It was complete darkness. Ranganna knew that his time had come. Time to join his dead father and GOD. "What did I do to get this death?" he thought.
It was the year of drought. Yet another year. People dying of hunger and thirst were common. Children had no energy left to cry. Cows had stopped giving milk. Men sat on their acres of barren land looking at the blue sky and blazing sky. Women scraped the almost empty vessels to prepare the alternate day meal. The 30 families of the village were deciding to leave the village and go to the city for job and food. Ranganna waited for his death. He never thought of leaving his ancestral home and go to the city. His faithful wife never disagreed with her husband.
Anil Reddy came to the village with his set of cars and followers. Trucks followed. He arranged for food. He gave the villagers new clothes. He arranged for water. Water to drink and bathe. Every villager was happy. Villagers were blinded by the treatment they got from their elected leader.
Then the leader made an offer, which none could resist. "I give each family 25000 Rs per month. I will give you a home in a nearby town. A home bigger than your current ones. The town has schools, hospitals, play grounds and water. You can work and earn more. I will pay 2 months pay in advance." Everybody nodded. Excited. They felt they were in dreamland. "You will still own this land. I will ensure that this land is given back to you whenever you want it back." With this said, his followers started giving Rs 50000 to each family.
Ranganna was hesitant. He asked "what happens to my home here?" "Your homes will be intact." answered the leader. The money was too tempting. Ranganna finally accepted it.
Next day, the entire village boarded trucks with their belongings. They traveled 30 kms to their new home. Anil Reddy came to their home complex and wished them good luck. "Welcome to a new home and a new life. Your children will have a bright future" he said. "Your 25000 will come to your bank account every month. My boys will come to each of you and help you in opening bank account. Do not forget to vote for me in the next elections." he said and left. His followers were well prepared. They got the thumb impressions of villagers in various papers. Ranganna suspected Anil's intentions. Though an illiterate, he asked "Why so many papers? And not all have bank symbol." "Don't worry. Anil Reddy will show that you have been given 25000 from the drought relief fund. These papers are for that." Ranganna agreed.
Anil Reddy's joys knew no bounds, as he saw those papers. He was now ready to extract the wealth from the land.
The villagers settled for the cozy life style of their new homes. Free money came to them every month in their bank accounts.
Ranganna saw large trucks moving towards the village. Some nights Ranganna heard loud explosions. One day he asked the bank officials about the trucks. The official told him about the coal mine in some of the villages near by. When Anil Reddy came to their homes, Ranganna asked if their village had coal mines and were their homes still intact. Anil Readdy replied "Yes, you are all the owners of the coal mines. The profit from the mines are given to you. Your land was useless for agriculture. Now because of mines you are earning a lot. Your homes are intact." Ranganna did not believe his luck. He was the owner of a mine. He had never dreamt it. He knew that the land was not good for agriculture after successive years of drought. Ranganna thought that Anil Reddy had saved the entire village. Little did he realize that his leader was minting money and throwing peanuts at Ranganna.
Anil Reddy's luck ran out. Opponents caught the wealth accumulation technique of Anil Reddy. They planned a sting operation through a media agency to know about the mines. Ranganna revealed everything that Anil Reddy had done to the villagers in the sting operation.
Anil Reddy came to know of the sting operation conducted through his trusted aides in the media. He quickly hatched a plan.
Anil Reddy went to the home complex. Informed the villagers that they can all visit their homes in the village. He arranged of the trucks to take them. They were the same empty trucks that carried coal back. As the villagers entered their village, they were in for a shock. Some of their homes were broken down and what remained was to fall anytime. Ranganna's home was now the mining company workers rest area.The area was completely black.
Anil Reddy insisted that they all go on a mine trip and see how it looks like inside a mine. As the villagers entered the mine, they heard a loud explosion.
It was complete darkness. Ranganna knew that his time had come. Time to join his dead father and GOD. "What did I do to get this death?" he thought. His arms and legs were probably thrown off. His head seemed to break fast. Breathing became tough. And he died.
Next day newspaper
Mine accidents claims 80 lives. Anil Reddy deeply mourns the death of the mine owners and workers. "Its a tragic day in the history of the taluk. As a mark of respect, I will build a 'Mine owners smarakh' in their home complex."
Media dropped the sting operation, as the person who spoke on the camera was no longer alive and there was no evidence against Anil Reddy.
Anil Reddy's agents bought the mines and continued to run the show.
All characters are fictional. Any resemblance to any real character is just co-incidence.