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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Primer for Political Kindergarten

Politics is now a viable career option. Getting into the line is not easy. It’s tough. It starts with social service, social activism, and lots of media coverage. Media is a must. You get onto every talk show. Wangle an interview. Cultivate mediapersons. You have to be in the constant public eye. Then you stand for the small time elections, the panchayat if you are in a village and municipal council if you are in the city. Working for a politician is also good. You get a ringside view for learning the ropes as well as when the time is right – blackmailing your boss. If you’re smart you can buy your way in.

Once you’re in it gets easier with each year you spend in the kodel. If you have to make it a vocation, you’ll die by the roadside, unsung. If you want to be a career politician you have to make sure you keep your seat or give it to your own immediate family. There is so much opportunity to make so much money especially in a state like Goa. It’s as easy as taking candy from a sleeping baby. Goa has a literate but uneducated electorate. The opportunities to amass wealth are legend. But you have only two hands. You need help. So you rope in your children. You get them to take in commissions in dry weather and hand out saplings in wet weather.

You also have to be pragmatic. Think of the future. No matter how much money you stash away in your secret bank accounts, it will still not be enough when you finally throw in the kodel. You have to train your family members like any other entrepreneur. It therefore stands to reason that there should be a special kindergarten for children and grandchildren of politicians.

Which is why I urge the powers that be, to start at least one political balwadi in each constituency. We already have the Bal Congress which is made up of young teens who can barely tear themselves from their sms-ing to address the problems their children will face when they grow up. I am working on the syllabus. I have started with the Alphabet for Baby Politicos.

The Alphabet Primer for Political Kindergarten

A is for the Activist – damn the lot to hell
B is for Black money – and not a soul you’ll tell
C is for commissions – to build your fortunes fast
D is for Development – infrastructure that will not last

E is for Education – for ensuring a dumb electorate
F is for Finance – it’s fun, it’s free and appropriate
for G which stands for Goa ¬– this gravy train of ours
H is only Heaven – since you’re reaching for the stars

I is for Idiots or Indians which means the same thing
J is for Judiciary that thinks – it still is king.
K is for the Kangaroo courts we always set in place
For L which is the Law that we manage to erase

M is for the Money we are duty bound to make
N is for the numbers that come to share the cake
O is for the Opportunists that we are proud to be
P is for the Party, to join or leave – we’re free

Q is for Quality – the BADDEST word there is,
R is for Respect … oh, just give that a miss.
S is for Suspicion, a constant state you’ll be in
‘cause T is for those Traitors who’ll throw you in the bin

U is for Useless, a quality you’ll need
V is for the victory your cash will win for greed
W is for Wealth which is why you’re in this line
X marks the spot we’ll occupy in time

Y is the Yellow of your gold in large amounts
Z is for the zillions in your secret bank accounts.
So children learn your alphabet you really shouldn’t shirk
It so your great-grandchildren will never have to work.
© Bevinda Collaco 2010

1 comment:

Flavia said...

Your 'E is for Education – for ensuring a dumb electorate' is very apt.
I belong to the group of people who were lucky enough to be educated between 1974 (KG) and 1990 (graduation), in Goa. Our parents corrected us when we were wrong, praised us when we did well and conducted post-mortems when we did badly in studies, our teachers had their favorites and some of them did pick inopportune moments to poke fun at our expense. I cannot remember a single instance of any of my class-mates (or kids from other schools) who even thought of committing suicide during of any of the above situations.
Now, kids don't have to study - they are supposedly promoted through till the 8th standard, they don't have to worry about punctuation or grammar or spellings or people's feelings or being polite to teachers or even knowing anything of substance. If someone decides to correct them - much more politely than we were corrected, thanks to all the child psychologists - they (the kids) experiment with suicide and other stuff.
Talk about a dumb electorate!
I'm a parent now, of a 6-year-old, who knows (so far) when I mean business. I hope I can be as good a parent as my parents were.