India That Is Bharat
Will he, or won’t he? Will Rahulji, or won’t Rahulji? Satiricus was on tenterhooks. After all, it was a big decision. Because, after all, it is Big Business. The big, family business of bacho-ing India from becoming Bharat. Not that there was any question about the succession. Rather, it was but natural that the call “mummy lao, desh bachao” should be succeeded by the call “sonny lao, desh bachao”. But then, we are a democracy, so the succession to the throne needed consensus among men, women and Congressmen. So long, alas, there was just a couple of loyal lackeys who had given the call, and one of them had even added a ridiculous rider, saying so far there was just a cameo to be seen, which called for waiting. What nonsense! Fortunately, sense has prevailed over nonsense.
In the meanwhile, however, it needed to be carefully ascertained if the hot seat Rahulji is to occupy is too hot for comfort or whether the nominated occupant has kept it suitably warm. That was the onerous responsibility and the allotted task of the nominee. But has he performed it to the satisfaction of the crown prince and/or the queen mother? Or has he underachieved? Secondly, it is an unfortunate fact that often times successfully bachao-ing the desh damnably depends on the desh itself. Forget desh, take Uttar Pradesh. Just for a little practice Rahulji took upon himself the minor matter of saving Uttar Pradesh—and what happened? The utterly obnoxious Uttar Pradesh just did not want to be saved. Then what could the poor democratic dynasty do?
Still Satiricus was already reasonably reassured to read a recent report captioned “Cong not coy on bigger role” for Rahul. Of course, of course,if Cong is king, why should king Cong feel ‘coy’ about continuing on the throne? So Satiricus was sure sooner rather than later the country was going to be saved as much as it has been saved so long. In the meanwhile the obtuse opposition will naturally claim the country is going to the dogs. But Satiricus would like to point out that the country is certainly not going to all breeds of dogs. Maybe only to poodles.
Satiricus prides himself on being a patriotic Indian. So although he acknowledges the trifling truths of China beating India in quite a few minor matters, ranging from military might to scientific achievements, he was shocked to read the other day a big, bold newspaper heading unpatriotically exclaiming “China beats India again, this time in corruption.” How is that possible? To find out how, Satiricus read the article quoting a Financial Times study very, very carefully. And what did he find? He found that China is certainly making some serious efforts to make progress in this exclusive area of Indian expertise.
Satiricus learnt that China now has a proliferation of “princelings”, as children of top Communist Chinese politicians are popularly called, who are multiple-multi-millionaires. The Prime Minister’s son has a telecom company that has an annual revenue of 2.5 billion dollars. And of course the loving mother is by his side to lend a helping hand to her offspring. So she not only has her own vast operations in jewellery and property but, according to WikiLeaks, the lady and her children “get things done for the right price”.
And when the Prime Minister’s son comes, can the President’s son be far behind? Naturally not. So it was in the fitness of things that the President’s son should control as many as 20 companies. And then there is that very natural thing called sibling rivalry. So what did the sister do? She married a man worth 60 million dubious dollars. And of course what the present President’s family can achieve the past President’s family cannot but achieve. So it was far from a Chinese puzzle that an earlier president had “spawned millionaires too”, as the article inelegantly put it. His son has stakes in many major companies, and even his grandson once worked for—hold your breath!—the now infamous American corporation Goldman Sachs, where, Satiricus is sure, a princeling won’t work for less than princely emoluments.
True, all this is not a bad record. Still, in the carefully considered but patriotic opinion of Satiricus, this by no means means China has scaled the dizzying Indian heights. We too have princely prime ministerial children with pelf and power, and right now we have a prince with not a few billion dollars in a Swiss stash. But over and above this we had a minister in a state who made so many crores that he needed a note-counting machine at home, and we also had a chief minister who not only spent four thousand crores on erecting statues to herself but sent a plane to buy a pair of shoes for her. Can China boast of such a corrupt colossus? So let us not belittle the Indian overachiever. For Satiricus, India that is Bharat is great—and Bharat that is India is greater.