On 1st February 2008, Mint, the Indian newspaper has successfully completed its one year of operation. The special edition on its anniversary was insightful. It contains 60 ideas for a New India written by 60 different personalities. Most of the ideas were worth thinking about. One such interesting idea was by Tamal bandyopadhyay (tough name) to start Indian Institute of Politics in the same line as IIT’s and IIM’s. The columnist argues that if actors and architects need professional qualifications, then why not politicians?
Though this idea is not new and there are some institutions which are already in place, the point is to make it compulsory for any individual to enter politics. Radical? Wise men can think about it on an optimistic way. I am not wise. That forces me to look at it pessimistically and sarcastically.
Now, we are fast forwarding ourselves to the year 2012, the year in which we assume this new institution to get open(Warning: Not a promise by anyone).
Let us assume that the Institution is launched (saffron ribbon cut by the ruling party) and named as Janata politics school. The major criticism for such a name was by a Tamil politician who condemned that Janata is a Hindi word and people from his state may not understand it. Next was our own Laloo ji who was against naming it as ‘School’, since it degraded the value of such a high profile education. He demanded it should be named as ‘Janata Political Doctorate College’, whereas Chidambaram and Manmohan argued that the word School, like in Business School is highly respected and used in the developed nations and hence it will position out institution at an international level.
The first entrance exam for the same is conducted on 2nd February 2012 instead of the opposition by some religious party that the day is not auspicious. The entrance exam was named as Politics entrance test (PET), and was conducted in 22 Indian languages as recognized by the constitution of India. Almost all newspaper’s carried this news in their headlines next day. One famous newspaper reported as follows;
Feb 2, 2012: The much expected Political Entrance test(PET) attracted around 2 lakh students just equal to the high profile Common Aptitude test(CAT). Most of the applicants got motivated by the extraordinary placements guaranteed by many National and regional parties with the ruling party(then) offering the maximum package of one ministry seat, a swiss bank account with an undisclosed balance and a party sponsored world tour to self and family in the name of official visit. The most attractive part of this offer is that the salary that will be officially mentioned in government and party records is just Rs.1 per month.
Our bureau suspects foul play and scam in this test. As a reply to our e-mail to the exam board, the board president replied that “after all it is an entrance test for budding Politicians; we want only those candidates who can successfully manage these intended foul plays and scams”. Our investigation team revealed that an all party meeting was conducted for the making of question paper(being democratic) and the members were held to take an oath on the holy book Geeta and promise that they will not leak the question paper. Many politicians still leaked it stating that the Geeta used there was not the original version but was a shortened version and hence their promise is invalid.
There was a huge cry over the quota system and different sects demanded for an increase in quota stating that this is an altogether different education and hence quota should be revised. The women’s front demanded that at least 50% should be allotted for women candidates. Apart from this they demanded for a correspondence course in politics since most women can not leave their families and come out for education. The cinema actors’ federation demanded that the board was not fair in deciding the age criteria. It said that it takes at least 20 years of acting experience for their community to enter politics and as such the age cap of 35 is not acceptable.
The results of PET will be announced in another fifteen days, but it is found that the descendants of major political parties are already celebrating. They have launched separate websites and blogs to publicize their presence in the institute.
Note: This is an imagination and not a real report. Anyone just glancing at this is requested not to be misguided.