India That Is Bharat
Satiricus is sad to see that even some eminent Indians like judges are being anti-Indian enough to besmirch India’s enviable eminence as one of the world’s most corrupt countries. The other day two judges of a high court bench observed with horrid harshness that bribery has become so rampant in government offices that nothing gets done without payment of bribe money. May Satiricus respectfully point out to their honours that paying bribe money is now out and out outdated. What we now pay is “speed money” or “facilitation” money”. Surely, the learned judges should have learnt the world of difference between bribe money and speed money. They should have known that the new answer to the old question “what’s in a name” is “everything”. Contrary to Shakespeare, a rose by any other name would now smell quite differently.
There are also some other distinguished Indians who ignore this vital difference and insist that facilitation money is the same as harassment money. Fortunately, they don’t want to do away with it. They say, let’s keep it, but let’s cap it. That is, this harassment may be made legal, but there should be a legal cap on it, ranging from 5000 to 10,000 rupees. How nice! Now Satiricus can look forward to happy harassment allowed (or enjoined) by law.
When God gave the ten commandments to Moses, neither God nor Moses apparently saw the need of a revised edition. It was taken for granted that they were for all time. But the other day an Australian Catholic Cardinal preached to a gathering of priests that Christianity has to move with the times, and changed times require changed tenets. Well, now, that sounds reasonable even to a nitwitted non-Christian like Satiricus. Modern Christianity for a modern Christian, right? And what did this modern Moses preach? He preached that it was not a sin either to gamble or to make and sell arms.
This is a let-down. Because both these precepts are old hat, and the Christians of the world have been religiously following them for years. For example, when the cardinal righteously remarked that it would be somewhat hypocritical for the Catholic Church to condemn gambling when there was a proliferation of poker (gambling) machines in Catholic Clubs in Australia, he was entirely missing the point. The point of modern Christianity was not the Christianity but the modernity. So, as a matter of fact, modern Australian Christians are more devout in a gambling den than in a church.
As for the ethics of manufacturing and selling weapons, the cardinal revealed that global military contractors may in fact be acting on a moral imperative. How nice to know that! This ignoble ignoramus was labouring under the impious impression that when, according to official American admission, thousands of wannabe terrorists can openly buy deadly weapons at “gun fairs” in the US, they do so only because of the US arms industry’s moral imperative of making money.
Then again, when US President Obama reportedly recently secretly sent American armed forces to 75 countries to save the world from terrorists, did these forces carry the weapons made by their arms industry, or did they carry baseball bats to whack the terrorists on the head? Oh well, maybe it is not imperative for stupid Satiricus to understand this armed morality of the followers of the Prince of Peace.
One lives and learns. In the past Satiricus used to dismiss any silly activity as monkey business. Not anymore. For he now learns that monkey business can be quite intelligent – in fact, it may call for more intelligence than what Satiricus (his friends think) has. What else can be made of the recent report that some scientist at an American University has taught two monkeys to operate a computer. In a way, however, this is to be expected. For if computers can drive cars, chat with each other, and even formulate foreign policy (as was reportedly tried in Japan some years ago), why can’t they become partners in some money-making monkey business?
And as if this is not enough, another scientist at another American University has taught monkeys to operate computers with the power of thought. The report says two monkeys have been successfully taught to move the arms of characters in a computer game with their brain power. Now this is indeed the limit. For so long Satiricus was happily computer-illiterate (as in other journalistic areas), but now his friends say if monkeys have the brain power to operate a computer, why can’t Satiricus, who is not much lower in his IQ? Satiricus must protest against this calumny. For it is not, repeat not, right to suggest even indirectly that his IQ is much lower than that of a monkey – maybe just a little lower, that’s all.