Operation Duryodhana

One more sting operation. This time targeted against representatives of the people. Aaj Taak and some organization called Cobrapost (Tehelka, Cobrapost—what’s with these sensational names?) went undercover and busted a few of our MPs for taking bribes to table questions in Parliament.

Now I ask —so what? Sure you get some publicity (kudos to Aaj Taak and Cobrapost ), some heads roll, people act shocked—-but what then? What these out-to-create-news-at-any-cost people do not understand is that their actions ruin the greatest currency we have in this world.

Not Euros. Not yen. Certainly not dollars.


If a politician cannot trust a man coming to bribe him then who can he trust? His own party? The people? No. Of course not.

The bond between a briber and bribee is sacrosant—-even a sniff of doubt strikes at the very fabric of the food chain that is politics in India today. It threatens the very basis of our polity—effectively drying up the grease that lubricates the creaking machinery of governance.

Now after this sting operation whenever someone comes to bribe a politician, the poor MP has to run extensive background checks, device a circuitous route to get the money (aah the innocent times of N Rao when politicians carried suitcases full of cash) and in general always watch over his shoulder. The result—-further delays in the decision-making pipeline and an increased cost of maintaining the bribe-taking infrastructure—-a cost that will be passed onto the customer— the common man of India.

A similarly counterproductive thing happened after the “casting couch” sting operation. The bond of trust between producers and aspiring actresses was broken—and as I pointed out in a past post, the upshot of the controversy was that people like Shakti Kapoor had to make sure that starlets totally disrobed before they came in his presence.

Just to check that they did not have any hidden devices on them.

Now let me say I fully endorse what BSP MP Narendra Kumar Kushwaha (25,000) said regarding this controversy.

“It is a ‘bhool’ (mistake), it is nothing more than that”.

Geez people ! Don’t you make mistakes? Haven’t you ever made “silly mistakes” on your maths test in school like forgetting to add the carry over or copying a digit wrong from the test paper?

Remember Jaya Bachchan’s character in “Kal Ho Na Ho” when she remembers her husband fathering an illegitimate child and then breaks down saying “It was only a bhool, he was not a bad man, just a bhool.”

Yes small mistakes happen. And as Narendra Kumar points out 25,000 is funny money—

They have tried to trap MPs. I told them, ‘If you want to give money, give five or 10 lakhs (of rupees). What is this 10,000 and 20,000?'”
Character assassination plain and simple. The fact that Narendra Kumar is corrupt to the bottom of his black heart isn’t cause for shame—as a matter of fact that’s one of the bullets a politician needs to have on his resume. The shame he feels is that everyone now knows that he sells for 10,000/20,000—-why even a crack whore well past her prime with half of her teeth missing and one working eye can do better on a rainy day. And this guy is the people’s representative. Come on show some respect.

Wait there is more. Kushwaha evidently made passes at the undercover reporter who was posing as a briber. Much is made of the fact that he kept on asking the lady to his bedroom—-as if the sexual act cannot be done in the living room. Hell the President of the Great Power did it standing up in the back room of the Oval Office—-he didn’t call Miss Lewdinsky to the Lincoln bedroom did he ?Maybe Kushwaha was being very cordial and maybe he is a bedroom man—-he works better there. (He also called Malhotra, a man, to his bedroom) .Who knows?

Okay there is still more.

He (Kushwaha) also offers to get more MPs on board free of cost, saying lecherously, “Aapke paas deh hai na (You have your body to offer)”

Haha. Verrry clever. Sound editing. This is what our MP actually said.

“Aapke paas desh hai na?” (You have the country on your side).

An inspiring line of patriotism reduced with the suppression of the “s” into a crude come-on line which seems to imply that MPs use parts of their anatomy other than their brain to come to decisions and that a significant section of them were not hugged when they were children and consequently are constantly seeking female attention and acceptance.

As to the other lecherous statements made by the MP, what the presswallahs have done is cleverly take away the statements he made prior to the said statement.


Arre tum to meri poori awaaz hi lekar chali gayi ho (You have taken away my voice)”,


Now here’s the context.

