Saturday, January 29, 2011

FAMILY AFFAIRS

Dear Congress Party,
I don’t know whether you’ve been following the international news recently. Probably not as you’ve enough problems with domestic politics and your multi-scams. Just to bring you up to speed, a couple of weeks ago the Tunisians, who had had enough of their president, Zine al-Abidin Ben Ali, revolted against his 30-odd year rule. Apart from rising prices and repression, they were also fed up with his corruption. Now, something like this had never happened before and old Ben Ali was in a state of shock. His police shot a few people to keep them quiet and when that didn’t work, he took the hint and skipped the country. His wife too skipped away, taking along with her about 30 billion dollars worth of gold bars in her private ‘shopping’ jet.
Every dictator in the Middle East held their collective, corrupt breaths. They were sure that this sort of disruptive behaviour by the people against their leader would not cross the borders into their countries. Unfortunately, anger is contagious. No one ever expected the Egyptians, a most placid people, would also revolt against their president Hosni Mubarak. He too has been in power for 30 years and is as corrupt as Ben Ali. The Egyptians, to everyone’s surprise, took to the streets, demanding the end of the 82-year-old President’s repressive rule. Posters of Mubarak and his son, Gamel, the heir apparent, were burned. Every corner of Egypt, it seems, has risen up to cast off their iron chains.
No doubt, this contagious idea of overthrowing dictatorships will soon spread to the other Middle East nations. We’re going to soon see many leaders skipping their countries in their private jets for safer locations, along with as much gold as they can carry, and their Swiss Bank accounts as a cushion against future hardship.
Now, you may think what have all these revolutions in foreign countries to do with us here in India? There are very close similarities. One family ruled those countries for 30 years; one family has ruled your party for over 60 years. Isn’t it about time that the peasants in the Congress Party rebelled against this one family’s rule? For a party that preaches democracy, you certainly don’t practice it within the party and have allowed one family to dictate who rules it. And through your obedience to this family, they rule a nation. A good revolution within will purge your party of the family and open it up for younger, hopefully not so corrupt, brighter minds than those in power at this time. You will be rejuvenated as a party by getting rid of all those ancient, brain-dead people and their chamchas, and find a new, exciting role for yourself in the country.
You will worry that, with this revolution, what will happen to your ruling family if it has to skip the country, like Ben Ali and his. Believe me, they’ll be just fine. I read recently that a serious Swiss magazine reported back in 1991 that your crown prince, Rahul, had 2.5 billion dollars in his bank account there. With interest over the last 20 years, he’ll be worth about nine or ten billion dollars. I know this doesn’t match the Ben Ali’s fortune but the family will still live very comfortably for a few generations on this amount. And, the best part, they won’t have to find shelter in Saudi or any of these other Gulf States. They could buy a villa on Lake Como, next to the American movie Star, George Clooney, and his pals. Or even a palazzo in Venice, if they prefer a sea facing palace or an apartment on Park Avenue. Maybe, they already own such real estates but I’m not aware of this.
Once you free yourself from this one family rule, this internal revolution will inspire the Indian people to take your party more seriously. We may even vote for you again.

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