Alice in Daaku Land

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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By Justice Markandey Katju

Alice in Daaku Land

Alice in Wonderland

One day a little girl named Alice was dozing on a green meadow when she saw a strange sight. A white rabbit wearing a blue coat was running on its two hind legs, and looking at a watch was saying '' I am late ''.

The rabbit jumped into a hole in the ground, and Alice, who had got up, ran after it and jumped into the same hole.

Alice fell and fell until she landed with a loud thud on a haystack. She got up, and saw a huge sign board on which it was written 'Welcome to Daaku Land '.

She got up and enquired from some people gathered there why the country was called Daaku Land. They replied '' That is because our leaders have always been the biggest daakus ( dacoits ) in our country ''.

Alice learnt that a general elections had recently been held for the national parliament of Daaku Land, and counting of votes was going on. She entered a building where the counting was being held at night. She was told that the candidates of Party A, whose leader was an upright man, but incarcerated in jail by the army of Daaku Land ( whose generals were themselves big daakus ), ware leading in 148 constituencies, while candidates of Party B and Party C ( whose leaders were also big daakus ) were leading in only about 30 constituencies each.

Suddenly the lights in the building went off, so that counting was stopped for a few hours. When the light came on again, it was announced that the leads had drastically changed, and now the combined leads of Party B and Party C far exceeded that of Party A.

Alice was shocked at this extraordinary turn of events and enquired from some people how this happened. They said '' Dont you know? When the lights were off a gang of dacoits in army uniform entered the building and committed 'daaka' ( dacoity ) of the votes''.

''But how could this happen ?'', asked Alice. ''Were there not election officials protecting the ballot boxes ? ''.

''Dont be silly'' the people replied. ''The officials are all hand-in-glove with the daakus''.

Alice asked '' But are there no honest officials here ? ''.

'' There are a few'' they replied. '' But what could they do when the daakus pointed a gun on their heads ? ''.

The next day the new government consisting of leaders of Party B and Party C was sworn in. The leader of Party B became the President of Daaku Land, and the leader of Party C became its Prime Minister. Prominent leaders of these two parties ( who were also well known daakus ) became Federal Ministers, Governors and Chief Ministers of the states, and Chairman and Speaker of the Senate and National Assembly of Daaku Land.

At the oath taking ceremony ( the oath being administered by the Chief Justice of Daaku Land, another big daaku ), the new leaders of Daaku Land were dressed in their usual black garments of daakus, with black bandanas on their heads, and guns in their hands. Behind them were armymen ( who too were daakus ), dressed similarly, and pointing their rifles at the heads of the new political leaders ( lest the latter go astray and not obey their commands ).

Great celebrations, revelry, merry making , dining and wining were held thereafter throughout Daaku Land.

When this going on Alice, who could not stand this swindle, deceit, trickery, chicanery and bamboozling shouted loudly at the newly 'elected' officials '' You are all a bunch of rascals, rogues, crooks, cheats, and frauds ''.

At this the officials, leaders and supporters of Party B and C picked up dandas, hatchets and guns to assault Alice, who ran for her dear life.

She ran and ran, with the infuriated, incensed and irate mob following her, until she suddenly woke up and realised she was dreaming

( Lewis Carroll ko maazrat ke saath )

(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. These are his personal views.)

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