The Electoral Bond( EB), more like an e-bomb, is a double bill of ‘Thunderball’ and ‘Skyfall’ that has left our nation shaken and stirred. No Bond martini this, to be sipped delicately whether shaken or stirred! It is Socratic hemlock to be drunk for exposing the layers of secrecy in generating funds for election campaigns under an opaque but seemingly legit scheme.

This version of ‘crowdfunding’ raises the serious question of violation of constitutional propriety, in a storied thriving democracy like ours.

The band of seven famous actors who acted as Bond, in the iconic spy movie series based on Ian Fleming’s best selling novels, must be turning in their graves on being upstaged by an unknown Bond strutting on the Indian stage.

And to twist the knife in the wound deeper, the tune playing in the background is that of sassy voiced Shirley Bassey’s ‘Goldfinger’ about the man with the Midas touch.

The EB saga has created a blockbuster buzz that could’ve taken the shine off the movie ‘Oppenheimer’ at the Oscars. It is as intriguing, with a murky miasma of cloak and dagger corporate donations that filled the coffers of many political parties, not equally though.

Despite the election bonds spreading their tentacles like ‘Octopussy’, initial objections by RBI were brushed aside and a welcome mat spread for the fat cats to deliver or face the long arm of the agencies.

This sensational dhamaka has raised a mushroom cloud of legal objections along with a brilliant explosion of memes. It so transpires that the fattest wallet has been given to the ones who hold the power strings to disburse largesse to the donors in other forms.

A pure case of quid pro quo, (you can never go wrong if you use some Latin legalese). The mirror-and-smoke goings on in this EB scheme, enabled it to mutate from a crowdfunding device to a laundry service for turning black into white, and into a tool for blackmail.

It could’ve had as a tagline , a common Hindi proverb: “‘is haath le, uss haath de’ (take with one hand, give with the other).”

This hand in the till would’ve merrily gone on unimpeded and shrouded in secrecy, but for the Hon’ble Chief Justice hitting the gavel to alert the wrongdoers to stop their dishonourable acts. It rapped the State Bank of India (SBI) on the knuckles to disclose within a time bound period, the entire list of donors along with the alpha numeric code visible only under ultra-violet rays.

The apex court said, the EB data can’t remain a ‘For Your Eyes Only’ venture, as the Right to Information Act (RTI) can not be sidelined. The nation wants to know… where are you Arnab?!

The first Bond movie In the Sixties, ‘Dr.No’, shows Sean Connery going in search of a rogue scientist intent upon throwing a spanner into the wheels of the United States space programme. Happily in the electoral bond case we have a ‘Doctor Yes’, with great financial acumen, able to generate humongous amounts of dosh via EB’s.

We have all heard of ‘Anna-Data’ but this is ‘Bond-Data’! With a bit of tweaking, the Bond parallels are uncanny in their relevance.

In a Seventies movie ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’, the British super spy 007 is in a race with the villain to get hold of a solar-powered device to end the energy crisis.

And here in Bharat we have ‘The Man with the Golden Tongue’ to get the not so dirty lucre from one and all, irrespective of their creed and caste. Parsis, beef-eating donors, God-fearing Christians given to gaming, devout Hindus et al have turned the electoral bonds kitty into a ‘Casino Royale’. And what a splendid example of ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhava’ !

Ushi Kak aka Kashpundit, is an author who revels in wordplay and satire couched in humour. At times she deviates into gravitas. Views Expressed are the writer’s own.