Currently running newly released Bollywood film in India, called Three Idiots, is a light hearted poke at the Indian education system.
Neta in Hindi means, Leader. We use it now in India in a very derogative way to call our Political characters. The latest to earn this honorable title is one of our politicians from the Southern parts who went on a hunger fast to press for a demand for a separate state. Three days into the fast he was prepared to call off the fast but his followers would have none of that and asked him to continue if he wanted to remain their leader. The poor sod almost died to oblige his followers.
As if that is not enough, in the same state the 86year old Governor was filmed in a compromising position with three nude women and the clip was shown on a local television. The Neta apologized to the public but said he did no wrong!
Babu in Hindi means, Beauracrat. The ubiquitous, obnoxious government servant who is nobody’s servant. A lot of them can be cited here but there are so many that it is difficult to choose one from the thousands. One example is however so good that it can be used here to drive home the point. India’s hockey is administered by Babus. The entire Indian hockey team went on strike to get the Babus to resolve issues of pay and allowances failing which they would not have played the world cup shortly on the cards. The Babus knuckled down and resolved the issue in no time. But, the players still won’t play because, the Babus cannot be trusted. Everyday, there are stories in our papers that justify why these worthies occupy the second place in the rogues’ gallery.
Cop and Spy are English words – I hope! Cop origially was acronym for Constable Of Police. So, unlikely to be anything but. On the other hand, spy could well be from sipahi which is Hindi for a soldier!
The scorn about the first two is understandable but let me just guide you to the other two. The cop is there in the rogue’s gallery because of one cop who misbehaved with a minor girl and ruined her life so much so that she committed suicide. The matter is still in Indian courts but it is for sure that the public anger and the media attention will have an impact on many policemen, including a very high profile one who too is likely to lose his police medal. There have been some other unsavoury news item about the deeds and misdeeds of our police officials and so, the third place of honour goes to them.
The fourth is a mystery. For every act of terror or disturbance in Pakistan, the Pakistani establishment and its strident Urdu media blame Indian spies (RAW). While many Indians, including me hope that such accusations are true, alas, it is far from being so. It is however nice to be called villains by our friendly neighbourhood spidermen. It is for being such obvious characters rather than being cloak and dagger types that the cartoonist has perhaps included them in his list of idiots.
I wish that I could draw cartoons. I could keep a list of idiots coming everyday for the next few years. Something like the Darwin Awards. This particular story deserves special mention here for its suitability to Indian conditions too.