Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Cash-for-questions a godsend for Congress


When the winter session of parliament convened last fortnight, the Congress party was in a shambles. The morale of the grassroots was down after the back-to-back routing in Bihar. Volckeritis, a particularly virulent strain whose primary symptom is edginess, had contaminated every nook and cranny of 24, Akbar Road. The Left was breathing down the government’s neck and Natwar Singh’s mulishness was inviting ridicule from every quarter.

It was in the midst of this sorry state that Aniruddha Bahal, that old charmer who had snuck his way into the BJP some years ago, recalled the hidden cam from the cobwebs of his rather-aptly titled Cobrapost office, swooped down on unsuspecting MP’s with fetching wads of cash (you poor, poor Bangaru: the ghost of Tehelka, the memory of that lingering image refuses to dissipate), and with the able aid of the TV Today group, conceived the latest corruption scandal to rock the nation.

But there's more. Of the eleven members caught with their pants down, 6 belonged to the BJP. The party which despite its Bangarus and Judeos still thinks corruption in its ranks is the exception rather than the norm, immediately expelled the erring gang, with a visibly upset Advani lecturing the parliamentary wing on the need for probity in public life (yawn!).

The Congress swung into jubilant mode. Whispers of “my crook smartest” reverberated through the boardrooms of political India.

After all, for every Bofors, there is a Coffin. For every Satish, a Bangaru. For every Volcker, a Bahal for a whistleblower.

Meanwhile, our MP’s who have been scouting for ways to save their…uhm dignity despite will-o-the-wisp efforts at reforming themselves (my heart so goes out to them it could break) have discovered a fine means to trump those journalistic sods at the game. Welcome the Radio Frequency Signal Detector. Radio frequencies are commonly used by mine clearance teams, military forces, border patrol, bomb detection teams, VIP security forces, Law Enforcement and government Agencies. What can help our netas, however, is the innocuously titled Video Camera Detector. The VCD is specially made for detecting hidden cameras and is insensitive to cellular phone signals. One can set in on vibrate mode and know if video cameras are present in the vicinity. An alert vibration informs you that there’s someone out there to nail your truth. The depravity of that truth is entirely your prerogative, by the way. Radio frequencies don’t detect that (un)fortunately.

Cheers, Honorable members of the House! Make hay while the sun still shines on that bowed head of humility looking on at your den of collective wickedness.

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