From the pen of Khalid Kishtainy: the celebrated Iraqi author and journalist shares his thoughts ...

Author:Kishtainy, Khalid


IT WAS REPORTED THAT FOLLOWING ELECTIONS IN one of the Indian provinces, a certain Mr Batney was elected governor. There was nothing exceptional about the result, other then the fact that Mr Batney is a eunuch, considered the worst of the worst of the untouchable class, a fact which understandably aroused a great deal of comment and surprise. Why did the good and respectable electorate of one of India's governorates vote for someone many would regard as a reject of society? Could it be, as some suggested, a conspiracy hatched by the Pakistanis to discredit Indian democracy?

Yet many of you will recall that it was traditionally said in our Arabic culture: "Seek thou thy guidance from the wisdom of India". Nowadays, increasingly we seek it from America, but our elders knew better.

The wisdom of India, which was behind the election of a eunuch as governor, shines bright. Fed up with the corruption of politicians, the people of that province noticed one very simple fact, which we have, so far, stupidly failed to recognise. Politicians rob the country for one of two reasons: to accumulate a sparkling legacy to bequeath to their children, or to spend vast amounts on women, either to marry or to keep as concubines. Without his balls, a eunuch has no interest in either--elect a eunuch, protect the treasury and eradicate graft! Pure and simple.

Strangely, nobody in the Arab world bothered to comment on reports of the Indian eunuch's success, other than myself in my column in Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper, where I first drew attention to the actions of those wise and good citizens in the sub-continent of India.

As advised by our forefathers: "Seek thy guidance from the wisdom of India", I wrote and advised that, as we are writing and rewriting new constitutions all the time in the Arab world, someone should include this provision, namely that "The Head of the State, the Minister of Finance, the Governor of the Central Bank...

To continue reading