CAN Satiricus resist the universal temptation of saying ‘I told you so?? He cannot. For, just last week he had said in so many words that in the new dispensation we would see the tail wagging the dog. And it has come to pass.
We now have a United Progressive Alliance to rule us wretched regressives, but the Congress progressives on the throne will in turn be ruled by Comrade Progressives behind the throne. While this has proved Satiricus right and makes him rightly happy, he cannot help wondering why not everybody shares his happiness. To Satiricus'smind it makes eminent political sense that the comrades want to eat the cake and have it too.
Politics is all about power, but if getting into power is good, getting into power without accountability is better, no? So Satiricus is not surprised to see that the comrades have not only refused to join the government but have even refused to sign the Common Minimum Programme. Now if this Congressled government is a success, the comrades can share the credit, but if it proves a failure, they don'thave to share the discredit. How very sensible! Unfortunately, there are people who don'thave the sense to sense this sensibleness. Some of them, for instance, say that “the CMP is a creature of compromise, so much so that at times it ends up saying nothing.”
For as surely as the meek shall inherit the earth, Manmohan Singh has inherited India only because comrades and Congressmen need a gentlemanly face for the world at large.
So what? It is no child'splay to say nothing in so many words that they fill 24 pages. And if the CMP says nothing, why are the comrades unwilling to add communist nothing to Congress nothing? After all, zero added to zero still make zero, similarly, nothing added to nothing would make more nothing, and the more the merrier, wot? Again, unfortunately there are people who are unreasonable enough to expect that the Common Minimum Programme should have said more than nothing, not more of nothing, and they have actually ridiculed the CMP document as “food for all blah… house for all blah… nuke free world blah-blah…” maybe so, but is it not beautiful blah? Just look at this the CMP's“objective will be to move towards universal food security…”
In the eyes of the CMP terrorism is “not merely a law and order problem, but a far deeper socio-economic issue…” The CMP will be “promoting universal nuclear disarmament and working for a nuclear weapons free world…” The CMP will “seek to promote multi polarity in world relations and oppose all attempts at unilateralism…” How noble, how high sounding? And if it was nothing more than noble nonsense and high sounding hogwash, why could the comrades not share the high sound and the nobility? So those who actually believe that the CMP means what it says (which is nothing) are asking why the comrades should not sign the document and book their seats on the bandwagon? Actually the answer to that question is not difficult. Comrade Surjeet has declared that “the CPM cannot be a part of the United Progressive Alliance”, because, while, on the one hand “the CPM would like in maintain its independent entity”, on the other hand, to sign the CMP would mean that the party is “part and parcel of the United Progressive Alliance”. Translated into English this means that a piece of the pie is always welcome, but not for us the heat and sweat of the kitchen. At the same time, does all this mean the CPM has and will have nothing to do with the CMP?
Far from it, says the leader in a leading paper. Rather, it says the “thumb prints” of the CPM are all over the CMP. Sounding an editorial ‘red alert?, the paper writes, “Let'sface it, in the UPA'sagenda for governance there is an invisible hand,” and asks, “who will hold the Left'sinvisible hand in decisions of the Manmohan Singh government?” To avoid this, some people have sagely advised Manmohan Singh to ‘crack the whip?. Surely these sages must be joking. For as surely as the meek shall inherit the earth, the meek Manmohan Singh has inherited India only because comrades and Congressmen need a gentlemanly face for the world at large. But Satiricus wonders is this gentleman and gentleman who has served seven Prime Ministers man enough to serve as Prime Minister? Satiricus doubts—and so do many Congressmen.
Talking about crooks, it was interesting for Satiricus to see that for the first time not only is crime in high places condoned, criminals in high places are even rewarded with ministerships. Laloo Prasad Yadav is there, and so is Jayaprakash Yadav; Taslimuddin is there, and so is Mohammed Ali Fatmi. And these are the ministers of a Prime Minister who is respected for his rectitude, praised for his probity, and honoured for his honesty. What can Satiricus say? He can only say that the progressives in power are united in registering remarkable progress in the recent international corruption index which had unfairly put India only near the top of corrupt countries, but not at the very top. Satiricus feels confident that with veterans like Laloo and Taslimuddin at the helm of affairs, our country will soon achieve that distinction. But what if Manmohan Singh himself falls sooner rather than later, as his own partymen expect? Even then there should not be much of a problem. For so long as Congress and comrades collude to cling to power, crooks should have a field day. And if a ‘suitable? replacement for the prime ministerial post cannot be found easily in India, that is blessed Bharat, an import from the Italian mafia is always possible. After all, what are Italians for, if not for supplying Indians with ready made leaders?