Close your eyes. And visualize. What do you see when you think of politics? Nehru coated netajis delivering boring bhaashans, men in white minting black money, MLAs practicing the javelin by hurling microphones, schemers multiplying votes by dividing the nation, unkempt men and unkept promises, film stars and drama queens, rising sons and falling standards…wasn’t this Dismal Documentary playing in your Mindscreen when you pressed the START button? Sad, na? Don’t you think ‘We the People’ deserve better?
The rest of the world has discovered an antidote to this political ailment. If you ask me, the solution deserves a Nobel Prize for Medicine. Mota moti, the idea is to do a Jaspal Bhatti and to ridicule the jokers who rule you by creating your own ridiculous political party!
The first trend setter in this genre was the Rhinoceros Party of Canada. Instituted in 1963 by Jacques Ferron, the organization elected a rhino from one Montreal zoo as its leader citing remarkable similarities to thick-skinned, slow-moving and dim-witted politicians. Inspired by this, the McGillicuddy Serious Party came into being in New Zealand. It made a splash with the promise of free dung, good weather and full unemployment.
The limelight enjoyed by these Satirical Political Parties encouraged the birth of a whole parliament of jocularly named rag tag coalitions. The OWL Party of Washington made its debut at the hustings, in 1976, as a double acronym standing for ‘Out With Logic, On With Lunacy’. Leading the clown fest in Sweden was the Donald Duck Party with the ‘free liquor’ manifesto. The Hungarian Double-tailed Dog Party pushed the envelope further by announcing ‘eternal life, world peace, one work day per week and two sunsets a day!’ Some porn stars took the cue and floated the Love Party in Italy with the solemn oath of legalizing brothels and injecting more fun in Sex Education. But the one that really rocked was the Sun Ripened Warm Tomato Party of Australia. It polled 0.69% of the national vote, thanks to its bizarre name! Hopefully the Cho Ramaswamis of the world will take note and start their own Mock Munnetra Kazhakams.