Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Night of the Living Dead

The State Assembly of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh was recently besieged by hordes of dead people. It's a case of llife imitating art, but in this case the art is the movie 'Brazil' by Terry Gilliam. According to the paperwork (often filed by malicious family members who want to get their grubby little nubbies on the property of the 'deceased'), tens of thousands of people are dead, and the government feels that it's not their problem that these dead people persist in walking around demanding rectification of their plight. In India it is often the case that the only way to get things done is through the liberal application of baksheesh, which the unfortunate dead do not posess.

When I was in India I felt at times that the bureaucracy had acquired a life of its own, had become a living thing that existed independent of any mere rules or the lackeys that enforce them. It seems now that bureaucracy is more tangible, in a very real way, than the people themselves. If the paper says you're dead, you're dead.