Cash-for-Vote – The Gaulish Connection


I don’t know if I read too much between the lines or what… I felt the beer scene in Rang De Basanti was from Tolstoy’s War and Peace. I also felt Jab We Met was an adaptation of Wodehouse’s Damsel in Distress. Like I’ve said before, I thought Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na was a remake of Niram. Maybe it’s just human nature to understand new things in terms of the old, or maybe I’m like Miss Marple who has a St. Mary’s Mead analogy for every incident and character.

So when I was watching 24X7 last night, the Lok Sabha proceedings seemed hilarious – the Speaker was more like a class monitor, and the noisy MPs reminded me of my classmates at school (we were the most notorious bunch). The Speaker yelling for silence was simply too much to take, and when he said “If you keep talking, I’ll understand you don’t want the Trust Vote… do you want the Trust Vote or not?”, I was reminded of Varalakshmi Miss saying “Chil-raaan, if you make noise, I won’t take you to the AV Room for the movie”. All that was missing was writing bad names on the board.

Oh, and did anyone notice the esteemed Speaker pick his nose on (inter)national television?

And after the results of the Vote were declared, the Speaker hurriedly played Vande Mataram, as if to enforce silence and order in the house, and prevent pandemonium from breaking out immediately.

Anyway, all this behaviour seemed darkly funny, comical even… now that rang a bell… the whole cash-for-votes thing reminded me of an Asterix comic – Asterix At The Olympic Games. As for details:

…the Gauls decide to participate in the Games as well, under the view that – as part of the Roman world – they are legally Romans (only free-born Greek citizens were allowed to compete in the ancient Olympics, but under pressure an exception was made for their Roman occupiers). They later arrive in Greece for the games, and are entered in the list of participants, much to the surprise of the Greeks and the consternation of the Romans.

Eventually the Romans file a protest about the magic potion, which is banned by the Olympic officials; this decision would seem to put an end to the Gauls’ attempts to win a golden palm (the Romans being much fitter and better trained). However, in an ingenious twist, Asterix and the druid Getafix leak the location of the potion to the Romans, who, in their desire to win, all take the banned substance – which is laced with a dye which turns their tongues blue – and are disqualified, leaving Asterix as the winner by default (though the villagers act as if he won by his own efforts). …

Hmm… maybe as Mahesh Bhatt says, there are only seven stories in the world, and so such analogies are the norm rather than the exception.

PS: A year ago, at Landmark, I found a handsomely-bound (in jute), handsomely priced, well-illustrated book (translated to English from the original French) called Nicholas, by RenΓ© Goscinny, one of the two creators of Asterix. Sadly I already had an armful of books, and thought I’d come back for it. I remembered the book only a couple of months back, and have tried a hazaar bookstores, but no one seems to have it. Anyone come across a copy anywhere? Anyone possess a copy and willing to lend?

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
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6 Responses to Cash-for-Vote – The Gaulish Connection

  1. swati says:

    You have an uncanny knack of finding analogies and similarities!!
    Anyways..one of the newschannels was flashing Hon PMs picture and playing the title track of “Singh is Kingg” in the background. It was absolutely hilarious!!

  2. wanderlust says:

    why isn’t the bjp now using the “king” bit to accuse the congress of dynasty politics etc etc? πŸ˜›

  3. ish says:

    I didn’t notice the Speaker picking his nose, darn it! But I did notice Mr. (I will never laugh) P Chidambram going hysterical and jumping up and down on his seat when Mr. (I’m so darned funny) Lalu Prasad Yadav was giving his speech. You should’ve seen Sharad Pawar then. He was hiding his face and laughing like a supposedly non perverted person would do when he/she hears a perverted joke. You know.

    Oh, it was really funny when the Speaker called them “Honorable members of the house”. I went, “Yea right, you bet.” It was absolute chaos in there, as you’ve already mentioned. They’ve got the wrong speaker really. Somebody call J dot Asthana from Munnabhai MBBS and make him the speaker.

    Did anyone notice Shibu Soren dozing off? I guess he can do that in peace now that he’s gonna become a minister and all that. That Singh is King bit on the television was very annoying though. And it was funny thinking how different the two Singh’s are. The Singh in the movie and the Singh in the Parliament.

  4. dushy says:

    As always,
    Well written

    Varalakshmi :The short,dark and irritating tamil teacher of 3rd std?

  5. wanderlust says:

    @ish:
    shibu soren dozing off??? i thought only deve gowda could do that!
    @dushy:
    yes, the very same. she had a special affinity to all the Tams of the class… did she ever raid your lunch box after festivals when you’d bring typical Tam savories like seedai and murukku? πŸ™‚

  6. ish says:

    Oh no, Shibu Soren was doing a good job, I must add. πŸ˜› And Deve Gowda was amazing in the Press Conference that the Left held the next day. When it was his turn to speak, he goes, “Hum Mayawati ji ka saath denge..heheheh..ab aur kya bolun..hehehe”. And to his side, Prakash Karat was signalling, “Someone switch off the microphone for God’s sake!”. It was hilarious.

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