The Management Wizard
INDIA THAT IS BHARAT
Everyone wants to make a name for himself. And that includes us cusses of India that is Bharat. But do we all give enough thought to what sort of a name it should be? Alas, as a rule, no. But then, there is no rule without an exception, so Satiricus was not overly surprised to see the other day a certain exceptional person choosing an interesting Italian name over a boring Bharatiya one—namely, Signor Raul Vinci, alias Shri Rahul Gandhi. This was a box-item crassly captioned “When half-Italian Rahul Gandhi hid behind an Italian name….” and gave the news that a half-Indian professor at Cambridge University has recently certified that some years ago Rahul had joined that university incognito, and was awarded an M. Phil. in a subject titled Management Studies.
Now, this was certainly a tasty titbit of juicy journalism, but it confused Satiricus on more than one count. Not that there is anything wrong in a half-hearted Italian becoming a full-fledged one at least nominally. But does a university degree demand a disguise? Is acquiring university education a covert operation, fraught with danger, that only bravehearts like Rahul Gandhi could undertake? To make these confusing questions more confounded, that certifying professor said he not only knew Rahul Gandhi, he also knew his father, Rajiv Gandhi, who, he says, was “not perhaps our star pupil”. But then, was Rajiv Gandhi there incognito as well? If not, how come Rajiv Gandhi and Raul Vinci were father and son?
Anyway, if, as the professor professes, Rahul Gandhi was awarded an M. Phil. in Management Studies, Satiricus must admit his expertise in that area is on dazzling display in the masterly manner in which he is now managing the family business called the Congress. He started with publicly trashing an ordinance of his government, disdainfully declaring it should be torn up and thrown into the waste paper basket. His second management miracle was to make the poor man’s hunger a figment of the imagination. And now we have his most magnificent management mission—to rid the country of corruption, to demolish corruption with a single mighty managemental missile. So he launched the missile, ordered the ordinance.
But what happened? As a big, bold newspaper headline rather rudely put it, “Rahul’s ordinance shortcut cut short”. For not only did his government get constitutional cold feet, even the clerks and peons in Congress & Co. became rabidly rebellious. For according to a believe-it-not report, Rahul, said sources, was coming across as an “irresponsible leader who loved to show off his authority even at the expense of the Prime minister, a leader who would tear an ordinance on convicted law-makers one day and shake hands with Lalu Prasad the next.” Good Lord! What is happening? Satiricus knows that phrase ‘even a worm turns’, but he always thought the Congress species never did that.
Seems secular Satiricus was in pointless panic. Contrary to what he feared, Secularism khatre mein bilkul nahim hai. Rather, with elections drawing near day by day, he sees it sprouting even in unlikely places. It seems to have cast its Jadoo even on the Jhadoo. For the other day addressing a Muslim gathering Jhadoowala Kejriwal declared that communalism was a bigger threat than corruption! Oh, my! How ignorant of Satiricus! Since day one of AAP’s arrival he was labouring under the impression—wrongly, as Kejriwal has now shown him—that corruption was the main platform of this party and the central theme of its politics. Well, Satiricus lives and unlearns. Or has Kejriwal learnt the tricks of the electoral trade, according to which singing the praise of secularism is more important for the Muslim voter than the Hindu voter? And when exactly did he learn this invaluable lesson? Could this precious knowledge have dawned on Kejriwal only after his split with Anna Hazare? For he may have remembered to his secular horror that Imam Bukhari had condemned Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement as anti-Islam! Whatever it is, now that Kejriwal has developed from an anti-corruption activist into a secular politician he could put his Jhadoo to a better use—to sweep corruption under the carpet.
Once Bought, Stays Bought
Satiricus likes jokes, and with elections round the corner the newspapers are full of them. The most hilarious of them all that he read the other day was that a political party has asked its candidates to give a time-bound loyalty bond. What on earth has loyalty to do with party politics? What are political parties for, if not for defecting from? So far as Satiricus sees it, the only loyalty it would be reasonable for a political party to expect would be to secure somebody’s defection from some other party to its own ranks and then to expect him to remain loyally defected. Translated into English this means, a loyal politician is he, who, once bought, stays bought.