Kya? Sirf dus hazar rupaye. Kya boloon main. Arre tum to meri poori awaaz hi lekar chali gayi ho , (What ? Only 10,000 rupees. What can I say? You have taken away my voice)

You maybe asking why am I defending these politicians? Why? Because they are my readers. Yes, they are the ones who regularly visit my blog, comment under the names “Indian” ,” another Indian” and call me names. And there is one thing I will not stand for—-attacks on my readers. Especially those who comment.

Okay here’s the proof. The whole blogging community is now laughing at one of the questions:

Is it true that while NRI firms such as India Uncut of USA, Sepia Mutiny of Britain and AnarCap Lib of Netherlands have been allowed to invest in Indian SSIs, the reputed German investment firm Desipundit has been denied permission? If so, the reasons thereof? Is the Union Government of India planning to make automatic the long procedure of permission for SSIs to import new technologies such as Trackbacks, Pingbacks, Blogrolls, Splogs and Hitcounters?

The blogosphere is laughing out of a sense of superiority —the idea being “haaah what fools these politicians are—-bloggerspeak dupes them.”

Actually Indian politicians do read blogs. They read mine. Because I speak at their intellectual level.

Which is why the Cobras never mentioned “Greatbong of USA ” in that question. Because that would be a giveaway !

Even Mr “Khush Huya” would have said—“Wait, isnt that the dude who writes about Mithunda and who has wet dreams about Sourav Ganguly? Hey these guys are frauds……guards guards stop that lady and let me search her personally for hearing devices. This is a sting. ”

And I will tell you two other blogs whose names the Aajtak/Cobra guys would not dare take: Desibabes and Debonair blog. (Links intentionally not provided). Most politicians have these 2 blogs on their bloglines—compulsory reading for good governance. Along with of course this blog. Ahem ahem.

In conclusion, Operation Duryodhona lives upto its name. Not because it catches Duryodhonas but because it strikes politicians a killer blow below the belt.

Which all said and done isn’t all that bad a thing.

33 thoughts on “Operation Duryodhana

  1. Greatbong, I agree. What’s the world coming to? Not only do they subvert the sanctity of trust between human and human, they choose unsuspecting easy prey to carry out their nefarious design. Tchha…what’s the media coming to? Anything for a higher TRP.

    Why easy prey, you will ask. Wonder if you noticed, all but one of the 11 MPs live in pokey flats in North and South Avenues; are all backbenchers; rarely speak in Parliament and a number of them are either poor backwards or dalits. Poor sods, they haven’t yet figured out the good life of politicians in Delhi and so have not been able to move to posher addresses like the bungalows in Lyutens Delhi or Vasant Vihar, Def Col, etc. They don’t appear on P3 parties, nor ride BMWs or Mercs. But the poor chaps need some hard earned money (only Rs 10,000 or Rs 50,000, mind you) by popping questions (they were not even giving answers!) to run their little offices in their constituencies, pay their paltry retenue of sycophants and buy some bright gorgettes for their wives/mistresses. And now suddenly their livlihoods stand threatened. Why? Because of someone’s lust for TRPs.

    Thank god the trust still remains – albiet by a tenuous thread in these hard days – for the high-profile politicos who swing deals big-time. Like defence deals, or contracts for supply of untrustworthy medicines or medical equipment, can dole out agreements for purchase of incorrect school books or can stop the supply of some brand of booze to help a friend bootlegger (remember the ban on Johnnie Walker whiskies in Indian duty free shops?). Thank god this hasn’t yet been exposed – and threatened by our pesky journalists. But the way these stinger misslies are flying, god knows when these good men and women are brought low.

    A silent prayer for them?

  2. I really admire the guys who carried out this sting. Sometimes I wonder how they do so and then appear on TV. I don’t know where they get their guts. Personally if I ever helped out in a thing like this, I would be peeing in my pants everytime a car passed by too close to me.

    About comments on this blog. I am just waiting for alternate interpretations of lines like ‘If a politician cannot trust a man coming to bribe him then who can he trust?’ and ‘They read mine. Because I speak at their intellectual level.’ I am just waiting for ‘other Indians’ to come up with rants against them.

    This promises to be a very eventful post with lot of pseudo nationalists waiting in the wings to pounce.

  3. I say, where on earth is Draupadi when you need her?!

  4. Ms Rani clearly doesn’t get the sarcasm in Greatbong’s great post and is ranting her own tune

  5. I am just trying to imagine the restlessness of other News Channels…they must come up with something to counter this to stay in competition!!

