In the world, Darwin and others would have us believe (and there is evidence to be found everywhere), there is survival of the fittest. Liars must be very fit indeed because their tribe or breed appears to be flourishing. Like cockroaches (who can get out of the fridge and go straight onto the cooking gas stove) liars too appear to be everywhere; surviving and thriving.
There is, like a reality show on the television, great tussle to win the top spot. Two of the breed vying for the Numero Uno position are the politicians and the lawyers. Opinions are divided who gets to win; both lie through their teeth, both have thick skins, both have short memories, and both do it with others’ money. But, the fact that many lawyers strive to become politicians puts the latter in winning position. Lawyers can only befool some of the people some of the times; but, politicians can befool all the people all the times. They are in a league by themselves. On another score too the politicians win; which is that lawyers do have to study and acquire a bit of knowledge to become lawyers, whereas, you can start lying your way to becoming a politician without any qualification. Ignorance of the politicians is a bliss; but, if the general public can be perpetually kept ignorant, it is even greater bliss for them.
I think there is no doubt about the third spot: the babus in government offices who tell you that your file has received the highest attention and your case, hence, is about to be decided. These worthy gentlemen and ladies are the most versatile excuse makers. One cartoon showed someone walking into a government office and asking a babu, “No one seems to take any responsibility here. Why doesn’t anyone feel accountable?” The reply given was, “Don’t ask me; ask someone who should know.”
The fourth spot in our compilation of list of liars should go to the film stars. They are masters (as also mistresses) of the game. From big lies about how much they liked the acting prowess of, say, fellow actresses, to small lies about current boy or girl friend, they bring more élan to their lies than to their acting. Their lies often are at the verge of bitchiness; you can’t make out one from the other.
The fifth on the list must surely be women literally taking years to answer a simple query related to their age. Some of them confront you with their interpretation that instead of lying they are merely consistent for the last ten years or so by maintaining the same age. These are the only species who goad their gadgets too to lie; for example, their weighing machines and the mirror on the wall.
At the sixth rung are, without too much ado, husbands coming home late. “Darling, in all this sweltering heat, I was getting dehydrated and they rushed me to the nearest clinic (bar). They have a long drawn out treatment (you bet!). Today, they have just given me the first part of the course but, in my own interest, I have to take the full course for the next one year (after which I can surely come up with some other plausible excuse) to get out of this terrible congenital (my father too was good at making excuses!) problem.” Don’t believe me? Well, how can you forget about the man who went to the bar and kept ordering double-martinis. His excuse: his wife had sent him to buy olives!
The seventh spot surely must go to the members upper middle class filling up income tax returns. These are, by the way, the rare breed that tells lies in writing. If all or even some of their lies are to be believed, the IT Department should be actually giving them money so that they can survive!
At the eighth notch should be the weather men. I am putting them so low in hierarchy because I actually feel for them. Weather and Women both start with the letter W and can be unpredictable for men. Hence, these are the only gentlemen caught without umbrellas in driving rain after predicting ‘clear and sunny skies’. They are also in so pitiable a situation that no one believes their truths, let alone their lies.
At the ninth spot are our media personnel. Their style of telling lies is to tell half truths or to ignore any news that does not fit with the findings of the analysis they are presenting. They are often honoured for their efforts at such lies as investigative journalism.
The tenth spot is consistently maintained by the statistics department of the planning commission. These worthy men and women juggle figures that affect lives of the people, eg, people Below Poverty Lines (BPL). I have put them so low in hierarchy because left to themselves they cannot do much damage; but, in collusion with politicians at the Number One spot, much harm can be done and is being done.
Why have I left out Investigators or those in fact-finding commissions? Surely they must be fairly high in the hierarchy. Once again, the reason is that I have made (dis)honour roll of what I feel are independent liars or those who have free-will to do so. Inquirers and Investigators are merely paid authors writing their stories at the dictates of the politicians in power.
You think it is bad? Have a rethink because in a neighbouring country easily the first ten spots are occupied by the government itself starting from the academic qualification of its (un)worthy members to habitual lies about not having sufficient proof about their country’s involvement in terror attacks in India. They even lied about a certain Kasab and other terrorists not being from their country even when all evidence stared them in the face. Lying comes so easily to them that when they say, “We won’t take things lying down” they actually mean quite different from what is ordinarily understood.
So, readers, mine is just an Indian national list. Internationally our neighbouring country is so far ahead in the art of lying that we are mere rookies, all of us.
Should the readers have their own lists or rolls please share with us in the ‘Comments’ below.
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