The honest and transparent political party

The honest and transparent political party

My friend made a startling announcement. ‘I am starting a new political party,’ he said.

My friend made a startling announcement. ‘I am starting a new political party,’ he said.

‘Why,’ I asked? ‘There are too many parties already.’

‘But they are all fooling people. They are lying and lining their pockets while people believe they will improve their lives. We are against this kind of politics.’ he said.

‘What is your party about then?’ I asked sarcastically. He was not a very honest man himself as far as I know.
‘Honesty and transparency. We have named our party HT party – Honesty and Transparency mind you - not High Tea Party ha…ha.’

What? This guy wants to start an Honest and Transparent party? I held myself.

‘That’s what every party promises before elections,’ I said dryly. ‘We vote them into power, they forget their promises and do something else. What is different about you?’

‘Exactly,’ said my friend. ‘Dishonest fellows. Saying one thing, doing something else. We are against such practices. We will be the first party that says it as it is – honest and transparent is our motto.’

‘What is your promise?’ I asked. I was getting a bit hot under the collar.

‘To stay in power forever. And to make money for ourselves, our families and friends,’ said my friend. ‘We will do everything we can to stay in power including changing laws, people, history, etc.’

I spluttered. This was more like the fellow I knew.

‘OMG’ I squeaked. ‘You cannot say things like that. No one will vote for a party that says it wants to come to power to stay in power and make money.’

‘But that’s what every party does,’ pointed my friend. ‘The big difference between them and us is that they tell lies that they will serve, give jobs, etc while we will be honest. We will not serve you. We will serve ourselves.

We will not ensure justice. Look out for yourself. People know what they are dealing with. No confusion. Clear, simple and efficient administration.’

I started sweating. ‘Simple? Efficient?’

‘Yes. No more double talk. Straight up we will have only six departments. Ministry of Bribes and Corruption, Ministry of Lies and Misinformation, Ministry of Covering up and Blaming Others, Ministry of Nepotism to Promote Kith and Kin, Ministry of Aggrandizing Ourselves and Making Others Small and Ministry of Banning Things and Other Irrelevant Stuff. Between these, everything will work like clockwork.’

I got up. I could not sit anymore.

‘What are you saying? How will anything work? What about policy, justice, human rights, security?’

‘Only one policy – honesty is the best policy. If you want any work done, do it honestly. Go to our single window Bribe and Corruption department and pay your bribe honestly. With minimum paperwork and maximum efficiency your work will be done in a jiffy. No fear of getting caught, sting operations, etc. It’s totally legal. It’s environmentally friendly. Stress free. This will be the most efficient government ever. People will love it.’

My head was spinning.

‘But what if I don’t want to pay a bribe? Then?’ I asked.

‘Aha. Then you are a bribe evader,’ he said. ‘When the whole system wants something, you want something else. You have some malicious agenda. The system will take care of you.’

‘But can’t I voice my opinion? What if I have a complaint?’ I protested.

‘Sure you can complain. Go to the Ministry of Covering Up and Blaming Others - we have readymade excuses which will be sent by SMS, Twitter, FB, email, etc. We want to make this department so efficient that people start getting responses even before they have complaints. And, for information about our future plans, our Ministry of Lies and Misinformation is ready - yesterday.’

‘How can you openly say you will take bribes, blame others and lie? What will happen to the country?’

‘But bribes and lies are a reality aren’t they?’ he asked. ‘We are being brutally honest about it. That’s what we stand for. That’s what the people want. Honesty and transparency.’

‘What about the economy, growth? Our reputation?’ I wailed.

‘Ha-ha-ha. No one understands economy, growth, etc. We will ban all talk about economics, religion, culture et al by those who does not understand them. Which is about 99 per cent of the population mind you. And those who understand these things are either in jail, the mental asylum or do not talk. So we have a win-win here. As for our reputation, we are going to be ranked No 1 in the world honesty index. Our Ministry will bribe the required people!’

I gaped. ‘So will you vote for us?’ he asked.

‘No, never,’ I said heatedly. ‘But why?’ he asked. ‘You want honesty and transparency don’t you? It’s because of people like you that there is no honesty and transparency in our country.’

‘I do,’ I said. ‘Then?’ he asked.

‘I want a different honesty and transparency,’ I said weakly. ‘Not your kind.’ ‘Do you really?’ he asked, and smiled in a mysterious manner. ‘Tell me, do you want a party that tells you lies about honesty or a party that is truthful about dishonesty?’ I was not sure what he meant by that. I left that place. It made me uncomfortable.

By:Harimohan Paruvu

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