Thursday, March 10, 2005

Stung twister: Thus speaks the Babu brain

Life is not fair, I tell you. These days, one can’t even take an honest bribe peacefully. ’Swear on Shibu Soren, this is the heights.

But remember, tomorrow everything will be okay, wads and all. It’s not that we are the first ones to take favours to give favours. We will not be the last ones either, rest assured.

Every Delhiite has his day. Today, it happens to be us. With TV showing us -—innocent, god-fearing government servants -- in poor light. These hidden cameras do not even have proper lighting, I tell you. Neighbours, who have known it all this while, suddenly aren’t looking at me with envy.

These Aaj Tak people, I tell you. It has taken half a century for the country to get used to the give and take equation, and now they are telling people it’s wrong. It happened even during Mahatma Gandhi’s time. Gandhi baba once wrote: “Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today.”

Inevitable products of democracy, you see. Hypocrisy, too, is a product of democracy and no sales tax is levied on this. Tell me what department is free of corruption. Tell me, na? Arre, come with me and I will show you corruption even in the anti-corruption department.

We got caught because we were not hypocrites. We take it over the table. Nothing unofficial about it. And look at the mess our honesty has landed us in. Who said honesty is the best policy? Honesty is the best politics, baba.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. You go to a restaurant, you tip the waiter. Service tax, baba. Are we worse than a waiter? No respect for people, who studied 18 hours a day to pass that government exam where some 18 lakh students sit every year and 18 are selected? No reward for hard work, huh?

Now politicians and even senior bureaucrats are suspending us and hurling all kinds of abuses. As if we didn’t pay a share. We pay every time we want a reasonable transfer. We pay monthly, annually and generally all the time.

And I ask you citizens to be not afraid of us and continue cooperating in future. Let such small stings not mar our mutual understanding of more than 50 years. We’ll be back. And please don’t come with cash to office for some time. We can deal somewhere else before I appoint an agent outside the building. And remember what Saul Alinsky said: He who fears corruption fears life.

If poor Saul isn’t your favourite writer, try Peter Ustinov’s “Corruption is nature’s way of restoring our faith in democracy.”

India is the world’s largest democracy. Have faith.

No comments: