You go, parliament

Published: August 16, 2010
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Exasperated by the shenanigans of our allegedly elected alleged representatives, a friend of mine suggested that we should literally do what the Brits did electorally in the last general polls: hang the parliament.

He said he’d had it with all the bickering, the wheeling-dealing, the moral posturing, the loud and foulmouthed exchanges and of course, the splurge of fake degrees. Now, in principle, I’m against hanging; yes, even for hardened, corrupt-to-the-core fiends. And no, I’m not suggesting firing squads as an alternative. Bad as they may be, I don’t recommend sending all our parliamentarians to hell just yet. Admittedly, the only thing our various parliaments have achieved over the years is constituting and un-constituting and re-constituting the constitution constantly. We’ve had enough of assemblies contriving laws to ensure the longevity of the government-in-power. I think our parliamentarians could be put to better, more interesting, economically beneficial and, above all, entertaining uses. Here are a few suggestions:

Assembly sessions are getting increasingly lively. With all the mudslinging and dupatta-flinging and florid insults and unrehearsed blurts of sudden honesty, they’re high in entertainment value. As such, it’s good grounds for a live TV talk/reality show. We could sell the rights to Jerry Springer for a considerable fee. Imagine the likes of Firdaus Ashiq Awan and Kashmala Tariq and Jamshed Dasti and Sanaullah Mastikhel slugging it out in front of a live audience, who of course would pay lavishly for tickets to such exuberant entertainment. Perfect for high ratings and good revenue. Should Springer decline because he finds the content too offensive for his taste, or have difficulty in mediating such an unruly bunch, we could always engage Animal Planet instead.

Let’s not forget the considerable advertising windfall from such a show. The sponsors could include earplug manufacturers and fishmongers’ associations and anti-psychotic drug-makers and, of course, family planning companies (the more the population, the more their representatives — people who don’t see the connection are as dumb as those who can’t see the one between the five-day workweek and increased baby-making activity and reduced power supply, a concept so avidly peddled by Ms Awan).

Selected parliamentarians could be sent abroad as part of cultural troupes to regale foreign audiences with re-enactments of the enthralling parliamentary episodes they subject us Pakistanis to. Not only would this provide ample fun to foreigners, it would prove to doubters once and for all that terrorism isn’t the only thing we export and/or suffer from.

Some of our representatives could easily be deputed abroad, for a considerable fee that would swell national coffers, as consultants to world-renowned circuses. Their area of consultancy specialty would, of course, be in the clowning department. They could help train local clowns all over and initiate capacity building in this area so that, eventually, other nations could also produce clowns of the same high standard as ours.

Many of our parliamentarians could also be utilised by our spy agencies as forgery experts. Their competence and expertise in forging documents is exemplary, and is likely to easily surpass Mossad’s. In the wake of the latter’s Dubai fiasco, I’m sure our parliamentarians are the best forgers in the world. CIA, RAW and whatever passes for an “intelligence” agency in Afghanistan (what an oxymoron!) — y’all watch out!

These are but some humble suggestions for meaningful uses of our representatives. Don’t hang them just yet please. We need to retain all means of quality entertainment in the country.

You go, Parliament!

And yes, that is a double entendre. Go figure.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Mango man
    Aug 16, 2010 - 3:19PM

    Great picture. Truely depicts the real face of our fake politicians. i.e Jokers and puppets :DRecommend

  • Aug 16, 2010 - 3:41PM

    They all seem to have massive ego’s, which constantly need fueling via proclamations and emotive statements. Compensating for something perhaps?Recommend

  • Umayr Masud
    Aug 16, 2010 - 3:45PM

    A very off color, off taste article. I don’t see this as an item for the first page. Satire works at times but this wasn’t one of them. Somehow this has become the new “IN” thing , the new fashion. Bash the politicians , abuse the president and voila you are the “in” crowd.
    Honestly, the country is in a deep crisis right now, the current politicians are inept, You can see this much , then why do you not step up yourself instead of whining form the corner. Step forward and help the people instead of spreading this sickening negativity. Recommend

  • Aug 16, 2010 - 4:31PM

    I disagree with Umair Masud. This isn’t whining, this pure brilliance. Before telling people to step forward, you would be well advised to step forward yourself instead of reading articles that you think spread negativity.

    The politicians in this country have turned politics into an expletive and since each one of us is doing his/her bit by truly showing their worth in some way or the other. Some do it with their writing, others protest on the street.

    Brilliant article. Kudos to AA Sheikh.Recommend

  • Saad Farooq
    Aug 16, 2010 - 5:27PM

    Brilliant piece of satire, it has had been a while since i felt my lips stretched in a smile after reading from a newspaper site. Good work, keep the stuff coming.Recommend

  • parvez
    Aug 16, 2010 - 10:35PM

    Good attempt at trying to shame the shameless.Recommend

  • mhs
    Aug 17, 2010 - 1:54AM

    Whether it is satirical or not is besides the point. Our circumstances demand serious solution-oriented articles that provide cause for a healthy debate, and perhaps inspire new strategies to cope with challenges such as the recent floods.

    Let us rise to the occasion.Recommend

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