February 1, 2014: seven buffaloes disappear from Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan’s bungalow in Rampur, UP. The state police fan out across the countryside and the buffaloes are recovered two days later. Seven months later, the buffalo-nappers confess to the crime, having moved on from cattle to cars. June 21: New Delhi, two jackfruit go missing from JD(U) MP Mahendra Prasad’s garden, prompting the police to dispatch a 10-member team, complete with fingerprint specialists. Investigators fear the worst — the fruit were carved up and eaten. August 8: New Delhi again, former MP and Bodoland People’s Front leader Sansuma Bwiswmuthiary reports a bulb stolen from the gate of his Ferozeshah Road residence. A sub-inspector has been deputed to investigate the case, but the trail could already have gone cold.
There is a pattern here. Indian politicians are clearly caught in the maelstrom of a deadly conspiracy. The last few months hold evidence of an escalating sequence of crime, going from livestock to edibles to lighting apparatus. All signs point to an international crime syndicate deeply involved in the illicit trade of consumer goods, working to overthrow governments in order to ensure ease of doing business. It would explain a lot. The black money. The inflation. The current fashion of palazzo pants. The growing incidence of selfies.
To make matters worse, there are certain demotic elements that suggest politicians get too much security cover. Bwiswmuthiary complained that he had been assigned personal security officers, but they were later withdrawn. Next thing he knows, his house is the target of a daring heist. The general public has the luxury of 136 police officers for every one lakh of population. The average VIP has to make do with just three police officers to protect his person, and even this much is grudged him. Insecure times indeed for the propertied and the political.