We are a state-of-the-art, cutting-edge educational institution with a burning passion to implement the prime minister’s vision of Skill India. We have accordingly set up the Academy for Political Education (APE), with the noble aim of equipping politicos with the skills needed for guiding the destinies of a billion people. Here is a brief outline of what we offer.
As a first step in an exciting political career, one that will bring you fame, power, pelf, bungalows, flunkeys, fabulous perks, junkets and freebies you need to join a political party. Nowadays, a missed call is enough for the purpose. Novices have asked us if they should wait till parties start offering gift vouchers, but you shouldn’t be greedy. That can always come later.
An important part of our curriculum is training in ‘Rushing to the Well of the House’. We have created a replica of a legislature with a well, where we conduct well-rushing classes. We will tell you whether to wear Nike or Adidas.
Another pre-requisite is lung power, essential for winning shouting matches with other parties. We teach the latest yelling techniques in our shouting classes. Some of the stalwarts you see on TV have graduated with honours from the APE.
The greatest competitive advantage of a politician, in these media-saturated times, is to know where the camera is. Our classes teach you to grab media attention, as well as how to take the best selfies. Our paper on ‘How to hog the limelight’ is a classic.
Walkouts from legislatures have to be impeccably choreographed and we have dancers from Bollywood to teach you the latest techniques. Walking out backwards with your face to the TV camera, while shouting slogans, holding up a placard and pumping your fist in the air is a fine art. We are adding hip-hop steps to the routine.
Our buzzwords classes are legendary. We teach students how to use hot-button buzzwords randomly, such as secular, development, zero tolerance, strong India, corruption-free, and aam aadmi. We have classes on alliteration and on manufacturing slogans, our contribution to the ‘Make in India’ programme. We also teach students how to make large quantities of hot air.
Students also learn the science of wrestling with marshals, punching, jumping on benches and throwing microphones, chairs and paperweights. Our alumni swear by our ‘Legislative Obstruction and Procrastination’ module.
People have asked us about what we teach in our classes on election funding. All we can say is we have the best guest faculty, including black marketers, builders and hawala operators and top experts like Voldemort and Darth Vader. They also provide interesting tips on the best methods of knocking off witnesses.
Our lectures on horse-trading, name-calling and stirring up fake passions are world-famous. And, as a parting gift to our students, on graduation day we give away maps showing the way to the subsidised canteen.
So come one, come all. All this and more can be yours for a very reasonable fee.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. The views expressed are personal.