Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sham President Zindabad!

I am extremely happy that Indian National Congress chose Pratibha Patil for the post of president. Finally the oldest political party has realized that it serves the interests of the audience as well as the story-teller to have puppets in place. Puppets are easy to handle. Puppets are better than masks. Be it a Prime Minister who has some authority, or President, who is titular head, having puppets is brilliant showmanship.

When the name was announced, I was disappointed at first. I let my sentimental self wail over the fact that APJ seemed set for second term, and the nation would have loved it. But like Indian cricketers who left world cup in first round itself, like Yash Chopra banner who has taken to producing glamsham, pricey nonsense potboilers, the political parties decide to get out with the most profitable, low effort, low caliber solution. Mr A is too outspoken, Mr B is not acceptable to his own language speaking partymen, Mr C is too much of a politician, Mr D is unacceptable to actress turned politician. By the mere possibility of a virtue or popularity they might encounter, many candidates were taken out of candidature. I felt quite disappointed when I heard that the name selected seems to ring no bell at all. Of course, I am still not smart about politics. That was the idea!! This is woman empowerment spelled out for you. Since Laloo needs to be in jail, Rabri becomes CM. I have started feeling quite at ease with the candidate now, for a fair number of scandals have emerged to make her likable.

When I was young, I was of the opinion that politicians should retire at age of 70, not begin their careers at that age. If you have not accomplished anything in first fifty decades of your adult life, I guess, your ability to lead a nation to disasters is expected. Thankfully, most of our politicians have continued the pre-independence tradition of doing sabbaticals and internships in the prisons of the country. They always have a long list of murders, rapes, pending criminal cases, and so on in their resume. If I was the interviewer for a political position in India, I will simply look for the count of crimes, and scandals associated with it. Every scandal makes you more qualified, more valuable. It is impossible for any indecent man to get the required quantum of crimes under his belt before age of fifty. Then there is a series of local, district and state elections to be rigged, before you get to booth capture your way to the national parliament.

The development of our country is evident in number of facilities these leaders have in the jail. Thanks to cell-phone, color tv, Mujrawaalis (Geishas), and high speed wireless access in AC rooms with the best doctors employed by government to look after your health, and security cover provided by the policemen, Indian Jails have turned into the finest tourist spots in the country. The Oberois Udaipur Palace Hotel might soon face competition from the prison cells (their rank one is under threat). I hear Shantaram was written and inspired in Indian Jail. Well, thats no big deal, Nehru always took time off from regular chores and went to the jail to write. What I think could be an extremely beneficial proposition is allow the poets and writers all over the world a stay in those jails. They will get to understand making of many of India's most powerful men, they will write more bestsellers like the Shantaram and they will surely love the rich language that can be accessed only by living in the Indian jails.

Of course, I am writing a satire. I am painting a funny picture, I am drawing caricatures. I am ignoring moral men, erudite women in the system. If anyone of the politician comes and questions me, I will admit that except him or her, the rest are rotten. I sit on a higher ground and judge. But if you like, I can be with the masses on this:)

We eradicate caste system in India by ensuring that we mention the caste on every form, every forum and we need it to get education, employment, votes, positions and promotion. We improve the situation of women by killing many of them long before they are born. If their population per thousand men drops to the levels of Haryana, we realize that supply being less than demand means, a commodity can be imported and sold for huge profits. The women sell from anywhere between 10,000 to 30,000 rupees ( $500) and if the families are poor, two or three brothers share them. If someone objects to the practice, we cite Draupadi's example from Mahabharata. Similarly the practice of having titular kings comes from the times of Mahabharata, where a blind man, Dhritrastra must rule, so that his sons can make most of his vested powers.

We have answers to all the problems. We increase the seats in institutions of learning without creating classrooms, laboratories, hostels required for them, or better still, we use that money to build houses for half a dozen politicians and bureaucrats. We believe in distribution of wealth on one hand, and on the principle that harder you have to work for your education, more you will value it. We create fake housing societies so that farmers can be displaced from their land, and then we blame dead men, who start living under new identity in a different country, for fooling the masses. Sometimes, we just underpay the peasants so that they commit suicide after giving us their harvests for lowest possible price. We sell the handwoven textiles at 1000% profit. The shawl, the rug, the carpet, the flute, the tabla, the sitar, khadi clothes and accessories, firecrackers are all produced by people who can barely provide their own selves meal a day. They are bought by them who curse the pricetag, and meanwhile the middleman/seller earns just enough for shopping spree in Europe or Singapore. When people want to get their daughters married, the discussion revolves on the value of groom in corruption marker. If he fetches a good price for his actions, he is the man. Some people say that we have problems in India. I look at them suspiciously and explain....But we have answers to all problems. We never state the problems that we cannot brush aside or we don't have answers to. We have answer to all the problems.

