Cop out at COP 21!

Scene again opens in the Opposition Neta’s office, where Netaji is reading the newspaper and is confused with all the reports on Paris.

Netaji: Tell me Guptaji, what is this COP 21? Even in the High Command office, they were all discussing this cop. What is the COP 21? It sounds like a new movie with Salman Khan in a cop avatar strong enough to beat 21 gundas.

Clever Guptaji (startled): Sir! COP 21 is not a movie, Sir! It is an acronym for the 21st Conference of Parties. It is an annual forum where countries come together to debate and discuss climate change issues. It was held at Paris, Sir. Developed countries were worried as to how India would play her climate change card, especially with our PM keen on attending. But our team has made quite an impact and held their own in discussion with bureaucrats and technocrats and ministers from 193 countries.

Netaji (disapproving): What! I am not impressed. I don’t like all these new-fangled approaches to politics, Guptaji. Discussing such deep, internal problems with Obama and hobnobbing with that Putin. Now tell me, why should we discuss our climate with other countries? No, no. We should have never attended this event.

Clever Guptaji (startled): But Sir, this is an issue that we cannot resolve single-handedly. All countries will have to come together to take a position on climate change. We really have damaged the atmosphere badly.

Netaji (chewing nonchalantly on his paan): I think everyone is now over-doing it, Guptaji. It is not the first time we are facing such a climate of mistrust and suspicion in India. Why, when we were in power, there was not a single day anyone trusted us on anything. This AAP created such trouble for us, I tell you. But did we tell the globe to assemble in Paris? Never. And just look at this Government. And the newspapers are saying we also made some commitment on power?

Clever Guptaji (stuttering): Oh Sir, you are totally misunderstanding the issue.

Netaji (loudly): QUIET! Just tell me what this power commitment is all about.

Clever Guptaji: Well Sir, our stance is that India will change the way power is used, but developed countries have to lead the way in this commitment.

Netaji (irritated): Hmph! Quite in the ivory tower we are, aren’t we, Guptaji? Change the way India uses power indeed! What a joke! Nothing can move in this country if we change the way power is used. We politicians have ensured that completely! If the Government wants more growth and development, they will need more and more power. Just to Make in India, they will need more power. Do you think any investment can be driven without power? And if they want to pass the GST, they’ll definitely need more power. Hee hee hee. Especially post-Bihar. And in the Rajya Sabha.

Clever Guptaji (now completely horrified): We are talking about power, as in coal, Sir. Coal is bad for the atmosphere.

Netaji (indignantly): First they said coalition was bad, now they are saying coal is bad. First they wanted power, now they don’t want to use power. In India they want more action on GST. And outside, they want more action on GHG. What a misleading Government, Guptaji!

Clever Guptaji (exasperated): They should have sent you to Paris, Sir. Then, India could have really displayed a real COP out on commitments!

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By Manasi Phadke

Consultant Economist & Analyst | Visiting Faculty @Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics et al. | Blogs @

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