‘.. the new building….will cost Rs 970 crore. It would replace the existing colonial structure..’.. Times of India

My friend, a building contractor, rushed to my home yelling, “I am going to be a rich man, I may be awarded the contract to build a bigger Parliament House!”

“Why?” I cried, “I see nothing wrong with the existing building.”

“It is too small,” said my friend, “I have been commissioned to erect a building double the present size.”

“What do they want to do?” I exclaimed again, “put the whole of Delhi inside it?”

“When it comes to the activities of our elected representatives,” said my friend sternly, “money should not be the criteria.”

“Activities?” I asked, looking puzzled, “our elected representatives are just supposed to stand up and speak out! What else is there?”

“Hugging!” said the contractor looking pleased with himself as he opened his blueprints, “In my plan, the seats are going to be double the size, because after the rather uncomfortable hug Rahul gave Modi, and you can see from the PM’s face that he needed more space,  it was felt that such bonhomie needs to be more pleasurable and long lasting, so its ‘hug and sit along with the enemy’ chairs!”

“That’s a great idea!” I said, “But I hope the TV cameras don’t capture the wink that followed! Though I still believe we should have less hugs and more debates!”

“No more are we a country of debates,” said the contractor slowly, “We are now a country of ‘walkouts’ and ‘crossovers’! Look at the number of aisles I have created!”

“Aisles!” I said, looking at his blueprint, “They look like national highways that our dear transport minister is building! Why are they so wide?”

“So that everyone can walk out and walk over to the treasury benches abreast, and be captured on camera!” said the contractor triumphantly, “today everybody wants to see themselves on TV or Facebook! And you are right, I have been in touch with the transport minister to make all these aisles less dangerous!”

“Less dangerous?” I asked.

“Yes, look at the narrow bridge in Maharashtra built by the UPA which caused the recent road tragedy, we don’t want members being trampled underfoot as they run to crossover or stage a walkout!”

“I don’t think you should blame the UPA for that accident!” I said a tad uncomfortably.

“Blaming, is the new way of doing things,” said the contractor excitedly, “I have got this contract because the silly British method of debates and arguments is useless in our country and slowed down our country’s progress all these years! Just look at the number of bills passed with no opposition or those same members walking out!”

“But then those hurried bills without debate are causing morchas and reactions outside Parliament!” I said.

“My job is to build a Parliament” said the contractor, “I’m not bothered what happens outside it..!”

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