United in progressive scams
India That Is Bharat
Satyam bruyat, priyam bruyat, na bruyat satyam apriyam. Tell the truth. Speak sweetly. Do not tell the bitter truth. A golden rule of our wise ancients. Why did senior journalist Pritish Nandy have to break it and shock Satiricus’s secular sensibilities with his recent online article, in which he says it is time for the UPA government to “step down”? And why should it do so? Because, he says, this is a government of “rogues, rascals and robbers”. Satiricus is stunned. The obnoxious onomatopoeia apart, is this a civilized way to tell the truth? Could this ungentlemanly gentleman not look up the dictionary for sweet substitutes for all three terribly truthful terms? Furthermore, as Nandy himself admits, have we ourselves not voted these “rogues, rascals and robbers” into power? Then what can robbers in power do except robbing their valued voters?
What is worse, Nandy says we have voted to power a “bunch of idiots”. And why are they idiots? Because they are idiotic enough to get caught in their scams. Now Satiricuas must say this is very, very unfair to our scamsters. For Nandy himself acknowledges the commendable fact that they have progressed from the paltry Rs 64-crore-scam of yesteryears to thousands-of-crores-scams of today. Then is this not clinching evidence that the progressive alliance in power is united in progressing towards bigger and bigger scams? If at times they fail in this precious, pious pursuit, that is only because, as the saying goes, “failure is but one step more to success”.
So, we must be patient. Rome was not built in a day. Nor is the towering editice of UPA scams. Therefore, instead of denigrating the UPA for their admirable efforts we should encourage this alliance of united progressives to progress. After all, an impressively big scam is an intricate affair, and it needs somebody far from an idiot to pull it off. Can, for instance, Nandy? Satiricus thinks not. Can, for another instance, Satiricus? Satiricus is sure not.
Americans seem to have made a startling discovery. It is that happiness lies beyond heaping more and more dollars. The other day, when the citizens of a Boston surburb filled out a census form, they got a new question to answer. On a scale of one to ten they were asked : “How happy do you feel right now?” Satiricus is perplexed. He knows that the motto on the American dollar coin is : “In God we trust.” Then don’t Americans now trust God on the dollar to make them happy? Whatever the answer to this 64,000-dollar question, this latest twist in American thinking has made things a little too complex for simple Satiricus. For so long American happiness was firmly in the hands of the economists, but now psychologists are trying to replace them. In other words, in the US of A, money matters, but now mind matters more. Satiricus wonders. … If the new American index of happiness is a mental case, would not an American’s response to the happiness question become as weird as a mental case? And this suspicion is not without substance. For one man replied: “I would like to be three inches taller, and speak Quechua fluently.” Strange, no? Satiricus had no idea American happiness could be measured in inches. Stranger still, why speak Quechua to be happy? How many know about Quechua in America? How many modern Americans know that “Keshava”, the language of the ancient Inca civilization of Peru in South America, is spelt “Quechua”? Does this unhappy American know that this ancient American language is so full of Sanskrit-derived words that a former American ambassador to Peru has prepared a regular glossary of them? Does he also know that the name of the ancient Americans who spoke this language, “Inca”, is derived from Sanskrit and means “People of the Sun God”? Fortunately for us Indians, we don’t know all this. For this means there was once what Bhikshu Chamanlal called a “Hindu America”. We are secularists, Then, why should we know about Hindu America when even Hindu India is anathema to us?
When Shakespeare asked what’s in a name, he did not realise what he was getting into. For instance, he did not realise that giving your kid the right name could later make him a CEO. At least that is what a recent survey by some organisation in London has discovered. For instance, if your parents named you Peter, you stand a good chance of becoming a CEO; if you are Billy, you are most likely to become a policeman, if Todd, a salesman—but if you are a girl named Thierry, you are going to be a waitress. Well, now, does all this mean Dame Fortune will smile (or frown) only on English names? Or has she also decided that Viju will be a vegetable-vendor but Raju will be a ruffian and Kallu will be a cook but Billu will be a billionaire?