Rupchan the honest rickshawpuller
Good, honest men are yet around, even in these days when values appear to have taken a nosedive. Take the example of Rupchan the rickshawpuller. The Tk. 2.50 lakh he stumbled upon at Nilkhet the other day could very well have been in his possession and he could have made as much use of it as he possibly could. After all, the owner of the money was not around. And there was the bigger reality of Rupchan being a poor man. Poverty often has a way of playing ugly tricks on conscience, to a point where it pushes individuals into dishonesty. But our very own Rupchan simply stayed away from such thoughts. He found the bag containing the money and did what morally upright people always do: he took it to the nearest police station (and his passenger, another honest soul, was with him) and handed it over to the officers there.
When it comes to the question of a reward for his honesty, we can safely make the statement that Rupchan's integrity is that reward. In a society where even the big and the mighty have had their character and reputations blackened by their all too clear propensity to indulge in corruption and similar bad dealings, poor Rupchan has proved to be a happy exception to the rule. More importantly, he has demonstrated to all of us the truth that while temptation may play havoc with principles in the lives of some, it certainly is kept at bay by those who have not only a clear perspective on life but are also driven by the basic religiosity that has always been part of their existence. It is these attributes that worked in Rupchan the rickshawpuller. That bag of money was a windfall for him, in a manner of speaking. One could also argue that it was a Godsend. Beyond all our arguing, though, is the reality. It is that Rupchan, in times when probity and decency are hard to come by, has maintained his purity of soul.
Of course, the owner of the money has rewarded Rupchan with a gift of Tk. 50,000. The police authorities have given him Tk. 5,000. Their gesture is appreciable. One only wishes there were more individuals around us, in every sphere of life, to approximate the moral fibre that sustains Rupchan through life.