How to make politicians walk into a trap?

How to make politicians walk into a trap? Oh, don’t bother

Sans the Sacred

Anusha S Rao

Following closely on the heels of the ‘CD’ allegations in Karnataka, we have more allegations and mudslinging between the BJP and the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. One Union minister said that he knew who had asked whom to throw acid on (someone’s) brother’s wife. You’d think one would expose a person who threatened acid-throwing any way, but it appears that some people would only do it for political mileage. And then there is the ‘Punjab National Congress’, where politicians use Pakistan, Kashmir, and important national issues to bait each other.

Today, we shall read about traps. Not the usual scamster kind, but the kind that are laid for animals. Here is a verse from the Vivekachudamani, traditionally attributed to Shankaracharya. “These five -- the deer, the elephant, the moth, the fish, and the bee -- meet their end because of their attachment to a single sense faculty: hearing, touch, sight, taste, and scent, respectively. What can we then say of humans, who are attached to all five senses?”

Commentaries on the verse explain how all these animals are trapped. The deer, so swift on the move, is impossible to shoot or capture -- it can flee in a moment. But it is said that if you play some music, the deer enjoys it so much that it stands absolutely still to listen. And then the hunter fires.

Next, the elephant. Traditional ways to capture the elephant apparently relied on a secret trap with a bridge that close once the elephant enters it. But how does one get the ridiculously strong elephant to enter the trap? No amount of wrestling with it will help; in fact, that would be more likely a recipe for instant injury or death. The trick was to use female decoys that lured the elephant into the trap, and then allowed the bridge to close.

The moth, we all know from Bollywood lyrics. It is so attracted to the flame that the very sight of a flame is enough, they say. The moth will voluntarily fly into the flame and die as a result. The next one is easy, too. The fish, which can just vanish into the depths of water in a second and avoid getting caught, instead takes the bait because it is tempted by the taste of it. The bee, a connoisseur of the scents of various flowers, cannot resist the seductive scent of the Champaka flower, which is poisonous to it. It seeks out the Champaka flower and takes a good whiff, and that is the last whiff it gets.

Now that we know all about traditional traps, how does one trap politicians? There are various techniques -- one could fact-check their remarks, check their criminal records, or hold them accountable for their electoral promises. But why bother? Just let them be, and soon enough, they will bait each other and finish up the job themselves.

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