  6. Good Post, GreatBong. Here’s another example of the great camaraderie that is the life blood of our politicians upholding their noble tradition.

    Here go some of the “oh so familiar” firefighting procedures which we, the ignorant, damned souls have become so used to.

    “Even though there are six BJP MPs caught on camera doing what they should not be doing — illegal gratification acceptance, and of other parties, the Congress did not waste even a single minute to suspend our MP,” All India Congress Committee general secretary Ambika Soni told reporters.

    “Describing the expose as a matter of grave concern, Advani, who is also leader of the opposition, said he had spoken to Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on the issue and told him it was a SERIOUS issue”.

    “Advani said after Tuesday’s exposures, the party had come to know of many other questionable deeds like MPs sub-letting their garages and rooms, and misusing their airtickets and gas coupons.”

    “Strict action would be taken against them even if the misdeeds were committed out of ignorance, and the party looked for high moral standards from its members and expected them to steer clear of allurements, BJP Parliamentary Party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra said, quoting Advani.”

    India Shining……way to go, enlightened warrior.

  7. This looks like a clear attempt by the media guys to divert public attention from the Volkar Scam.

  8. “And I will tell you two other blogs whose names the Aajtak/Cobra guys would not dare take: Desibabes and Debonair blog. (Links intentionally not provided). Most politicians have these 2 blogs on their bloglines—compulsory reading for good governance. Along with of course this blog.

    ROTFL. Brilliant! Its great how you keep coming up with such humourous stuff so regularly.

  9. Anon is a moron. First he detects irony in one piece (smart boy!) and misses it altogether in another. And then imagines that this sting op is to save Congress and to deflect atten from Volcker. He signs off as Indian. Would have been much happier if he was a sane Indian. Will tolerate, though. πŸ™‚

  10. Whooo–ho-ho-ho, Arnab, this was a real ROTFL-inspiring post. I wonder how you manage to turn up these hilarious pot-digs at these affairs with such a strong undercurrent of sarcasm. Perhaps the only big lie(or truth, as you may prefer) in your post is the fact that this blog becomes a must-read for would-be politicians. How else can Laloo keep a crowd entertained with the antics of Bankim’s Kamalakanta?

  11. This post has been removed by the author.

  12. From cobrapost.com

    For those of you wondering about the methodology of Operation Duryodhana in reaching out to MPs it will be pertinent to say that the COBRAPOST team essentially went where the middlemen took us.

  13. Was Murali’s defeat handiwork of some IIM alumni?
    [ Thursday, May 13, 2004 09:08:27 pmTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

    BANGALORE: Was Murali’s defeat the handiwork of a bunch of former IIM students? Here is an interesting twist to Joshi’s defeat.

    The members of HandsOff IIMs, an IIM alumni association, are perhaps more jubilant than the winner of the Allahabad Lok Sabha constituency himself as they feel their gambit of showing Murli Manohar Joshi as a pro-elite politician triggered the defeat of the HRD Minister.

    The members of the association claim that they had waged a protracted warfare against Joshi through a well-planned communication campaign that had shown Joshi as being pro-rich for subsidising elitist institutions like IIMs, while common people in Allahabad were denied basic amenities.

    Several of these IIM alumni had in fact travelled to Allahabad to disseminate this message and put out thousands of posters in the city. These posters had charged Joshi with being pro-elite and overlooking more mundane issues like water, road, electricity and basic education.

    “It was a big issue in Allahabad and this turned the electoral battle there on the issue on pro-rich and pro-common people,” said an alumnus. N M Havewala, founder of Handsoff IIMs, says, “Our target was to defeat Joshi and now, we are celebrating his defeat.”

    Meanwhile, the mood at IIM Bangalore is absolutely upbeat, while the dons and students are eagerly waiting for the new government formation to take place. IIM Bangalore along with IIM Ahmedabad had refused to implement the MHRD’s order of fee cut for PGDM programme. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court in its last hearing had asked the IIMs to talk to the government on the fee cut issue.

    Reacting to the new government formation and likelihood of a change in the new government’s stand on the issue, Prakash Apte, director of IIM Bangalore said, “It is too early to react. However, I am optimistic about things to come.”