I am surprised that our politicians are still looking for a non-political candidate for Vice-President. I assure you that we could have had a blind, deaf, mute as an awesome candidate, a blind, deaf, mute stone statue could be perfect, and serve nearly the same purpose as a puppet president. But then there is an important question of minorities that stops us from attempting that. Firstly the Buddhists might object, for Buddha disliked Idol worship. It is irrelevant if they have built statues of him everywhere. Muslims would see a blind-deaf-mute stone president as a sign of idolatry, and will think of it as India's turning pro-Hindu.

I suspect the best idea could be to make a book the president. Aha! The Constitution of India could work well as the titular head of the country (in spite of nearly 100 amendments, it is still usable, and a position of prominence could make it into a bestseller (like Gita, Tagore and Ulysses, which are always bought and never read). All religions revere their religious texts, and chose to ignore whats inside: the move could in fact create a new religion of leaders in India. Other options are using bathroom chappals of maybe Rajiv Gandhi as the President, just like Bharata did with Ram's khadau (wooden sandals) and ruled for fourteen years.We will let Rahul Wear them as soon as his feet are of right size. We could have a president who reports to some "baba" or "guru", or maybe someone who is even older than Shekhawat. Come on, older means wiser. I assure you my great grandfather is more than a century old and since he can neither see or hear me, he seems to be a great candidate.

We could actually try finding out if anyone alive has the Mughal blood in them. Restore the Mughal Empire. Half of the politicians belong to those royal families anyway, why not have a president who is one of them too? Gosh! I gave out the argument that people think could even defeat Pratibha Patil. If only all Thakurs joined hands. But didn't that Gabbar cut those off a long time back? It is not easy to stand together as Thakurs anymore: a Bandit Queen can come any day and kill kill kill them all.

I got into that roadside Paan shop type raving discussion mode again. We all cannot escape from our habit of hurling abuse and spitting it, red and full of saliva, out like Paan. We are a nation of spitters and even though I never participated in the contests, I think I can do it as well as others. We all know how to make noise. We all know how to whine. We all want to be ruled by them who let us do whatever our craziest fancies can lead us to. We want to look good, we want to show that we have principles. Why, that makes the choice of our leaders perfect! They are our choices. We are our own choices. I am loving it, we are choosing people as bad as us, or worse. This is the zenith of human kindness, forgiveness. We have embraced the sinners, the lowly, the leftovers, and whats incredible is that we have made them the kings our own houses. We deserve the President and political system of India more than it deserves us. Chalta hai, dost! (Anything goes, so its alright my friend)

Sham President Zindabad!!


Anonymous said...

Thanks man for writing this, i smiled at this one! :)

Prose'll do good for you. Im already loving it. You've kept it real in this one...

Keep writing!

aria said...

Something in the teaser had piqued my interest so I wanted to read it and it’s a bit lengthy so had to complete in installments. Was more like an action-packed sententious gabbing and yes good read .. that aside .. it touched many issues so it isn’t possible to comment on them all. Can only say..when I heard ‘a woman,’ was being considered like everyone else, my reaction was “who is she?” I tried to find some consolation in the fact that “at least it isn’t Shivraj Patil or Pronob Mukherjee” and it worked ..sigh .. The reservation of seats in the parliament is rotting in storage but to install their puppets they keep giving same lame excuses. I'd read somewhere that coz the outgoing president is a 'muslim' they did not want another 'muslim' to follow so Mohseena Kedwai lost out.. though she is both a ‘woman’ and ‘loyal’.
Ok this is an engaging topic and I was whining too so I better stop.

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Vivek.Sharma said...

Thanks Maltova and Aria,

I think our leaders stopped being responsible, answerable and capable of being embarrassed the day they stopped being decent people.

It is not just how the choice was made,
or who was chosen and why,

but also the fact that we are expected to believe that she is the best candidate,

and she is one of the most important examples of women empowerment of India

and there is no question of caste, religion or state based politics,

and if you were to ask anyone on the streets in India, we all know it is just Pigshit, Monkeyshit or Horseshit!

(Bullshit ain't as bad, it is considered pious and useful in rural India)

Anonymous said...

Pratibha patil is being made president in India (by the powers behind the scenes) so that the desi lobby in the US is psychologically more amenable to supporting a female US president and donates liberally to her fund.
It also subliminally makes the US mind more likely to equate "president" with "woman".
Hillary's victory is being prepared.
- atra