So, in our political science class, we were taught about the various forms of government - oligarchies, kingdoms, republics and sultanates.
We learnt about rule by despots and dictators and monarchs. Each made for fascinating reading.
But, here’s my complaint about these textbooks - they missed out the specific type of governance in Maharashtra… Mumbai, specifically.
We have what’s called a Dadagiricracy - not to be confused with Kleptocracy, a system of governance where officials use their power to pursue personal wealth, sometimes without even the pretense of honest service.
Dadagiricracy is the art of grabbing what’s not yours by terror or threat.
The nature of Dadagiricracy is unique in that it’s not just the sitting state government which exercises this right. For example, even a politician with as little as a single seat in the state assembly, can hold the entire film fraternity to ransom.
Dadagiricracy has recently taken on a sub-genre called Clubocracy - wherein Mumbai’s government officials are seeking entry into the city’s ‘prestigious’ clubs using threats. The Bombay Gymkhana is their first target - the club is
soon to be renamed The Bombay Municipal Corporation Gymkhana.
This prestigious SoBo club will have esteemed members from the fire brigade, the city collectors office, excise department and the municipal corporation, all partaking of badminton in the courts and bhajiyas on the verandah.
Note, there is no coordination, among these four departments when it comes to laying a road - but with life membership on offer, there is serious efficiency and team work.
When reports last came in, buoyed on by the fact that The Bombay Gym had blinked, the bureaucrats have set their sights on other city clubs.
An official from the BMC, on condition of anonymity said, “Our next stop is the United Services (US) Club in Navy Nagar. They have welcomed us as family, since we all, the Navy, Army, Air Force and us serve the country, selflessly.”
He added that the next stop would be the CCI, the Cricket Club of India, “They will get a new name, once we enter - The Crooked Club of India. After that, it is to be the NSCI, Worli - The National Sports Club of India will become ‘Netas Sit in the Club’s Indoors’.”
A loyal servant of city collector’s office however admitted, “We are now having some difficulty as we head to NoBo. We were informed by the Willingdon Club managing committee that membership was closed, but there was a vacancy for a swimming coach.”
Another tireless worker in the corporation said, “I was told by Bandra Gym club secretary Mr Clinton Carvalho, ‘Hey hey men, what you tink...this is your baap ka raj, you tink membership to our club just grows on de trees… chal chal stand in line like everyone else, che men!”
It seems all the public sector officials are getting together to start their own union to protest this rude high-handed behaviour - their union is called the RBYC - Royal Babu Yaar Club.
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at email@example.com
Aakash Chopra: IPL 10: Looking back and forward23-May-2017
mid-day editorial: Let the shopkeepers pay for their actions23-May-2017
Fiona Fernandez: Matheran Railway deserves its due22-May-2017
Aditya Sinha: Spinning gold out of saffron22-May-2017
mid-day editorial: If the fees go up, so must the zoo's quality22-May-2017
Meenakshi Shedde: Mixing memory and desire21-May-2017