December 25, 2009

Throwing Sand in the Voters' Eyes

India's Ministers and Members of Parliament are extremely proficient in this. They are aware that most of India's voting electorate is illiterate and too worried about earning their daily bread to follow the goings on in a parliament in distant Delhi that is light years removed from the reality of their lives.

So, the lawmakers do not mind framing and passing into law a bill that offers more free airline tickets to their own relatives as well as 'companions.' It's an interesting word to include in the bill. It seems our members of Parliament have become quite modern and want to take along on their free junkets people who may not be their spouses or children or relatives.

Case in point: Suppose I am a powerful MP or better still, a minister, I might get to become 'friends' with models or other members of the Page 3 fraternity. So, when I go on vacations to Goa or elsewhere at the taxpayer's expense, I would also like to take along the beautiful female 'companion' rather than the long-suffering wife or the progeny. The current legislation did not cover that possibility. So, the rulebook has been changed.

It helps that the rulemakers are themselves framing the rules that concern themselves. It's no wonder that they have been rather generous towards themselves. Who would not be?

In other countries, I am sure, some sort of professional body would have recommended a suitable law in this domain. Did not it occur to the Government to ask some retired judge to help frame the bill?

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