After listening to Prime Minister Narendra Modi talk about “Make in India,” Omshri Dhanvantri suddenly had a vision of India as the new land of opportunity. Several years earlier, he had left India and come to the United States in pursuit of health, wealth, and happiness. He could, of course, buy health insurance with Federal subsidy, earned enough money to buy a house on a thirty-year mortgage, and a car on deferred payment, and had nothing particularly to complain about, except that he found no way to make a million—the minimum amount required to live the American dream. It seemed that his original homeland now offered that opportunity. Luckily, he considered himself as an Indian American, unlike the famous fellow gentleman of Indian origin making his bid for the White House, and hoped he would be welcome back home with his “Make in India” project.
Omshri put up a proposal to the Government of India that he had a formula for a powerful Ayurvedic vaccine to cure the growing disappointment, frustrations, and anger among the Indian public at the prevailing economic, social, and political conditions affecting their daily lives. People were particularly disgusted with their elected representatives who spent all their time accusing their opponents of corruption with or without grounds, exchanging insults and recriminations, disrupting parliament/assembly proceedings, whipping up emotions among the masses, organizing marches and bandhs, and going to the court on every possible issue, as if they were elected solely to perform this unpleasant purpose. Worse still, the electorate was blaming themselves most of all for their blindness and idiocy: they cast their votes while the candidates were unabashedly asking for support on the basis of cash, caste, and religion in the name of secularism and democracy, which election tactics should have alerted them of the distasteful things to come, if they had insight. When he let his fellow Indian Americans know about his plans, loans and donations poured in, and the whole Silicon Valley offered every possible IT help to make his venture successful.
Even if the idea sounded too good to be true, the government couldn’t resist welcoming it, particularly when a son of the soil had millions of dollars to bring to the country and the support of expatriates like him who would be getting voting rights themselves and visas on arrival at Indian airports. If, by chance, a vaccine could be found to help cure people of their disillusionment in their politicians, it may not only benefit the country but it may also have universal application, for what part of the world was immune to the phenomenon? Vaccine made in India and sold all over the world was an alluring idea impossible to resist. It could win the country respect of even Pakistan! Without further ado, the Government of India extended Omshri all facilities—multiple entry visa, land for setting up his industry Omshri Vaccine, patent for his product, import-export licenses, tax benefits, whatever he asked for.
Omshri selected a site far away from New Delhi, a place which doesn’t appear in any map of India. It was once a famous town, king’s own town, but it is now one of the million villages of India. He chose this place because his team could work here quietly without any distractions. He recruited hundreds of scientists and philosophers, among them a few Noble prize winners, for the project.
New Delhi waited for the vaccine, as Washington, Moscow, and the rest of the world did. Years passed. No word came out of the laboratory. People were beginning to think that the whole thing was a big hoax.
Politicians started a smear campaign against Omshri Vaccine. No wonder, politicians took the lead in this campaign against the idea targeting them. They pooh-poohed it, saying it was a western ploy to defame “Make in India” scheme, although many of them till the other day were ridiculing the whole idea themselves.
Forced to finally appear before TV, Omshri pleaded for patience. He assured the public that his team was making progress. He explained to them that the scientists have finally found a gene in a local printed matter yousaidittoi available nowhere else in the world which can provide an ingredient for the vaccine. He said the process of isolating it, transforming print into a biomedical gene, and making it usable in a vaccine was a daunting task, as complex and difficult like splitting of an atom, but he had faith in the ability of his scientists. He evaded the question as to the name and exact location of the place of his laboratory by simply saying that it is between the Himalayas in the north and the Indian Ocean in the south, Bay of Bengal in the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. To the question, when can public expect to hear from him again, Omshri said he would appear before the TV crew periodically once the research work reached the experimental stage to report the results. To questions as to the details of the printed matter, he said that they were trade secrets and could not be disclosed.
Pacified, the country waited.
Before another storm gathered momentum, Omshri appeared before the TV to report that the first results of the experiment. Though not yet successful, he indicated the results were promising. Prodded to be more specific, he said that the volunteers after vaccination looked upon politicians as scoundrels, and his scientists were working on getting a more nuanced view of the politicians from the volunteers.
Sensing that the country could not contain its eagerness any longer, Omshri made a television appearance after a few more months. He reported that progress was being made, but there was more work to do. He elaborated by saying that the politicians were now being considered a laughing stock by volunteers who were vaccinated. He promised to get back as soon as a more positive result emerged.
If, by chance, a vaccine could be found to help cure people of their disillusionment in their politicians, it may not only benefit the country but it may also have universal application, for what part of the world was immune to the phenomenon?