
I have shared my experience with my readers only to make them aware.
I wish my readers would share their experiences through the comments.
Monday, August 28, 2017
[If you've been a thoughtful Indian citizen, you might have asked this question yourself and tried to find out your own answer. This has come to my mind as well. Let me share my thoughts on it with those who might be interested!]
Let us analyse it this way.
What is the most important thing for a normal person living on earth?
The usual answer would be Roti, Kapda aur Makan which translates as food, clothing and shelter.
Perhaps that might be right fundamentally when we consider human beings as simple animals.
Sustaining life is and getting essentials such as food, shelter, clothing and other essentials of biological life sustenance are no doubt, important.
Nevertheless, humans are animals with a mind that is creative, inquisitive and curious.
So, humans need inputs that are essential for maintaining the health of both body and mind.
For modern day man who has the means of satisfying the essential demands of the body, satisfying the demands of the mind becomes very important for a happy life.
It is not difficult to find that man needs to do some vocation or engagement that satisfy his body and mind in a balanced manner.
Man or woman without any work engagement or employment or job is perhaps one who is very unhappy with life.
Hence, in my opinion the most important requirement of modern man is his engagement in some vocation that takes care of both body and mind in some appreciable manner either directly or indirectly.
Imagine the situation wherein all persons are provided with food, clothing and shelter without doing any work. Will they be happy? I doubt. Had it been so, those in solitary jails would have been the most happy!
Going with that logic, it is not difficult to find that man with lot of money and wealth without a worthwhile vocation would become unhappy and dejected with life.
But how could we keep all engaged in some work? In other words, how could be sustain money and wealth and at the same time employment for all?
Perhaps the work of ten percent of the populace in the fields would yield all the food that the entire people need. Then what the rest of the people would do? Had it been the way that existed in the primitive world, there would not have been this problem. In the primitive society every one had to work to fetch food. That is the law of the jungles. All animals have to fetch their own food!
But progressive evolution of human kind has reduced the physical efforts for generating food, shelter and clothing to a great extent.
Thus in the modern world, finding employment or engaging all in some vocation is indeed a big task.
In other words, the most important single task of any modern day government should be generation of employment to its people.
For any right thinking person with average wisdom, this is nothing big to deduce.
For all modern day progressive governments in the world, generation of employment to its citizens is the prime responsibility and concern. In reality, they keep thinking of ways to enhance employment. Unemployment, therefore, is the direct measure of non-governance or poor governance for all progressive modern day governments.
Unfortunately, in my considered opinion, this is one thing that makes India different.
For Indian governments and Indian politicians, employment generation is not the first concern!
It may be one of the agenda in the list of several agendas.
And that makes the whole difference in India.
India keep lagging behind the rest of the world in human development index and human happiness index because unemployment in this most populous country is very high and it keep increasing.
With such high unemployment rates, India cannot boast of any good governance at any time.
If the situation has to change, Indian governments and the political systems that culminates to democratic governments in India should keep employment generation as their first priority.
In my considered opinion, all other factors of good governance would naturally fall in line automatically.
All rules and regulations and policies should be made keeping employment generation as the first priority.
Policies that eliminates employment and employment potential should be reviewed several times before it is adopted.
Business and businessmen who keep generating employment should be honored. They should not be treated as anti-nationals so long as they do not violate any law purposefully. They should be honored citizens.
Politicians and the people should not be worried when corporate entities make profits by doing legal business operations.
Governments and bureaucracy should not treat business houses as exploiters. Instead they should be honored as wealth and employment generators of the nation.
The company that creates maximum satisfied employees should be the Bharat Ratna company!
Contribution of a company should be measured in terms of the total income and other taxes that company paid to the government. Total income tax should include the taxes paid by the employees as well as the company itself.
Yes, in my opinion, it is time that India and Indians change their perceptions and attitudes!
If it does not, Indian governance would always remain as a pathetic residue of experimental development lagging behind several nations in the world!