    “We hope, the new government will replace the two bureaucrats who were trying to sabotage the autonomy of IIMs along with Joshi,” said an IIM alumnus.

  14. These guys sold out for 15000 Rs :o, Tom Delay wouldn’t have gotten out of bed for that kind of money ;).

  15. @SD: πŸ™‚

    @Rani: Dont worry. I got your sarcasm. But Anon and Indian may not be the same person.

    @Soham: Yes these people have put themselves in harm’s way–especially the female reporter.

    @Rupak: Dead I suppose.

    @Anon: Come on Rani was being sarcastic.

    @Ritwik: I hear that NDTV is maintaining a sullen silence.

    @X-rated warrior: There used to be a guy in a retail store in US whose job it was to get fired everyday in order to mollify irate customers.

    @Indian: Yeah right ! (sarcasm)

    @Kunal: I do get some help from politicians….

    @Sudipta: Indeed πŸ™‚

    @4WD: Let me get things clear. For someone in love with the sound of his own typewriter (look at the length of your rhetorical, full-of-cliches comment…a blogpost in itself), you do expect a high standard from everyone else. From now on 4WD you shall be ignored here. Not that you mind—as you said yourself:

    c)to clarify, these are my views, and not posers to le grand bong.

    This place (the comments section) dear 4WD is for conversation and criticism—not for barfing your “views” (even though I can assure you that I eagerly await your august words of wisdom). Your own blog is the place for penning your “views”.

    Further comments from you will be ignored.

    No hard feelings 4WD.And I am the “great” bong not the grand bong.


    @Anil: Well these people werent on the level of Delay in the Indian political foodchain—these are small fry.

  16. ok, bro. Thats cool. THough i don’t think i had anything offensive to anyone on. I thought it was slightly constructive, and I was waiting for your comments. Would actually have liked to see them, cos they are pretty cool.

    But whatever.

    p.s. I didn’t call you “the grand bong”. I called you “le grand bong”. French. For “the great bong”.

    Peace out.

  17. @4WD: So they got more BJP MPs than Congress MPs – big deal. Is it not obvious even to your politically astute journalist brain that even if all MPs were approached without any discrimination whatsoever there will always be more opposition guys in the net on this specific scam than ruling party guys! Its by design!!

    After all in party politics you do not expect ruling party MPs to ask seemingly tough questions written in blogosphere lingo of their own ministers!

    4WD you seem to have missed some brain cells along the way! And if that Ambika Soni picks up this fact to say that the Congress is better – that speaks a lot about the brains in the Congress!

  18. This is the post that 4WD removed which resulted in the previous comment:

    At 2:10 PM, 4WD said…

    You post was a little long, and it really takes a bit for you to get around to what you’re saying. So after making sure I get all your sarcasm, and re-thinking what i’m about to type, and running down to the nearest thana to check my blood-alcohol level, here’s my post.

    a)i dont directly disagree with what you say.
    b)My problem with the sting operation is how they choose the politicians.

    I havn’t heard of half of these MPs. Its true they’re corrupt, but so are the others. So why single them out?

    Ok, so a logical reaction might be “There’s a million murderer’s and rapists out there. You dont let one go cos you can’t get them all, right?”

    Right. You dont. Which is good.

    But these guys are all in it together. I mean, if you look at politics from Inside, (not comment on it from the states, thank you very much), you’ll know that they’re all hand in glove. Like i’ve known people in the congress to get the bjp folks to put up stuff against the congress. No, not for politicial gain, but to screw a bureaucrat. And i know that party lines don’t matter when it comes to getting work done.

    But yet, today’s list of 11 has only one congress MP.

    So you’re just giving the congress guys un-necessary cannon fodder against the BJP (which they really dont need now, with the bjp so happy to point magnums at their own toes).

    Why not target the top guys?

    c) to clarify, these are my views, and not posers to le grand bong.


  19. Wow, what a great operation.

    I am happy, my belief in democracy has been proved and strengthened.With the sum of Rs 10k or 25K doing rounds,even I can buy one MP. Friends this is real democracy, it is not only for those big business houses who can buy, any Indian can buy. What better example can there be of our mature democracy than this.

    So next time when you hear question like ” Is it true that Greatbong of USA was sponsored a trip to Hawaii with Rupa Ganguly of Mahabharata by the tourism department” then be sure it is my 10k playing the trick.

