Question in today’s newspaper: - Do you think we should have something similar to corporate culture in parliament?

This made me think a little bit about corporate culture. Maybe when it comes to parliament, we should talk about culture first instead of getting into something else. When I was a kid, I used to think that how can people ever be able to behave like they do. I thought maybe it is a problem with older generation, newer enlightened/educated/forward thinking youngsters will change all that and world will be a nicer place once again. I thought how one could ever be able to even think about the religion or caste of your friends or neighbors, when I listened to such discussions between my elders. I thought how you could be so mean behind ones back and say such things about them. How could you ever loath your friends and still smile at them and make sweet talk with them? I thought all this is going to change, I used to tell my father so and he used to wisely say that I am yet to get into the real world. I used to vehemently disagree and say that he is getting old and the new generation will change all this. Later I was really surprised when my friends started discussing about marriage (during college, generally) and said that they have to find a nice muslim/christian/hindu/nair/catholic girl and marry her and settle down for life. I asked couple of them and the answer was all the modern talks are fine but when it comes to your life, you won’t say that let your child go and marry a Muslim and say that I have a big heart about it. I used to see people who would declare that they consider their brother/sister among the dead since they married a Christian. I have seen death threats and attempted suicides, just on this marriage issue. Nothing changes with age around here.

So how could you cheat and take something which is not rightfully yours and be thick skinned about it. We have a stereotype about politicians that all of them are corrupt. Maybe that is because they reinforce that belief time and again. So what is corporate culture? Being fair about everything? Being professional and approach everything in professional manner? Be transparent about financial transactions? Work hard, achieve and be proud about what you do? Have a competency based work culture which allows you to progress if you work hard? Have thorough knowledge, improve continuously? You get ahead only if you are competent enough to handle the responsibility? As in normal life, I used to think that it is all that, everything is fair, human factors doesn’t come into all this, no sentimentality/partiality/ego issues, no reason to suspect anybody of foul play. But there also I get rude surprises once in a while. I believe I am wiser than that and can understand that world is anything but fair.

When they say, we are being so generous and that’s why you are getting a salary hike, what they actually mean is, here is a small bone, chew that and don’t jump out of here for sometime. I am not saying that it is all bad, but there are hidden agenda behind polished talk sometimes. But be high and mighty about it, at least you will feel good. People are intelligent nowadays, so politicians should also get that idea and move into much rosy “corporate culture” and keep doing the same thing behind a much more reinforced shield. Sometimes it just simply translates to being sophisticated about it all.

Other day, I read about CPI(M) thinking about training their leaders on how to answer questions in interviews, how to excel in debates (“Big Fights”, “Crossfires” and the like) and how to leverage this emerging force called the Media to their advantage. One good thing about communists is that they will theorize everything and make you think that there is a “philosophy” behind all this – so this time it is, our ultimate aim is to reach maximum people and convey the message, and so what is wrong in doing what others do. I am sure they will also have training where they will be taught not to say something which you don’t want to say, how to package it in a shiny envelope which won’t let you guess what is inside.

PS: excerpt from Chicago, Razzle Dazzle:

Give 'em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle Dazzle 'em
Give 'em an act with lots of flash in it
And the reaction will be passionate
Give 'em the old hocus pocus
Bead and feather 'em
How can they see with sequins in their eyes?

What if your hinges all are rusting?
What if, in fact, you're just disgusting?

Razzle dazzle 'em
And they;ll never catch wise!

How can they hear the truth above the roar?

Throw 'em a fake and a finagle
They'll never know you're just a bagel,

Razzle dazzle 'em
And they'll beg you for more!

Though you are stiffer than a girder
They let you get away with murder
Razzle dazzle 'em
And you've got a romance

Give 'em the old
Razzle Dazzle

Daze and dizzy'em
Show 'em the first rate sorcerer you are

Long as you keep 'em way off balance
How can they spot you got no talents?

Razzle dazzle 'em
And they'll make you a star!

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