Thirteen months of the NDA. It’s all about luck
Editor: Folks, we’ve called this meeting to plan our news stories for the next few weeks. The anniversary celebrations of the Modi government will soon come to an end. For several weeks, we have been subsisting on a staple diet of ‘one year of Modi’. After the bash is over, what on earth will we do?At least during the UPA days, we could rely on a steady supply of scams.
Junior Reporter: Can we get back to doing real stories?
Editor: Like what?
Junior Reporter: For instance, according to this report by international organisations, India is home to 194.6 million undernourished people, a quarter of the total world malnourished population.
Editor: Don’t be silly.
Bright young spark: Oh, oh, I’ve got just the thing. Why not do a Breaking News: 13 months of the Modi government’ story in June?
Editor: Brilliant idea. Why, we could do 400 days of Modi, 450 days, 500 days and so on.
Junior Reporter: Does it have to be in multiples of 10?
Executive Editor: No, no, we could do ‘Will 13 be an unlucky month for the government?’ We could do 375 days, 393 days, 411 days of Modi. Oh hell, we missed the ‘April is the cruellest month for the Modi government’ headline.
Political editor: What about other governments? We just did the ‘100 days of Kejriwal’ stories.
Global editor: Pierre Nkurunziza, the president of Burundi, will complete 10 years in office in August this year. Could we do a special issue?
Political editor: Amma just gave us a lot of ads on completing four years in power. Did you know she gave away free goats?
Bright young spark: We could have a panel discussion on the Burundian 10th anniversary, to coincide with 15 months of Modi rule, to debate whether they too should distribute goats free.
Editor: Lovely. Draw up a list of such issues. We’ll do the 13th month theme right away. Start with comparing the NDA’s performance with the UPA’s over the first 13 months.
Political editor: Why not take the first 13 months of Vajpayee, Narasimha Rao, Indira Gandhi, Nehru too?
Global editor: The first 13 months of Obama, Abe, Xi Jinping? Or Hammurabi,Cleopatra, Genghiz Khan?
Editor: Then let’s do the ‘how many hours does Modi work’ story, comparing him with, say, Reagan, Stalin, Chandragpupta Maurya.
Junior Reporter: Attila the Hun.
Features editor: For this 13th month thingy, we could have a special issue on the number 13 and luck. Bring in unlucky leaders with luck in their names, like Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and Thailand’s Yingluck Shinawatra.
Editor: Excellent. Let’s use all these suggestions. Schedule the stories,discussions, seminars, cocktails, dinners. Any other bright ideas? Could we have something really controversial?
Fashion editor: This month is also the first anniversary of the wedding of celebrities Kanye West, the American rapper and Kim Kardashian, the socialite with the internet-breaking butt. Could we compare the Kanye West-Kim Kardashian first year with the Modi-Amit Shah anniversary?
Editor: That will be wonderful.
(Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint)
(The views expressed by the author are personal)