This article appeared in the New Indian Express on August 7, 2010
Learning Corruption Hands-On At The Political Academy
There is an urgent need to produce good leaders who can lead us into a golden future. Unfortunately there are no institutes to train politicians. Most politicians are born or married into politicians’ families or they have become politicians to escape the law or the tax man. This is not a very scientific method of producing leaders. We need academies like IIMs and IITs, with a proper curriculum, so we produce the best. After all, politics is the most lucrative career, far ahead of crime, and deserves its own academy. And as a responsible citizen, I have done my bit and put together a brief on a politician’s academy (based on news reports that I read).
First, the eligibility criteria. Though all are eligible to become world leaders, including severely challenged minds as we know, only unpolluted minds can apply to this elite academy – i.e. those who are clueless about law, human rights and basic etiquette. Good leaders have a different mindset. If they start respecting things like the law and humans they cannot create chaos in traffic and airports, start scams, wars, and riots, and erect their statues all over, can they? So, unpolluted minds only!
The entrance exam (PAT – Political Aptitude Test) would select candidates who can twist and flout rules to come first– including cheating at the exam. Those with work experience will get first preference of course, if they submit proof (of murder, kidnap, fraud etc). Such candidates are good raw material because they need no further training in breaking objects and bones in the assembly or parliament where they finally land up. They can hit the ground running. They can hit anything.
Since Group Discussions simulate assembly sessions, it literally eliminates several candidates in spite of ambulances and riot police waiting outside. Only the fittest survive for the final interview with the CBI, which is where all politicians worth their salt dream of ending up someday. And only aspirants who handle the interview creatively – from coercing to lying, threatening to bribing, crying to offering sex, get picked.
First year curriculum includes subjects like ‘The Art of Denial’, ‘Fooling the Lie Detector’, ‘Being Irresponsible’ and ‘Cover Up Operations’. During this period, students are trained to deny everything, lie about everything, take no responsibility at all and cover up everything they do. Once these magnificent qualities are in place, aspiring leaders are ready to lead and handle any crises. Second year courses such as ‘Grab The Chair’ (an advanced version of Musical Chairs), ‘Give Clean Chits to Friends’, ‘Loopholes In Law’, ‘Advanced Rioting Methods’, ‘Starting a War’, ‘Crying On Camera‘, ‘Communal Marketing’ etc are aimed at sustaining power.
A special elective on financial planning is included. Part one deals with increasing efficiency - how to accumulate the most money in the shortest time, and Part two with distribution - how to hide millions in a maze of banks and accounts so no one knows. Sometimes even they don’t.
It cannot be all commerce of course. Family values are important. Subjects range from ‘Keeping power within the family’, ‘Benefiting Maximum Number of Family Members’ and ‘Starting off Second Families’. Optional courses include socializing with film personalities, using twitter and facebook, sleeping on the dais without being caught, escaping sting operations, having relationships without making children etc.
The market is huge. Faculty is top class –former Presidents to Businessmen, Bankers to Judges, Crooks to Cops. Placement is assured. Returns are great. The only hitch I can foresee for this wonderful model is that this Academy may never get approval from our leaders. Who would want unnecessary, trained competition?