If governance is about lies, white lies and statistics, then our political leadership (glibly referred to as government) have a right to bluff the people. But Mr.Jarnail Singh, a Sikh journalist, couldn’t take this bluff anymore and so he responded with his shoes.
Bernard Madoff bluffed his way through with some of the most clever people in the world and duped them some $50 billion. Our own Mr. Raju of Satyam, bluffed his own board, the auditors, the regulators and even won awards. Jeffrey Archer bluffed about his involvement with British prostitute Monica Coghlan to win a libel case against newspaper-Daily Star. His lies were later discovered and he was jailed for committing perjury. Presidents Nixon & Clinton too bluffed. So if you bluff and don’t get jailed, you are in good company.
So what is Bluff? It simply means “to deceive, fool, dupe, delude or hoodwink with an aim to mislead someone by presenting a bold, strong, or self-confident front”. One must read Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf to understand how it is practiced. In recent times, Enron’s Ken Lay, the CEO and top guns Jeff Skilling and Andy Fastow gave convincing interviews exemplifying their knack of bluffing and bouncing tough questions. It took a Sharon Watkins (Ex Andersen & Enron) to blow the whistle on off balance sheet deals that eventually destroyed the energy firm. The Ken, Jeff and Andy of the Enron world went under sooner than they could get even with Ms.Watkins. Lucky Sharon.
In Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, there is this Chapter VI on War Propaganda. The “great lie theory” propagated in his book are practiced by many politicians and devious entrepreneurs. I quote a few relevant portions from this chapter.
“The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. As soon as you sacrifice this slogan and try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away, for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered. In this way the result is weakened and in the end entirely cancelled out. The whole art consists in doing this so skilfully that everyone will be convinced that the fact is real, the process necessary, the necessity correct, etc”.
Now sample this from our political leaders.
• India will grow at 7% and sometimes can even grow at 8%
• Our economy is stable
• The present global crisis will not affect India
• All BPL families will get 35kg of rice or wheat every month at Rs 2 per kg.
• Accountability of the police force will be institutionalized.
• Will take firm steps to identify and retrieve Indian money stashed away in foreign banks.
• We will guarantee health security for all
• Introduce a comprehensive National Identity Card for all citizens of India.
• We will implement a nation-wide skill development programme
• We will combat communalism of all kinds and caste atrocities with determination
• We will connect all villages to a broadband network in three years time
• We will maintain the path of high growth with fiscal prudence and low inflation
• We will give a completely new look to urban governance
• We will provide bicycles to every school going girl child from BPL families throughout India.
• A regulatory authority will be set up for private hospitals and nursing homes to monitor unfair practices.
And the list goes on ………
How many of them haven’t read Hitler’s Mein Kampf?
Truth Alone Triumphs!!
(Incidentally this is the national motto that is inscribed at the base of the national emblem)