    Long live the Indian democracy.

    P.S- Cobra please provide the phone nos of middlemen while I go to ATM for withdrawing 10K..wait a second…Did Chidambaram knew this before hand ? Was it due to this he wanted trail for every 10K withdrawn from bank ?

    Jesus Christ, there is whole lot of conspiracy theory…..

  20. hi ! Greatbong ! another greatbong is dropped from the 3rd test…..

  21. hehehehe… he deserved it… Yuvraj is much better than Ganguly… waiting for next blog…

  22. Yeah. Ganguly has been dropped again. Want to write and start another net fire?

    Personally, I don’t know what to make of this. From a cricketing point of view, perhaps Yuvraj is a better choice than Sourav – at least on the basis of this Test performance and if one is looking at the future. Obviously, the selectors have decided Ganguly won’t make it to Pakistan. If selection is against what’s available on the bench, even good players may get dropped at times because everything is relation to the prevailing form or promise of a player. After all, Man U drops Cristiano these days. It’s been happening in soccer for long. Perhaps, it indicates a new, robust professionalism in selection. As Sourav isn’t an opener, he couldn’t be judged against Gambhir (who has also been dropped and Wasim Jaffer taken instead). It was, therefore, between Sourav and Yuji and Dada lost out. Alright, perhaps, if a strict professional yardstick has been applied in selection.

    But somehow, the whole business is lacking in grace. I come to the old point of a country/nation/people learning to respect people who have served them well. Somehow, I get this sneaking feeling that politics has also played a part in Sourav’s omission. I won’t be surprised if the overwhelming hostility towards the man starts turning into some kind of sympathy because Indians, by and large, guage rather well who is playing fair and who isn’t. For, if you look at it from Sourav’s point of view, it’s this: he was asked to perform, he did, first with a 1st class match century, then with the ball and then not too badly with the bat in delhi. He was asked to indicate acceptance of the new cricketing order. He did. He said he was willing to play whatever role given to him, said good things about chappell, said dravid is a good captain, etc. He shunned the media; in other words, didn’t shoot off his mouth. Then why is he dropped? Questions will linger. That is, until we get bored with this controversy and move on to the next.

    By the way, if this means curtains for Sourav’s I think he deserves a considered comment from gb.

  23. LOL!

    Yours is the only post I have read on this topic yet, and I am not willing to read more – why?

    1) because the whole expose is nothing new – I am like so what? Tell me something new about politicians not getting bribed. I mean, what did ppl expect? that a 3rd grade pass politician would have heard of desipundit and the likes LOL – cobra could have said why didn’t they allow mars rovers to invest in india, and they would have gladly asked that as well πŸ™‚

    2) Your sarcasm was spot on – very well written – now I am not willing to check out other “serious” takes on this issues LOL!!


  24. these sting operations have managed an increase in sales of miniature CCD camera. Now even the desi one’s are being used. This keeps the economy humming and politics clean

  25. Just a side thought, wonder how much they would charge to yell out my name in Parliament!

  26. @green: Rupa Ganguly and me on a trip—oooh la la ! I shall pay an MP for raising that issue.

    @Mayank: True.

    @Tanuj: πŸ™‚

    @Para Chengra: Let’s see. 1000 rupees?

    Rest: A post on Ganguly was in order.

  27. Sachin Kumar Chander December 17, 2005 — 1:23 pm

    Great Bong,

    Just out of curiousity, would you have said similar comments and have had intentions on the sting operation, if, say, 2-3 politicians out if 11 were Bengalis?

    In my view, and I don’t claim to be Einstein or Freud, by just pretending and claiming that all actions (atleast many) going against people of Bengal, you are merely feeding to the inferiority complex and repressed potentialities of many Bengali people.

    While I’m a fan of Bengalis myself [and I’m not merely saying this, according to me], the artificial boost to the Bengali sentiments that you try to provide will merely end up making you one of the villains in the end, of this already much troubled history of the region. May be try a different tactic, like trying to make a real change, to bring out the Bengali potential rather than cheap mongering sitting somewhere in the USA having muffins

  28. @Mayank: Yep. And then we have the Camera Detectors, probably followed by Detectors for such Detectors, followed by Detector-Detector-Detectors…….

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