India That Is Bharat
ONCE upon a time, long long ago, there was a Gandhi who had the weird idea that there should be morality in politics. Naturally, such unnatural thinking was calamitous for a party in power if it wanted to be a party in power, and so was duly discarded by the succession of later Gandhis. Thus, Gandhi the First became history, and so did his moronic morality. Now, by the great grace of the secular gods, the latest Gandhi presides over a Congress that can courageously thumb its collective nose at morality and ethics and all that nitwit nonsense. All this comes as a tremendous relief for patriotic Satiricus, for it assures him that God is in his heaven and all is right with the world, including India, which, 60 years after political independence fell on its head like a ton of bricks, is acclaimed universally (that is, in international surveys) as one of the hungriest countries and the dirtiest country in the world. Would such admirable eminence in the comity of nations have been possible without strenuous, sustained efforts by the powers that (perpetually) be?
Strangely enough, as Satiricus recalls, some years ago the Congress had set up an ‘Ethics Committee’ for its workers. What happened to it? Nobody knows, but Satiricus thinks that on second (and saner) thoughts it may have been realised that what was meant for workers could not be thoughtlessly applied to leaders. As a commendable consequence of this thoughtful consideration, we now have a Law Minister (whom some pernicious pen-pushers have dubbed lawless minister) who had the courage of conviction (without the fear of conviction) to promise a hefty election-time sop to Muslims and to defiantly declare that the EC could hang him to doing so. Following in his footsteps another Congress bigwig righteously repeated the same thing only to explain it (away) as a slip of the tongue. Sure, sure. What could the poor minister do if he was born with a slippery tongue? Anyway, it seems to Satiricus, where the Congress’s oh-so-secular sensibilities are concerned, ethics are gone with the electoral wind.
Unfortunately, however, we live in a less than a perfect (that is, perfectly secular) world. So in order to ensure that the moral politics of the past Gandhi does not interfere with the secular politics of the present Gandhi, the Congress-led UPA government is secretly working to take the election-time code of conduct out of the purview of the EC and making its violation a matter of law which can be tried in a court. Can there be anything more “law”-ful? Satiricus thinks not. But the EC does not seem to possess the legal acumen that Satiricus does. In fact, it is deplorably dense enough to think that this is “a highly misconceived move aimed at curbing the power of the EC”. Tut, tut, Mr. EC, when will you learn? This move is not at all “misconceived”, as you so wrongly say. Rather, it is quite clearly conceived. For once the matter goes to a court of law, it can be quite lawfully dragged on for years while the perpetrators of the code-violation remain free to enjoy the fruit of the violation. Once this violation becomes a crime, the criminal is assured a long, happy life. Look at Afzal Guru. Look at killer Kasab. They should be hanged forthwith. But are they? No. Are they at least going to be? Not for years, Satiricus is sure. And Khurshid is equally sure. So when he grandly offered to be hanged he was actually looking forward to as long a life as Messrs Afzal and Kasab. How clever, no? Indeed, Khurshid is too clever by half. Satiricus wishes he was at least half as clever.
Not failure but low aim is a crime, says an adage. Satiricus does not agree. In his considered opinion, failure in successfully committing a crime is the criminal’s real crime. But does the common criminal, the thief-in-the-street appreciate this quintessence of his calling? Alas, no, not even in the advanced west, where many a time criminals we found to be guilty of criminal negligence. For instance, a thief in the US state of Florida stole a boat belonging to a sea food company and tried to sail away but what happened? The boat ran out of petrol, and the thief had to phone the police for help. The police obligingly came, and helped the thief to go to jail.
To the surprise of Satiricus, if thieves can be so careless, robbers can be still more so. For instance, in London a robber went into a bank with a gun in one hand to hold up the staff and a bag on the other hand to carry away the loot. He went to the cashier and instead of the bag, handed over the gun by mistake. Could any bank robber worth his professional salt be more careless than this? Yes, he could. For in another instance, a man tried to rob a bank that had been closed for years ! The bottom line: Satiricus better stick to stealing ideas for this column and piously passing them as his own. After all, is not originality plagiarism undetected?