From the pen of celebrated Iraqi author and journalist, Khalid Kishtainy

It was reported that following elections in one of the Indian provinces, a certain Mr. Batney was elected governor. There was nothing exceptional about the result, other then the fact that Mr. Batney is a eunuch, considered the worst of the worst of the untouchable class, a fact which understandably aroused a great deal of comment and surprise. Why did the good and respectable electorate of one of India’s governorates vote for someone many would regard as a reject of society? Could it be, as some suggested, a conspiracy hatched by the Pakistanis to discredit Indian democracy?

Yet, many of you will recall that it was traditionally said in our Arabic culture: ‘Seek thou thy guidance from the wisdom of India.’ Nowadays, increasingly we seek it from America, but our elders knew better.

The wisdom of India which was behind the election of a eunuch as governor shines bright. Fed up with the corruption of politicians, the people of that province noticed one very simple fact, which we have, so far, stupidly failed to recognise. Politicians rob the country for one of two reasons: to accumulate a sparkling legacy to bequeath to their children, or to spend vast amounts on women, either to marry or to keep as concubines. Without his balls, a eunuch has no interest in either – elect a eunuch, protect the treasury and eradicate graft! Pure and simple.

Strangely, nobody in the Arab World bothered to comment on reports of the Indian eunuch’s success, other than myself in my column in Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper, where I first drew attention to the actions of those wise and good citizens in the sub-continent of India.

As advised by our forefathers: ‘Seek thy guidance from the wisdom of India’, I wrote and advised that, as we are writing and re-writing new constitutions all the time

in the Arab world, someone should include this provision, namely that ‘The Head of the State, the Minister of Finance, the Governor of the Central Bank and all high ranking officers in charge of any state funds, revenues and national resources, being mineral, animal or human, shall not be eligible for election or appointment unless proven to be a genuine and certified eunuch.’

Election laws should set out details about the specifications and conditions of the required eunuchism. Each candidate or applicant should submit a medical report, signed and stamped by two qualified and reliable doctors, testifying that they have personally examined the man and found him to be a genuine eunuch .

Patriotic leaders who genuinely want to serve their country and carry out their missions and programmes should have no qualms about qualifying themselves for the honour of office by visiting a doctor to have themselves castrated, thereby sacrificing their balls in the service of their country.

We should look forward to the day when, in the run- up to any election campaign, we see Tahrir Square and Rashid Street covered with colourful posters bearing pictures of candidates alongside such slogans such as:

‘Vote for Hasbaly Aly Waly – Your genuine Eunuch’;

‘Make your vote count with Fulan Ibn Fultan, the man who gave his balls for his country’;

‘Sihtain: The only Born Eunuch Candidate deserves your vote.’

Without such a brave venture in the realm of effective and respectable democracy, I really see no way for the Middle East countries to succeed in eradicating corruption, high and low. As long as we have bureaucrats with testicles between their legs we are doomed to have thieves and gangsters running our affairs.