Sunday, December 4th, 2022 14:27:37

Napak Pak Policy

Updated: September 29, 2012 12:04 pm

India That Is Bharat


Satiricus always knew Shakespeare was wrong when he grandly, and rather dismissively, asked, ‘what’s in a name?’ Shakespeare thought the answer was ‘nothing’. Satiricus knows better. He knows the answer is far from nothing. Why else would the President of Tajikistan come to visit us Indians with a new name? Well, not exactly new, but suitably amended. So long as Tajikistan was a Soviet state, he was Rahmonov, but now that the Soviet Union is no more, the Soviet suffix “ov” has been duly discarded. According to comments in the media, this was done to “make the name more Muslim-sounding in order to, many say, project his Islamic credentials”.

Well, now, this change in name may sound just a change in name, but Satiricus says that the Tajik President was politically quite correct in projecting his innate Islamic credentials while visiting a country projecting its sterling secular credentials. However, the communal cuss that Satiricus is, there is a problem for him here. He read that stressing the importance of the Tajik President’s visit an official of the government of India said, “Tajikistan is fighting the battle for us on the Afghan border. Every terrorist they manage to kill is our potential enemy.” Really? Satiricus would have thought anybody projecting his Islamic credentials would not be so incredibly anti-Islamic as to be inimical to anybody fighting the holy Jehad. This may sadly mean the Tajik President’s Islamic credentials are not up to Indian standards. There is also something else that is still more serious. It is this official’s statement that Tajikistan is fighting the battle for us. It is of course nice to know that somebody else is fighting our war on terror for us, as we are too busy sending dossiers of proof to terroristan. But is that not unforgivably against our pak Pak policy? If somebody else keeps thoughtlessly killing our so-called enemies, who would remain about whom we could send one more beautifully written dossier to Gen. Kayani with a (faint) copy to President Zardari?

Think Big

Enough is enough, says Satiricus. The confusion worse confounded in his bird-brain needs to be sorted out. He just needs a simple answer to a simple question: What is the proper proportion in which one should be corrupt? The answer, alas, seems to be far from simple. Rather, it is quite complex, because it differs from politician to politician and who but the politicians possess the necessary expertise in this area? Take this Shivpal Singh Yadav, UP’s PWD Minister and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle. The other day he gave some sage advice to his officials. It was to practise moderation in corruption. He told them if they worked hard for the people they would be quite justified in stealing “a little bit”, but they should not indulge in “big loot”. What does Satiricus say to that? He says he is deeply disappointed. Corruption is our national enterprise, and in every enterprise, as the Hon’ble Minister should know, not failure but low aim is a crime. Then how can he ask respectable government officers under him to commit this crime?

Satiricus is so sorry to see that this minister is so small-minded as to be satisfied with only “a little bit” of corruption. He should think big. He should think big loot, motamaal. And by the grace of God and CAG there are any number of worthy examples that he could follow to broaden his vision. At the present low level of his adverse advice it almost borders on honesty. And that is dangerous, for it damages the reputation of our country, which currently occupies the pride of place among the world’s most corrupt countries. In this respect this minister must be as patriotically conscious as Satiricus. For on recently reading in the papers that Anna Hazare’s associates are going to form a political party Satiricus has decided to join it and campaign against (small) corruption. After all, motamaal and chhota mind cannot go together.

Intellectual Exercise

Columnist Fareed Zakaria, the shining Indian light of American journalism, has been caught plagiarising. What does fellow-columnist Satiricus think of that? He says it was not good of Zakaria. It was not good of Zakaria to get caught. For the rigid rule for pen-pushers is, “thou shalt not steal unless thou art smart enough not to get caught copycatting”. Look at Satiricus. He lives on stolen ideas from week to week, from column to column. But does it show? Never, well, not yet, anyway. And in any case Satiricus honestly feels it is time we discarded this pejorative term plagiarism. It should be decorously declared outsourcing. As it is, a writer’s piece is called his intellectual property. Then is not intelligent outsourcing-cum-copying an intellectual exercise?

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