“Among cynics, HL Mencken (1880-1956) holds pride of place in my opinion. In his judgment, democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage,” said economist Atanu Dey in the Indian blog were referring to in yesterday’s issue.
“A handful of members of parliament (MP) were caught taking bribes in a sting operation by a website called Cobrapost. Report of politicians taking bribes is as astonishingly novel as the news that bears do potty in the woods, or that Michael Jackson is weird. They are a seriously depraved lot (the politicians, not the bears) and it would appear that that level of depravity is not just mandatory but required. In India, real politicians are thugs and crooks. Those who are not are mere amateurs who don’t belong among the professionals. So Cobraposts revelations that MPs have accepted bribes to ask questions in the parliament is not news, merely detail.
“What really astonishes is the reaction of the MPs to being caught red-handed… It takes a peculiar sort of brazenness to then claim that the media is at fault and is responsible for diminishing the stature of the House. And the action to be taken? Why, bar reporters from the Central Hall of the Parliament! That is what one MP recommended. And I suppose if we totally ban the reporting of any crimes committed by politicians in the country, the country will truly prosper.
“In the [United States], I had heard of cases of perverted justice. For instance, a burglar while burgling, fell through the sky-light and hurt himself and then successfully sued the building owner for negligence…The stuff of urban legends.
“But to actually read about something as perverse in the newspapers totally baffles me. Which planet do these monkeys come from? I had heard that the Parliament was a circus, but I did not realize that it is also a loony bin. Have these people no shame?
“Some time ago, I had proposed public flogging as a mechanism designed to fix some of the problems that plague India. That needs rethinking because public flogging may be too good for some of these critters.”
While on te subject of India, a reader complains that we didn’t give Indian wine a fair test:
“According to Kapil Grover, director of the Bangalore-based Grover Vineyards, exports are on an upswing for the last few years – especially to Europe – including France, the motherland of wines.
“Grover Vineyards, which has been exporting 240,000-300,00 bottles a year, is expecting a 15% rise in its overseas sales this year.
“Though all the three major wine manufacturers in India – Champagne Indage, Sula and Grover Vineyards – have been in the world market with their premium brands for quite some time, the recent rating of Grover Vineyards’ premier red wine, La Reserve, as one of the top-ranking brands in the world market by the Decanter magazine has really put India in one of the top slots in the global soft liquor market.
“Grover’s La Reserve, was rated the ‘best new world red’ compared to five major global brands from France, Germany, New Zealand and Spain, and has been recognized as a very good-quality wine consisting of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Syrah grapes. The wine is grown in the Nandi Hills outside Bangalore by the world’s prestigious wine magazine.
“After computer software and pharmaceutical services, it is now the turn of the Indian wine industry to pitch for a sizeable global share.”