Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Which David do you prefer???



Both Davids were shot by Arundhati. One , in Florence a few months ago. The other, in Mumbai last night. You pick your favourite David!
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This appeared in Sunday Times...
                          Silvio Berlusconi must be an Indian…
In India, we believe in past lives. Our television industry relies heavily on that belief. In fact, if  a canny businessperson from the organized sector actually got a business plan in place, cashing in on the past life theory could make him/her a billionaire. Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s ex-P.M. must have been an Indian in several previous avatars. Matter of fact, he sounds alarmingly like an Indian even in the present one. Perhaps, there is a dominant Indian gene in his  DNA? It is entirely possible. When he declared ,  “Bribes are necessary,”  a chorus of approval was heard across political classes in India. Netas of any and every hue rejoiced at the audacious comment, and probably kicked themselves for not having had the  errr… testicles… to beat the billionaire three -time P.M. to the delicious quote. The irrepressible Silvio  brazenly said what we in India accept wholeheartedly. Bribery has been a way of life here for as long as we can remember. It is the great equalizer, and undoubtedly Asish Nandy has a unique perspective on the subject. Indians bribe. It’s a given. Indians do not think before bribing. Indians are convinced there is no alternative to bribing. ‘Chai –Paani’ does not refer to “Tea-Water” as every Indian child knows. Talking of children , we bribe our own kids… we bribe teachers to get them into good schools… and later, we bribe employers to get those kids a job. Kids watch mothers bribing the gaswallah for an out of turn cylinder.  They watch fathers ‘pataoing’ traffic havaldaars after breaking a light. Even grand parents aren’t spared as they offer  a few hundred bucks to the clerk releasing their well earned pension. We have embraced bribery and corruption unconditionally. Indians  believe it is impossible to do business in the country without greasing palms. Chhota ya bada – it doesn’t matter. Even the illiterate migrant looking for work in the big , bad city arrives with a potli filled with whatever little cash he possesses. He knows he will have to pay a cut to the labour contractor who will hire him .The nasty truth is that bribery is not considered a moral issue any more. It is seen as a survival tool.
Berlusconi is bang on when he states, “ Bribes are a phenomenon that exist. It’s useless to deny the existence of these situations. These are not crimes.” Hear! Hear! He also mentions that if one lets such trivial issues (“ moralisms”) get in the way, one cannot become an entrepreneur  “ on a global scale.”  Our chaps have known that all along – from the biggest to the smallest. For them, Berlusconi’s words may sound like nursery rhymes – a bit too obvious. For the Big Boys of  India’s mighty business empires, keeping aside money for  “corrupt activity”  (as was done by Italy’s State-controlled Agusta-Westland, for the chopper deal) is just another requirement, especially when the stakes are this high (3,600 crores). Giving  middlemen ( former Air Chief S.P.Tyagi’s cousins) a piddly Rs.72 lakhs in cash, is not worth wasting a sneeze on. As for the silly nexus between the Air Chief and the Tyagi brothers, why, come on, let’s listen to the former Defence Minister Jaswant Singh as he pooh poohs the coincidence, helpfully adding,“ My first cousin was a smuggler. Does that make me a smuggler?” Sir, we are not saying that – you are!
So, here we are with yet another messy scandal involving a former Air Chief. It’s a pretty foul story and no matter what the main players say, the stink cannot be passed off for anything but a stink. Grazia, Silvio Berlusconi, for the clarity of  your thinking. And for pointing out to the rest of the world that the hefty bribe was necessary because “ those are the rules in that country.” So they are. As Bofors’ middleman, the notorious Ottavio Quattrocchi  before him had  figured way back in ‘80’s and ‘90’s. So much water has flown down the Ganga and the Arno. And we are still playing holier than thou. Let’s drop the charade, pronto! And hail Berlusconi as our hero. He sounds as desi as homemade ghee.  In a clumsy attempt to brush the scandal away, Jaswant Singh has jauntily accused the Italian Government of  being the “ Gold  Medal winners in corruption.” What does that make the Indian Government?  Platinum World Champions in the corruption stakes?

9 comments:

Jogeshwar said...

A joke arounds like this, An officer asks his subordinate, that if given a chance to bring in reforms, what would he do? The subordinate says first of all he would bring standardisation in the department across the country and better coordination as well. The superior asks him to explain his point, subordinate replys by saying that in some places you can bribe by just giving a few bidis, so he feels it is very insulting to the department, some minimum standard for bribes should be fixed so as to uphold the 'naak' of the department.

numerounity said...

Aila! Such a big title!!!

U r on my blogroll and suddenly I saw my footer going multifold!! and ask me to add...post adding him, he

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http://ektakhetan.blogspot.com

numerounity said...

PS: read my catty review of murder 3.
The link is here- http://ektakhetan.blogspot.in/2013/02/murder-3-is-rather-funny-film-review.html

Leha Shiekh said...

Reading this fabulous article, reminds me of decent stalker's blog about India's PR.

Ravi Patel said...

What an inexorable fall from grace for 'mere bharat mahan'! Now even this unabashed bunga bunga pervert and a crook to boot, the oh! so so a family man Silvio Berlusconi rubs it in by saying that bribing is the only way to do business in india. Either way one looks at it, both from within and from outside, it is the Italian hand that continues to haunt decrepit India!. Whatever else one thinks of the whole saga, at least I love this Italian geniality for summoning all his Einstenian genius to tell the world what has been obvious to us all Indians for far so long! I love you salacious Silvio. I love you very much!

Satish Ashtaputre said...

I think now,we Indians should stop discussing corruption issue.From Bofors to now Agusta-Westland,none of the poitician or officer concerned with the scam,have been penalised.
So,it's just a waste of time !
In India,either pay up or suffer !

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Aditya said...

Amazing Article
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