Off the Record
The room was buzzing. Up in the front Pramod Mahagas and Arun Greasely were fiddling impatiently with their laptops. Suddenly there was a hush as Murli Manohar Jyotishi waddled in importantly. He was holding a bronze Ganesha which he rubbed from time to time. “Pramodji”, he cackled, “you have really done well this time. With this slogan we are sure to win. I like it.
Feel God! That expresses our philosophy so well! Whenever our party has been down we have enthused the people by telling them to feel god. We will introduce this as a subject in all universities. There are many sadhus whom we can make professors. We will gobalise Ganesha. And the beauty of it is that whenever people tire of feeling god, they can feed god. You remember my idea of feeding milk to Ganesha? What a big hit that was. I suggest you modify the slogan to: Feel God – Feed God. With this we will show the world that we have eliminated hunger in India. We are the only nation in the world which feeds god!”
Pramod Mahagas smiled weakly. “Sir, I will explain,” he began. He was interrupted by Anil Lootbani’s entrance. Anil walked briskly up to Arun Greasely and shook his hand. “What a wonderful idea!” he gushed. “The whole business community is thrilled with this slogan. Feel gold! This is what we have been waiting for all these years. Enough of humbug and pretended commitment to social causes. We all know that greed is good. Let’s feel gold openly. It’s great how well you put it. There are one billion people in India with gold in their pockets. All we have to do is take it out!” Pramod Mahagas was feeling harried. “Feel good!” he said. “That is the slogan. Feel good!”
The leader of the lawyers wing looked annoyed. “Fill good! That should be the slogan. Feel good when you fill good. Let’s tell them that we will use POTA to fill all the jails. That would be effective!”
A retired brigadier who had been standing quietly in the middle of the room spoke up. “That’s too vague. We must give it some focus. I suggest we use: Feel good – Kill Good. That will show all those anti-national types that we mean business. We can use it in Kashmir and Assam to start with and then spread it to other parts of the country.”
“Yes boss,” said a voice from the back. “We felt really good while we were rioting in Gujarat. We are ready and willing to do it all over India. All we need is transportation.”
Mahagas and Greasely were looking confused. They did not know whether to feel sad or glad. Was this what would win the elections?
Swamy Sinmayanand had been stroking his beard reflectively. “Don’t forget the sadhus,” he said menacingly. “It was we who manned the raths and directed the riots which brought victory last time. We are not sure we got our due.” He rubbed his ample stomach. “You’ve just been throwing us a few pennies thinking if meal good we feel good. Its not enough”
Just then George Ferocious walked in. “Don’t worry anyone,” he said airily. “I’ve got a great idea. In case there is any trouble we’ll explode another nuclear bomb. Nothing like fireworks to make everyone feel good!” q