After the year of scams, no more dirty politics | india | Hindustan Times
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After the year of scams, no more dirty politics

A Prime Minister with a finger on his lips. A stalled Parliament. And plenty of scams to boot. There’s lots we won’t miss in 2011. Wishlist

india Updated: Jan 02, 2011 00:20 IST
Rupa Gulab

2010 was an eye-opener. We discovered that most of our politicians are not petty chai-paani thieves after all. If India ever does a remake of The Godfather, I will enthusiastically push for DMK chief M Karunanidhi getting Marlon Brando’s role. Also because he mumbles incoherently. And with those dark glasses, he can play a convincing Stevie Wonder as well — so much unexploited talent, gosh!

But I digress — for me the highlights of 2010 were the scams, filthy CWG toilets and, equally important, brain-damaging coconuts being removed from trees in US President Obama’s Mumbai tour path — he was the only visiting foreign dignitary who received this treatment. I’m shocked that the Left parties didn’t organise a bandh to protest favouritism shown to the imperialist US — slackers! I do hope 2011 will be a more inspiring year and here are a few things that really mustn’t happen to make it bearable for us.

Wishlist

No more holding the Prime Minister back: After a series of scams, nothing short of a miracle will make the Congress party vaguely acceptable again. The only Gandhi who can save them this time goes by the name of Mohandas Karamchand — but sadly most people don’t believe in ghosts. If the Congress is lucky, the world really will end in 2012.

But if they’re smart, they’ll ditch the dirty politics and let Manmohan Singh have the last word. He was electrifying over the nuclear deal — now that’s classic bio-data fire-in-the-belly passion. Most Indians have great respect for Singh — we’re absolutely certain he earned his degrees, he didn’t buy them!

This is what frightens the BJP most, which is why they constantly clamour for his resignation — in this respect they’re more discerning than the Congress.

Let Singh do the talking, and when the next general elections come around, the Congress may have reason to sing. Face it, he’s the only person alive who can make the lame party walk again. Or perhaps, as the old tasteless joke goes, make the lame party blind? Let’s see.

No more mild antacids: India needs super-strong ones to keep arrested politicians from sneaking into premium heart hospitals. I’m really looking forward to an antacid commercial starring Kalmadi, Raja and Yeddyurappa smiling charmingly while breaking rocks. Can’t wait!

No more snide remarks about Sonia Gandhi’s foreign blood: Advertising is a pretty reliable indicator of social aspirations. A few decades ago, women in Indian ads looked a bit like, well the BJP’s Sushma Swaraj scrubbing a greasy frying pan (only lots more glamorous, admittedly — and their bindis were about 90 per cent smaller). After finally throwing off our shabby third-world status, we’ve warmly embraced the age of the new international Indian. To my growing amazement, these days many commercials have leggy brunettes passing off as young Indians. Hello there BJP, the message is clear: We’re evidently happy to believe that Sonia Gandhi is our birth mother, okay?

No more playing the fool in Parliament: I think I understand why the opposition is stubbornly refusing to let Parliament function till the government succumbs to its demand for a JPC on the 2G scam. Heck, who wants to work when the weather is so beautifully chilly? So much better to energetically jump up and down and shout — that makes you feel much warmer too. Perhaps a few lines from Robert Frost may inspire our lazy Opposition parties to let the Parliament run smoothly: “The woods are lovely, dark, and deep / But I have promises to keep / And miles to go before I sleep...”

No more being honey-glazed to China: While China is on the rise, its art is on the decline. I wouldn’t mind splurging on a Ming dynasty vase but I don’t buy their contemporary art, which mainly consists of re-drawings of India’s map. I can’t fault their brush strokes, but I don’t give them 10 out of 10 for their intentions. Hey, I love Chinese takeaway but I don’t fancy 1,000-year-old eggs for breakfast when holidaying in Arunachal Pradesh.

No more terrorist attacks: If we produce the world’s best doctors, engineers et cetera, why can’t we produce halfway decent intelligence chaps? According to the latest alert, the Lashkar-e-Taiba has even more popular tourist spots in Mumbai on its hit-list. Hell, who would have thought that the ISI reads frivolous things like Lonely Planet?

No more fuss over a kiss: I absolutely insist that the moral police stop getting hysterical about Indian women being politely kissed on the cheek foreigners in public places. Or else, if ever Bill Gates attempts to peck my cheek at, say, an HIV/AIDS event, I’ll have to push him away and hiss, “Later — meet me in my hotel room.” You tell me, which is worse?

(Rupa Gulab is the author of the novel The Great Depression of the 40s, that came out last year)