“We need to write a new script,” growled white beard to black beard with streaks of grey, as they sat, looking at the map of India, “One which will make me the most popular leader this country has ever had!”

“Your religious policies have got you a twenty-five percent base!” said black beard with streaks of grey.

“Not enough!” said white beard, “I need a huger following, something like an eighty percent base!”

“Eighty percent!” exclaimed black beard, with streaks of grey.  “The only people who form such a large majority are our country’s poor! And to get them you will have to lift them up with populist measures!”

“I will not lift them up, but will pretend I am pulling down those they envy!”

“The rich?”

“Yes, first the rich!”

“But they are the ones who support you!”

“And they will continue to do so. I will not pull them down, I will only fool the poor.”

And so, after demonetization the poor stood in long queues outside banks, weary and tired, but grinning as they’d been told the rich were suffering more.

The learned, condemned the move, but India’s poor loved it!

“Get the King of Good Times arrested!” said white beard to black beard with streaks of grey.

“But he is in England, and there are many in India who owe more to the banks?”

“But the poor will love seeing this international road show!”

And the poor clapped and applauded as the man was arrested, but did not know he was let off on bail a few minutes later.

“What next?” asked black beard with a streak of grey.

“Who else do the poor look up to with envy?”


“Let them be bashed! Don’t let the police do anything! Then say they are cheating the poor prescribing costly medicines!”

And the poor clapped and applauded as some of them bashed up doctors.

And the poor voted with glee for white beard and for the beard with streaks of grey.

Ten years passed. One day there was a noise, a huge noise throughout the nation.

“Sir, there is a clamoring at our gates,” said one white beard to the other who had once had streaks of grey, “I think it is the poor!”

“Run!” shouted the original white beard to the other, “You can fool some people some time, but not all the people all the time! Run, the poor have found out..!”

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