Sunday, 8 June 2008


I suppose most of us have a visceral mistrust of politicians, but the method of dealing with them proposed by the mighty K. Malik, author of that most glorious collection of correspondence brought to us by dint of the earnest labour of New Light Publishers of New Delhi, 1111 Letters for Every Occasion, is quite singular. Write letters of advice to the leaders of all parties, giving them the benefit of direct contact with the electorate they seek to win over to their views. Tell ‘em how it is! And then get stuck into the current government, sharing a new way forward for the country!

In fact, K. Malik’s letters to various Ministers spell out an interesting alternative national agenda. Perhaps India would have been improved had he actually sent these letters rather than selling them to New Light Publishers? We may never know...

A footnote, perhaps interesting or perhaps not: the exhortation to the Sikh Akali party claims that Guru Nanak Dev founded Sikhism to bring together India and Pakistan. That’s interesting, as he died in 1539, a little over four hundred years before Pakistan’s sanguinary foundation. Further proof, should it be needed, that K. Malik does, indeed, exist in a parallel universe that is fundamentally different to our own.

Next week: Love letters.

Letters to the Leaders
People must keep a vigilant eye on the doings and misdoings of the political leaders. We must praise their good works. Also, we should point out their faults and the faults of their policies.

To the Congress Party
Please redeem your pledges of Price rise immediately.
If you do not, your days are numbered.
You can fool some people for all time and all people for some time but you cannot fool all people for all the time.

To the B.J.P.

You have failed to challenge the might of the Congress (I).
Why continue to have nuisance value?

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

Stop insulting Northern India, Hindu and Hinduism. Don’t cut your nose to spite your face.

To the Akali Party
Sikhism and politics do not go together. We must help bring together Hindus and Muslims, India and Pakistan. Guru Nanak made Sikhism for that purpose.

To the Minister for Foreign Affairs

In line with the great ideals of Mahatma Ghandi, we should abolish passports and visas. Let us have open doors to the world. That is the true mission of India.

To the Finance Minister
The word ‘Income-Tax’ should go. It smells of feudalism. It does not suit democracy. Income-Tax should be known as “Public Charity Fund”. And taxpayers should be induced to pay the maximum without coercion. If the government does not trust the people, why should people trust the Government?

To the Minister for Information
Television spells a great danger to the psychological health of the people. Children are wasting too much time seeing TV rather than studying their books. TV should be restricted to Sundays and holidays. It is a great national nuisance.

To the Minister of Agriculture
You must encourage people to become agriculture minded. Agriculture should be made a compulsory subject in schools. Children must grow something in schools or their houses, even on house-tops, to qualify for Board Examination.


the real nick said...

Where can I buy this book?

alexander... said...

I can tell you no more than that it is published by New Light Publishers of 18 Rajendra Place, New Delhi and that the ISBN given is 81-85018-57-X. doesn't recognise the book and I couldn't find a match for the ISBN.

So I suspect you're going to have to content yourself with weekly extracts!


the real nick said...

Thanks; looking forward to more 'Babu' style letters. Having done business in India on occasions I recognise the spirit.

Our very own Mr. Ranjendra Aneja of 7Days 'letters to the editor (in)fame' comes close.

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