A dream interview
India that is bharat
IT must have been something that Satiricus ate for dinner the other night. Why otherwise would he have had such a weird dream? He dreamt that dream the day the papers reported that Rahul Gandhi was finally ready for being on record on the myriad problems facing the country on which he was so far eloquently silent. That day the editor sent him to interview Rahul and record some of those valuable views. It was a dream of a chance. So Satiricus dreamt he went, adequately equipped with pen and paper, to see Rahul. But what happened? He was shooed away from the gate. Even the watchman at the gate refused to be interviewed. Satiricus sadly shuffled back. No Rahul, no interview. So no additional peanuts the editor had promised. What to do? Suddenly Satiricus had a brilliant idea. Why not dream up the interview? The editor won’t know, he was too busy to notice. So herewith the report of Satiricus’s interview of Rahul Gandhi that did not take place :
Sat: You have said poverty is a state of the mind and material things are immaterial. So what is your plan to make Indians mentally rich?
RaGa: Signor Satiricus, being an illiterate and ignorant journalist you do not know that there are mind-altering drugs. So I propose to put all so-called poor people on this drug. That will alter their mind and make them feel rich. I shall set up a pharma company to produce pills of this drug and sell them cheap through Wal-Mart, whom we have invited to be the government’s grocer. One of our senior ministers has recently pointed out that a poor Indian can eat and live on a rupee a day. I shall point out that instead of wasting a rupee on eating something it would be far more convenient to spend it on popping a pill of this drug.
Satiricus is a devout democrat. As such he is always with the majority. So when, not long back, Justice Katju gave the judgement that ninety per cent Indians are idiots, law-abiding Satiricus had accepted it. But now, in a rare reversal of the verdict, Justice Katju said the other day that he is sorry he said ninety per cent Indians are idiots. Does this mean Satiricus is no more with the majority? That would be an aspersion on his devotion to democracy. It would also adversely affect his status as an illiterate journalist. He could qualify for that status only because he was a school dropout. For, as Mark Twain has pointed out, God first made an idiot for practice, and then he made the school board.
Sat: You have said India is a beehive. Did you have in mind bees that make honey, or bees that sting?
RaGa: I have consulted an entomologist and he said they are two varieties of the same species. But in view of the all too many sting operations that plague our pure politics I do not favour an India that stings us in the coming elections.
Sat: People say our rupee has become as old as the Prime Minister. What is the way out?
RaGa: Simple. Replacing a prime minister in his eighties with a prime minister in his forties.
Sat: What do you have to say about our sarkari damaad?
RaGa: Well, if you are as Indian as I am, you should know that the most important and praiseworthy feature of the Indian society is family values. So naturally my first priority is the values of the first family.
Sat: According to newspaper reports a Congress panel had recommended disqualifying convicted MPs, but the Congress party rejected the recommendation on the ground that an “idealist stance could displease its president.” Then what about the vice-president of the party?
RaGa: The Congress Party is our family business, and I must repeat we value family values. Also, as the adage in the advertisements goes, mother knows best. So going against the president would be a vice for the vice-president. Secondly, I firmly believe that Congressmen should be men of ‘conviction’. And thirdly, rejecting the idealist stance in favour of a realist stance would protect our secular credentials. For if you look up an encyclopaedia you will find that realistic politics means an incessant search for power, and that is the core of secularism, understand?
Sat: As you go abroad every year for your birthday it is clear that you are knowledgeable about the international situation. So what do you think is happening in Aksai Chin?
RaGa: Aksai Chin? Where’s that? Seems from the sound of it somewhere in China, right? Maybe I’d go abroad there for my next birthday holiday—And now, Mr. Cuss, you’ll have to excuse me. I’m a busy member of Parliament, and Parliament is in session. So I have to get ready to be absent there.