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If I had no sense of humour,” Mahatma Gandhi said, “I would long ago have committed suicide.” So would, arguably, all of us. If you therefore care for your life, have a sense of humour and let’s all burst into a peal of merry laughter.

With a sense of humour, you find it easy to appreciate the following joke: Anil Gayan, minister of health and quality of life, said “I got rid of the methadone therapy when I became minister” because he supposes that his opponent at the last election, Rajesh Bhagwan, topped the list due to the vote of substance users. It was a hearty joke that should have elicited shrieks of laughter rather than a big controversy.

With a sense of humour,  you readily understand that Gayan’s leader – Ivan Collendavelloo – was also joking when he said Gayan’s statement was a joke and that his leader’s leader, the prime minister, must have been seized by a fit of laughter when he heard what Gayan had said about the substance users. Which is why he confirmed that it was indeed a joke. Drug abuse, a life of dependence, decimated families and broken lives are great topics to joke about. So, don’t you dare betray your lack of humour by not taking this opportunity to cass un grand rié (have a good laugh).

The doctors’ recruitment scandal is an opportunity for another bout of laughter. Relatives, friends and acquaintances of ministers, some straight out of university, were allegedly hired by our public hospitals at the expense of more experienced, at times specialised, doctors. I hope patients have a good sense of humour and fully appreciate that laughter is the best medicine.

But there are more jokes for those who are willing to open up to humour. The Mouvement Patriotique – a party which insists it is in the opposition but sees “nothing immoral about joining government” should the latter at last decide to reward them for their obsequiousness – has had the best reaction to the doctor/patient joke. Totally ignoring the fact that the recruitment of doctors scandal is about nepotism and tribalism, the biggest ills of our society, they take the trouble to organise a press conference, waste journalists’ time to ‘innocently’ ask the question, “How come we ended up with only 60 when there was a budget for 100 doctors?” LOL! So let’s recruit 40 more relatives of the ministers and politicians and call it a day. Isn’t this enough to send one rolling on the ground with laughter?

Meritocracy? Of course, it prevails. It always has. So, when Collendavelloo, minister of energy, clearly said that for the position of head of the CEB, “I will choose a person close to me; in other words, what you call a ‘petit copain’ or ‘petite copine’,” he was also appealing to your sense of humour – don’t please disappoint him.

Another good joke is Gayan – him again! – telling a journalist of Weekly to ask Former Attorney General Yatin Varma to “go and commit suicide”. Yeah, suicide is another topic which lends itself to a good laugh. Just like drugs: destroyed lives, grieving families, unspeakable sadness. I mean all the ingredients for a good lark. Which other country can boast of having a government with such an exquisite sense of humour?

“How clever you are my dear!” Oscar Wilde said in A Woman of No Importance. “You never mean a single word you say.”

So, please have a good laugh. There is nothing as depressing as a nation that cannot even take a joke at its own expense! 

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