Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 20:02:30

Twin Mantras

Updated: July 20, 2013 10:17 am


Satiricus is not exactly a mathematical genius. But he can count. His fingers help him do that. At times, when his fingers fall short, he even turns to his toes. Beyond that, however, lie the astronomical calculations, of which Satiricus is simply incapable. Two such incalculable calculations are: No. 1. The number of times Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says there are no two power centres and no differences between him and Sonia Gandhi. No. 2. Rahul Gandhi is most qualified to be prime minister and he (Manmohan Singh) is always ready to step down for him (Rahul Gandhi). Satiricus did try to keep count of the numberless number of times of these two nonstop chants of the Prime Minister but soon found the feat beyond his illiterate and ignorant professional ability.

So the next question for this curious cuss is—why? Why does Prime Minister Manmohan Singh religiously recite these twin Mantras day in and day out, first thing in the morning and last thing at night? Here suspicious Satiricus even recalled Shakespeare on Lady Macbeth—“Methinks the lady protests too much!”–sinisterly suggesting that when Manmohan Singh says there are no two power centres, it really means there are. But on second thoughts Satiricus has discarded this doubt—for two very valid reasons. For one, Lady Macbeth was a lady, Manmohan is not. He is a gentleman. In fact, a perfect gentleman, politely and perpetually willing to be pushed aside. And secondly, he knew that when a couple of his Ministers had to be dismissed the dismissal had to be issued not by the PMO but by 10, Janpath. That in turn means he is telling the truth when he says there are no two power centres. What is understood when he says so is that there is only one power centre, and it is at 10, Janpath. As for Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh said only the other day that he (Rahul) is their “natural” leader. Of course he is. Has not Mother Nature ensured that Rahul is born in the right family?


Cleanliness In Politics

Mrs. Gandhis may go and Mrs. Gandhis may come, but Mrs. Gandhis’ Jhadoowalas go on for ever. Satiricus recalls those olden godden days when Zail Singh, President of India, had once declared that he was Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s Jhadoowala. Those happy days are here again. For the other day a Minister of the Government of India by name Dr.Charandas Mahant from Chhattisgarh declared in a press conference that if Congress president Mrs. Sonia Gandhi asked him to pick up a broom and sweep the state Congress office, he would do that. See? The cleanliness-fixation of any servant of any Mrs. Gandhi is admirable. When Mahatma Gandhi first advocated the principle of clean politics he may not have even imagined that the Mrs. Gandhis who would follow him would develop his principle into a practice for their servants to follow.

But now that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi has a minister-cum-sweeper at her disposal, should she not think about the terms and conditions of his job? For example, if this minister does a good job of sweeping a state Congress office, should he not be considered for promotion—say, from the state party office to the AICC office in the capital, and eventually even to 10, Janpath? Secondly, now that we are living in a hi-tech age should Soniaji ask this servant to “pick up a broom”, as he has put it? In the considered opinion of Satiricus, she should not. He should be asked to switch on a vacuum cleaner.

Right To Cheating

The other day nearly a thousand students of a high school in China who were writing their exam papers erupted in anger when they were stopped from cheating. “We want fairness,” they righteously chanted; “there is no fairness if you do not let us cheat.” And why was it not fair? Because cheating is endemic. And what does ‘endemic’ mean? It means something that is “regularly found in a particular region”. Well, now, that explains the situation to Satiricus’s satisfaction. Despite his dim wit he now understands that the “something that is regularly found” is cheating, and the “particular region” in which it is found is China. This being so, it is certainly regrettably irregular to go against something so regular, as also, what is worse, anti-nationally anti-Chinese to prevent Chinese citizens of tomorrow from patriotically promoting their “particular region’s”—that is, China’s—special practice. Had Chinese cheating been endemic to India as well, Satiricus would not have ended up as an uneducated journalist. Alternatively he would have become a reputed Indian columnist as expert at plagiarism as reputed American columnist Farid Zakaria.

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