Another crazy week
Protests erupted today in Daman, Diu and other areas near the Gujarat border on the Gujarat government’s failure to enforce total prohibition in the state. Manas Chakravarty writes about the past week's events.india Updated: Jul 18, 2009 22:54 IST
Monday: Protests erupted today in Daman, Diu and other areas near the Gujarat border on the Gujarat government’s failure to enforce total prohibition in the state. “Gujarat is the birthplace of Gandhiji and liquor must be banned there,” said a pub-owner in Daman, ushering in a busload of tourists from Gujarat into his pub. A local Gandhian observed the protests with tears in his eyes, as he told this reporter that even the smugglers in Daman were all for prohibition in Gujarat — an instance, he said, “of how Gandhian values can find a place even in the most hardened heart”.
Tuesday: As torrential rains flooded Mumbai’s streets, terrorists at a camp outside Lahore looked decidedly glum. Reports say that terrorists training for another attack on Mumbai have gone on strike, complaining that working conditions in Mumbai left much to be desired. “At the very least,” said a young jihadi, “we should get a flood allowance”.
Meanwhile, the LeT chiefs have been trying to find a few rain-free days when an attack on Mumbai could be carried out. “We must study the El Nino phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean because it affects the monsoons,” said a learned terrorist. But a young terrorist said all they had to do was follow the Mumbai Met Department’s warning of heavy rainfall. “Those days”, he pointed out, “are invariably bone dry”.
Wednesday: After the hullabaloo in Parliament over the TV serial Balika Vadhu, legislators are demanding that the popular cartoon show Tom & Jerry should be banned. “The cartoon is very violent with episodes featuring Jerry slicing Tom in half and Tom using everything from dynamite sticks, axes and poison to try and kill Jerry. This can severely affect a child’s psyche,” said a child psychologist. A policeman pointed out that the proper procedure if either Tom or Jerry felt aggrieved would be to file an FIR at the nearest police station and allow the police to investigate. “At the very least, Jerry should file a writ petition,” added a lawyer.
Thursday: The government was ecstatic today as the rate of inflation continued to be negative. Asked about the sky-high prices of vegetables and pulses, an economist said that wasn’t inflation. “That’s a mere price rise,” he said, adding that the great economist Milton Friedman had said that inflation is always a monetary phenomenon and that money supply growth was decelerating. “Besides,” he added, “prices of purified terepthalic acid, springs and jelly-filled telephone cables have come down”.
Friday: The US government congratulated India today on re-opening the dialogue with Pakistan. “When terrorists attacked us, we behaved immaturely by invading the country harbouring them and attacking another country on fake evidence. We are very happy India is behaving in such a mature manner,” said a State Department official. An Indian government spokesman said he was happy the US was happy.
Saturday: No buses were burnt in Kolkata today. In protest, the opposition has called for a bandh next Monday.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint