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Forecasts for 2010

Let’s start with Telangana. The Congress strategy seems to be to promise a new state one day, wait for riots by those opposed to it, then backtrack after a couple of days, wait for the pro-Telangana riots to begin and then repeat the cycle, writes Manas Chakravarty.

india Updated: Jan 02, 2010 23:28 IST

Let’s start with Telangana. The Congress strategy seems to be to promise a new state one day, wait for riots by those opposed to it, then backtrack after a couple of days, wait for the pro-Telangana riots to begin and then repeat the cycle. This is not, as you might think, the result of the governor of the state being otherwise engaged. It’s a well-crafted strategy. Soon the Congress High Command will start announcing the creation of Telangana in the morning, reverse the decision at noon, become pro-Telangana in the evening and then anti-Telangana again at night. They will go on doing this at shorter and shorter intervals until all agitators, both pro- and anti-Telangana, are completely worn out. TV channels will have no shortage of breaking news. Hunger-strikers will grow fat breaking their fasts so frequently.

Pro-Telangana protesters will scarcely have sprinkled petrol on buses, preparatory to burning them, when news will come in that the Centre has agreed to their demands. The anti-Telangana agitators will then rush out and burn those buses. Similar, when the anti-Telangana agitators have just stopped a few cars in order to deflate their tyres, the Centre will announce that they are against Telangana. It will then be up to the pro-Telangana guys to rush out and deflate the tyres. To find out how it will all end, please book a copy of my forthcoming research paper on the subject titled “To Telenga or Na”.

In the world of entertainment, after the legendary Amitabh’s stupendous acting in Paa, the world waits with bated breath for the release of Maa, where the actor will reportedly play the part of Abhishek’s mother, according to completely unreliable sources. On the small screen, rumours abound that Balika Vadhu is likely to file for a divorce, thus proving once and for all that child marriage is not a good thing. But she may then marry a girlfriend, which puts the whole moral angle in considerable doubt, but it might be a confused blow for gender equality.

There are also reports that a new serial called Sati will soon be started, in which lots of men in large polka-dotted turbans will burn lots of heavily veiled widows gleefully, while a caption will tell viewers that burning widows is injurious to health. And finally, we will eagerly await 2013, the sequel to the film 2012. Since the planet was destroyed in 2012 there’s very little left to destroy on earth in 2013, which is why the film has to wreck the rest of the solar system.

I will also be watching closely whether the bit of dark matter detected by physicists at the bottom of a mine in Minnesota metamorphoses into the Dark Lord Sauron. If a person whom nobody has ever heard of suddenly becomes powerful, and if the numbers 666 are written on his skull, then it’s a sure sign that the Dark Lord has returned. Watch that new BJP guy Nitin Gadkari’s skull very closely.

And last but not least, I look forward to making a lot of money on my investments in 2010. Given their fantastic record in 2009, investing in dal or potatoes instead of stocks or gold is the way to go. Of course, much depends on the Budget. But even if Pranab Mukherjee and Mamata Banerjee do not have any sops this time for the common man, the least they can do is entertain us by making their Budget speeches in their priceless Hindi.

Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint

The views expressed by the author are personal