With KCR’s hunger-strike splitting a state born of yet another hunger-strike in a bizzare demonstration of history recursing itself, the floodgates have opened for every selfless politician in every nook and cranny of India to step up their demands for their personal fiefdoms.
I realized a long time ago that there is no way I can become the Chief Minister of West Bengal. Simply because I dont wear a dhoti, I think Groucho Marx is more profound than Karl Marx and most importantly—-I just dont have the time to rise up through the party hierarchy of cadres, being too busy nowdays playing Fallout 3. I also cannot take the opposition route to Chief Ministership as the opposition wont accept me since I do not sing jibanmukhi songs and I have never acted in a Tollywood movie. Even if they somehow did accept me, there is no way a certain person would ever let me have the position she has organized so many bandhs and stalled so much development for.
Which is why I seek to form a state consisting of the Ballygunj area in Kolkata, where being a “local boy” I think the money that I can make from “administering” the shopping districts and the new constructions would be enough to keep me and my future generations in a state of eternal financial solvency.
Of course this is easier said than done. First I need to creatively create a bit of history to show that Ballygunj was never really a part of West Bengal but actually a settlement of merchants who came over from Bali selling a type of fabric called Gunji which now people refer to as Genji (baniyan). Most importantly, I need to convince people inside Ballygunj that we have been “neglected” by the state administration.
Now to be honest, we have not been specifically targeted and Ballygunj remans one of the most prosperous regions of Kolkata and by extension the state (otherwise why would I want to rule it silly?) But then again Jammu and Kashmir has the least number of poor people in India and yet it is the state that is, to put it mildly, the most voluble about its neglect by India so much so that it wants to seceede from the Indian Union.
Given that, why should we at Ballygunj care?
And after all, it is pretty easy to make a case for neglect—-Ballygunj has slums and it has poverty. Of course so does the rest of the state, perhaps has it even more, but hey just because of that you cannot say we at Ballygunj are not “neglected” can you? Perhaps we are not the only ones but then that’s not my concern.
What then is my concern? Of course a share of the pie. Or putting it in a term Ballygunjites will understand—-a fleshy fish piece.
My movement for a separate state needs to be financed of course. Getting money will not be a problem as I can always convince local promoters, that they being native Ballygunjites, will get the inside track on government largesse (should a Ballygunj government be formed) and they are well advised to put a little money up front. Why just land dealers? There will be many investors in my endeavor once they realize that new permits and licenses will be handed out, new contracts signed , new committees created, new ministries formed.
So now having created the discontent and obtained the financial backing, I should now start my fast-unto-death. Right?
A fast-unto-death by itself is no big deal. The government will arrest you for trying to commit suicide and then force food down your throat.
Remember that non-violent protest is fine. But only when it is accompanied by disruption and violence. Else you meet the fate of KRK in Big Boss who went on a fast-unto-death unless “Ka-laudia” professed her love for him but had to break it once the lady with the big union territories refused to give in.
Getting people to commit violence and burn a few buses is ridiculously easy in India. For one there are many disaffected in Ballygunj and all I need to tell them is 1) your jobs have been taken away by people from Shyambazar in the north of Calcutta and 2) Once my state is created, you shall all live with dignity (which they take to mean jobs—-of course they are not the brightest bulbs in the lot—if they were not why would they be “disaffected”)
With violence on the streets, it is time for me to go on my fast-onto-death. Before starting that, I will consume three special mutton rolls bought in secret from one of Ballygunj’s street vendors. This will not only give me a last burst of gustatory goodness before I go off food for some time but will definitely make me vomit the next day (since some of the vendors, neglected by the local government, put in chunks of dog meat in mutton rolls). This will have the happy consequence of making me look sunken, bedraggled and dehydrated when the cameras arrive.
Then comes the critical part. The fast. This really has to appear intense. Relay fasts wherein you fast for 12 hours, the to-be finance minister does 10 and then people do it in the inverse order of the amount of money they are going to make once a state is formed, just do not cut it. No. So I really do have to fast. Four days into the fast, some “people” (whom I will pay by the hour) will come begging and pleading for me to have some juice, saying that they are willing to forgo their rights to a separate state rather than lose a leader like me. I would of course act like an angry wife who has decided to stop eating food, turn my head away and say “Please leave me to my fate. My pain is nothing compared to the pain of the people.”
The violence of course will go on. If it takes a little time to make the government uncomfortable, I will quietly have a bit of Cadbury’s Five Star at night since I do not actually want to die. No not because I am a selfish man —I would be only too glad to die if I knew my progeny would become the next Chief Minister but the problem is if I die, my Finance Minister would make a hot speech about my martyrdom and then anoint himself the Chief Minister of the new state and that I cannot allow, considering I am the one that is dying.
However once the government sees violence on a worrying scale, they will be forced to come to the good cop. I will by that stage be “sinking” as I wave away all kind of compromise solutions.
Statehood and nothing but it.
As Tiger Woods would say “Karenge jab tak naheen marenge”
Students will be on the streets threatening violence on a massive scale should the great leader die, with the only person in Ballygunj happy being my wife as she says to herself “Good he is losing some weight.”
Then finally I hope the government, after making its own political calculations, will see things my way. My finance minister will come at the head of a band of rejoicing “students” and “locals” and offer me a ceremonial piece of fish from Ballygunj’s market and a glass of fresh nimboo pani tastefully mixed with a certain other stimulating beverage. Because now the partying will begin as I shall miraculously rise from emaciation to emancipation in order to give my great leadership to the newly formed state of Ballysthan as it throws off the yolk of Bengali rule while I whisper to my wife “Sumana’s husband may have gotten her a Mercedes for her birthday but for you, dear wifey, I have brought a new kingdom. Now tell me. Who is da man?”
Not just for my own self-interest, I genuinely feel that what India needs is more states. Many many states. Because India needs more governance and what can be better way to achieve that than to have more and more government.
If Indian taxpayer money was supporting twenty-nine state governments of size N , let it now support fifty-eight of size N (note not N/2—just because a state is halved does not mean the government of each individual state is halved).
More the merrier.
Putting it another way, what’s better than one Koda?
And what’s better than two Kodas?
That I am one of them.
In a little state. All of my own.