Are you looking for an extraordinary career? Do you want to become a member of the country’s most powerful club? And are you a woman? If so, the time has come to grasp a fantastic opportunity. I refer, of course, to the hundreds of vacancies for women that will soon be created in the Lok Sabha and in the state legislatures as a result of the passing of the Women’s Reservation Bill.
Eligibility: You should be female, an Indian citizen and at least 25 years old, but there is no upper age limit. We pride ourselves on being anti-ageist and have several lawmakers over 90. We are pleased that sometimes our legislatures have been mistaken for geriatric wards.
Educational Qualifications: None whatsoever. It’s OK if you are completely illiterate. None of this nonsense of being qualified to manage the country.
Other qualifications: It helps if you are rich, because elections cost a lot of money. But you could also arrange the money, in black of course. It also helps if you are well-connected, especially if you have a father or a husband in the political business, or at least a friendly neighbourhood don.
Job Profile: Your formal job is one of the hardest in the world, solving things like hunger and poverty and saving the environment. But you needn’t take that seriously. The hard part of the job lies in getting elected. Once in, attending the legislature is optional. Facilities exist for snoozing at work, but beware those pesky TV cameras. What legislators really do is a closely-guarded secret cloaked in mystery, even from them.
Pre-requisites: The job requires considerable lung power, as you will be required to shout down the Opposition. You should also be fighting fit, as frequently rushing to the Speaker’s podium can be exhausting. On festive occasions, you may even have to throw benches, chairs, microphones, paperweights and so on and tear out pages from bulky documents. Superior throwing talents will be much appreciated. You may have to brawl with Opposition members, so boxing skills will come in handy. During the recent fracas over the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Members of Parliament tried to climb on to the chairman’s table but failed miserably. This illustrates the importance of climbing skills and no woman MP who can’t climb on to a table deserves to be elected.
Work experience: None necessary, even freshers can apply. Who needs experience to manage a country? But a criminal background (without getting caught) is helpful, although not essential. Experience as a hot air merchant will prove invaluable.
Remuneration: This is one of the best jobs in the country, with bungalows, constituency allowances, daily allowances, junkets, medical facilities, flunkeys, free travel. There’s much more, of course, if you make it to minister. Our proprietary compensation model is based on what we call the 3Ps — power, pelf and patronage.
Training: Successful candidates will go through an intensive training programme, where they will be given lessons in parliamentary dramatics by Mamataji, parliamentary ethics by Shibu Soren, how to stage a walk-out and elementary wrestling with marshals. They will also be given free copies of ex-Prime Minister Deve Gowda’s memoirs Forty Winks in Parliament.
So what are you waiting for? This is a window of opportunity for women to get in, before they start having quotas for gays, transvestites, henpecked husbands, bald people, fat people and other disadvantaged groups. APPLY NOW!!!
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint.
The views expressed by the author are personal.