An anonymous user on Quora has claimed that the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh is ‘forcing’ people to buy the subscription of the Congress mouthpiece National Herald as part of the ‘bribe’. He was responding to the question what has shocked him most as an Indian.
The user has stated that he runs a small manufacturing unit in Madhya Pradesh and had a scheduled visit from a grade 1 officer from the Madhya Pradesh government at his factory. He mentions that while he understands that the bribery is morally and legally wrong, it has always been an integral part of the industry ‘culture’. He explains that along with the ‘usual cash’ this time the officer even demanded a crossed cheque of Rs 3,900.
The user claims that he was surprised because while bribery may be a rampant social evil, the transactions always take place in cash and not in cheque. He claims that he asked the officer on whose name should he write on the cheque, he was informed ‘Associated Journals Ltd.’ The anonymous user was shocked to find out that AJL publishes Congress’ mouthpiece National Herald and this was perhaps one of the dubious ways of getting people to subscribe to the publication.
Hence, according to the user, the alleged bribe, taken in cheque, supposedly for National Herald subscription, thereby contributing to Congress is the most shocking thing he has experienced as an Indian.
He says that later, out of curiosity he opened National Herald website to check subscription details and turns out Rs 3,900 is the subscription value for ‘NH Privilege Offer + Sunday नवजीवन Mega Offer’ which gives the user 100 issues of National Herald on Sunday and 145 issues of Sunday Navjeevan.
Quora is a question and answer platform where a community of users ask, answer, edit and organise questions and answers. Since it is a community portal, users can ‘upvote’ and ‘downvote’ answers which can then show the answers which are highly ranked on top of search results. While Quora requires users to log in with the real name and not an internet pseudonym, there is no provision to actually verify real names. Hence, the authenticity of the above post cannot be verified.
However, the government ‘arm twisting’ the people to ‘subscribing’ to National Herald may not be completely unfounded. Amusingly, it was earlier reported that Congress high command had dictated subscription targets to state units for National Herald. In January this year, it was reported that the Punjab Congress leaders had sold National Herald subscription to raise funds for the party.