Everyone’s whining about how humongous amounts of money are changing hands before Tuesday’s trust vote on that deal. Well, with Mahatma Gandhi’s picture on our currency notes, what did you expect? That MPs presented with the opportunity of holding their chin and playing Hamlet would ask for tender love and care instead of their version of paanch rupaiya baarah anna? The truth be told, I’m actually quite shocked how little is being asked by our parliamentarian fence-sitters to help them make up their minds. I would have thought that the stakes would be upped — and decisions would be made not with the help of crores or by renaming airports to non-Nehru-Gandhi names, but something grander, something more radical, far more hefty. One is, after all, talking about the Deal of Deals, the patto di tutti patti, here.
Since there is still time and MPs — whether incarcerated, out on bail or as free as colour TV sets in pre-assembly elections Tamil Nadu — have a knack of reading this paper (if not this column), I thought it would be my duty — nay, my pleasure — to suggest a few demands that our undecided parliamentarians going to vote two days from now can make. I’m unsure how these demands are made. But regardless of whether the MP scratches his head and asks Sonia Gandhi over a cup of tea or confidently states what he wants to Manmohan Singh, here’s a choice of demands. All one needs to do is tick one of the boxes and ask for it. Who knows, it may also be good for the country?
Insist that Manmohan Singh goes to a karaoke bar and sings into the mike to the tune of Bappi Lahiri’s “I am a disco dancer.” As a goodwill gesture, you should make him hear the Vijay Benedict original so that he can do his own bit on the stage when he comes to the line, “Zindagi mera gaana…mein kissie ka deewana.”
Insist that Sonia Gandhi invites sister-in-law Maneka for dinner. The vegetarian spread must have a camouflaged egg dish. Which will trigger a lively debate on the lines of that old ‘Congress versus BJP’ question: which came first, the chicken or the egg?
HRD Minister Arjun Singh must reserve 27 per cent of seats in cinemas for people with special needs that include an aesthetic and ideological fear of Karan Johar movies. In case, this demand is denied, then you must insist that all Karan Johar movies have Mayawati in them.
Haj pilgrims should be given an option of disappearing in countries like New Zealand. Frankly, only the Catholic community is allowed to do that these days. As a majority among the minority communities, Muslims must be given this opportunity. Let the BJP scream, ‘Appeasement!’ as loud as they want.
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme should be widened to include Mani Shankar Aiyar — until the India-Iran gas pipeline materialises and the Minister finally has a proper job.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry must be disbanded in a public ceremony in which Rakhi Sawant will invite Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi to a lip-lock which he will publicly reject. Subsequently Lok Sabha TV will have to show at least 27 per cent content from FTV.
Your daughter should be amorously linked to Rahul Gandhi if the government wants you to abstain from voting on Tuesday. If it wants you to vote in favour, then insist on a marriage.
Shibu Soren must be made Finance Minister.
Indira Gandhi International Airport should be renamed every five years for which there will be an open bid every six months. Amar Singh will be arbitrator for life.
Shibu Soren must be made Prime Minister.
I dearly hope that some MPs choose these demands. Otherwise, I’ll have to start making plans of becoming an MP one day.