In the myth-shrouded history of medieval England, a single apple’s fall moved Isaac Newton to discover the well known theory of gravity. In an understandable, if not excusable, pursuit of this process, the Indian administration decided long ago to on its Controlled Ordering of Vacuous Enquiries to Really Understand Phenomena (COVERUP) policy.
In India, whenever a significant object – a bridge, a canopy, a streetlight – related to the government succumbs to gravity, the COVERUP policy is triggered, under which an official enquiry is ordered. In almost all cases, as befits scientific enquiry, the examination goes far beyond the immediate nature of the incident and focuses on the more fundamental underlying theories. The date of the next election, the popularity of the current administration, and the amounts of little pieces of paper passed under tables, for example.
For something as important to the national image as the CommonWealth Games, however, it is occasionally pointed out that nobody actually listened to the order and an Enquiry Commission is set up to handle the enquiry. In special cases Commissions for Ordering Enquiries have also been set up to set up Commissions of Enquiry that can be ordered to institute said enquires.
Not much scientific progress, however, has been recorded as legions of Indian Civil Service men and women spend weeks, months and years pondering over the root causes of objects transitioning from high to low, up to down. The ever-present ghost of Newton, yelling, ‘It was gravity!’ in their ears goes unheard. That changed today as a bright young recruit turned in his report in response to an enquiry merely two months after it was ordered, beating the previous record by several decades.
The report, titled “Principia Incompetencia”, also has a subtitle, “Don’t Do It”. While the author freely admits deriving the title from Newton’s seminal research, he denied that the subtitle borrows from Nike’s motto. “They stole from us,” he said in a prepared statement. “The Indian Civil Service has been following Don’t Do It for centuries.”
The report, as always, is long and mostly incomprehensible, but in a startling departure from the norm; the prologue summarizes the thesis in nearly understandable language. Bureaucratic efforts, it says, follow three simple laws of stagnation.
The first law, “Work that is not done will continue to not get done even though unreasonable amounts of external force are being applied.”
The second law, “The material progress in any project is inversely proportional to the sum of the number of babus and their close relatives in the sub-contracting business. The financial cost, on the other hand is exponentially related to the same number.”
The third law, “All government action is a rumour.”
As the nation ponders this explanation of its affairs, the author of the report has been accused of circumventing the vetting process for commission reports and an enquiry has been instituted into the same.
The Fake But Possible News Network understands that reading beyond the subtitle of an official report violates journalistic codes of conduct. However, our editor is on leave and couldn’t correct the error before press time. We seek your understanding.